2019 Raiders Draft Prospect Profile
Name: Karan Higdon
Position: Running Back
Weight: 201 pounds
Round Projection: Four
Despite his smaller frame, Higdon shows no qualms about running between the tackles. While the play will start in the interior, his vision immediately picks a spot on the outside. From there, he wisely chooses his path through the line. Shockingly, Higdon’s balance and the ability to maintain stride while contacted by a defender stands out. Another aspect of the approach is patience. Granted, his ability to take advantage of overpursuit, places pressure on the defense to stay disciplined.
In evaluating Higdon, the degrees of cuts are intriguing. As mentioned, the cuts will bring arm tackles and ill-timed lunges during the runs. As a result, you will see many open-field runs. Combined with speed, these moves give him enough daylight
If you are grading on pure speed, Higdon may not be most explosive offensive player in the draft. Now, looking deeper, realize that he does possess burst and upfield ability. If you do not lay a hand on him within a couple yards of the line, he builds speed with each stride.
During his time in Ann Arbor, the offense never prominently featured him in the passing game. Only catching sixteen passes, Higdon’s ability to make key grabs remains largely untested. However, in the limited sample, he appears to possess adequate hands.
Regardless of whether Chris Warren assumes the mantle from Marshawn Lynch, the Raiders need burst. In Higdon, Jon Gruden could slot him into a role that Jalen Richard held. In addition, the change of pace should give defenses another concern on the ground. With Vic Fangio taking the reins in Denver and the Chargers sporting a serious pass rush, quick screens and draws will slow that pass rush. Considering how the Raiders endured trouble with edge rushers, Higdon makes sense. If Jon Gruden is to be believed, he wants to revamp the offense, adding explosive plays. More importantly, the Raiders will see Higdon up close, as Jon Gruden will coach him during the Senior Bowl, As a result, the Raiders could look at Higdon with a Day 3 selection.