College: Michigan State
Birthday: February 17, 1981
40 Time: 4.5 (but claims to have run 4.4)
Strengths: TJ Duckett’s rare combination of size, speed and strength reminds quite a few of Heisman winner Ron Dayne. A fierce competitor with a nasty streak, Duckett, who played linebacker as a freshman, has gone from short-yardage hog to every down back, improving all aspects of his game to such a degree, Spartan coaches have reworked their offensive system in order to build around him.
Surprisingly agile, Duckett is more than just a grinder — he jukes and uses improved footwork and balance to keep a defense on its toes. Still, he’s best between the tackles, moving the pile and running down the clock.
Areas of concern: Last year was Duckett’s first as a full-time starting running back, so he still has plenty to learn. He likes to dish it out — a lot — on the field, choosing to run through, rather than around, defenders, raising concerns about his durability down the road (he played most of last year with a sprained shoulder).
Duckett is a below average receiver, and like Dayne, doesn’t hit the hole with a burst of quickness.
Is he sponge-worthy?: Scouts seem to unanimously agree that Duckett’s best days are definitely ahead of him. And bear in mind — he’s accomplished quite a bit already.
Dom Capers would no doubt love to get his hands on a bruising, clock-chewing, chain-moving back like Duckett (cut from the Jerome Bettis mold, only faster — and remember, Capers saw quite a bit of Bettis the past decade). But buyer beware: building from scratch around this kind of back is risky, because they tend to wear down and battle injuries more often than you’d like.
He wouldn’t be a reach, by any stretch, and may very well be the most promising back in the country at this point. There are other positions with stronger options, but if Houston looks to the run, Duckett will be a player.
TJ Duckett Return to The War Room
Duckett is gaining on brother Tico Detroit Free Press reports on TJ Duckett’s desire to move out from under his brother’s shadow.
Many see a lot of Dayne in Duckett SLAM Football compares TJ Duckett to Heisman winner Ron Dayne.
Ducketts day comes against Nittany Lions The Digital Collegian recounts TJ Duckett’s coming out party.