Kenneth Gainwell - Running Back Memphis Tigers 2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report

Scouting report for NFL Draft prospect Kenneth Gainwell

KENNETH GAINWELL | Memphis | RB | #19 | rSo | 5106 | 190 | 4.55e | Yazoo City, MS | Yazoo County High School


In a league that has become increasingly predicated on manipulating space, Gainwell boasts the type of all-around skill-set that can create a ton of mismatch potential. Extremely explosive in tight spaces, Gainwell is a blur once he breaks past the second level, putting defensive backs in some very tough situations in the open field. He is equally as adept as a pass-catcher and a runner. Gainwell is the type of player who can be manipulated in space to get the best out of him. For a smaller back, he has some absurd contact balance to work through traffic. He’s the type of dual-threat option that offers three-down versatility at the next level. His biggest issue is a lack of size. That seriously affects his ability to churn out hard yardage and keep the pile moving. Volume as a runner is going to be the biggest question early on in his career. However, even if he is never able to carry a high workload on the ground, Gainwell is the type of athlete who should hear his name called during the first two rounds of the draft. It’s his explosiveness, contact balance and pass-catching ability that offer him the ability to be an impact playmaker early on in his NFL career.


After redshirting during the 2018 season, Gainwell had 2,069 total yards in 2019, leading the nation among all freshmen. Decided to opt out of the 2020 season in order to begin training for the 2021 draft. Was a three-year starter at quarterback for head coach Robert Dobbs at Yazoo County High School in Yazoo County, Missouri. Chose Memphis over offers from Ole Miss, Alcorn State, Arkansas State and Central Arkansas.

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