04/30/2012 - A closer look at the Rams' picks: Round 2/50 - Isaiah Pead, RB, 5-10, 193, Cincinnati...The Rams finally made a commitment to address a complement to Steven Jackson, who will be 29 in July. Pead is viewed as a change-of-pace option behind Jackson and he is expected to contribute as a receiver. - The Sports Xchange
After destroying two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin's 35-year old high school record by rushing for 2,204 yards (Griffin had 1,787) and 39 touchdowns as a senior at Eastmoor Academy in Columbus, Ohio, Pead's abilities were hardly a secret as he entered college.
Using exceptional bursts of straightaway speed, he kept right on running in at Cincinnati, where he started 26 of his 44 games, carried 545 times for 3,288 yards (6.03 per carry) and 27 touchdowns and caught 87 passes for 721 yards. If that wasn't enough to convince scouts, he put on a show of footwork at the Senior Bowl, including punt returns of 60 and 38 yards.
At the scouting combine he validated his athleticism with a 40-yard time of 4.47 seconds and a vertical jump of 33 inches. Toughness is not is forte as Pead prefers to elude rather than hit, but can run through arm tackles. His versatility as runner, receiver returner should be considered.
Inside: North-south runner with quick feet to feel his way through creases. Makes small, quick cuts through creases and side-steps defenders in or past the hole to find room to get into his stride. Does not run over defenders often, but keeps legs moving near the goal line to make his way in. Holds the ball low at times, but has generally good ball security (no fumbles in 2009, two in 2010). Does not always show a burst in the box, anticipates contact. Quick draws make him run with shoulders not square to the line.
Outside: Excellent straight-line speed makes him a legitimate breakaway threat anytime he finds open field. Lowers his pads to create contact at the second level when seeing defenders coming straight-on. Usually switches the ball to his outside hand when cutting to his left side. Inconsistent power in his cuts, stops on a dime at times to allow defenders to run him by but will round on stretch plays or take a couple of steps to change directions.
Breaking tackles: Flashes the ability to keep his balance through arm tackles inside and run through high tackle attempts. Spins off tackles to free himself or at least extend for two extra yards. Good one-on-one stiff-arm and swipes away oncoming defenders with his off-arm. Gets tripped up too easily on first contact at times.
Blocking: Gives effort as a pass protector, could stay on the field on third downs in the NFL. Punches and extends when helping tackles double on the edge. Stands up against defenders attacking the pocket, usually effective cutting them down, and lays out to reach those coming from other side of formation. Lacks great strength, will be ripped off, but tries to get back into the play.
Receiving: Flashes quick feet and shimmy to leave linebackers in the dust as a route-runner. Threat to cut to either side or run down the seam when leaving the backfield. Fair hands, grabs screen passes in traffic and can extend to snare wide throws. Secures catch before trying to move upfield.
Intangibles: Plays with a chip on his shoulder. Limited by left knee injury for parts of two games early in 2010, rallied his teammates on the sidelines. Ohio 400 meter champion as a senior in high school.