We’ve covered what NFL scouts look for in the running back, but now what?
And in case you missed those posts:
Knowing what they look for is cool, but knowing the information alone ain’t good enough. I think we need to take it a step further and take some action with this info!
If you’re like most guys that have dreams of playing pro football, you might have to train yourself. To help you out, I’ve compiled a bunch of drills that you can use to train.
But not just any drills. These are drills that will help you get better at most of the specific things NFL scouts look for when they’re analyzing running backs.
A lot of drills require equipment of some kind. But to help those on a budget, the drills listed below require little-to-no equipment to be purchased.
Disclaimer: If you’re injured, or have health issues, please consult with a doctor before doing any of this stuff. I, nor Get2TheLeague.com is responsible if you hurt yourself, or tear-up your mom’s house trying to do these drills.
With that said, let’s continue, shall we?
I didn’t put this video in a specific category, because the drills in it will help you in a multitude of categories, from quickness, to balance, to footwork, and even body control.
Some of them have you doing them while holding the football, so they’re great for running backs. (Courtesy McFarland Training)
Ability to Make Tackler’s Miss
Former NFL running back Brian Westbrook, with the fundamentals of what it takes to make a defender miss.
Future Hall of Famer Ladainian Tomlinson on the fundamentals of the spin move.
Power/Forward Body Lean
Perennial All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson gives you tips to becoming better at running with power.
He’s credible on that subject, for sure.
Former NFL RB/FB Merrill Hodge, and current-day NFL analyst with ESPN, shares a drill you can do to get used to using the right technique to power into defenders and wear ‘em down over the course of the game.
So get acquainted with the Rising Blow drill. Mr. Hodge also gives you the right mindset to help you withstand the rigors of the running back position.
I tried my best to limit these drills to those that didn’t need you to buy any equipment, but some things are just about impossible to work on without the right equipment.
This one introduces you to a few drills that’ll help you develop your power game as a running back. They use a bag in this video, and to be honest, a bag may not be that bad of an investment.
I wasn’t able to find a specific drill that helps you develop the habit of running with proper forward body lean.
Nonetheless, this short video will at least give you a better idea of what scouts are looking for when they talk about forward body lean. (Courtesy Expert Village)
There’s a difference between being able to run a fast 40 and having football speed.
There’s a lot of guys that don’t play fast, but can run a 4.4 or below in a t-shirt and shorts.
Obviously, you want to do well in both, but football speed is the more important of the two.
In fact, we did a post on improving football speed. Check it out:
This guy gives you some widely unknown tips on running the 40. I really wish I knew some of this stuff back when I was trying out for teams back in my hey day.
I was really impressed with the information in this video. He explains the strategy of every single part of the 40, but from the perspective of the scouts or personnel that’s timing you in the 40.
The more you know (and apply) about how their philosophy regarding how they time, the better. He then gives you a strategy to use to run the 40, that’s based on how they time the 40.
The guy in this video introduces some strategies for you to use when you’re running the 40, along with examples of specific exercises you should be doing to get faster in the 40 yard dash.
If you’re a football player, you should be familiar with the names of the exercises that he mentions. If you’re not, you may want to try Google’ing the terms and exercises he mentions to become more familiar.
Ability to Pick Up Blitzes/Block
A few exercises you can do that’ll help you get better at pass blocking as a running back.video-”pass block drills for running backs”
If you’re a fullback, check out these blocking fundamentals.
There’s quite a few drills in this video. At the most, you’ll need two other people for drills like the distraction drill, where someone stands between you and the quarterback to simulate having to catch the ball over traffic and through the hands of defenders. (Courtesy – Mike Lalor)
The drills in this one help you develop you get used to catching the ball in tight spaces like you’ll often have to do as a running back.
The first drill will also help you with your body control.
I really like the second drill, because it gets you used to catching the ball and getting hit simultaneously, which tends to happen pretty often to running backs.
If you don’t have bags for someone to hit you with while you’re catching the ball, get creative and make something to use.
The plyometric drills in this video will help you with your explosion.
The exercises referenced in our post on explosion will help you develop the explosion that scouts look for in safeties.
Check it out:
>>Related: How to Tackle Hard in Football
You should be able to do the first and last drills on the video below without equipment.
You need a sled for the second drill, but you might be able to put something together around the house or in the backyard that you can use instead if you don’t have access to one.
It’s often overlooked, but hip flexibility plays a huge part in developing explosion in your hips. Increasing the range of motion in your hips is crucial. The drills in the video below can help you with that.
They’re using bands in this video, but you don’t necessarily need them.
The drill the kid’s going through will help you make better breaks and cuts when you’re running your routes out of the backfield. You’re going to need someone with you that can throw you the ball, though.
OK, I gotta run, but check back soon for Part 2!
Know of any good drills that can help a running back at the skills we’ve discussed above? Yeah? Leave a description of the drill in the comments!
By the way, who do you think is the top running back in the NFL today? Leave a comment below!
Follow me on Twitter! @alvingrier