Kenneth Gainwell is going to be one of my favorite prospects come draft day. This kid is electric in every way possible and is what you want out of an modern day back. Kenneth Gainwell may not be as talked about as other prospects at the current time. He decided to opt out of the 2020 season which could help or hurt his stock. In terms of dynasty fantasy football there are several things I want to look at for him. Let us break down Kenneth Gainwell for you.
Height: 5 “11”
Weight: 191 pounds
High School Recruit: 3 Star Prospect, ranked 1614 by 247sports
Before we break down what we love about Gainwell let’s first look at his stats. Stats do not tell the whole story but are a first image of a prospect. In 2019 Gainwell ran for 1459 yards and averaged 6.3 yards per carry. He had 13 touchdowns on the ground and was the lead back of a talented group of Tiger backs. He also added 51 receptions for 610 yards on 12 yards per reception. Gainwell also added 3 touchdowns as a receiver. Overall Gainwell had 2069 yards from scrimmage and averaged 7.3 yards per touch. His season was just downright incredible from the stat perspective.
Kenneth Gainwell to me looks like the most versatile back in this class. He can be used in numerous amounts of ways based on the tape. He could be ran through the tackles and look like a powerful runner. Gainwell also has been utilized both in the slot as a receiver and outside as a receiver. This type of play reminds me of a McCaffrey or Kamara style of play. In this new age NFL system a player like Gainwell could thrive if used correctly.
Gainwell has a very explosive first step when he hits the hole. He accelerates quickly and looks to have the vision needed to work between the tackles. When he hits the open field he accelerates and can beat defenders with his speed. Gainwell also has an ability to be able to break through tacklers if need be. Consistently when watching the tape he shows an ability to keep his balance and fight for an extra couple of yards. This type of running will make him very difficult to handle in the NFL.
Lastly as stated before his receiving ability makes him a massive threat. His explosive ability allows him to create separation on short passing routes to beat defenders. He also has the speed to work up field on wheel routes for big gains. His shiftiness as a back shows after the catch as he turn a quick screen into a massive gain. I fully believe his receiving ability will elevate his draft stock and allow him to become a dynasty asset.
There are several things Gainwell will have to do in order to become a three down back. The first is to improve his pass blocking ability. This is one of the biggest needs of many backs coming out of college. I also believe that Gainwell needs to get a little bigger as a running back. Yes he shows power but if he improves his size it can make him that more lethal as a running back.
One of my biggest concerns for Gainwell’s future as a NFL player is scheme fit. For one a team will have to be able to use his versatility properly to get the most out of him. An NFL team will have to be able to adjust to his dynamic playmaking ability and use him properly. If they cannot let this guy loose he may not succeed at the next level.
I also am aware of the Memphis scheme and how it has consistently produced running backs over the years. Darrell Henderson, Tony Pollard and Antonio Gibson all recently have been drafted from Memphis. Although we have seen moderate success from all 3 we have to wonder what the ceiling is for Gainwell. Yes on tape he looks like the real deal and he could be the best prospect out of the 4. Yet one has to wonder if the Memphis scheme is just that good for running backs.
After watching a ton of tape on Kenneth Gainwell I feel confident this guy can be a star at the next level. He has shown an incredible ability as both a runner and a receiver for his postion. Gainwell is versatile as it gets and as I said I see a little McCaffrey or Kamara in his play. Just like with many other prospects he does need to improve aspects of his game. Gainwell is one prospect though that is well on his way to become a most own dynasty asset. Of course landing spot is always key but I love what I see so far. He is a clear second round guy to me. Let us know what you think about Kenneth Gainwell and his ceiling as a prospect! Check out our Trey Lance article as well!