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2023 Rookie Draft Profile: Xazavian Valladay

@ReflipeWThenuz breaks down his favorite sleeper RB in the 2023 class. He will tell you why you should look into @Xfactor4_ as the X-factor for your upcoming dynasty drafts.


  • 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  

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.

Rushing & Receiving Table
RushRushRushRush ReceReceReceRece ScriScriScriScri
Year School Class G Att Yds Avg TD Rec Yds Avg TD Plays Yds Avg TD
2022Arizona StateSR1221511925.516372897.8225214815.918
Arizona State21511925.516372897.8225214815.918

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. 

Player Cons

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.

Thank you for reading this article! Please be sure to join the #Nerdherd, so you don’t miss out on any of the amazing things we have to offer Use my promo code DynastyHolliday for a 15% off discount. You will get rankings, extra podcasts, and access to our rookie film room. For just a couple of bucks more, you can get access to our revolutionary DynastyGM tool. So much for so little; why miss out on all the fun? Also, you absolutely must check out our new mock draft tool. Find it in your Apple & Android app stores. Follow me @ReflipeWThenuz for more dynasty content and other musings.

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