Birthday: January 11, 1979
Strengths: Did you know Dahrren Diedrick ran for 1,229 yards last season? What with all the deserved attention going to Heisman winning quarterback Eric Crouch, it’s understandable you may have missed the best season by a Nebraska running back in four years. With Crouch in the Husker history books, Diedrick won’t be rushing under the radar any more.
Recruited from Canada, Diedrick is a back that seems to get better as the game progresses. He is a good runner inside the tackles that hits a hole when it opens. His combination of size and speed, though neither alone is particularly impressive, is the latest must-have for NFL general managers seeking a reliable rushing offense.
Diedrick could prove he has first round talent if he continues to perform during the season, then backs it up with good pre-draft workouts. He is a confident individual that only fumbled the ball three times over 233 carries in 2001.
Areas for Concern: Many scouts are leery of Nebraska running backs and have pegged Diedrick as overrated, just another product of the great Husker system. Not helping Diedrick is that he will have virtually no opportunity to showcase his hands in Nebraska’s passing attack. Detractors also note that his field vision could be suspect. Diedrick’s speed is not of the breakaway variety, and he seems to lack enough strength to break a lot of tackles. He’ll also be pushed for playing time by teammate Thunder Collins, who’s bulked up this offseason.
Though he only had three fumbles last year, two of them came in the loss to Colorado. The first one was deep in Husker territory, setting up the Buffs for a 14-0 lead en route to a 62-36 blowout. His second fumble was from a yard out as the Huskers were attempting to mount a desperation rally.
Diedrick missed the 2001 season opener because he was arrested outside an Irish pub in Lincoln for disturbing the peace. He refused to leave the scene and subsequently spent a night in jail. To his credit, Diedrick asked his coach, Frank Solich, to suspend him as an example to his teammates, coughing up a $100 fine in the process.
How Would He Look in Steel Blue? The Texans defied critics in taking a product at receiver from Florida’s fun ‘n’ gun offense in the 2002 draft. It’s possible then that they’ll also disregard the notion that Diedrick is a product of the Cornhusker system.
It’s not like Nebraska has been a total failure at producing NFL-quality talent at running back. Diedrick matches up physically with the best of that group, Ahman Green, a third round pick in 1998, but it came on the heels of the disaster that was Lawrence Phillips. Diedrick even further assists the comparisons to Green by wearing #30, Green’s jersey number. Based on the success Green has had with the Packers, the Texans would be wise to repeat history and give this system product a proper evaluation.
(profile written by Keith Weiland
Dahrren Diedrick‘s 2001 Stats G CAR YDS AVG TD 11 233 1,299 5.6 15
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