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Alabama Football 2016 NFL Draft Profiles: Kenyan Drake

Derrick Henry may have gotten all the spotlight, but don't sleep on his backfield partner.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Kenyan Drake

Position: Running Back

Age: 22

Height: 6'0" 1/2

Weight: 210

Arm Length: 31.75 in.

Hand Width: 9.75 in.

Wingspan: 75.25 in.

40-Yard Dash: 4.45s

20-Yard Split: 2.64s

10-Yard Split: 1.64s

Short Shuttle: 4.21s

Three Cone: 7.04s

Bench Press: 10

Vertical Jump: 34.5 in.

Broad Jump: 10.25 ft.

SPARQ*: 116.6

Z-Score*: -0.4

*Note: These values were calculated by Zach Whitman of and A higher SPARQ score means that player is more athletic. A positive Z-score means that the athlete has above average athleticism for an NFL player at his position, and a negative means that he is below average. If you want a more in depth explanation, here is my previous article.

2015 Statistics

Carries: 77

Yards: 408

Average: 5.3

Touchdowns: 1

Receptions: 29

Yards: 276

Receiving Touchdowns: 1


A rotational change-of-pace back with skills as a receiver and an accomplished return man and gunner, Kenyan Drake exemplifies the word versatility. Though never breaking into the light as the starter, Drake has been a steady contributor for Alabama for three years, and he has produced his fair share of ridiculous highlight plays.

Drake is blazing fast player that can accelerate into another gear that most players don't have within the blink of an eye. When he gets to the sideline and speeds up, he almost magically slips by defenders who seemed to have an easy angle on him. He also possesses insanely quick feet, giving him the ability to juke defenders in an almost comical fashion. Despite all this, Drake is not purely a speed back. At 210 pounds, he's also shown ability and willingness to lower his shoulder and plow into a pile, and he is surprising effective at grinding out those yards too.

Early in his career before Derrick Henry became the man, Drake was often used as Alabama's most reliable short yardage back, as he attacked the line of scrimmage with such speed a ferocity that he would cross the marker before the defensive line really had time to react.

Drake has also been used extensively as a receiver, possessing decent hands and amazing route running.


Obviously, the injuries are huge. Drake missed much of 2014 with a broken leg, but he came back in 2015 looking just as fast (though obviously not trusting his body in power situations as often). Then he broke his arm while making a tackle on special teams near the end of 2015, missing three games before finishing out the season with a cast.

As a runner, he does not posses great vision. His frantic running style and desire to make huge highlight plays lend to him often running into his own linemen. To steal a quote from Dane Brugler: "He is living proof that there is such a thing as moving too fast." He also sometimes struggles with balance. When defenders catch him from the side rather than straight ahead, he tends to get knocked of his stride, and will stumble and fall awkwardly.

Drake really struggles in pass protection, being borderline useless in that regard. He also had issues with fumbles early in his career, but he seemed to fix those during his senior season.


With his lack of usage and time missed to injuries, Kenyan Drake is a player with little film for evaluators to get a good handle on. On one hand, he looks like he has enormous unmet potential and could become a better pro player than he ever was in college. On the other, you have to wonder if he will ever be anything more than a oft-injured gadget player.

Most predictions have him going anywhere from the third round to the fifth. The Carolina Panthers have expressed interest in him, and some anonymous evaluator even said that he viewed Drake as a first round talent. The Buffalo Bills are a team that could be a great fit, as they've continually made efforts to sign explosive players to work in space, such as Sammy Watkins and Percy Harvin. The San Francisco 49ers might also be a fit, as Drake is the type of player that new coach Chip Kelly coveted at Oregon. The Chicago Bear, Detroit Lions, and Oakland Raiders are also all teams that could be great fits for Drake.

My prediction is that he ends up squarely in the mid- to late- fourth round. 117th overall to the Bills

Lastly, just watch this Kenyan Drake highlight video and tell me that he doesn't have potential to be an otherworldly player: