Name: Rashad Bartholomew
School: Yale University
40 time: 4.45
Draft Status: 5th-7th round projection, but can elevate into a higher round with good workouts.
My View: Great kid with plenty of UPSIDE potential. I consider him a STEAL for whatever NFL team drafts him. He's got great vision, explosiveness, awareness, intelligence, and most of all he's confident and competitive.
Q: What type of person will an NFL team get by drafting you?
R.B.: A winner and a good person. A person who's dependable on and off the field.
Q: Is there a RB in the NFL(past or present) that you model your game after? Describe how.
R.B.: I model my game after Walter Payton and Marshall Faulk. They both do it all, running and receiving. Both have great vision and explosiveness and I think these are two of my biggest assets. They've shown perseverence throughout the tough times and both won the "big one". These are things that I want to do. Most of all, they both are pretty humble guys who knew how to handle success.
Q: What your plans after football is over?
R.B.: I'm not sure right now. If I have enough money and a good idea I may start my own business. If not, I may go back to school or get a job.
Q: Why did you transfer from Air Force and why did you choose Yale?
R.B. I felt like Air Force no longer suited my plans after my sophomore year. After a few years in college, my ambitions changed and I thought Yale would be the best place to go and follow my dreams.
Q: Do you think you've been overlooked by NFL teams because you play in Division 1-AA? If so, explain why.
R.B.: Yes, I think I have been overlooked somewhat by NFL teams. I think its hard for a lot of NFL guys to take Ivy League football seriously. They don't produce lots of professional football players. To some degree they might be right, but if they take a closer look I think they might see some positives. Unlike runningbacks at some schools such as Nebraska I didn't have absolutely huge holes to run through, but I still got it done. Although the linebackers weren't as big and fast I'll still be used to getting through fast closing holes when many of these other backs who play for big schools with all-american type linemen might not be used to that.
Q: Rank your three playing strengths:
R.B.: 1. Competitiveness. When I play, I play to win. I can't stand losing, and when I'm in the game I'm going to do what ever it takes to come out on top.
2. Explosiveness. I don't feel like anyone gets through the whole faster. When I get a seem I hit it hard, and this helps me break a lot of tackles because I accelerate so fast arm-tackles can't stop me.
3. Vision. I take a pre-snap read and I think I'm pretty good at anticipating what the defense will do and this helps when running or picking up the blitz. When I'm on the move I feel very good at finding the holes. If there is any crease or a chance to cutback I'm going to find it.
Q: Rank your playing weaknesses:
R.B.: 1. Run blocking. I'm a tailback and I didn't get very many chances to crack someone's head while blocking.
2. Running pass patterns down the field. I can do swings, screens, and flare passes but I didn't get a lot of chances to run patterns down the field in college.
3. Pass blocking high. I can really cut a guy down, but sometimes I have trouble on hard rushing defensive ends if I have to get them high in a one on one situation.
Q: Rank your all-around game using a scale from 1-10. Give an explanation for the ranking.
R.B.: I guess I'll rank different things that I think a running back needs to be successful. I'll assume that 5 is average.
Desire - 10 (See strengths) PS no one wants the ball more in the 4th quarter
Vision - 9.5 (See strengths)
Explosiveness - 10 (See strengths)
Speed - 8, I'm a 4.4 forty guy. I'm fast, no doubt, but I'm not in the same class as Napoleon Kaufman or Joey Galloway. . .at least not yet.
Power - 6.5, I'm pretty strong and I can definetly break some tackles. I have a great amount of yards after contact, but I'm not one of those big 245 pound type backs. I can break tackles but I'm not going to make a living off of running over people every play
Hands - 7, I can catch, but this is an area I do need to work on. I want to get to the point I can consistently make the circus catch. I also need to work on down field route running.
Shiftiness - 7, I definetly have some nice moves. I think I have an extrordinary spin move in close space. I have some nice open field moves too although I try to rely on cutting more than shakes. I think that my subtle shiftiness between the tackles is what makes the difference between myself and other backs.
Cutting ability - 8.5, Man I can make some cuts. If I see an opening, or a defense over-pursuing I won't hesitate to cut back all the way across the field on them. My speed and vision really help make a difference in this department.
Size - 6, I'm a 210 pound back with room to get bigger, but I'm not there yet. Assuming that 5 is average and average is 205 then I think that a 6 is fitting considering that I'll be playing at 5-10 pounds heavier.
Blocking - 5.5, I think I'm slightly above average because of my cut blocking, other than that see (weaknesses)
I rate myself seriously and I'll defend these ratings to anyone. I'm definetly not below average in any department, and I defintely think I have some special qualities. Of course there are some areas that I need to work on, but I will get better. If you have any questions or doubts watch some film and you'll see what I mean.
Q: What have you heard about your Draft status? Are you encouraged by what you've heard?
R.B.: I've heard everything from free agent to 4th round. I think those who rated me 4th round actually saw me play somewhat. I feel like I'd be higher if I didn't get nicked this season (I missed my first game this season, but it was my only DNP in a 30 game career). I rushed for over 900 yards in my first 5 games and averaged over 7 yards per carry in 4 out of 5 of those games. I think I should be rated higher and I think I will be once people start seeing my athletic ability in spring testing. I also think that when people recognize my intangibles such as: durability(29/30 games played), toughness (I play through just about anything), intelligence (Yale grad w/degree in economics), and lack of fumbles (I didn't fumble in my last 15 games) will also help me.
Q: You're a 3 time All-Ivy League selection, you've gained over 1200 yards and scored 11 TD's in your senior campaign, What more do you feel you need to do to be recognized as a top RB prospect?
R.B.: I feel like I'm that top guy, but others have different opinions so what can I do? I'll show people what I can do in workouts. I'll even watch tape with scouts so they can see what I can do and so I can learn from them. I feel a little cheated that injury did finally catch up to me this season, but it happens to everyone who plays long enough. All I can hope is that they give me a realistic look and realize the talent I have. I came back and persevered through my challenges this season and I feel positive about what I accomplished.
I was so impressed by Rashad, that I decided I was going to ask him one last question. Here it is:
Q: Is there an NFL team you'd like to play for? Why?
R.B.: No, I'd love to play for anyone who drafts me. I have no allegiances or loyalties at this point. But when I do get picked I'm going to put all of my heart into producing for that franchise.