2017 Draft Reaction: Samaje Perine Goes To The Washington Redskins

Samaje Perine was drafted 114th overall by the Washington Redskins. He instantly becomes the team’s likely Week 1 starter.

I’ll dive into Perine’s fit with the Redskins after we look at his prospect profile.


21.3 233 4.65 7.26 19.6 106 1.3 1 51
PlayerWorkhorse ScoreWorkhorse RankTop-12 PredictTop-12 Predict Rank
Samaje Perine55.7217th (of 36)0.0517th (of 28)

The 2017 RB Prospect Lab Scores are a scaled measure (1-100) of a RB’s chances for NFL success. The 2017 Workhorse Scores are an adjusted measure of RB’s workload on his team. The WS exempts blowouts and QB rushing numbers. 

The “Top 12 Predict” score is the likelihood that the RB will meet the success model threshold of registering at least one top-12 PPR season in his first three years as a pro.

We’ve covered Perine extensively during our draft prospect series.

From CFB Chronicles: Samaje Perine And Joe Mixon:

Perine’s production profile is off the charts. Despite battling injuries and eclipsing 100 yards rushing just once this season, Perine has accumulated 3,537 yards rushing and 45 total touchdowns in 32 career games at Oklahoma.

Just 21 RBs have reached those statistical thresholds in 40 games or less since 2000 according to Sports Reference, including Adrian Peterson and Ezekiel Elliott.

From 2017 NFL Draft Prospect: Samaje Perine:

Perine is built like Eddie Lacy and Andre Williams. While those seem like ominous comparisons, both were considered good prospects entering the NFL. Neither of which have the production resume of Perine, especially at such a young age.

Perine has displayed some competence in the passing game, something that Williams never did at any level and what Lacy wasn’t often asked to do with the Packers.

I expect Perine to succeed if given a similar role to what Lacy experienced in Green Bay. In the right situation, he could be a highly productive running back capable of scoring double digit rushing touchdowns each year.

Perine will be a power back at the professional level. His fantasy viability will be heavily dependent on where he lands and who he shares touches with. I think an ideal situation would be to serve as a complement to a receiving back like Ty Montgomery, Theo Riddick or Jerick McKinnon.

Perine is an elite talent who has been consistently dominant at the college level beginning in his freshman year.

Our Box Score Scout uses draft spot, college production, and combine measurements to come up with comps to Perine that include 2016’s most efficient back, Mike Gillislee, as well as the aforementioned Lacy, the overall RB8 his rookie season.

perine bss

Perine was 27th overall and the eighth RB in the Scouting Index. He was the eighth back in our composite rookie ranks.

His college production is obviously diminished by his draft capital, but his being selected in the fourth-round doesn’t preclude him from earning the most touches in 2017.


Third-round 2015 pick Matt Jones, and 2016 undrafted free agent Rob Kelley, are both on very cheap contracts that are immaterial to cut or pay. It was reported this morning that Jones is on the trading block, and he may have a new team by the end of the day.

Complementary back Chris Thompson was re-signed to a one-year deal, and should remain in his role.

Head coach Jay Gruden has been openly talking about the team’s need to address the position in the draft since before free agency began.

From a fantasy perspective, Perine joins an offense that has had trouble sustaining fantasy relevancy for any RB in the last two seasons but has been exceptionally efficient. In 2015 the Redskins were tenth league-wide in points scored, despite being only 17th in yards gained and 24th in plays run. Last season, they were 12th in points and third in yards, while being only 21st in plays run.

It’s still unclear how the additions of Terrelle Pryor and Brian Quick will merge with Jamison Crowder and Josh Doctson as they attempt to fill the roles of the departed DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon. Arguments could be made that the team will maintain it’s high-octane production, which leads to scoring chances and output; or, conversely, that there are now other players who will siphon team market shares of yards gained and points scored.


Perine’s numbers point in two opposite directions. His 1,713 yards and 21 TDs as a freshman paint him as a Jordan Howard clone, and it’s easy to see him following Howard’s 2016 trajectory. On the other hand, his athletic profile gives him a very small chance of early relevance according to Cole’s model.

Although he’ll face competition from Kelley, this is probably Perine’s role now, and I like him to shine with it, this year and beyond.

Find all of our 2017 NFL Draft reaction content here.


The RB Success Model — Using age, production, and combine measureables, Cole builds on earlier regression tree analysis to build a model that predicts success within the first three years of a player’s NFL career. Odds of success are given for 28 RBs from the 2017 NFL draft class, along with commentary on the more prominent names.