Name: Larry Rountree III - Position: RB
Height: 5'10 - Weight: 210
Analyst : Justin Rochat
Rountree isn’t the type of back that tries to take it to the house every time he touches the ball. He is a patient runner that uses his blockers properly; he follows them and waits for a lane to open. He has some shiftiness that allows him to allude tackles. There were numerous times when defenders quickly got into the backfield and Rountree made some guys miss as he fought his way just to get back to the line of scrimmage. Rountree does not shy away from contact at all, but once contact is made with the defense he keeps his legs churning to gain some extra yards. His balance is very impressive as well as there were times when defenders tried to make the tackle but bounced off of him yet Rountree stayed on his feet. Larry Rountree is no home run hitter, but he can kick it into an extra gear once he gets passed the initial wave of the defense, however DB’s usually track him down.
Rountree isn’t a featured back even though he is labeled as the starting running back Missouri had two other backs that took some playing time away from him. Not saying that’s necessarily a bad thing due to the fact that the “featured back” is a dying breed in the NFL. More and more NFL teams operate a system that uses multiple backs. Going forward, however Rountree could be used more in the passing game. In the limited role he had in the passing game he was impressive showing soft hands and the ability to get his head up downfield and run after the catch. As mentioned before Rountree is susceptible to be caught from behind when attempting to break away from defensive backs and linebackers. Rountree also has some room to improve as a blocker, not saying he’s terrible, but if he wants to stay on the field on passing downs he needs to work on it.
For the first couple hours of game film I admit I was not impressed with Larry Rountree. However, when I continued to watch his tape and study how he runs and what he sees in the backfield he started to grow on me. The first tape was vs Alabama, probably the closest thing to how and NFL defense operates and is coached. I rewatched his runs against this defense over and over again and noticed how he fought to get back to the line when the defense shot into the backfield. He honestly made maybe 2 or 3 players miss behind the line, even though he was getting stopped behind the line or ran for no gain he still was impressive. As I moved on to his tape vs Tennessee I noticed that his initial contact with the defense usually results in a missed tackle and the defensive player on the ground. And even when he is tackled he was still churning those legs fighting to stay on his feet while gaining some extra yards. His tape vs Oklahoma State goes way beyond his numbers where he ran for over 200 yards and averaged over 7 yards per carry. He showed first that he can carry the workload running the ball almost 30 times (27). This was also where he demonstrated his patience and ability to wait for his blockers to open up a lane for him to shoot through.This reminded me of a certain polarizing running back. I believe Rountree has the potential to be a complete 3 down back, it’s up to the coaches to put him in the passing game plan.