Sports Outside the Beltway

NFL Draft 2007 – Round 1 #12 – Buffalo Bills – RB Marshawn Lynch

The Buffalo Bills have selected Cal RB Marshawn Lynch with the 12th pick in the 2007 NFL Draft.

What the Experts Say: Profile:

Marshawn Lynch Photo Cal Uniform Evaluation: A solid running back with a complete game, Lynch is an athletic football player with good instincts. Has shown consistent progress in all aspects of his game while remaining a dominant feature back. Top fifteen choice who could quickly break into a starting lineup at the next level.

STRENGTHS: Acceleration, Balance, Tackle-Breaking Ability


Biography: Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year last season after posting 203/1,245/9 on the ground and 31/311/4 receiving. Posted nearly identical numbers of 1,246 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns as a sophomore.

Marshawn Lynch Photo Civies Pos: Explosive ball carrier with terrific size and speed. Runs with good lean, has a burst of speed and does not go down without a fight. Makes defenders miss and possesses outstanding open-field skills. Picks his way on the inside and weaves his way through the traffic. Possesses the speed to cut the corner yet consistently runs north/sound. Strong, breaks tackles and is very tough to bring down. Puts his shoulders into opponents and falls forward when tackled, delivering a blow. Solid pass-catcher who shows himself to be a downfield receiving threat. Gives effort blocking and picks blocking assignments.

Neg: Not overly creative nor is he truly an elusive ball handler. Stands to improve his route-running at receiver.


Buffalo placed need over value with this pick. Lynch has shown flashes of developing into a difference maker. He’s big enough to carry a heavy workload and his speed should make him a homerun threat in the NFL. In other words, he can pound the ball inside turn the corner as an outside runner. There’s also reason to believe he’ll emerge as a dangerous receiver out of the backfield so he compares favorably to Peterson in a lot of ways. However, Lynch isn’t on the same level as Peterson. He isn’t as shifty as Peterson in the open field and, more importantly, there are concerns about his character stemming from an off-the-field incident with a woman.

In addition, Lynch, much-like Peterson, has had some problems staying healthy so this is a bit of a reach and Buffalo may have been better served taking a corner. However, running back is clearly a need and this could prove to be a great pick if Lynch pans out.

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