The 2018 NFL Draft will begin on Thursday night in Arlington, Texas. Former Auburn running back Kamryn Pettway is a borderline late-round pick or undrafted free agent heading into the week after a rough end to his time on the Plains.
In 2016, Pettway was one of the most prolific running backs in the country for a solid month. His final season at Auburn didn’t turn out as planned, though, which hurt his stock heading into the draft. Here are five things you need to know about the Auburn rusher:
1. Kamryn Pettway was dominant in 2016
Pettway became Auburn’s star running back during the 2016 season, leading the SEC at 124.8 rushing yards per game during the regular season. He rushed for at least 150 yards in four straight games, becoming the first Auburn player to do that since legendary Bo Jackson. Only injury could slow down Pettway, who missed three games with various issues.
2. Kamryn Pettway never got going in 2017
Pettway was suspended for Auburn’s season opener against Georgia Southern in 2017. He suffered a leg injury in Week 3 against Mercer, which caused him to miss several weeks of action. When he returned against Arkansas, Pettway put up 90 yards and 3 touchdowns in one half. But Pettway suffered a shoulder injury against the Razorbacks and he never returned to action.
3. Kamryn Pettway didn’t start his career at running back
Pettway, who is from Prattville, Ala., was a fullback and H-back at Auburn as a freshman in 2015. He started a couple of games in place of Chandler Cox. But after Auburn lost three running backs in the span of a few months before the 2016 season, Pettway moved to a ball carrier role. With Kerryon Johnson’s injury issues, he became a heavy-use rusher in 2016, showcasing plenty of power on his way to a dominant run through SEC play.
4. Kamryn Pettway has been compared to certain NFL running back
ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. recalled LeGarrette Blount when discussing Pettway’s NFL draft stock on a call with reporters earlier this month. Like Blount, Pettway is a big running back who didn’t get many opportunities during his final season of college ball. (Blount’s issues mostly stemmed from punching a Boise State player after a game, while Pettway’s came down to injury.) Blount went undrafted but has won three Super Bowls.
5. Kamryn Pettway’s position coach defended his character
One of the biggest minuses against Pettway during the draft process has been off-field concerns. Last week, Auburn running backs coach Tim Horton defended his former player:
“I’ve never had a problem with that with him,” Horton said. “His was just such an unfortunate deal with the injuries. All I can talk about and deal with was my situation with him and it’s always been great. I have no problems with his character, at least from his positional coach’s standpoint.”