On January 1st, Myles Gaskin will cap a spectacular college career when the Washington Huskies face the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Rose Bowl. The 5-foot-10, 193-pound senior has been one of the most consistent running backs in the country over the last four seasons. Should dynasty owners view him as a first-round pick in rookie drafts next summer?
THE EARLY YEARS
A three-star recruit in the 2015 class according to 247 Sports, Gaskin was woefully under-recruited receiving just two scholarship offers. His revenge tour began as a true freshman when he rushed for 1,302 yards and 14 touchdowns. He broke the 100-yard mark in eight of his 13 games, including four consecutive 100-yard performances to finish the season. As a sophomore in 2016, Gaskin again eclipsed the 1,000-yard barrier, finishing the year with an impressive 237-1373-10 line. He also had 19 receptions, a marked increase from the prior season (5).
2017 AND BEYOND
With such a solid foundation in place, Gaskin continued his torrid run rushing for 1,380 yards and 21 TDs in 2017, finishing third in the country in the latter category. He again tacked on 19 receptions with three going for TDs. Gaskin hit the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the fourth-straight season as a senior in 2018, finishing with a solid 235-1147-10 line on the ground. In terms of career rushing production, he’s one of the best prospects we’ve seen in quite some time:
- Only the 10th RB in FBS history with four 1,000-yard rushing seasons
- Only the eighth player since 2000 with at least 5,000 yards rushing and 50 rushing TDs
- Tied for the seventh-most games with 100 yards rushing (25) since the 2000 season
Gaskin’s college production, in both sum and consistency, should be enough to warrant substantial interest from NFL front offices. His First-Year Workhorse Score (0.71), a metric shown to be significant in predicting future success, would have ranked third in last year’s RB class and second all among all NFL RBs with at least one 200-plus PPR season since 2012.
Despite the overwhelmingly positive picture I’ve just painted, research from Anthony Amico regarding breakout age suggests that Gaskin’s production actually falls short of what we might expect. Prospects without a true breakout season, based on adjusted all-purpose yards per game, have produced a 200-plus PPR season in their first three years just 12 percent of the time:
|Breakout Age||Total||Hits||Percent Hit||Avg Best PPR|
Gaskin’s size is another potential issue. Since 2010, just six NFL RBs weighing 200 pounds or less have a 200-plus PPR season in their first three years. Gaskin’s final season age (21.8) is also worth noting. Blair Andrews showed that RBs who play their rookie season at age 22 produce a top-24 PPR season just over 20 percent of the time compared to age 21 rookies who hit at a much higher rate.
I currently value Gaskin as a borderline first-round rookie pick in most dynasty leagues based on his profile. He was productive at an extremely young age and was a true workhorse throughout his career. But his age and size are legitimate concerns. A strong showing against a Buckeyes’ run defense that has struggled to limit big plays this season would be a great way to officially kick off Gaskin’s push to the next level.