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LaMichael James enters NFL draft

LaMichael James AP

Oregon running back LaMichael James is turning pro.

James, who has been the NCAA leader in rushing yards per game for two consecutive years, announced on Friday that he will enter the 2012 NFL draft.

Although James is a speedy playmaker, there are questions about his size (5-foot-9 and 195 pounds) and durability. There may also be character questions for James to answer: In 2010 James pleaded guilty to one count of physical harassment in connection with a domestic-violence incident. Oregon suspended him for one game.

But James is undeniably talented. There’s little doubt that Alabama’s Trent Richardson will be the first running back selected in this year’s NFL draft, but James has a shot — along with Virginia Tech’s David Wilson and Miami’s Lamar Miller — at being the second ball carrier off the board.

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31 Responses to “LaMichael James enters NFL draft”
  1. dawkinseffect says: Jan 6, 2012 6:56 PM

    Didn’t they say Darren Sproles was too small?? I wonder how his NFL career has been…

  2. detroitrollin22 says: Jan 6, 2012 7:03 PM

    I can see him either going to TB, Minny, or SD in the 2nd round

  3. grninerfan says: Jan 6, 2012 7:11 PM

    He’ll go in the first round. just not at the top of the board.

  4. mistersmith22 says: Jan 6, 2012 7:16 PM

    Dawkins, I was coming in here JUST to talk about Sproles. Good call: a good player is a good player, there are lots of people in the NFL that “lack the physical traits” but get it done. Heck, Drew Brees is “too short,” remember?

    James could be an impactful player…as long as he’s nowhere near Space Mountain.

  5. trollhammer20 says: Jan 6, 2012 7:24 PM

    I could almost see the Niners going after a guy like this. Their offense is great at moving the chains and grinding the clock, but is lacking when it comes to big-play ability. James seems to be the type who will be all about the big play. Get him 10-15 touches a game in special teams and as a backup RB, and he’ll produce.

  6. dg0122 says: Jan 6, 2012 7:34 PM

    I guess we will find out which is more difficult- the Wonderlich or the Texas standardized test required to graduate from high school. James ‘transferred’ after his senior season to an Arkansas high school for the spring semester because of the latter…

  7. contraryguy says: Jan 6, 2012 7:36 PM

    It’s a thin draft for RBs, esp. with Ball out now. James will be the 2nd one taken, probably no later than 17th, 1st round.

  8. mashoaf says: Jan 6, 2012 7:40 PM

    A small MJD hasn’t done well carrying the ball for the Jaguars.

  9. jacunn2000 says: Jan 6, 2012 7:48 PM

    Congrats to you Kid. Next year you will probably double the salary of most above upper class Americans. Remember the war vets and make the best of this great oppotunity. Make it happen!!!

  10. thehungariancrippler says: Jan 6, 2012 8:12 PM

    How can there be a question about his size? You just said it was 5’9″, 195 (ding). I think his size is pretty clear. Oh, you mean there is a question as to whether he’s big enough? Well, say “there’s a question as to whether this guy, who torched college football, is big enough to torch the NFL.

  11. bleed4philly says: Jan 6, 2012 9:24 PM

    “With the 15th pick in the NFL draft, Philadelphia Eagles select (Adam Schefter just reported they were taking James) …another undersized defensive end from the big ten.”

  12. sethb222 says: Jan 6, 2012 9:32 PM

    I love this kid, but NO WAY he goes in the first Round, especially after Jahvid Best went down and the Ole Miss kid for KC has been weak.

    It’s A FACT he won’t be able to carry the ball 25 times a game. So why would anyone use a 1st round pick on a back that will have 15 touches a game.

    He’ll be explosive, no doubt.. but a 1st round pick is for a full time player. A DE who gets 40-45 snaps. A OL who gets 50 Snaps…

    Be realistic. He’ll be like Darren Sproles, Sproles is not a pro bowl caliber player because he can’t carry a team and thats what you select in the 1st round…Not 15 touch players…

  13. fumblenuts says: Jan 6, 2012 9:56 PM

    “Although James is a speedy playmaker, there are questions about his size (5-foot-9 and 195 pounds) and durability.”

    The team that drafts LaMichael in the first round should use him as a “Sproles” type player to keep him fresh and limit the BRUTAL pounding that is coming his way.

  14. hatesycophants says: Jan 6, 2012 10:21 PM

    @dg0122,

    Thanks so much for your contribution. I’ll make certain not to hire Mr. James to tutor my kid. However, I would love for him to “fall” to my team in the draft.

    Go Lions! Go Badgers!

  15. f16fighterjet says: Jan 6, 2012 10:41 PM

    His size is an issue… to who linebackers that can’t see him coming out of the backfield? Dave Megget comes to mind, wasn’t Barry Sanders to small? I also remember someone named Doug Flutie being to small.

  16. Revolution22 says: Jan 6, 2012 11:37 PM

    Would love to see him come to the Packers in the LATE first to complete our power house of an offense. Alas, it’ll never happen…

  17. boopipes says: Jan 6, 2012 11:54 PM

    He beat up a girl in Eugene. He should be playing with his cell mate, not in the NFL.

