The glass half-empty way to view Jeremy Langford’s prospects in the NFL is as follows:
He’s a not very big back, with barely above average speed for his size, a middling record of rushing production with no record of receiving production, and who will probably be selected in the part of the draft where running backs have long odds to become multi-year stars.
Here are the Langford comparables which drive home the glass half empty view:
The single most promising name on that list is Tre Mason who has had a somewhat promising start to his career. Tatum Bell had a thousand yard season during his third year in the league and it’s probably fair to say that at one point there was some enthusiasm for Bell.
Here’s the glass half full view for Bell: he’s a running back, someone in front of him on a depth chart is likely to get hurt at some point, and his record of production doesn’t say that he couldn’t succeed in the NFL, it just doesn’t scream can’t miss talent. Some part of Langford’s lack of career production is due to the fact that he was behind Le’Veon Bell on the Michigan State depth chart. Once Bell left, Langford’s numbers improved to feature back levels. However, lest anyone confuse the two players in the way that it can become easy to do when you see the same uniform, Langford is not particularly close to Bell. Bell was much bigger, was extremely agile for his size, and also dominated the MSU rushing production when he was there.
Langford is the type of RB that I don’t really see myself targeting in rookie drafts unless he somehow ends up in a prime situation – like as the only RB ATL drafts. If that happens then it’s Langford versus Devonta Freeman and I would happily back Langford.