First and foremost, Terrance Ganaway is an absolute load at running back. At 6'0", 245 pounds, Ganaway is a monster, bullying back who has the size to be an effective short-yardage runner in the NFL. He might not project as an every-down player because he offers little more than straight-line, pile-moving running, but he can be an effective weapon for a team that needs to add toughness to its running game.
In other words, if you need three yards, Ganaway can get you three yards. If you need seven yards, Ganaway can get you three yards.
Ganaway was only a one-year starter at Baylor, so it is possible he could still develop an all-around game. But his lack of versatility might hinder him at first. For a big back, he doesn't grade well in the blocking game and has little-to-no ability to be effective as a pass-catcher out of the backfield.
He ran a disappointing 4.67 at the scouting combine, but improved that to a 4.47 at Baylor's pro day. He probably rates somewhere in between those two numbers on a consistent basis, which isn't bad for a 245-pounder.
What the Experts are Saying
Bleacher Report's Matt Miller had Ganaway rated as the No. 16 running back and projected him as a fifth-round pick.
Pro Football Weekly also projected Ganaway as a fifth-rounder, and offered the following evaluation:
Big, strong, thickly built power back who runs like a bull in a china shop — has to square his shoulders and roll downhill to be effective. Lacks special-teams utility and could require patience, but could fill a two-down, between-the-tackles role in a man-blocking scheme.
Dane Brugler of CBSSports.com writes that Ganaway possesses all the features you'd expect from a back of his dimensions:
Runs balanced and close to the ground with the natural strength to stay on his feet through contact as defenders slip off of him. He's a load to tackle and easily runs through arm tackles. Has good vision to find the hole and get north/south. Gets good initial push and always seems to be falling forward for a positive gain. A hard runner with a workhorse-type back mentality.
Brugler also offers the following criticisms of the former Baylor Bear:
Will run with inconsistent pad level at times and struggle to get through the line of scrimmage at the next level. Needs to watch his weight and stay conditioned. Has limited experience catching the ball out of the backfield and needs to improve his technique in pass protection.
Expected Impact as a Rookie
Ganaway's size makes him a candidate to have an immediate impact in the NFL. If he proves to be reliable in securing the football, he can expect a number of touches at the goal line and in key short-yardage situations.
He might be relatively inexperienced, but his size and running style are too tempting to simply bury him on a practice squad while he gets up to speed.
Expect Ganaway to get a long look in preseason games, and if he proves to be a quick study, he will see immediate impact as a role player in his first pro season.
Ganaway fills a need for the Jets, who have a thin backfield. Shonn Greene will get the majority of the carries, but after that, the number two job is up for grabs. Ganaway probably has the inside track at this point.