Over the last two years, Devine Redding was one of the most solid, reliable running backs in the Big Ten. Because of that, he’s landed with the Kansas City Chiefs as an undrafted free agent.
Redding, who played three years at Indiana, declared for the draft in January despite having one year of eligibility left. The 5-foot-8, 205-pound back could add some good depth at running back, and Indiana’s pedigree will back him up — Jordan Howard (Bears) and Tevin Coleman (Falcons) have turned into NFL stars.
Who is Devine Redding? 5 things to know about the Chiefs RB
He is a two-time 1,00o-yard rusher despite starting just four games in 2015.
Redding rumbled for 1,000 yards in each of the last two seasons even though he shared time with now-NFL running back Jordan Howard in 2015. That year, Redding had 226 carries for 1,012 yards and nine touchdowns. This past season, he saw a slight uptick in carries with 253 touches for 1,122 yards and seven touchdowns. In both seasons, he averaged almost the same amount of yards per carry with 4.5 in 2015 and 4.4 in 2016. In 2014, he had 29 carries for 118 yards and one score.
2016 also saw him become more of a threat in the passing game as he reeled in 27 balls for 146 yards and two touchdowns where he had played a minimal role in the two previous seasons.
Redding owns Indiana and New Era Pinstripe Bowl rushing records.
In the 2015 New Era Pinstripe Bowl, Redding ran for 227 yards on 35 carries to set a Hoosier bowl game record in rushing yards and carries while also setting the Pinstripe Bowl record in yards too.
Redding had one touchdown in the game and his 6.5 yards per carry added up to get him over 1,000 yards on the season as well.
The Hoosiers lost to Duke 44-41, though.
He earned a 5.14 draft grade according to NFL.com and scouts like certain aspects of his game.
According to NFL.com and Lance Zierlein, Redding’s 5.14 draft grade puts him as a player with a better-than-average chance to make an NFL roster.
Zierlein said Redding’s strengths are his patience and his ability to read blocking.
Here are the rest of his “strengths” from NFL.com:
“Runs with wide eyes and good peripheral vision on stretch plays and sweeps. Responds quickly when cut-back lane begins to develop for him. Pace is good from first to second level. Has a feel for development of blocking in front of him and is able to make a sudden decision when necessary. Smooth in his reads from first to second level. Has subtle, efficient shifts in direction without gearing down when rolling downhill. Decisive runner with feet in a constant state of chop while probing for openings.”
He drew comparisons to Alex Collins, who is a second-year running back for the Seahawks out of Arkansas. Collins got 31 carries for 125 yards and one touchdown this past season.
Redding’s size and lack of breakaway ability may hurt him.
Zierlein also provided a few weaknesses, including his size and his overall speed and power.
Here are the weaknesses:
“Runs with hip tightness that strangles his ability to make sharp cuts and directional changes. Has tendency to roll into cuts which puts him into harm’s way prematurely. Lacks memorable power at impact and will lose more battles than he wins when challenging with force. Has very few clean broken tackles over last two seasons. Leg drives and contact balance are inconsistent. Quicker than fast. May struggle to keep runs play-side and out-race the defense to the corner. Primarily a check-down and swing pass option in passing game.”
That being said, Redding showed some athleticism in this play in the Michigan State win last season.
Yet the Hoosiers maintain possession. pic.twitter.com/APkJtLmhMc
— Indiana On BTN (@IndianaOnBTN) October 2, 2016
He’s worked out for three teams and is drawing interest from others.
Redding has done private workouts with the Indianapolis Colts, Cleveland Browns and Arizona Cardinals. According to reports, he’s gotten interest from the New Orleans Saints and Minnesota Vikings too.
Indiana RB Devine Redding worked out privately for Colts, Cardinals, Browns, drawing interest from Saints, Vikings, per sources
— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) April 22, 2017
Regardless of where he goes, Zierlein basically said Redding could play in the NFL but lacks the ability to be a starter. Look for Redding to earn a spot on a team as a third back.
“Garden variety zone-scheme runner who has the decisiveness and vision to operate in that offense, but lacks the explosiveness, size and play strength to make a living as an NFL starter. Redding is more of a grinder than a special talent, and he’ll likely just get what is blocked, but he’s also capable enough to handle work in a zone scheme if called upon and should compete for the third running back spot.”