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NFL Draft Results 2017: T.J. Logan drafted in the fifth round by the Arizona Cardinals

T.J. Logan gets the call on Day 3, being drafted by the Arizona Cardinals.

North Carolina v Miami Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Former Tar Heel running back T.J. Logan is the newest member of the Arizona Cardinals after being drafted 179th overall. He made great strides in his final year at Carolina to gain the interest of teams at the next level, and his combine results were incredibly impressive.

Logan was one of seven Tar Heels invited to the NFL Combine, and turned heads nationwide with the fastest 40-yard dash among players who registered at the Combine as running backs: a blazing 4.37, 95th percentile at his position.

His standing broad jump was well above average as well, his 121’’ (10’1’’) leap put him in the 73rd percentile among running backs in the NFL, according to Mockdraftable. His overall athletic profile puts him at the 62nd percentile according to the Nike SPARQ formula, which, for a small, speedy back, is very good.

Logan impressed at UNC’s Pro Day as well, wowing scouts with his agility, quick feet, and pass-catching. His offseason has gone as well as you could imagine, and he went from being considered a fringe prospect to firmly entrenching himself in mid-round conversation.

Strengths (courtesy of Akil):

  • Straight-line speed. It’s not the most important attribute for a lead back, but in the niche that Logan will fill for some team as smaller change-of-pace back (Logan measured in at the Combine at 5’9’’ and 196 pounds), it’s vital. No back in the 2017 class is faster than Logan. In addition to having a high top speed, Logan is able to accelerate to top speed very quickly out of his cuts and explode through holes or past blocks on the outside.
  • Agility: Logan has displayed very good cutting and change-of-direction ability in his last 1.5 years. He frequently wrong-foots oncoming defenders and can beat defenders to the edge, even when they take good angles, with a simple hesitation, if he can’t beat them outright with his speed
  • Hands: Logan has good hands both behind the line of scrimmage and well beyond it. He catches the ball with receiver-like technique, and doesn’t often drop passes.
  • Versatility/Scheme fit: Logan’s primary experience is in a spread offense, and he would do best in an offense that has a zone blocking-oriented playbook in terms of running the ball. As the NFL is evolving towards exactly that, Logan’s future role is clear. His ability to split out wide will also intrigue NFL teams, much like with Christian McCaffrey (albeit at a smaller scale).
  • Special Teams: Logan is also an accomplished returner, having returned 5 kickoffs for touchdowns over his career and averaging close to 33 yards a return his senior year. Though the kickoff return may be on its way out, Logan’s skills might be transferable to punt returns, and are certainly worth trying out.
  • Pass Protection: While Logan isn’t the best pass protector, he is a very willing one. He tends to throw himself at blitzers as opposed to picking them up, buying his quarterback an extra half second but not much more. Pass blocking can be taught, however, and attitude is one of the most important parts of it.