(percentile rank among all RBs at Combine since 1999, courtesy of mockdraftable.com):
40-yard dash: 4.58 seconds (39th percentile)
Vertical: 35.5 inches (64th)
Broad: 118 inches (50th)
3-cone: 7.19 seconds (23rd)
20-yard shuttle: 4.27 seconds (43rd)
Gaskin leaves Washington as the Pac-12’s #3 all-time rusher. Only Charles White (USC, 1976-79) and Royce Freeman (Oregon, 2014-17) racked up more career yardage than the young Husky. That reflects a career that got productive in a hurry.
Gaskin earned Washington most outstanding offensive player honors for his freshman season, along with Freshman All-American status and honorable-mention all-conference. Gaskin ranked 4th in the Pac-12 in rushing yards, behind 3 guys since drafted into the NFL (Christian McCaffrey, Freeman and Paul Perkins). He tied for 2nd in the conference in TD runs and ranked 7th in yards per rush, with another 2 NFL draftees among those ahead (Khalfani Muhammad and Ronald Jones).
Sophomore year found Gaskin joining McCaffrey on the All-Pac-12 first team while ranking 3rd in rushing yards. He got off to a slower start in 2016, falling short of 100 yards in each of his 1st 4 games and averaging just 75.5 per game over that span. But Gaskin rebounded to crack triple digits in 6 of his final 10 contests and reach 2nd-team all-conference.
The 2018 Huskies posted a 3rd straight season of 10+ wins and a top-16 finish in the AP poll. Gaskin, meanwhile, became the 1st Pac-12 player to top 1,000 rushing yards in 4 straight years. He also finished as the school’s career leader in rushing yards, ground scores and total TDs.
Despite a consistently productive college career, it’s worth noting that Gaskin posted his highest Pro Football Focus grades in overall, rushing and pass-blocking as a freshman. His senior campaign featured his lowest overall grade, his 2nd lowest rushing grade, a receiving grade well below his previous 2 seasons and by far his worst pass-blocking grade (42.2, compared with 80.5, 77.8 and 65.7). He checked in 81st in pass-blocking efficiency nationally in 2018.
(Courtesy of @WhatsOnDraftNFL)
Games watched: Ohio State, Auburn, Utah (1st of 2 matchups), Washington State (2017), UCLA (2017)
We don’t tend to harp on the pass-blocking for RBs too much because few leave college doing it well and it can be an easy factor for overrate. It might be a more important trait for Gaskin than many other backs, though. That’s because the Washington workhorse doesn’t look special in any area.
Gaskin looks proficient at plenty of things, and he was obviously a very good college back. His best trait might be the patience to allow his blockers to set up and a lane to reveal itself. That could mean gaining a few yards where charging into a clogged line might produce a loss ...
Or it could give just enough time for a proper path to emerge.
That, of course, will prove more difficult in the pros, where everyone’s smarter and faster. Gaskin’s lack of explosiveness will limit his ability to create yardage in such situations at the next level, too.
Gaskin, at least, is not just a 1 speed runner. If the lane develops more quickly, he’s willing to hit it and scoot …
The diminutive back does run hard …
But he doesn’t display abnormal power.
Gaskin brings some balance, decent agility and a bit of make-you-miss ability in 1-on-1 situations at the 2nd and 3rd levels.
But his Combine testing numbers and other PFF stats reveal a player that’s closer to average than special. Here’s his chart from the PFF Draft Guide:
Like plenty of other RBs in this class (and other classes), Gaskin could turn into a solid fantasy performer if he lands in the right situation. Perhaps a coaching staff will fall in love with his displayed ability to serve as a backfield’s workhorse and provide Gaskin a path to early usage.
Nothing about his profile screams future star, though. Gaskin got a lot of Wildcat work in goal-to-go situations for the Huskies. He played 3 downs and stayed involved as a receiver and blocker. But he doesn’t bring outstanding skills in any of those areas.
Gaskin looks like a committee back who could be worth a late 2nd-round pick in dynasty rookie drafts in the right situation.