To kick off each dynasty profile from the 2022 skill position draft class, a dated positional ranking will be presented, relevant to that prospect’s position. As profiles are published, the rankings will evolve. The number of RBs that are either declared underclassmen or seniors exhausting their eligibility – at least the ones that have publicly declared their intention to pursue a career in the NFL – currently stands at 90. And that is far from an exhaustive number with news difficult to attain on some of the many players from the FBS, FCS, Division II, etc. Without further delay, here are the top-15 RB rankings from the 2022 class as of publication:
|Kenneth Walker III
|Pierre Strong Jr.
|South Dakota State
|Brian Robinson Jr.
The career path for Tyler Badie has followed two modes: scatback-mode early, and then featured-mode to conclude his high school and collegiate career. He began his Briarcrest Christian High School career as a junior in scatback-mode, impressively averaging 10.0 YPC (40 attempts) and adding 17 receptions. Prior to his senior season, Badie was invited to The Opening Regionals at Joe Brown Park in New Orleans. As you can see in the table below, Badie blew away the competition toward earning RB MVP honors after running the fastest 40-time (4.46), representing the only player to run a sub-4.5 and testing in the 99th-percentile overall:
|Testing Percentiles from The Opening Regionals Presented by Nike+ (New Orleans – Early 2017)
It was Badie’s time to be featured during his final season at Briarcrest Christian in Eads, Tennessee. He flipped the opportunity with the Saints into 1,186 rushing yards (6.15 YPC), 16 receptions and nine total TDs. Interest from Power Five programs proved lukewarm, as Badie chose Missouri over an offer from Pittsburgh. It’s likely that Badie’s diminutive size at the time – 5-foot-8 and 168 pounds – played a role. The following table details Badie’s history of recorded weight gain:
|Tyler Badie's Weight Gain History
|The Opening Regionals
Badie managed to bulk up to 190 pounds by the first game of his true freshman season in Columbia. In addition to his work as the primary kick returner, Badie posted 567 total yards and 12 receptions. The effort as a scatback for Mizzou was rewarded with a place on the SEC All-Freshman Team, voted on by SEC coaches. It was business as usual from Badie as a true sophomore. However, he upped his receiving numbers to a 32/356/5 line, transitioning to one of the top scatbacks in the SEC.
Badie entered his true junior season at a reported 200 pounds. Efforts toward bulking up were no doubt in response to feedback concerning an expansion of his role. In spite of a career-high 5.04 YPC, Badie concluded the campaign with the fewest rushing YPG of his Missouri career, 24.2 – a 35% reduction from the previous two seasons. Badie put everything into his conditioning during that offseason, chiseling his frame to 194 pounds.
With Larry Rountree III off to the NFL, Badie's opportunity to transition to featured-mode had finally arrived. Inconsistency at QB held the Tigers back, but Badie submitted one of the finest seasons by a RB in Mizzou history. In addition to 1,604 rushing yards (5.92 YPC) and 14 TDs, Tyler crushed with a 52/333/4 receiving line. NFL teams took notice, extending him an invite to the Combine. The following table details his body measurement percentiles vs. RBs from the last 10 seasons:
|NFL Combine Measurement Percentiles (Last 10 Seasons)
It’s notable that Badie’s playing weight went from 200 as a true junior, to 194 the following season and back up to 197 at the Combine. It’s an indication that he added some bad weight to get up to 200. Reducing his fat percentage down to 194, before packing on the additional muscle for the Combine did the trick. We can see the results of his labors for ourselves from the resulting testing percentiles below:
|NFL Combine Athletic Testing Percentiles (Last 10 Seasons)
Beating a kid up for his weight is an unfortunate factor in this business. We have a ton of historical data that must be considered at all times. Consider that only 22 RBs have measured at 5-foot-8 or less and under 200 pounds at the Combine over the last 10 seasons. Among those 21, only seven posted sub-4.5 times in the 40 and above the 50th-percentile in the broad jump: Raymond Calais, Stanley “Boom” Williams, Trey Williams, Dri Archer, Henry Josey, LaDarius Perkins and, salvaging the historical precedent for Badie, Tarik Cohen. It’s a list of backs that mostly stand as former migraines for investing franchises. Sans Cohen, outstanding production with their former college programs, lackluster production at the next level.
Keep in mind that the list of seven RBs above are the high-end of athletic talents at Badie’s size. The others on the list are: Bryson Denley, CJ Marable, Israel Tucker, Jamal Jones, Otis Anderson, Shane Simpson, B.J. Catalon, Braylon Heard, Dee Hart and – the only two with anything resembling an NFL future – J.J. Taylor and Jaret Patterson. We can attempt to force expectations for Badie or we can listen to history's argument.
Forming player opinions with the tape and marrying that impression with the performance data is the preferred approach. We will always see some wildcards emerge out of nowhere, it’s the nature of the game. But those individuals almost always emerge from being overlooked during the evaluation process. The tape never lies.
At 5-foot-8, Badie is able to minimize the target he presents due to a natural low center of gravity. He chains together some slippery moves and offers the speed, quickness and footwork expected from a RB his size. Badie may disagree and spend a considerable portion of his career attempting to shake it, but he is going to be typecast as a scatback. That said, he is good at avoiding straight shots. Badie will drop to the ground in front of defenders to avoid unnecessary contact.
