- Name: Xazavian Valladay
- School: Arizona State
- Year: Senior
- Position: Running Back
- Size: 5’11”, 199 lbs.
- Hands: 8.5″
- Arms: 30.625″
Every year draft analysts fall in love with prospects. They often find off-the-radar players on whom they choose to plant their flag. Arizona State’s Valladay is one of those players for me. Since I scouted him ahead of the East-West Shrine Game, I have loved this player and his game. Valladay began his college career as a lightly recruited 2-star prospect out of Brother Rice High School in Illinois, according to 247sports.com.
Valladay spent the first four years of his career at Wyoming. They were the only D-1 school to offer him a scholarship. Valladay rewarded the Wyoming staff with four ultra-productive years. Then he parlayed his chance at an extra college football season due to the Covid-19 pandemic into a post-graduate year at Arizona State University. He put his name on the map by putting up the best season of his career en route to second Team All-Pac 12 honors. You can find his stats below.
Following the end of his Post-Graduate year, Valladay accepted an invitation to the East-West Shrine Game. Throughout the week, he made an excellent impression on the coaches. Then he capped off his college career by leading the West Team to victory with 13/76/0. He was the standout offensive player of the game. His performance solidified his legitimate chance to have his name called on draft day. Let us look at this kid and his game without further ado.
Film Breakdown Pros
His speed is the first thing that jumps off the screen to me when scouting Valladay. He has excellent long speed. While at Wyoming and Arizona State, he routinely ripped off chunk plays and took the ball to the house.
Despite being a speedster, Valladay also does an excellent job of running with power. He had a decent nose for the endzone during his time in college. While he will never be confused for Mike Alstot, defenders will need more than an arm tackle to bring him down.
Valladay has shown himself to be a quality pass catcher in college football. He is a willing blocker with soft hands to make plays in all facets of the passing game. You can see a couple of examples below.
The first thing that stands out as a negative for Valladay is his age. We all know running backs have a short shelf life in the NFL. After spending five years in the college ranks, thanks to the Covid-19 extra year, Valladay will turn 24 in his rookie season. This means that even if he does hit, the rookie contract will be what you get. Think of how David Johnson aged out of fantasy relevance quickly.
Valladay also has a habit of trying to turn every play into a big play. At the NFL level, he will have to get used to plowing ahead for a five-yard gain instead of trying to bust it outside and ending up with a negative-yardage play. This is a correctable issue that his next coaching staff will likely address.
The Wrap Up
For me, Valladay is an excellent sleeper running back. If he lands in the right situation, like Isiah Pacheco last year, he could do some damage at the NFL level. His film reveals a player with enough speed and power to run between the tackles and bounce them to the outside to create big plays. He has also shown proficiency as a receiver and blocker in the passing game. Also, to his credit, Valladay never fumbled the ball in college, so he is extremely safe with the ball in his hands.
Finally, Valladay has succeeded everywhere he has been in College football. From Wyoming to Arizona State and the East-West Shrine Game, good things happen whenever teams give him the ball. He could hear his name calling on the NFL draft’s third day. Depending on his destination, he could be a perfect late-round stash for your dynasty squads.
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