Running back Patrick Laird put up some big numbers for Cal the past two seasons, but he still did not resemble the kind of running back the NFL would cherish.
He rushed for 1,127 yards in 2017, and ran for 961 yards this past season as a senior. He also caught 99 passes for 608 yards and five touchdowns during his Cal career. Those are numbers the pros should like. But Laird runs into the same problem he faced when e arrived at Cal as a walk-on: He just does not look like a player who will excel at the next level.
DraftScout.com ranks him as the 44th-best running back prospect in the NFL Draft, and Draftcountdown.com has him at No. 50. That puts him outside the range of players expected to be taken during the NFL Draft (April 25-27). But it is close enough to drafting range that some team that sees something in Laird may take him in the seventh round.
Although he was not invited to the NFL Combine, Laird did him himself a lot of good with his work during Pro Day at Cal.
Laird recorded a 4.56-second 40-yard dash, a 6.84-second three-cone drill, 4.15-second 20-yard shuttle (shown in the video above), and 11.36 seconds on the 60-yard shuttle. Laird was told his agility-drills times would have been the best of any running back at the Combine.
Laird certainly knows how to work hard, and he knows the game, so even if he is not drafted, he might be able to latch on to some team as a free agent.