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Buccaneers NFL Draft Target: Running Back/Wide Receiver Demetric Felton (UCLA)

Today we’re going to be looking at a utility back who really raised some eyebrows at the Senior Bowl

USC Trojans defeated the UCLA Bruins 43-38 during a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl.
Running back Demetric Felton #10 of the UCLA Bruins catches pass and runs for touchdown against the USC Trojans
Photo by Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images

With every day that passes, we are getting that much closer to the highly anticipated (as it is every year) NFL Draft. Today, we’ll be looking at Demetric Felton, a running back who also spent quite a bit of time at the wide receiver position for UCLA.

The former Bruin stand-out has the potential to be a hybrid player at the next level, but is mostly seen as a wide-receiver prospect based on his vast improvements in route running at the Senior Bowl.

Let’s take a look at what he’s accomplished at the collegiate level, and what he could bring to the Buccaneers.

DEMETRIC FELTON COLLEGIATE CAREER

Felton signed with the Bruins after being listed as a four-star recruit coming out of high school and ultimately red-shirted during his first season in 2016. In his second season, he saw limited action at both wide receiver and running back but only received 12 total touches for 73 yards and one touchdown.

In 2018, Felton was utilized more as a wide-receiver who primarily played in the slot. He accrued 20 receptions for 207 yards and one touchdown throughout his red-shirt sophomore season.

His true breakout season shortly followed in 2019 as he played in all 12 games as a utility back. In this season, Felton received 86 carries for 331 yards and one touchdown on the ground, but did the most of his damage through the air as he racked up 55 receptions for 594 yards and four touchdowns.

In a shortened 2020 season, Felton received the bulk of the carries in his collegiate career, demonstrating that he does have what it takes to be a between the tackles runner. He led the Bruins in rushing during this season and ultimately picked up 132 carries for 668 yards and five touchdowns on the ground, with an additional 22 receptions for 159 yards and three touchdowns through the air.

Based on the nature of his utilization, he can truly be seen as a hybrid player as he was shown to be adept as a runner and a pass-catcher throughout his career.

PRO DAY DATA AND ANALYSIS

UCLA hosted their Pro Day in late March and Felton massively disappointed in testing. Here are his results from this day:

Height: 5’ 8 5/8”

Weight: 189 lbs

40 yd Dash: 4.55 secs

20 yd Shuttle: 4.47 secs

3-Cone: 7.31 secs

Bench Press: 10 reps

Vertical Jump: 31.5”

Broad Jump: 9’ 6”

As a running back or a wide receiver, these aren’t great numbers. Not only is he undersized, but at that size, he wasn’t able to stand out athletically. At 189 lbs, one would expect that he would post much better scores in the 40 yd dash, 20 yd shuttle, and 3-Cone drill.

In order for Felton to truly separate himself from his competition, teams would be required to value his tape over his testing. However, with numbers this poor, it seems almost impossible to separate the two.

As it relates to measures of explosiveness, his 31.5” vertical jump and 9’ 6” broad jump are also quite disappointing. While he did show solid burst on film, these numbers would show otherwise.

WHAT HE BRINGS IN 2021

Ultimately based on the Buccaneers current roster, Felton would most likely be pushed to a special teams role. With running backs like Ronald Jones II, Leonard Fournette, Giovani Bernard, and Ke’Shawn Vaughn, I just don’t see him getting carries in an already crowded backfield.

As a receiver, this team has so much depth that he would most likely be pushed to the end of the roster. Although, based on his ability to both line up out wide or in the backfield, he could be used in a utility role and play limited snaps in this fashion.

However, due to the aforementioned depth in both areas, he would be best-suited to step in and compete as a kick-returner with Jaydon Mickens. At UCLA, Felton was limited in this role but does have 26 returns for 611 yards, with one touchdown under his belt.

THREE-YEAR OUTLOOK

Felton most likely won’t ever be a starter at the NFL level. Based on his limited size and speed, I just can’t see him spear-heading a backfield or lining up as a starting slot receiver. However within three seasons, depending on his growth, he could be a good complimentary piece to any offense.

The versatility that he brings to the table is something that shouldn’t be ignored, as being an adept runner and pass-catcher is something that is truly a rarity. While he is currently projected to transition as a full time receiver in the NFL, I just don’t see this happening.

If anything, I could see him as being put into a similar role as Ty Montgomery during his time in Green Bay. Essentially, a running back who is used to run wide receiver style routes out of the backfield, while also being given the occasional carry. While they are nowhere near the same size, Felton could be used in a similar fashion.

STOCK REPORT

While Felton did increase his draft stock at the Senior Bowl, due to showing his ability to run routes, he was brought back down to Earth with his poor testing. Based on his agility on tape, his versatility in playing both positions, and his overall play-making ability, he can go anywhere from the late third round to the early fifth.

There are quite a few mock drafts that place him somewhere in the middle of the fourth round, which looks like a likely possibility. It truly depends on how much value teams are going to place in his testing numbers.

ON THE CLOCK...

Now it’s your turn Bucs Nation. Looking at the projection, the fit with the Buccaneers’ current roster, and the intangibles, where would you want to hear his name called? Make sure to vote in the poll and leave your comments below!

Poll

For Demetric Felton, the Buccaneers should...

This poll is closed

  • 31%
    ...draft him at current projection (day three if available at team’s slot)
    (39 votes)
  • 8%
    ...draft him early (trade up on day three)
    (10 votes)
  • 26%
    ...take a better player earlier in the draft
    (33 votes)
  • 12%
    ...draft this position, but later than he is projected
    (15 votes)
  • 22%
    ...not draft this position group at all
    (28 votes)
125 votes total Vote Now