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RB Shaun Draughn - San Francisco 49ers

6-0, 205Born: 12-7-1987College: North CarolinaDrafted: ---

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Recent Game Summaries

2015 Week 15 vs CIN (9 / 38 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 4 / 0 rec)

It's unclear how he hurt his knee, but Draughn's last snap of the game came with 1:12 left in the first quarter. Upto that point, he was involved via carry or target in 11 of San Francisco's 16 plays. After losing 4 yards on his second carry due to left guard Andrew Tiller failing to block Geno Atkins, five of Draughn's final seven runs went for 4 yards or more. On his longest run (14 yards), accelerated through the hole created by Bruce Miller's wham block, made a subtle jump cut to utilize Daniel Kilgore's block at the second level, and carried safety Reggie Nelson on his back for the final 4 yards. Draughn's other two runs of more than 5 yards came via a nice cut to the back side of an inside zone and by perfectly reading his blocks to choose the correct lane of an outside zone.

2015 Week 14 vs CLE (11 / 43 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 8 / 0 rec)

Draughn was also a victim of poor blocking. As an example, on San Francisco's first play of the second half, he had to run what seemed like 20 east-west yards just to gain 2 north-south yards in the box score. The play was an outside zone, Draughn's bread and butter, but Bruce Miller missed a block, which eliminated one of the cutback lanes, thereby having a domino effect on all cut back lanes. Draughn reversed field to evade the defender Miller missed, and then evaded two more behind the line of scrimmage before turning upfield. On the very next play, he (and his blockers) made up for it by producing 15 yards when coaches called the same exact play. All of that said, Cleveland defended outside runs well throughout the game, which rendered the rest of Draughn's bread stale and the rest of his butter rancid.

2015 Week 13 vs CHI (13 / 36 / 1 rush, 6 / 5 / 50 / 0 rec)

Once again, Draughn was much more productive as a receiver than as a runner. The former can be attributed to his quarterback's propensity for dumpoffs, while the latter can be attributed to Chicago's defense and San Francisco's play-calling. The Bears did a good job of funneling runs back towards the inside and Geep Chryst, for whatever reason, called nine runs between the tackles even though outside zone is Draughn's bread and butter. This showed in his splits, with the 4 outside runs gaining 16 yards and the 9 inside runs gaining only 20 yards. In the passing game, Draughn displayed two skills that make him a threat after the catch: He understands how to find open holes in zone coverage, and he's able to go from standing still to running at full speed in no time. On his two longest receptions, it looked like Draughn was shot out of a cannon once he caught the ball. How he was a free agent so late into the season is one of the unsolved mysteries of 2015.

2015 Week 12 vs ARI (15 / 51 / 0 rush, 5 / 5 / 35 / 0 rec)

Draughn got out of the gate quickly, gaining 36 of his 51 rushing yards in his first three runs of the game. After that, Arizona tightened up their defense of outside zone, and so Draughn was limited mostly to short gains between the tackles. He also became more involved as a receiver from then on as well. Almost everything thrown Draughn's way was of the dumpoff variety because that's just what Blaine Gabbert does. That said, he was the designed target on both a 3rd-and-14 and a 4th-and-2 in the second quarter.

2015 Week 11 vs SEA (12 / 37 / 0 rush, 11 / 8 / 40 / 0 rec)

Draughn's day began auspciously, with -2 yards and a fumble in his first two carries. From there, however, he showed why running backs are interchangeable provided one's skills and previous experience with a specific blocking scheme fits the situation. When asked to carry the ball, Draughn adeptly let his zone blocks develop and hit the cutback lane hard if and when it appeared. His paultry yards per carry was mostly the result of those lanes not appearing, although his best run of the game came in one such instance. Four minutes into the third quarter, Draughns got the call on an outside zone run, but the 49ers hardly blocked anyone. He ran away from immediate penetration, broke two tackle attempts at the line of scrimmage while turning the corner off left end, and then cut back inside to avoid another Seahawk, picking up an extra 5 yards and a first down in the red zone. Draughn's biggest contribution, however, came as the safety valve for Blaine Gabbert, which was utilized early and often due to Seattle's consistent pressure. Draughn's longest reception was on a second-quarter dumpoff as Gabbert narrowly avoided a safety. He ran an angle route, and reached back to make a cradling catch on a pass that was thrown slightly behind him. Stopping on a dime like that meant Cliff Avril was in poor position to make the tackle, so Draughn was able to run away from him and pick up 16 additional yards after the catch.

2015 Week 9 vs ATL (16 / 58 / 0 rush, 5 / 4 / 38 / 0 rec)

The ability of a journeyman running back to go immediately from street free agent to a starting role -- and then proceed to post 96 scrimmage yards in his debut, no less -- is a testament to the interchangeability of the position in today's NFL. That said, Draughn is a veteran of zone-blocking run schemes, so his was a relatively easy transition. Thirty of his 58 rushing yards came on one second quarter carry that was as much about coaching tactics as it was about individual skill. On 1st-and-10 from the Falcons 45-yard line with two minutes left in the half, San Francisco lined up in a four-receiver set, which for all the world looked like an obvious pass play. (The 49ers offense doesn't just have an air of predictability; it has a gale-force wind of it.) Instead, Draughn took the handoff on a draw. The play was blocked horribly, but Draughn broke a tackle at the line of scrimmage, ran away from several Falcons defenders for 15 yards, and got a downfield block from Vance McDonald to gain the final 15. The rest of his runs were underwhelming, but a positive portent for Draughn's usage in the event of future Carlos Hyde absences is that he was a three-down back all game unless the 49ers were in a short-yardage situation.


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