In Dynasty football, finding value is the name of the game. Whether via way of waiver wire acquisitions, trades, or through annual rookie drafts. Each year players slip through the cracks and burst into dynasty stardom. While looking at the running back position, the last two years have yielded mid round picks such as; David Johnson and Jordan Howard. Finding and identifying these values separate good teams from true dynasties. With names like; Fournette, Cooks, Mixon, and McCaffery dominating the top of drafts, “lesser” talents can be had for relatively cheap. A name to monitor this year Marlon Mack.
Marlon Mack attended Booker High School in Sarasota, Florida. He was listed as four-star recruit at the RB position. Highly touted and heavily recruited, Mack ultimately decided to stay in state and took his talent to the University of South Florida (USF). Mack started his college career off with a bang, rushing for 275 yards. His early success continued throughout his career at USF. In his three years, he became USF’s all-time leading rusher with 3,609 yards.
While looking at his player profile https://www.playerprofiler.com/nfl/marlon-mack/, a few things immediately jump off the page. His 40-yard dash, speed score, and burst score all rank above the 70th percentile. His college yards per carry of 6.0 is also impressive and ranks in the 69th percentile. His best comparable player is Todd Gurley which bodes well for NFL success. His 15 reps on bench were subpar, and show signs he is not ready to pass block at the next level. This is a problem most rookies have when entering the league and can be corrected. On film Mack looks nothing short of electric. He shows a sudden burst and is hard to bring down in the open field. Mack runs with lower pad level, which allows him to fall forward for extra yards upon contact. His straight-line speed is evident after he bursts through the line, and is a real threat to score each time he has the ball in his hands. Has a deadly jump cut which forced many linebackers to completely whiff when attempting to tackle him. Some critics may question his ability to be a true workhorse back and projects more as a change of pace scat back. At the NFL scouting combine Mack weighed in at 213 LBS and measured 5’11”. Mack received 586 collegiate carries, and 651 total touches. USF used Mack as a bell cow which shows he can handle a substantial work load. His only “major” injury throughout his collegiate career was a concussion, which only forced him to miss limited time. Mack has missed time during minicamp with an undisclosed injury, but should be back in plenty of time to get ready for the preseason. Another concern is ball security. Mack fumbled 12 times at USF, which averages out to a fumble every 49th carry.
Marlon was selected in the fourth round by the Indianapolis Colts. He is currently listed behind: Frank Gore, Robert Turbin, and Josh Ferguson on the Colts depth chart. With a solid preseason, Mack could easily surpass the latter of the two. It is not a stretch to expect Mack to open the season as Frank Gore’s primary backup. Gore will enter the season at a ripe age of 34, and many wonder how much gas is left in the tank. Gore has posted his second straight year with under 4.0 yards per carry. One could expect his efficiency to continue to decline entering his 13th season. The Colts should look to reduce Gore’s workload, and Mack could take over the third down role. This could lead to a timeshare between the two. Where Gore lacks, Mack is the prefect compliment. Mack lined up all over the field at USF and has natural hands catching balls out of the backfield. He caught a total of 65 balls, which will translate to PPR success. The Colts head coach, Chuck Pagano, recently gushed about Mack: “He looks good,” Pagano said. “He’s a quick learner, quick study. He’s picking up things extremely fast. He’s got good hands. He’s good vision, he’s got a nice jump cut. He’s explosive, he can burst, good in traffic, and he’s learning the protection part of it.” The Colts are an organization who typically do not draft RBs highly. Marlon is the most invested in RB since the 2011 draft. His talent; coupled with the positive coach speak, and draft capital to obtain him, Mack is viewed as the heir apparent to Frank Gore. Mack is currently being selected as a late second in rookie drafts, and 130th in startups. With his opportunity, and receiving prowess Mack will see the field early in his career. I highly expect Mack to outproduce his current ADP and see him as a value most dynasty owners should look to acquire.