Terrance Ganaway: Is Anyone Else Really High on This Guy?

John Barker has been taking a look at some of the Jets draft picks.  Earlier this week, he wrote about Demario Davis.  Next up, Terrance Ganaway.

And with the 202nd pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the New York Jets select…the best running back on their roster?  Maybe so.  If I was tempering expectations of Demario Davis, I’m back to hype them for Terrance Ganaway, a three-down back that I believe is vastly undervalued.

At 6’1” and 240 pounds, people have a hard time finding a good comparable to Ganaway, and I think that’s one of the reasons no one talks about him.  It’s all about comps these days.  Doug Martin reminds one of Ray Rice, and Stephen Hill, of course, equals Megatron (praying this one is actually true).  Comps give us a warm, fuzzy feeling, a crystal ball into the future.  So who exactly is Ganaway’s best comp?  There’s Brandon Jacobs (ugh), but he’s about 3 inches and 25 pounds bigger than Ganaway.  Going back a ways, there was the Nigerian Nightmare and Natrone “Refried” Means who each had some success while playing north of 240.  What about Arian Foster?  He’s listed at 6’1” and 229.  Ganaway has already said the Jets coaching staff wants him playing in the low 230’s, so height-weight they’re relatively similar, even if they have noticeably different frames.  Or what about quitting with the whole silly comp thing altogether? 

If there’s one thing you’d think we’d have all learned by now, it’s that great players, running backs in particular, come in all shapes and sizes.  Chris Johnson has rushed for almost 5 yards per carry in his career playing at 190 pounds.  Darren Sproles put up over 1,300 all-purpose yards last year and he’s five foot six.  Darren McFadden is 6’2” with the speed of a scat back, and LeGarrette Blount has a career YPC of 4.6 playing in the 250’s.

On the field, Terrance Ganaway set Baylor school records by rushing for over 1,500 yards and 21 touchdowns last year.  He started the season rushing for 120 yards against a pretty good defense in TCU (top 30 against the run), and he only got better as the season went on, rushing for 600 yards in his final 3 games, including 152 against Texas (number 11 against the run) in the regular season finale.   He had a disappointing combine and Senior Bowl that he chalked up to injuries, and bounced back to run a sub-4.5 at his Pro Day.  He plays at that speed on tape and he’s got quick, agile feet.  He wasn’t really used in the Bears passing attack, but I’ve seen clips that make me wonder why.  He has good hands and gets upfield seamlessly.  Reports from his Pro Day support the claim that he has potential in the passing game.

Here’s some highlights from the high-scoring game against Washington in last year’s Alamo Bowl game.

I can’t say that I’ve read much one way or the other about his blocking, but he certainly has the size and strength (22 reps at 225) to be a good blocker.  This isn’t Ron Dayne 2.0, Ganaway is an athlete.  At the combine he broad jumped 10 feet and had a vertical of 37.5”.  He embarrassed the Washington Huskies in the Alamo Bowl, needing just 21 carries to rush for 200 yards and 5 touchdowns, including an 89-yard scamper and a 43-yard exclamation point run to seal the victory.  He ran away from the Washington secondary on the last one.

I feel confident saying that I like Shonn Greene more than most.  And yet I’m not convinced that he’s more talented than Ganaway.  Based on game tape, on-field production and value, there’s a lot to like about this new Jet.  Remember, we’re talking about a compensation pick at the end of the sixth round.

Wait, what about Steven Jackson?!  He’s 6’2” and 240.  Whatever.  I’m not sure who Ganaway’s best comp is, but I know he can play.

On a side note, thanks to all the TJB writers and fans for the warm welcome. Very much appreciated.