After five invitations to the NFL Combine went out to FCS running backs last year it’s disappointing to see that Marshaun Coprich is the lone representative of the FCS in 2016. In fact, Coprich is one of only four non-Power 5 running backs that received NFL Combine invitations.
This time last year Marshaun Coprich was a little less than two months away from selling marijuana to an undercover police officer. Yes you read that right. He accepted a plea agreement and is still on probation. Reports on Coprich since then seem to indicate that he’s turned his life around.
At any rate, Illinois State moved on quickly from the incident and reinstated Coprich for his senior season, allowing their star player to churn out another impressive near-2000 yard season. Perhaps scouts will be able to move on from the arrest as swiftly as Illinois State did once Coprich has an opportunity to speak to them about it outside of a press release.
IMPORTANCE OF HIS NFL COMBINE INVITATION
It would be unlikely that I would be researching Coprich had he not received an NFL Combine invitation. It’s very likely that Coprich doesn’t get drafted this season and signs on somewhere as an UDFA. None of the sites tracked in our RotoViz Scouting Index have not listed him prior to receiving his combine invitation. But as we learned in this article by Jon Moore last season, one simple way to identify the best UDFA for your fantasy team is whether they are invited to the NFL combine.
Rich Hribar’s recent article on why NFL Combine invitations matter also made the point that combine invites are useful for determining which late round players to add in your dynasty drafts. Players don’t end up at the NFL combine by accident. One or both of the major scouting firms likely have some information on Coprich’s abilities which they expect to see at the combine and that one of their clients might appreciate and/or need. They have a compelling case for inviting him to the NFL Combine.
Coprich’s rushing market share totals were affected by Illinois State having a true dual threat QB in both of his seasons. In 2014 and 2015 the Illinois State QBs accounted for 1029 and 777 yards respectively. This gave Coprich an average rushing market share of 63 percent in those seasons.
WHAT’S IN HIS TOOLBOX?
Great Blocker – The little information available on Coprich usually mixes in that he’s a good blocker. Examples of his blocking can be found at 10:18 here. He’s going to have a good chance to get on the field for a few snaps in preseason if his blocking acumen is as good as reported.
Some Receiving Background – While he only caught 33 passes in two seasons it could end up being a strength for him in the NFL. It’s worth noting that his biggest receiving game came during a bad game script for him versus his strongest opponent in Iowa. He had four receptions for 33 yards in that game.
Special Teams History – Coprich has 18 kick returns for 372 yards on his resume and that’s always good when you are looking to make an NFL roster.
His measurements are 5 feet 8 inches and 197 pounds, so he’s going to be deep down in the bottom 25 percent of size for an NFL running back. There have been undersized running backs to break out in the NFL but most have faced tougher competition than the FCS.
Because he’s not in the box score scout database I had to look at similar profiles to get a visualization of his potential. The Box Score Scout (based on weight, height, projected 40 time, rushing yards per game and rushing TDs per game) came up with two interesting comparable players.
Ahmad Bradshaw is the best profile if Coprich runs something in the 4.5-4.6 range in his forty and Darren Sproles would be a better comparison if Coprich runs around 4.4. Ray Rice is obviously the ideal for a smaller running back but that’s probably a little far fetched.
Looking at Bradshaw’s comps we see how unlikely it is for that profile to make it in the NFL.
Another potential comparable player to Coprich is Darren Sproles. Sproles was drafted in the third round so that’s quite a challenging comp for a player that will really need to shine in the NFL combine just to make a roster. Sproles would be the 4.45-4.49 comp for Coprich.
Charcandrick West is likely to be thrown around as a comp for Coprich. While West is not in the box score scout app for us to view, I can see the comparison as their weight is within 10 pounds and West also played for a small football school. West ran an elite 40 time at his Pro Day so we will have to wait to see where Coprich ranks there.
Overall I’m excited for Marshaun Coprich as a late round stash. It will be interesting to see if he makes some noise during the NFL combine particularly with his weight, 3-Cone and forty. As mentioned before, I like that he brings some elements of blocking, pass catching and returning kicks which will help his chances of making a roster and finding playing time. He will also have to deal with that little drug deal as he auditions for a roster spot.
Think for a moment if you were a scout from one of the two services and you extended an invitation to Coprich over Aaron Green or Storm Woods then you’d probably have a pretty good reason or two for doing so. This didn’t happen by chance and I’m very interested to see what Coprich has to show the NFL.