Welcome to The 33rd Team’s Athletic Archetypes series! In these pieces, NFL and fantasy football analyst Nic Bodiford will break down the preferred, position-specific athletic profiles utilized by NFL general managers. The purpose of the series is to help identify team-specific 2023 NFL Draft targets at the running back position.
NFL Combine data will be used whenever possible. Pro day data will be used in a supplementary capacity, if and when, a player chooses not to participate in an NFL Combine drill or in the event that the NFL Combine data is not available. Pro day data is marked using an asterisk except for arm length and hand length, which is always collected at pro days.
This article focuses on Scott Fitterer’s athletic archetypes for running backs.
Panthers RB Archetype
Scott Fitterer, Carolina Panthers (2021-present)
Sample size: 7
- Fitterer spent three years as an area scout with the New York Giants before rising to prominence as a member of the Seattle Seahawks front office.
- He began his Seattle tenure as an area scout in 2001 and made the leap to director of college scouting in 2011.
- In 2015, Fitterer was promoted to co-director of player personnel before handling a one-year stint as vice president of football operations in 2020.
- He was hired as general manager of the Carolina Panthers in 2021.
- Seattle’s composite running back athletic archetype from 2016-2020 is shown in the tables below for reader comparison purposes. Fitterer had considerable sway over personnel decisions during his time as co-director of player personnel and vice president of football operations.
The table below reflects Fitterer’s preferred athletic archetype for running backs from 2021 to the present day.
|RB Phys. Specs||Height||Weight (Pounds)||Arm Length (Inches)||Hand Size (Inches)||Body Mass Index|
|RB Range (Avg.)||5’9″-6′ (5’10.7″)||194-233 (210.9)||30.0-32.375 (31.0)||8.5-10.125 (9.09)||28.5-31.6 (29.6)|
|SEA Composite RB – 2016-2020||5’10.6″||214.2||31.1||9.4||30.2|
|RB Measurables||40 Time (Sec.)||10-Yard Split (Sec.)||Short Shuttle (Sec.)||3 Cone (Sec.)||Broad Jump||Vertical Jump (Inches)||Bench Press (Reps)|
|RB Range (Avg.)||4.46-4.64 (4.53)||1.52-1.63 (1.57)||3.95-4.57 (4.27)||6.79-7.38 (7.10)||9’4″ -10’10” (10′)||31.5-42.5 (35.6)||11-24 (18)|
|SEA Composite RB – 2016-2020||4.54||1.59||4.32||7.09||10’1.9″||35||19.1|
General Sample Information
- As discussed in the RB Athletic Archetypes Guide: Seattle Seahawks, Seattle’s front office made significant changes to its running back formula in 2016, just one year after Fitterer was promoted to co-director of player personnel.
- For this reason, Fitterer’s sample includes Seattle’s preferred athletic archetype from 2016-2020 as a composite player.
- Fitterer’s 2021-to-present-day sample is remarkably similar to Seattle’s 2016-2020 data. Slight alterations to the formula are evident, but by and large, Fitterer brought his preferred running back athletic archetype with him.
- All four rookies in Fitterer’s Carolina sample skipped the NFL Combine. Crucially, each three-of-four players participated in all six workout events at their respective pro days. The fourth, Spencer Brown, participated in all Pro Day drills except for the bench press.
- Fitterer previously attempted to avoid NFL Combine-related hype for the running backs. In January, he shared that the upcoming draft “might be a little bit more of a sexy draft than a nuts-and-bolts type draft” after having focused on the offensive line and the defense in 2021 and 2022.
Fitterer’s Backfield Characteristics
- Fitterer’s preferred height (5-foot-10.6 vs. 5-foot-10.7) and arm length (31.1 inches vs. 31.0 inches) have remained largely unchanged, but he has accepted slightly leaner running backs since moving to Carolina.
- The average weight dropped 3.3 pounds to 210.9, and the average body mass index (BMI) fell by 0.6 to 29.6.
