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Dynasty Prospect Profile: Paul Perkins

By Matt Schauf | Updated on Tue, 23 May 2023 . 1:27 PM EDT

Paul Perkins, RB, UCLA

Height: 5'10
Weight: 208
Age: 21.3


Combine results

(percentile rank among all WRs at the Combine since 1999, courtesy of mockdraftable.com):

40-yard dash: 4.54 (55th)
Vertical: 32" (16th)
Broad: 10'4 (85th)
3-cone: DNP
20-yard shuttle: DNP


College career

Rushes Yards Yds/Rush TDs Rec Yards Yards/Rec TDs
2013 134 573 4.3 6 24 296 12.3 0
2014 250 1572 6.3 9 26 201 7.7 2
2015 237 1343 5.7 14 30 242 8.1 1


A mere 3-star recruit out of high school (according to Scout.com), Perkins redshirted as a freshman before serving as the top RB in a 2013 backfield that leaned on QB Brett Hundley as the leading rusher.

Perkins broke out as a sophomore, however, becoming the 1st Bruin to lead the conference in rushing since DeShaun Foster back in 2001. Perkins racked up 6 games of 100+ yards, including 3 outings of 180+. His 26 receptions ranked 5th on the team, falling just 3 short of the 3rd spot.

Despite carrying 13 fewer times as a junior, Perkins actually garnered a career-high 53.1% of the team rushing attempts last season while playing through an October knee injury. He tallied another 5 games of 100+ yards and finished 6 total games at 6.0 yards per carry or better. Perkins also scored in 10 of 13 contests.

Beyond the traditional stats, Pro Football Focus pegged Perkins as the nation's leader in elusive rating, as he forced 85 missed tackles.


Film study

Courtesy of DraftBreakdown.com

Games watched: Arizona, Nebraska, USC, Stanford, Cal

If you've watched Perkins play, then his PFF elusiveness grade probably didn't surprise you. This guy's not big and he's not terrifically fast, but he's got moves.

RB Paul Perkins October 15 2015

If you watched the NFL Scouting Combine's RB workouts, then you saw that clip plenty -- and for good reason. It shows off Perkins' vision, his cutting ability and his short-area quicks. And it's certainly not the only example of his slippery ways.

Perkins rarely lets the 1st tackler take him down, especially when he meets that guy out in space or beyond the line of scrimmage. Here's a play against USC where Perkins bounces off the 1st (poor) tackle attempt and seems to instantly realize that if he sees so many red jerseys in the area, there must be running room back the other way. He's right ...

RB v. DEF

Another example from that same game displays more of the surprising tackle-breaking ability for a guy who weighs less than 210 pounds -- as well as Perkins' patience while the defense strings the play all the way to the edge.

RB v. DEF

And while we're at that USC game, let's throw in some impressive balance ...

RB v. DEF

Although Perkins bounces off tacklers fairly often and runs stubbornly, he doesn't bring the kind of power that will run through as many NFL tackle attempts. He showed well enough near the goal line in college but might have more trouble in that area as a pro. Of course, whether he gets those chances might depend more on his situation than his performance.

Perkins does, at least, look good in the passing game. He's a comfy receiver -- albeit on limited opportunities in the games I watched -- and a willing pass-blocker. The fact that he can perform in all situations and areas of the field should help him work into the rotation earlier in his career.

If only he carried 15-20 more pounds, we might be talking about an NFL starter.


Fantasy potential

An NFC GM called Perkins "a poor man's Jamaal Charles." Indeed, if you check Charles' Mockdraftable page, you'll find Perkins 3rd on the "similar players" list. Unfortunately, the key difference is that Charles ran a 4.38-second 40 to Perkins' 4.52.

The ex-Bruin delivers some impressive college tape, and he certainly has the skills to help a pro team. But he'd probably need to be bigger or faster to nail down a feature-back role in today's NFL. That said, the decline of the workhorse means that it's easier to generate fantasy value without racking up 300 carries.

In the right situation, Perkins could certainly turn into a useful piece. He's capable in the passing game, shifty and unafraid between the tackles. He ranks among the better pure runners in this class, so we'll be quite curious to see where he lands.

Matt Schauf Author Image
Matt Schauf, Editor
Matt has earned two Fantasy Pros accuracy awards for IDP rankings and won thousands of dollars as a player across best ball, dynasty, and high-stakes fantasy formats. He has been creating fantasy football content for more than 20 years, with work featured by Sporting News, Rotoworld, Athlon, Sirius XM, and others. He's been with Draft Sharks since 2011.
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