Tyler has excellent command of his balance while cutting around barriers set up by blocking teammates, a slice-and-dicer. As he continually resets his feet after a cut to regain footing.
Laid out in the table below, Badie is a deadly Outside Zone threat. Badie’s future NFL team will no doubt place into space where he’s far more elusive. But that plus trait leads us into his first, massive weakness. He lacks the bulk to force his way through collapsing gaps. If you run Badie inside, he’s only going to gain what the O-line provides. It’s a detail that should eliminate him from draft boards of Inside Zone-heavy teams.
|Specific Blocking Specialty/Success
|Carry % (OZ)
|Rush Yd % (OZ)
|Rush TD % (OZ)
|Outside Zone (OZ)
Badie proved quite difficult to extensively evaluate in regards to patience behind pulling blockers due to the impressive speed from some of Missouri’s O-linemen. But Tyler does hesitate just enough so as to not overrun his developing blocks. He doesn’t overplay his speed when progressing through his lane availability, properly allowing his blocking to develop. And Badie will cut his speed just enough to remain inside the blocking “pocket” provided. Just present Badie with a gap to attack, and he is going to explode for a big gain.
Like other undersized RBs that were successful as a heavily featured back, as far as his goal-line carries are concerned, Badie was provided with 70% of the Tigers’ goal-to-go carries in ‘21, but only scored on 29% of them — most with Stretch (OZ) blocking to the pylons. He’s obviously as far removed from being a power back as they come. If we place Vanderbilt’s atrocious run defense among the Group of Five and FCS competition Badie faced last season, on 31% of his carries, it’s when Tyler collected 47% of his yardage, 50% of TDs and 45% of his broken tackles. And nobody can blame the Mizzou O-line for that reduced production when facing Power Five programs. Badie greatly benefited from fellow ’22 prospect Michael Maietti (center) and breakout 2023 prospect Javon Foster (LT).
|Future Success Based on Collegiate Experience
|Inside Zone (IZ)
|Outside Zone (OZ)
Badie presents as more of a problem for LBs and bigger safeties in the open field — quick defensive backs can be his kryptonite. One of his more surprising traits for a smallish RB is a plus stiff arm. Badie never put the ball on the ground after the massive increase in touches as a true senior. He wraps both arms securely over the ball when engaging traffic and switches the ball to the appropriate side when running down the sidelines.
Badie is quite thick in the chest, allowing him to run through high, off-center tackle attempts. Combines the previously mentioned footwork with better balance through indirect contact than expected for his size. But Badie is vulnerable to quickly losing balance on low tackles. To that end, he just doesn’t tap into his explosive leaping ability enough. Badie does consistently crawl forward for additional yardage when he is tripped up from behind. Fast defenses were a real problem for Tyler, especially those that funneled the run inside.
*Two seasons of data from Briarcrest Christian High School and four seasons at the University of Missouri
Like all of the evaluated RBs in this class, the table above places Badie next to some of history's top backs with a similar skillset. Take note that Tiki Barber, Reggie Bush, and Thurman Thomas are not only included due to their multidimensional play style and 200-or-less playing weight. The similarities end there. Drawing a lazy comp purely from a statistical approach would set Badie’s ceiling at Warrick Dunn and, unfortunately, his floor could rest as a USFL addition.
Badie led this RB class in target share last season. He is a catch-and-go guy, showing zero hesitation when transitioning to a runner after the catch. This kid is built for designed screen work, where he’s an open-field maestro. Without doubt, Missouri didn’t call for enough designed screens or even routes with vertical stems to properly take advantage of Badie’s skills. Far too many routes to the flat on Badie’s tape. He posted some solid receiving numbers in college, but Badie is capable enough to do far more work out of the slot. Badie’s best work as a receiver is very likely in his future.
|Path to NFL Touches
Unlike RBs such as Maurice Jones-Drew and Michael Turner, Badie does not have the skeletal frame to pack on additional size. He’s already reached his optimal size at his current weight of 197 pounds. The question marks in the early-down category in the table above is limited to landing in an OZ scheme, similar to the way the Buccaneers utilized Dunn. Badie’s offensive role in the NFL will consist of change-of-pace, up-tempo and passing down work. It will be a massive bonus for his career longevity to tap back into the special teams skills.
It’s impossible to determine at this stage if Badie will remain ranked within the top-15 backs. This is an absolutely loaded class, so it’s very possible he will drop out upon evaluation of the deserving backs. That makes investing draft capital into Badie a risky proposition, at least until later in the process.
2021 Video Recommendations: Week 2 at Kentucky, Week 4 at Boston College, Week 5 vs. Tennessee, Week 7 vs. Texas A&M, Week 10 vs. Georgia, Week 11 vs. South Carolina, Week 12 vs. Florida and Week 13 at Arkansas
Optimal Landing Spots: Atlanta Falcons, Tennessee Titans, Seattle Seahawks and Las Vegas Raiders
Film Review Comp (2021): J.D. McKissic
Overall Comp (Factoring size, athleticism, tape and level of collegiate production): Nyheim Hines