- Fitterer notably has deprioritized large hands.
- The 40-yard dash (4.54 seconds in Seattle vs. 4.53 seconds in Carolina) remains unimportant. The minimum threshold in Seattle was 4.66 seconds. In Carolina, it has been 4.64.
- There is a wide acceptable range for the 10-yard split but the 1.57-second average ranks in the 79th percentile in terms of relative athletic score (RAS). The minimum threshold has been 1.63 seconds in Carolina but was 1.70 in Seattle.
- The short-shuttle drill is irrelevant.
- The three-cone drills average remains roughly 7.10 seconds, but the acceptable range is wide.
- The ideal broad jump remains roughly 10-foot. Both the Seattle and Carolina samples had negative outliers down to approximately 9-foot-5.
- The vertical jump’s minimum is 31.5 inches, though four of seven Carolina running backs hit 36 inches or better, strikingly similar to the Seattle sample.
- The bench press has been minorly deprioritized, but five of seven Carolina running backs produced 15 or more repetitions.
Ideal Physical Traits
- Height: 5-foot-9 to 6-foot, with a lean toward 5-foot-10 to 5-foot-11.
- Weight: Likely 205 to 215 pounds
- Arm length: Roughly 31 inches
- Hand size: Roughly 9 inches
- BMI: At least 28.5
- 40-yard dash: At least 4.65 seconds
- 10-yard split: At least 1.65 seconds
- Three-cone drill: Ideally 7.10 seconds, but a wide range is accepted
- Broad jump: Ideally 10-foot
- Vertical jump: At least 31.5 inches but 35 inches or more is ideal
- Bench press: At least 15 repetitions
- Fitterer has only added rookies who were complete participants at their pro day after skipping the NFL Combine.
- The rookies typically compete in all six drills.
Potential 2023 NFL Draft Targets
Prospects with strong threshold correlation are marked with an asterisk
- *Tyjae Spears, Tulane: 5-foot-10, 28.8 BMI, 30.75-inch arms, 10-inch hands, 4.54-second 40-yard dash, 1.57-second 10-yard split, 7.27-second three-cone drill, 10-foot-5 broad jump, 39-inch in vertical jump and 18 bench-press repetitions. Spears skipped the timed running and agility drills at the NFL Combine but put up adequate numbers at Tulane’s Pro Day. At 201 pounds, he should still be up for consideration. (scouting report)
- Zach Charbonnet, UCLA: 6-foot, 214 pounds, 29.0 BMI, 32-inch arms, 9.875-inch hands, 4.53-second 40-yard dash, 1.54-second 10-yard split, 7.16-second three-cone drill, 10-foot-2 broad jump, 37-inch vertical jump and 18 bench-press repetitions. Charbonnet skipped the shuttle drills at the NFL Combine but completed them at UCLA’s Pro Day. (scouting report)
- Sean Tucker, Syracuse: 5-foot-9, 207 pounds, 30.6 BMU, 9.5-inch hands, 39-inch vertical jump and 29 bench-press repetitions. (scouting report)
- Chris Rodriguez Jr., Kentucky: 6-foot, 217 pounds, 29.4 BMI, 30.625-inch arms, 4.52-second 40-yard dash, 1.58-second 10-yard split, 9-foot-6 broad jump, a 33-inch vertical jump and 19 bench-press repetitions. His 8.625-inch hands barely scoot past the minimum threshold. (scouting report)
