Notes: Father, Mark Sr., was a 10-year NFL receiver with the Giants, Dolphins, Packers and Eagles (1987-96) and is currently serving a jail sentence for bank fraud, money laundering and jumping bail. Mark Jr. also starred in track as a Michigan prep. Established a school record for touchdowns by a freshman in 2008 when he played all 14 games for Alabama and carried 143 times for 728 yards (5.1-yard average) and 12 touchdowns with seven receptions for 54 yards (7.7) and zero touchdowns. In '09, won the Heisman Trophy, Doak Walker Award and was named Southeastern Conference Offensive Player of the Year (AP) after starting 13-of-14 games for the national champs. Toted 271-1,658-17 (6.1) rushing with 32-334-3 (10.4) receiving. Did not start against Florida International (flu). Had his left knee scoped in August '10 and sat out the first two games before starting all 11 games in which he played, tallying 158-875-13 (5.5) rushing with 21-282-1 (13.4) receiving. Sustained a high ankle sprain against Michigan State in the Capital One Bowl. Elected to not run 60-yard shuttle at the Combine.
Positives: Extremely well-built, conditioned athlete with wide shoulders and a strong lower body - looks every bit the part. Terrific instincts - is a patient runner with keen vision and a natural feel for running lanes. Presses the line and can pick, slide and see the cutback. Sticks his foot in the dirt and accelerates and shows excellent short-area burst. Quick-footed and shifty and is able to string moves together. Outstanding run balance. Subtly shifty and can avoid direct hits and power through arm tackles. Tough and competitive with good run strength - piles up yards after contact and finishes. Has stamina to shoulder a heavy workload. Takes care of the football and rarely puts it on the ground. Highly productive for a national championship team. Has NFL pedigree.
Negatives: Lacks elite top-end speed and can be tracked from behind. Gears down to change direction. Was not used extensively as a receiver, does not have great hands and needs to improve his route running. Is not a game-changing playmaker and has been contained - was held to less than 4.0 yards per carry six times his final two seasons, including both Iron Bowl contests against Auburn. Has a 31½-inch vertical jump.
Summary: A well-built, motivated, productive workhorse who was slowed by injury as a junior. Does not have the flash, speed or suddenness of elite playmakers, but is a steady, solid bellcow with the type of hard-nosed, competitive mentality to handle 20 carries per game at the next level and consistently move the chains.