CJ Verdell Scouting Profile


High School

Verdell was a 3-star recruit out of Mater Dei Catholic in Chula Vista, CA. He had 15 offers from schools, consisting mostly of Pac-12 and West Coast schools. He chose Oregon on National Signing Day and enrolled in July/2017. As a senior at Mater Dei, he rushed for an impressive 2,399 yards on 262 rushes, and 36 touchdowns.


College

Verdell has a combined 2,238 career rushing yards in two seasons at Oregon. He was an All Pac-12 selection(2nd team) and ranked 2nd in the Pac-12 with 1,220 rushing yards and 8 touchdowns. He took home the Pac-12 championship game MVP, after running for 208 yards and 3 touchdowns against Utah. After it was announced in the summer that the Pac-12 would not play a season in 2020, that decision was re-evaluated and changed on October 3rd, when Pac-12 officials agreed that a seven game season will be played. So, we will get to see how much Verdell has improved from 2019 to add to his stats below.

First Impression

Verdell was fun to watch. The first thing that stood out were his vision and burst. He blends that vision/burst with his ability to stay under control with his footwork and allows the hole to develop before finding his burst and hitting the open hole hard. His size allows him to fit into the narrowest of creases and slip through a quickly-closing hole. He's a cutback runner who excels in a zone running scheme but might get smothered in more power-running and short-yardage situations. However, he has speed to get the edge and is at his best when he's out in space. Verdell showed good contact balance and ability to evade tackles at the second level. He's not as fast as a guy like Chuba, but has the breakaway speed to take it to the house.


Overall Grade and Film Breakdown

(Note: all scores/ratings are based on personal opinion)


Strengths

Verdell blends good vision with patience and burst. He can make defenders miss at the second level and showed some good lower body strength to run through arm tackles. He also understands hand usage, using his stiff arm to either swipe away defenders arm tackles or extend his arm into the helmet of a defender. He has above-average speed and can turn a long gain into a touchdown. He displays solid contact balance and good footwork, running with patience and staying under control behind the line of scrimmage. He plays fast at 5'9, 210 and showed that he can produce when his number is called at the goal line. Overall, Verdell has a great skillset that will translate to the next level.


Weaknesses

Verdell clearly struggled in pass protection and will have to develop in a big way if he wants to be considered a three-down back. It will be important that he pays attention to the details in pass protection, as he would allow the defender to gain leverage underneath his shoulder pads. His feet were also constantly moving as he positioned into his pass set, which would cause him to be off balance. But the good thing is, that can all be coached with film and repetition. I also did not see a lot of Verdell catching the football. He was asked to run the ball a lot for the Ducks, but he is athletic enough to have plays designed to get the ball in his hands through the air. Lastly, Verdell can get bottled up in short-yardage situations. He's not the power back you want in the game on 3rd & 1.


Film/Scores

Speed: Verdell received a 93 speed score. It was easy to see on tape that he has the ability to outrun defenders. His speed will certainly be a weapon at the next level.