  18. profootballwalk says: Jan 7, 2012 12:52 AM

    I remember a small guy once succeeded in the NFL. so….

  19. starfan79 says: Jan 7, 2012 1:00 AM

    Emmit Smith was too small and this guy is a hell of a lot faster. Kinda like sproles.

  20. andyreidisfat says: Jan 7, 2012 1:23 AM

    Love james big time in college. I wanna see how well he runs at the combine before I really give an opinion. If he has elite type speed then he should be a very nice change of pace and out of the backfield Bryan westbrook type guy. If not then I think hi size is to much of an issue and he should be a late round pick.

    Also for the guy who made the Mjd comparison to james and most sub 5’9 guys. Mjd has legs and hips thick as redwoods. He is a very unique body shape. A better comparison is Chris Johnson ( though Johnson is a little taller)

  21. goawayeverybody says: Jan 7, 2012 1:26 AM

    He’s really no smaller than Jamaal Charles. I imagine though he’ll probably bulk up to about 210 or so.

  22. roamingabriel says: Jan 7, 2012 2:28 AM

    James is a stud…

    He’ll do well in the NFL if a coach is smart enough to recognize his talent…

    Half of them aren’t…

  23. 6thsense79 says: Jan 7, 2012 2:44 AM

    James physic seems to be that of someone built fairly sturdy. 5′ 9 packing 195lbs is plenty big enough to play every down in the pros. Chris Johnson (the last 2000 yard rusher in the league) measures 5’11 190lbs.

    Clinton Portis had a decent career at 5’11 200lbs.

    Barry Sanders 5’8 200lbs.

    Sproles goes 5’6 180lbs so I’m not sure why people keep comparing James to him. James outweights Sproles by 15lbs which is fairly significant.

    Also to the gentleman saying James can’t carry 25+ times per game…..here’s a news flash..No body carries the football 25 times per game. The NFL leader in rushing attempts this season was Maurice Jones Drew and he averaged a little over 21 rushing attempts per game.

  24. g2-22745856cc8b56416cc6c344655eb99f says: Jan 7, 2012 3:13 AM

    “It’s A FACT he won’t be able to carry the ball 25 times a game. So why would anyone use a 1st round pick on a back that will have 15 touches a game.”

    he carried over 25 times a game multiple times in college. He missed a total of two games in 3 full years of starting football where he averaged 22 carries a game. And those two games he missed were after a hideously scary looking dislocated elbow where everyone said he was done for the season. He has no issues with knees, ankles or broken bones. He has no concussion history. He carries the ball both on inside tackle and outside tackle runs and routinely gets great yards after contact. He also runs good routes, is a great blocker on both pass protection and as a lead blocker on two-RB plays (he had a key block against Wisconsin that freed De’Anthony Thomas for his 64 yard run), and has returned punts all this year for good yards including a TD there.

    I don’t think he’ll be a first round pick because I think no one picks RBs in the first round any more. The notion that he couldn’t be an every down back is patently absurd; Chris Johnson weighs less than LMJ does. LMJ weighs 10 pounds less than MJD. He’s slightly shorter but weighs the same as Jamaal Charles. And he’s 3″ taller and weighs more than Darren Sproles.

  25. jc1958cool says: Jan 7, 2012 8:30 AM

    what he did to wisconsin in the rose bowl, should be a top 15 pick

  26. phaktor333 says: Jan 7, 2012 8:42 AM

    For the guys talking about he won’t be able to tote the rock 25 time a game I ask…what running back these days does? This is the reason why the position is a dime a dozen. You can pick a stud back in the first round and run him until the tires fall off or you can get a guy in any round and add him into the existing running back mix. Play him at running back, pass catching running back, wide receiver as well as kick and punt returner on special teams. I see more value in a guy that is ‘undersized’ that can do all of these things AND still get the rock 10-15 times a game than a bruiser back that carries the load 25 times a game, gets paid and then gets injured or shuts down. LaMichael will do some good things next Sunday…how much damage he does depends on where he goes.

  27. clbrett06 says: Jan 7, 2012 8:55 AM

    This years Draft is going to be awesome.

  28. db105 says: Jan 7, 2012 9:15 AM

    Why is height an important at RB position?

  29. mwcarolina says: Jan 7, 2012 9:51 AM

    i would like to see him in Denver, but i dont see that, likely going to be either Miami (if they lose Bush) or another team who wants a smallish type of back who will make plays.

  30. rayguyreturns says: Jan 7, 2012 2:29 PM

    After watching virtually every Duck game the last 2 years here is the scoop on James.

    If you think he’s too small, just ask all of the people who tried to tackle him the last couple of years. Most couldn’t touch him. They also couldn’t catch him, and those that hit him usually were drug for 3 yards or bounced off of him.

    Just think of Barry Sanders only lighter, but faster. Just like Darren Sproles, only bigger and tougher. That’s LJ.

  31. max20characters says: Jan 7, 2012 9:37 PM

    Emmit Smith and Barry Sanders were too small. They had pretty terrible careers, right? (Sarcasm)

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