Zach Charbonnet Scouting Report- NFL Draft Sleeper
Zach Charbonnet is still flying a little under the radar, but after UCLA’s defeat of LSU people are starting to take notice of this 6’1” 210 lbs. athletic running back. I watched his two games this year as well as film from his time at Michigan.
Zach Charbonnet Positives
What has Charbonnet done? How’s 17 carries for 223 yards sound? He’s averaging 13.1 yards per carry plus four touchdowns. As insane as his yards per carry is, he’s also scoring a touchdown on one out of every four carries. A huge average against Hawaii was one thing, but he continued dominating against LSU. He is looking like a special running back.
How did Charbonnet get here? Well he started out at the University of Michigan where he set the freshman record for touchdowns with 11. He also led the Wolverines in rushing with 726 yards. For some reason his carries dropped dramatically in his sophomore year and he entered the transfer portal and ended up at UCLA.
Charbonnet runs hard, he broke a guy’s back in high school when he ran through him, (that player is healthy now). It’s really fun to watch him run, arm tackles aren’t going to bring him down, sometimes traditional tackles don’t work. I watched multiple films of Charbonnet running over people both at UCLA and Michigan. It’s hard to describe how much of a man among boys Charbonnet looks like on the field. He breaks multiple tackles on runs, like five or six on numerous plays.
The crazy thing is that Charbonnet is also fast. He breaks away and outruns secondary members routinely. Charbonnet has excellent vision as well. I swear he actually uses the referee as a blocker on one of his touchdown runs. It looks like he makes the right read and hits the right hole on almost every single play.
I wanted to see Charbonnet against some other elite talent, so I watched his game against Alabama his freshman year. He ran great, but I wanted to watch his blocking. He picked up the right guy on most plays, and made solid contact slowing down the pass rusher effectively. I only saw him miss a block once. He even got out and was a lead blocker for the other running back on a play.
Zach Charbonnet Negatives
The only negative I can think of is that he’s not experienced in pass catching. He does well making plays when he’s thrown the ball, but he simply hasn’t caught very many passes over his career, 16 in three years thus far.
Zach Charbonnet Final Thoughts
This is kind of insane, but Charbonnet looks really special. The combination of power and speed is elite. He’s the perfect size for a running back and he can pick up blocks. He’s also splitting carries at UCLA and split them at Michigan. His legs are fresh, just like Javonte Williams last year. I think by the end of the season we could be talking about Zach Charbonnet as the best running back in the 2022 NFL Draft.