Possesses the short-area quickness to make a man miss in traffic, as well as the fluidity/footwork to plant his foot in the ground at full speed and cleanly side-step defenders. Now, gets a bit upright when running through the line of scrimmage at times and will get a bit overextended with his lower half when trying to change directions. But, for the most part, is explosive, sudden and powerful with the ball in his hands.
Runs hard and dishes out a fair share of punishment, but at times exposes his frame to some unnecessary hits because of that pad level. Does a great job catching the football out of the backfield and is a consistent threat on third downs. Looks natural selling the screen game, getting his head around and making the initial man miss. Can also get down the field and has some suddenness as a route runner as well.
However, the biggest knock on him at this stage is his lack of overall feel between the tackles. Too often he tries to bounce plays outside and doesn't exhibit the type of vision and patience to recognize holes or set up blocks. Even when there are increases inside, he too often struggles to see them and takes far too many negative plays because of it.
Impression: Possesses a really gifted skill set. Is powerful, runs hard and displays good footwork and shiftiness to his game for a back his size. But, he isn't real instinctive when asked to run downhill inside. Can be effective in space and could still fight for playing time as a big third-down back, but isn't consistent enough inside to be a potential starter."
Positive: Impressive looking running back prospect who only occasionally plays to his ceiling. Effectively follows blocks on the field, shows strength carrying the ball, and rarely brought down by a single defender. Throws his shoulders into opponents and falls forward when tackled. Possesses solid vision, better than average quickness, and the ability to bounce around piles. Does not go down without a fight. Terrific receiver out of the backfield and has proven to be a downfield threat.
Negative: Must improve his ball security. Really does not show a burst in his game. Has had an up-and-down career that never took off.
Analysis: Fannin has the size and speed and has flashed the skills necessary to be a top running back prospect, but he never put it all together. His pass catching ability makes him invaluable and Fannin could see significant playing time if he increases his productivity carrying the ball."
Negatives: Puts the ball on the ground too often, appears fumble prone at times... Runs too upright, needs to lower his pad level to get more yards after contact... Lacks good instincts and is slow to locate running lanes... Comes with some injury concerns, dislocated his left shoulder in 2008 and struggled with an ankle injury in 2009... Never dominated at the collegiate level and has never carried the load... The most carries he's ever had in a single season was 84 as a freshman in 2007... Took a bit of a backseat to freshman Michael Dyer in 2010... Will turn 24 during his rookie season."
Weaknesses: An athlete without a position. Doesn't have the breakaway speed as a runner. Runs too upright. Lacks the strength and blocking ability to consistently lock onto defenders. Is not elusive in the open field.
Projection: UDFA. Fannin will need to find a position to play at the next level, as he might be too big for halfback and too small for a fullback. Perhaps with his receiving skills, he could be an option as an H-Back."
He’s a big, powerful kid who has a good initial burst to his game with the footwork and fluidity to make a man miss/break a tackle and accelerate into daylight. However, the big drawback to his game and one of the main reasons why he isn’t seeing a ton of playing time running the football between the tackles this season is because he isn’t the most instinctive of backs when asked to allow blocks to set up, identify holes quickly and pick his way through traffic. Nevertheless, the guy does two things very well that will give him a chance at the next level…
1. He catches the football in the pass game.
2. He can help out in blitz pick-up and block on third downs.
It may not sound like much, but those two skill sets are enough to give this guy a chance as someone who can play on third downs and be worked in as a rotational back. Even so, Fannin still isn’t ever going to be a high draft pick, but he’s a guy who should test well for his size and still has the ability to make a roster after being overlooked during the season."
Oh man I LOVE this kid:
A PUNISHING Runner.
Not only that, but he is a CRUSHING Blocker, and a DEADLY Receiver.
Sure, he runs too high, and his Navigational Skills need work.
He is by NO means a lock to succeed.
But, my GOD.
Marion Fannin could end up being a DEMOLISHING Weapon.
And he might not even get DRAFTED.
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