The Washington Redskins sprung another surprise in the mid-rounds of the 2012 NFL draft by selecting a running back. The Redskins chose Florida Atlantic runner Alfred Morris with their first sixth-round pick.
Given Mike Shanahan's history with late-round running backs, Morris could have a chance to emerge as a draft day steal. Morris is a tough inside runner with decent foot quickness.
He has the agility to work well cutting back from the outside to attack between the tackles. His best attribute is his sudden quickness.
When he spots a gap or crease, Morris has the initial burst and decisive decision-making to take immediate advantage of any holes in a defense. Along with his active feet, these traits could make Morris a dangerous weapon as a one cut runner on the Redskins familiar stretch plays.
His speed of thought and sudden moves are ideal characteristics for Shanahan's zone-based ground game. He brings good size at 219 pounds and could give the Redskins a tougher, more physical style of running through the middle.
What Morris does not have is game-changing speed and he shouldn't be expected to stretch the field at any point. With Robert Griffin III and Roy Helu able to make plays on the outside, Morris has the potential to be a nice compliment as more of a steady pounder inside.
By adding Morris to young rushing duo Helu and Evan Royster, the Redskins have provided insurance against the free agent loss of veteran Tim Hightower.
He may not have the name value of some the runners who were mocked to the Redskins. However, Shanahan's knack for unearthing hidden gems at the position still makes this an exciting pick.