Royce Freeman Shows Good Burst For His Size
Freeman doesn’t have the elite burst that guys like Ronald Jones or Sony Michel have shown, but he definitely shows good burst for his size and gets up to speed much quicker than you would expect. This pairs very well with his patience, vision, and ability to get through small holes. If the hole is there, Royce Freeman is going to find it, and he has the burst to get there.
In the play below, watch how quickly Royce Freeman gets up to speed after putting his foot in the dirt. He gets behind his pulling linemen and gets through the hole before the defense has time to diagnose the play.
Royce Freeman Is Capable Out Of The Backfield
Royce Freeman probably isn’t going to be an elite receiving threat out of the backfield at the next level, but this isn’t an area of weakness for him, meaning it shouldn’t be a reason to keep him off the field. In my opinion, that is a strength.
He was used mostly in swing and screen passes and showed very little in terms of route running, but his opportunities were limited there, so I can’t really blame him for that.
He often lets the ball into his body but has shown the ability to catch the ball away from his frame. He tends to be too hesitant after the catch, not maximizing his yardage with the ball in his hands, but that is something that you would hope can be coached out of him in the NFL.
The play below isn’t a highlight reel tight play, and he doesn’t gain many yards, but it is nice to see Freeman extend above his head and look natural catching the football. I think that this is an area that he will be able to be used in the NFL. He may not be a passing downs specialist at the next level, given that most teams will have better options in the passing game, but he isn’t a liability in his receiving or pass protection. This means that teams shouldn’t have to take him off the field if they don’t want to.