Darius Bradwell was the lone running back prospects signed by the Chargers as an undrafted free agent following this year’s draft. At 6’1 and 230 pounds, he is immediately the largest ball-carrier on the team, but there is a chance that Bradwell makes the transition to fullback in the pros.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s turn the clock back and learn a little something about Bradwell.
The Tallahassee, Florida native prepped at Godby High School where he enjoyed a very productive career. As a senior in 2015, Bradwell tallied over 2,300 yards (1,213 rushing/1,097 passing) and 27 total touchdowns. He was named to the All-Big Bend First Team and earned honorable mention All State honors as quarterback. Bradwell was named a three-star recruit by Scout.com and a two-star prospect by ESPN and Rivals.
Bradwell didn’t redshirt at Tulane but made the transition to running back and played sparingly as a freshman. In three games, he rushed for just 33 yards on 11 carries. He found a groove as a sophomore when he collected 66 carries and turned it into 411 yards and four touchdowns. His 6.22 yards per carry stood as his career-high throughout his final two years.
As a junior, Bradwell broke out. On 201 carries, he rushed for 1,174 yards with 14 scores. He did this while only starting four games out of 11 total played. As a senior, Bradwell was overshadowed by quarterback Justin McMillan who led the the team in all rushing categories in 2019. Bradwell finished second on the team in carries, third in rushing yards, but just fifth in touchdowns with two but it should be noted that he missed three games in the month of December.
At 230+ pounds, Bradwell fortunately plays like a guy who knows how big he is. There’s nothing more aggravating for a coach than watching your huge, strong players act like their half their size.
What pops out to me on Bradwell’s film is his explosiveness when he’s able to stick his foot in the ground and get north and south in an instant. For backs his size, there’s usually a delay as they try to gather momentum to hit full speed but Bradwell shows the ability to floor it at a moment’s notice.
Here’s another clip of Bradwell taking it to the house straight up the gut:
One of my favorite moves that Bradwell likes to utilize is a dead leg in which he uses to catch over-pursuant defenders off guard combined with his surprising acceleration.
If Bradwell stays at running back, he is certainly the next best guy at the position behind the top three. If he switches to fullback, he’d be far behind Bobby Holly and Gabe Nabers as those two are much more adept at blocking at this point in their careers.
He’s certainly an exciting player, with plenty of upside. But the situation is not great for him. I’m excited to see where he lines up when training camp hopefully rolls around next month.