Shane Vereen is a running back that is climbing higher up draft boards as draft day approaches. A well-rounded player, Vereen is quick, powerful, and uses his compact frame to his advantage. While not a burner, Vereen is fast enough to hit the edge when needed, and shows good elusiveness in the open field. Buried behind a long line of great running backs at Cal, he used the 2010 season as his major coming out party. He is a one cut and go runner, who’s best fit may be behind a zone blocking line. Vereen should easily be off the board by the end of round 3, and a jump into the 2nd round could be possible.
For a relatively small guy, Vereen is a terrific inside runner. He hits the line hard, is decisive with his reads, and is really powerful (his 31 reps at 225 were second most in the running backs group, only 1 behind fullback Anthony Sherman). He doesn’t dance around when running inside, but rather sticks his foot in the ground and gets up field fast. He uses a low center of gravity and powerful legs to push the line, and does a great job of hiding behind his bigger offensive linemen.
Vereen is not known as a speed guy, but he’s quick enough to beat defenders to the edge if they hesitate. He sets up his blocks well with good patience, and makes good reads when on the edge. He shows good balance when running outside and generally doesn’t hesitate or dance around. He has good lateral quickness but doesn’t force a lot of defenders to flat out miss. Vereen does not break a lot of long runs.
Vereen has nice soft hands and shows a good ability to catch the ball. He caught 74 passes in his career at Cal, including 6 for touchdown. He adjusts to throws pretty cleanly, and doesn’t drop a lot of passes. He secures the ball well before making a move. Vereen ran quite an array of different routes at Cal, more than your typical back. He understands the passing game and will be effective right away in this area in the NFL.
Vereen tends to get a little sloppy with the ball at times, although he doesn’t lose a ton of fumbles. He doesn’t tuck the ball away properly and relies on his physical strength too much as opposed to correct form. NFL teams will notice this right away so he will be attacked in this area.
Vision, Instincts & Awareness
Vereen shows great vision on film, and better yet is a quick decision maker. He sees small cracks in the defense and hits them hard. He uses his vision well at the second level and is a smart football player. Vereen has great feel for being a running back and understands what he is doing. He is a great cut back runner.
Vereen is not particularly elusive, and is not great at breaking tackles. He is a north and south runner who doesn’t have show the ability to quickly rotate his hips when trying to change direction. He is not particularly shifty for a player of his size.
Vereen will need to improve his pass blocking at the next level if he intends to be an every down back. He tends to let blockers get to him instead of attacking. He doesn’t have a ton of experience pass protecting as he was involved as a receiver in the passing game so often. However he is not afraid of pass protecting and sticks his nose in against bigger players really well.
Vereen has good leg drive and keeps his legs churning at the line of scrimmage. He gets a lot of yards after contact between the tackles. He is built in such a way that he has a low center of gravity and uses it to his advantage. Vereen has powerful legs.
Vereen has dealt with injuries to his shoulder, knee and ribs in his career at Cal. He played the last 3 games of 2009 with a torn meniscus which proves his toughness, but also could cause some medical red flags. Vereen has also been an effective kick returner in his college career, something NFL teams will love as they evaluate him more. He has participated at different times on Cal’s track team as well.
2010: Played and started in all 13 games.
2009: Played in 13 games with 4 starts.
2008: Played in 13 games with 3 starts.
Vereen received his bachelor’s degree in Media Studies in December of 2010.
Awards & Honors
2010: Named All-Pac-10 second team.
2009: Named All-Pac-10 honorable mention; Voted by teammates as Cal’s offensive Bear Backers co-MVP along with Jahvid Best.
Prospect Video Clips
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