- Roschon Johnson, Texas: 6-foot, 219 pounds, 29.7 BMI, 32-inch arms, 9.625-inch hands, 4.58-second 40-yard dash, 1.52-second 10-yard split, 10-foot-2 broad jump and a 31.5-inch vertical jump. (scouting report)
- Israel Abanikanda, Pittsburgh: 5-foot-10, 216 pounds, 31.0 BMI, 32-inch arms, 4.39-second 40-yard dash, 1.54-second 10-yard split, 10-foot-8 broad jump and a 41-inch vertical jump. (scouting report)
- Deneric Prince, Tulsa: 6-foot, 216 pounds, 29.3 BMI, 31.25-inch arms, 9.25-inch hands, 4.41-second 40-yard dash, 1.53-second 10-yard split, 6.97-second three-cone drill, 10-foot-4 broad jump, 35.5-inch vertical jump and 18 bench-press repetitions. (scouting report)
- *Tank Bigsby, Auburn: 6-foot, 210 pounds, 28.5 BMI, 32-inch arms, 9.5-inch hands, 4.56-second 40-yard dash, 1.54-second 10-yard split, 9-foot-11 broad jump, 32.5-inch vertical jump and 21 bench-press repetitions. (scouting report)
- *Hunter Luepke, North Dakota State: 6-foot-1, 230 pounds, 30.3 BMI, 31.5-inch arms, 9.625-inch hands, 4.57-second 40-yard dash, 1.58-second 10-yard split, 7.03, 9-foot-9 and a 36.5-inch vertical jump. The draft’s top fullback could operate as a pseudo-D’Onta Foreman replacement. (scouting report)
- Chase Brown, Illinois: 5-foot-9.5, 209 pounds, 30.4 BMI, 31-inch arms, 10-inch hands, 4.43-second 40-yard dash, 1.53-second 10-yard split, 10-foot-7 broad jump, 40-inch and 25 bench-press repetitions. (scouting report)
- Evan Hull, Northwestern: 5-foot-10, 209 pounds, 30.0 BMI, 30.625-inch arms, 9.25-inch hands, 4.47-second 40-yard dash, 1.53-second 10-yard dash, 6.90-second three-cone drill, 10-foot-3 broad jump, 37-inch vertical jump and 21 bench-press repetitions. (scouting report)
The tables below show the raw data used for this running back sample.
|RB – Round – Year||Height||Weight (Pounds)||Arm Length (Inches)||Hand Size (Inches)||Body Mass Index|
|Miles Sanders – FA – 2023||5’11”||211||30.625||9.25||29.4|
|D’Onta Foreman – FA – 2022||6’||233||31.375||10.125||31.6|
|John Lovett – UDFA – 2022||6||215||32.375||9.25||29.2|
|Raheem Blackshear – FA – 2022||5’9″||194||30||8.875||28.6|
|Chuba Hubbard – 4 – 2021||6||210||32||9||28.5|
|Spencer Brown – UDFA – 2021||5’10”||208||30.625||8.5||29.8|
|Ameer Abdullah – FA – 2021||5’9”||205||30||8.625||30.3|
|Seattle Seahawks Composite RB – 2016-2020||5’10.6″||214.2||31.1||9.4||30.2|
|RB – Round – Year||40-Yard (Sec.)||10-Yard Split (Sec.)||Short Shuttle (Sec.)||3 Cone (Sec.)||Broad Jump||Vertical Jump (Inches)||Bench Press (Reps)|
|Miles Sanders – FA – 2023||4.49||1.57||4.19||6.89||10’4″||36||20|
|D’Onta Foreman – FA – 2022||4.46*||1.63*||4.29*||7.21*||10’*||33*||18|
|John Lovett – UDFA – 2022||4.51*||1.54*||4.57*||7.33*||9’5”*||31.5*||15*|
|Raheem Blackshear – FA – 2022||4.53*||1.52*||4.22*||6.84*||9’4”*||33.5*||11*|
|Chuba Hubbard – 4 – 2021||4.51*||1.56*||4.30*||7.28*||10’*||36*||20*|
|Spencer Brown – UDFA – 2021||4.64*||1.60*||4.39*||7.38*||10’1”*||36.5*||N/A|
|Ameer Abdullah – FA – 2021||4.60||1.60||3.95||6.79||10’10”||42.5||24|
|Seattle Seahawks Composite RB – 2016-2020||4.54||1.59||4.32||7.09||10’1.9″||35||19.1|