How Alfred Blue Will Fit with the Houston Texans

Brian McDonaldContributor IMay 10, 2014

LSU running back Alfred Blue (4) runs past Mississippi State defensive back Kendrick Market (26) for a 17-yard touchdown run in the second half of their NCAA college football game in Starkville, Miss., Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013. No. 10 LSU won 59-26. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Rogelio V. Solis/Associated Press

After losing Ben Tate to the Cleveland Browns in the offseason, the Texans had a need for a running back to come in and share the workload with their star, Arian Foster. The young legs of Alfred Blue, who the Texans took in the sixth round, will be used early and often as the team tries to extend the career of Foster, who is coming off back surgery and will be 28 years years old when the 2014 season starts.

Alfred Blue is a big back at 6'2" and 223 pounds who Nolan Nawrocki of calls a "physically gifted" player.

A physically gifted runner who would have been the No. 1 back at most schools given his combination of size, speed, power and competitiveness. Is a second-round talent on talent alone, but injuries and a stacked stable of LSU runners limited Blue’s opportunity to shine. Scheme-versatile runner who is a prime candidate to elevate his stock prior to the draft and be a far more productive pro than college player if he proves he can stay healthy.

Blue was mostly used in a reserve role, but he was once a starter ahead of a player who was drafted much higher in this year's draft.

Alfred Blue was the starter at LSU over Jeremy Hill before tearing his ACL. #Texans #HOUpick

— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) May 10, 2014

Over his four years at LSU, Alfred Blue carried the ball just 209 times, only six more carries than Jeremy Hill had last season alone. Some may call him not getting more carries a negative as an indicator of his talent level, but I don't see it that way.

I think it is a positive that Blue had so few carries because it means that he still has plenty of tread left on his tires. Plus, don't forget that he played at LSU, which may have produced more NFL running backs than any other school over recent years, so there should be no shame in being a reserve at running back for the Tigers.

Blue is a gifted running back who had factors other than his talent cause his drop as a prospect, as mentioned above by Nolan Nawrocki. He'll join Andre Brown—who the Texans signed as a free agent—as reserves for Arian Foster. I expect to see Blue push for playing time, much like Ben Tate did as a young running back in 2011.

If Blue stays healthy and reaches his full potential, this pick will be looked at as a massive steal. If he doesn't, no one should cry over a failed sixth-round pick.