Stanford University Running Back 5’10” – 196 lbs.
2017 Highlights: YouTube
2017 Stats: 237 carries – 1,973 yards – 8.3 avg. – 17 TDs
2016 Stats: 111 carries – 783 yards – 7.1 avg. – 3 TDs
2015 Stats: 29 carries – 225 yards – 7.8 avg. – 2 TDs
Bryce Love will be most likely be a first round pick if he chooses to enter the 2018 NFL Draft. The junior is just 27 rushing yards away from 2,000 on the season going into tonight’s Valero Alamo Bowl. He’s one of the fastest backs we’ve seen in recent years and has all the makings of a great NFL running back. Love is averaging an astonishing 8.3 yards per carry this season. Every time he touches the ball, there’s a chance he’ll take it the distance for six points.
Bryce Love’s breakaway ability is among the best in the nation. He has a chance to run a blazing 40 time at the NFL Combine and his draft stock will go up if he runs a sub 4.40. His vision and awareness when carrying the football is the best I’ve seen since Le’Veon Bell. Love faced top notch defenses like USC and Notre Dame during his career and always showed up. Against USC this season he carried the ball 39 times for 285 yards and two TDs. Against Notre Dame’s stout defense, Love ran for 125 yards.
Love’s strength lies in his ability to see the slimmest of holes and hit them with unbelievable quickness. He cuts and jukes like LeSean McCoy and when he gets to the open field, there’s no stopping him. He may start off as a 3rd down back as a rookie in the NFL but he has the ability to take over an offense the way Dalvin Cook did for the Minnesota Vikings in 2017. An average running back doesn’t run for eight yards a carry and rush for 2,000 yards. Love is a special back and should be a first round pick in 2018.
Love is rather small and health may be a concern when he’s getting hit by NFL linebackers. His shiftiness will help him avoid big hits but at under 200 pounds, he’s undersized. Another thing to keep an eye on is Love’s lack of receiving out of the backfield. He caught only six passes this year and just eight last year. Stanford’s passing game wasn’t great this season and they didn’t give Love many opportunities to catch the ball, but he’ll need to get used to running routes and screens in the NFL.
Love’s size doesn’t help him with his pass blocking ability and he’ll need to learn fast in order to start in the NFL. He’s got too much speed and talent not to run him out there for three downs, but he’ll need to work on his blocking at the next level.
NFL Comparison: LeSean McCoy
When I watch Bryce Love make defenders miss and change directions on a dime, I can’t help but feel I’m watching LeSean McCoy. Love is a little smaller than McCoy physically but his agility and juke moves are a mirror image of Shady. McCoy is an outstanding pass-catcher and pass-blocker so Love obviously isn’t on his level in those areas but when you look at pure running ability, Love is similar to Shady. With superb speed, great vision, and awesome cutting ability, Bryce Love is going to be a special running back in the NFL.