The productive UL Lafayette running back could be the most complete player at his position in the 2017 NFL Draft
There will be no shortage of high-quality running backs available in the 2017 NFL Draft. That said, only a handful of them excel as both a runner and receiver out of the backfield. An even smaller number were the focal point of their team's respective offenses.
UL Lafayette running back Elijah McGuire is one such player – and has been for the duration of his collegiate career.
The 5-foot-9, 210-pound offensive dynamo was a four-year starter for the Ragin' Cajuns, piling up 4,312 yards and 42 touchdowns on the ground along with 1,383 receiving yards 10 more scores.
He has the patience of Le'Veon Bell, the fluidity of Matt Forte and the build and agility of Doug Martin. Quite simply – he's the total package for any team looking for a three-down back they can depend on for the next 6-8 years.
At the NFL Scouting Combine, keep an eye on how he fares in comparison to some similar backs – guys like Dalvin Cook, Alvin Kamara and Corey Clement – that had the luxury of playing at higher-profile programs and subsequently becoming higher-profile prospects. Because of the depth at the position, McGuire holding his own in workouts with those players won't necessarily boost his draft stock. It will, however, make him a target of value in the later rounds for teams that decide to address other needs with their earlier picks.
Those types of scenarios often lead to quality players landing with quality teams – even contenders – and having their careers flourish due to better situations than their peers.
If your team needs help at the running back spot, you'll want to keep a close eye on McGuire's Combine performance as well as any subsequent movement in the mock drafts that follow. He's currently projected to go late – likely in the fifth or sixth round. I expect that to change after the Combine.
— Written by J.P. Scott, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. His work has appeared on SI.com, FoxSports.com, Yahoo! and Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.