BIOGRAPHY: Two-year starter awarded All-American and All-Conference honors last season after posting career-high rushing numbers of 262/1742/17 and adding 34/318/2 catching the ball. Sophomore-year totals included 78/640/5 on the ground.
POSITIVES: Large, powerful ball-carrier who displays an array of skills. Runs with good lean, follows blocks, and keeps his feet driving up the field. Displays agility. Patient, displays skill in the open field, and runs with an aggressive style. Puts his shoulders into defenders and falls forward for the extra yardage. Breaks tackles and carries the pile. Uses an effective straight-arm, has improved as a receiver out of the backfield, and plays fast.
NEGATIVES: Cannot quickly cut back against the grain and loses momentum when he must immediately change direction. Must pick up the intensity blocking. Does not show the ability to turn the corner.
ANALYSIS: Mendenhall comes off a breakout campaign and was one of the better running backs in college last season. He offers the size and skill to be a feature back at the next level, but he must first polish the details of his game. A first-round pick who can produce as a rookie in the NFL.