At a position where it’s hard to stand out, Larry Rountree III has a lot to his game to like.
The 2021 NFL Draft begins on Thursday, April 29 and runs though Saturday, May 1, and Mizzou is expecting to have multiple players hear their names called at some point throughout the extended weekend. The list of Tigers expected to be selected at some point in the draft includes: linebacker Nick Bolton, offensive lineman Larry Borom, running back Larry Rountree III, safety Tyree Gillespie and defensive back Joshuah Bledsoe. Wide receivers Damon Hazelton, Johnathon Johnson and Jonathan Nance could also find their way into an NFL Training camp.
Rock M Nation is taking a deep dive into each player’s NFL Draft stock breaking down strengths, weaknesses and potential team fit.
Today we’re breaking down Mizzou running back Larry Rountree III.
Name: Larry Rountree III
Position: Running Back
Age: 21 (12/2/1999)
Weight: 209 pounds
Arm Length: 30 1/2”
Hand Length: 9 1/2”
Wing Span: 73 1/2”
Draft Projection: 6th Round
Pro Day Measurables:
40-yard dash: 4.7
Bench press (225 pounds): 24 reps
Vertical jump: 30”
Broad jump: 9-0
Three-cone drill: 6.96
20-yard shuttle: 4.50
Player Comparison: Raheem Mostert, San Francisco 49ers
Games Played: 48 Games
Total Yards: 3,720
Yards Per Carry: 5.0
Fumbles Lost: 3
- 2017 All SEC Freshman Team
- 2018 SEC Academic Honor Roll
- 2020 2nd Team All SEC
- Left Missouri as the all time leading rusher at RB
As a lightly recruited three-star back out of Raleigh, NC, Rountree found a way to consistently exceed expectations in his college career. He leaves Missouri with the most rushing yards by a running back, and this is while essentially being part of a time share at running back in all four years at Mizzou.
On the field, Rountree is a bit of a wrecking ball. He finishes runs well, runs with good leverage, and seemed to always be available to play. He sees the field well enough and can hit it the hole fast enough to turn a given play into a slam dunk. Also, he is a very willing and consistent pass blocker which will be a coveted trait as when he moves to the next level.
I’m of the opinion that Rountree is the type of back to be overlooked by the NFL during the draft process and will fall through the cracks a bit just due to an overall lack of exposure. The talent is there — that much is certain — and if he goes to the right situation, I wouldn’t be surprised when he’s ripping off chunk yards in the fourth quarter for some NFL team in the fall.
What scouts and analysts are saying about Rountree:
From Ian Cummings, at ProFootballNetwork.com:
Rountree’s energy as a runner first stood out to me on tape. The Missouri running back carries the ball with awesome energy. He has tremendous foot speed and good explosiveness. This allows him to get out into space quickly. He’s also fairly light on his feet, and he has the agility and quick-cut capacity to make initial tacklers miss. Expanding on that agility, Rountree also has the vision and instincts to use it effectively. He has a solid gather step at the line, with which he can calculate his options, then explode forward with decisiveness. Beyond his agility and burst, Rountree also has some solid physical elements to his game. At around 5-foot-10, 210 pounds, he’s a bit undersized. Nevertheless, he’s built with good density, and he’s able to lower his shoulder and win some collisions with his momentum. Rountree also has decent contact balance, and his agility allows him to regain leverage mid-play, whereupon he can then use a stiff arm to gain additional separation.
Larry Rountree III projects as a depth piece in an NFL stable. Rountree III offers a reliable approach to the position and an effective NFL build to endure the wear and tear of carries against pro defenders, but he’s a one-speed runner whose ability to create chunks after contact appears to only be modest. Rountree III doesn’t offer a lot of value in the passing game and therefore his ability to serve as a niche back appears to be limited as well. Rountree III has been a staple of the Missouri offensive backfield for the past four seasons; he leaves for the NFL with nearly 746 carries under his belt. He’ll be able to handle high workloads in a pinch, but his effectiveness will prompt an NFL team to have more dynamic options on hand in order to ensure more explosive plays in the running game.
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