2012 NFL Draft Oregon Player Profile: LaMichael James


With the 2012 NFL Draft only a few days away, one of the most popular Oregon Ducks players going in has to be LaMichael James. LaMichael James was a junior running back for Oregon last season with 1,805 rushing yards on 247 attempts with eighteen rushing touchdowns. James was a “Heisman quality” running back for the Oregon Ducks during his years with the team because he was the ideal fit for Chip Kelly’s unique zone blocking scheme and he hopes to carry his success at Oregon into the NFL.  I will go over what I feel James’ strengths and weaknesses are going into the 2012 NFL Draft and what NFL team I feel can benefit the most from James being on their team.

The best way to describe LaMichael James’ running style would be quick and decisive. One of James’ biggest strengths is that he can make plays out of nothing. This comes from how effectively he ran in between the tackles. James was one of the best running backs in college at being able to shuffle and get up and into the running lane to make a break down field. Once James gets through the hole, he had an uncanny ability to to make things happen down field all by himself and was almost guaranteed at least 20 yards on every running attempt. LaMichael James has the speed to make things happen at the next level and with this speed he is a threat to score on every rushing attempt no matter where his team is on the field.

The biggest weakness surrounding James going into the 2012 NFL Draft is that he has fumbling issues due to the elbow injury from his junior season. James keeps the ball high and tight to his body and, even though he has great all-around strength, his arm strength in very lacking. The concern I have with James going into the 2012 NFL Draft is that the hard hitters in the NFL are going to cause James to fumble a lot. A good example would be if James has to go up against Ray Lewis in the NFL.

One NFL team in which I see LaMichael James fitting in with very well is the Detroit Lions. I feel that Jahvid Best’s career with the Detroit Lions is most likely coming to an end. Best has been an injury machine while with the Detroit Lions. LaMichael James has the ability to step into the NFL and make an impact almost right away. I feel as if James can have the same impact with the Detroit Lions that Adrian Peterson had his rookie year with the Minnesota Vikings. James would be a very nice complement to the already young core in which is in place in the Detroit Lions franchise with Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson.

The only rough spots James would run into with the Detroit Lions is the defenses that the Detroit Lions play in the season. For example, the Detroit Lions play the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears twice a season. These are very tough defenses with some hard hitters on their teams and the Chicago Bears have a “strip-artist” on their defense in the form of Charles “Peanut” Tillman.

For more about NCAA Football, check out my podcast The Onside Kick on Facebook and YouTube. The Onside Kick covers all the biggest stories in the NBA, NCAA Basketball, NFL, NCAA Football, and MLB.

Make sure to follow me on Twitter @RickyWidmer.

Follow the Autzen Zoo on Twitter @Autzen_Zoo and like us on Facebook at Autzen_Zoo.