The devaluation of how the NFL views running backs over the past few years has been substantial and rapid. That undoubtedly played a part in the fact that Ohio State running back Mike Weber slipped from a potential third-round selection to one of the first picks in the seventh round.
Weber red-shirted during his freshman campaign in Columbus, because Ohio State had a pretty solid starter in Ezekiel Elliot. Weber will now have the opportunity to learn from — and back up — ‘Zeke once again as he will be headed down to Dallas as the 2019 NFL Draft’s 218th selection by the Cowboys.
With the 218th pick in the 2019 #NFLDraft, the #DallasCowboys select running back, @mikeweberjr from @OhioStateFB! #CowboysDraft pic.twitter.com/eo6vcryPBd— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) April 27, 2019
Let’s check out some reasons that Cowboys fans should be excited to add another OSU running back to the roster, after former Buckeye Rod Smith departed as a free agent in the off season.
1) He is a workhorse
No matter what your opinion of Mike Weber is and his speed or talent, you have to appreciate the work he puts in game in and game out. Throughout his time in college, Weber carried the ball 455 times and averaged almost six yards per carry and 24 touchdowns.
This is an impressive amount of consistency for Weber to carry the ball over 450 times throughout his three seasons and still average close to six yards per carry. He was a strong point of the offense all three years he was active and became a leader in his final season and a mentor to J.K. Dobbins.
2) He is all for the team
Many players would have been upset after the freshman season that Mike Weber had and then coming into their sophomore season losing carries to a freshman in J.K. Dobbins. Weber went from 182 carries his red shirt freshman season to 101 in his sophomore season. Dobbins carried the ball 194 times compared to Weber’s 101.
For many athletes especially in this age of college football would have looked to transfer or go somewhere with less competition and more opportunities, but Weber realized that he could still make an impact on a great team if he could accept losing some touches. This was a great move for both Weber and the Buckeyes.
3) He can make an immediate impact
When Weber got to Columbus, he took a red shirt season and then was immediately thrown into the starting role as a red shirt freshman and excelled. His first season he ran for 1.096 yards, 182 carries and nine touchdowns while also catching 23 passes for 91 yards. He was immensely productive right away for the Buckeyes.
Even though his production dipped in his other two active seasons, that was more because of the surge of Dobbins and less because Weber struggled. He still put up ideal statistics when he was called upon for Urban Meyer and company.
4) He has room to grow still
While Weber is ready for the NFL, he can afford to sit a bit and learn behind a more experienced back, get a little bugger and more NFL ready. He will be an in between the tackles and up the middle type runner as he was at Ohio State so he will need to make sure his body and mind are all ready for the next level.
NFL running backs take an absolute beating during games and Weber will be no exception to this. He will have to be ready in all parts of his game if he wants to last more than 3-4 years in the league.
5) All in all, he is ready
Weber is taking somewhat of a backseat in this draft because he and Dobbins have shared carries and people have pushed him down the board. However, even though he could grow a little and be more prepared, ultimately he is ready for the next level.
Weber is a consistent back who can get many touches a game, catch the ball out of the backfield as needed, take contact head on and has the speed to outrun people. Weber can be a very productive back at the next level and can be have a strong and lengthy career.