Dynasty Reads: Prospect Profiles
Welcome to a series of prospect profiles designed to help you navigate your upcoming dynasty rookie drafts. These profiles will spend time dissecting three essential components of a prospect: the physical profile, athleticism, and college production. On today’s menu is Louisville running back Javian Hawkins.
Javian Hawkins: Physical Profile
According to PlayerProfiler, Hawkins stands 5’9 inches and weighs 196 pounds. He scores a 28.9 BMI (body mass index), which places him in the 25th percentile. In other words, he’s tiny. Hawkins’ upside at the next level will likely be capped by his lack of potential to play a featured role.
This news is not the end of the world. Hawkins ceiling might be limited due to his size, but he’s likely to be a late third or early fourth-round dart throw in rookie drafts. He’s going to come rather cheap, so there isn’t a reason to fret much over how big the kid is. He’s a player you swing at later in drafts for upside due to his explosive home run hitting abilities.
Javian Hawkins: Athleticism
The lack of an NFL Combine in 2021 hurts. In particular, it could really hurt Hawkins, who won’t be able to display his athletic gifts on the center stage. Say what there is to say about his size, but Hawkins clearly does not lack explosiveness and has a lot of Bears running back Tarik Cohen in his game.
Despite not having an NFL Combine, there will still be Pro Days. Pro Days are an opportunity for prospects to display their athletic traits. They will run similar drills to the NFL Combine, but scouts in attendance record all metrics and measurements. Teams are allowed three representatives at a Pro Day this season.
There aren’t any recent official athletic measurements on Hawkins. However, looking back at his athletic profile from high school, Hawkins was a miniature freak of nature. He ran a blazing 4.36 40 yard dash, impressive 3.95 20 yard shuttle, and boasted a 40.6-inch vertical leap. Overall, he tested out with the highest SPARQ rating (based on a player’s speed, power, agility, reaction and quickness) at 130.26.
What’s not to love? Well, there’s one glaring asterisk in those measurements. Hawkins has put on nearly 30 pounds since then. His high school profile via ESPN lists him at a measly 167 pounds, while PlayerProfiler has him now listed at 196 pounds. It’s uncertain he’s the same physical freak he was years ago even if all the weight added is muscle.
Until his Pro Day on March 30th, his exact athletic measurements will remain a curiosity. This is a player who needs to display explosive metrics to compensate for his lack of size. In the meantime, if his highlight reels are any indication of his athleticism, he should be an exceptional prospect.
Javian Hawkins: College Production
Hawkins entered the Louisville program in 2018, but his breakout season came in 2019. He rushed for 1,525 yards on 5.8 yards per carry and produced nine total touchdowns. His 2020 season looked to be even more efficient. Hawkins managed 822 rushing yards on 6.2 yards per carry in eight games and eight total touchdowns. While Hawkins was on pace to have a stellar campaign, he decided to opt-out and begin preparing for the 2021 NFL Draft.
According to playerprofiler, Hawkins managed a decent 26.8% dominator rating (57th percentile) and an eye-catching 6.2 college YPC (75th percentile).
While the rushing numbers over the last two seasons were nice, the red flag comes in the passing game. Hawkins received little work in this area throughout his collegiate career, similar to Titans running back Darrynton Evans. In 2019 he only caught four passes on eight targets throughout 13 games.
The role in the receiving game did begin to trend in a different direction in 2020. In the eight games he suited up for, Hawkins saw 20 targets and caught 16 receptions. Hawkins would have likely seen over 30 targets in a full season and might have threatened for over 25 receptions.
Hawkins’ ability to be a viable threat in the passing game is important. As mentioned, due to his size, it’s unlikely Hawkins becomes a featured back in the NFL. Smaller backs need to be able to thrive in the passing game. Hawkins improvement in this area is an indicator he can have a legitimate role on an NFL team.
His pass blocking isn’t too shabby either…
Javian Hawkins: Prospect Profile Conclusion
Hawkins is a small yet explosive running back built in the mold of a Tarik Cohen. In terms of efficiency, he showed growth in each season of his collegiate career. Revisiting his film shows he should be at least an above-average athlete. He’s displayed he’s a reliable pass blocker, which NFL coaches will love, so he absolutely should get work in the passing game. His skillset has plenty of upside at the next level, and he’s already garnered interest from the San Francisco 49ers, who are excellent in their use of running backs. Hawkins professional comparisons bring to mind Colts running back Nyheim Hines, Evans, or Cohen.
As always, your time is appreciated, and thank you for reading. Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @DrDynastE, as I’ll be rolling out more rookie prospect profiles as the NFL Draft approaches.