After going undrafted over the weekend, former Rebel running back signs with the Vikings
After rushing for 635 yards and eight touchdowns in his junior year at UNLV, running back Bradley Randle deemed himself ready for the 2013 NFL Draft on January 19.
With no consensus top rusher in the draft, Randle joined a record 73 draft-eligible early-entry players for the 2013 draft with a legitimate shot at being selected with any of the 254 picks this year.
Though he went undrafted over the weekend, Star Pass Sports Agency reported via Facebook and Twitter that Randle signed with the Minnesota Vikings.
Randle made his mark on the team on kickoff returns to begin his career. However, his 38 combined returns over the first two years dwindled to just one return in 2012.
He was virtually one-dimensional as a running back, accumulating just 14 career receptions for 151 yards and one touchdown.
The decision to declare early was questionable at best, as Randle boasts neither the pedigree nor the statistics to be involved in discussions of the top running backs of the 2013 — or 2014 — draft classes.
Randle has just one career game with over 100 yards rushing. With the Southeastern Conference’s (SEC) dominance in the 2013 draft — 63 of the 254 players drafted came from the SEC — coming from the much less-heralded Mountain West Conference (MWC) surely didn’t help Randle’s cause.
Though he likely would’ve played backup to starter Tim Cornett once again this season, another year of seasoning for Randle would’ve certainly boosted his draft stock.
With the benefit of having UNLV quarterback Nick Sherry one year older and more experienced, opponents will certainly respect the passing game even more during the 2013-14 season.
With more attention paid to Sherry and the receivers, Randle would’ve assuredly seen even more open running lanes than he did last season, which likely would’ve resulted in improved statistics and a better chance at being drafted in 2014.
Now, instead of facing ho-hum competition in the MWC and the occasional stellar opponent, Randle will have to carve out some sort of role for himself on the Minnesota Vikings.
With only 14 career receptions as a college player and the almost nonexistent factor in the return game, it seems unlikely that Randle will suddenly transform to a versatile tool against the most prestigious, toughest level of competition.
The Vikings currently have reigning NFL MVP and AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year winner Adrian Peterson atop the depth chart at running back. Behind him is the steady yet unspectacular Toby Gerhart.
If Randle can somehow prove himself to be anywhere near as versatile as the freshly departed Percy Harvin — and without any of the headaches — then, and only then, will Randle’s decision to leave school early seem like a good decision.