Prospect evaluation of Louisville RB Javian Hawkins for the 2021 NFL Draft, which includes his strengths, weaknesses, and projection.
Name: Javian Hawkins
Weight: 196 lbs
= Key Terms =
Grading Scale: Poor, Marginal, Adequate, Solid, Good, Great, Elite
Role: Developmental Player, Backup, Complementary Player, Starter, Franchise Player
= Strengths =
Attacks holes and running lanes with downhill explosion.
Best when used on run designs that get him to the outside/perimeter and into open space.
Great quickness & agility; jitterbug type feet; very elusive.
Good bend at the knees & waist to drop weight and make cuts outside of frame.
Once he’s in open space can string moves together with excellent balance and body control.
Likes to utilize spin move to bounce off contact.
Able to contort body and keep legs churning in order to shed arm tackle attempts to high & mid areas.
Great burst; very explosive getting in and out of cuts; gets to top speed in an instant.
Great speed; once he gets to top speed he wins foot races more often than not.
Unafraid of contact and shows willingness to be physical.
= Weaknesses =
Adequate vision; doesn’t exercise patience behind LOS; needs better pacing on post-snap path.
Needs to be more consistent when it comes to feeling the flow of the defense and finding cutback lanes.
Spatial awareness needs work; footwork is inefficient and out-of-control; will often run into OL.
Adequate contact balance.
Marginal power & strength; little muscle mass.
Sparingly used as a receiver; targeted only on screens and check-downs in the flat.
Adequate pass blocker; likes to cut block but proves ineffective more often than not.
Fumble rate increased; 2 fumbles in 274 touches in 2018-2019, 3 fumbles in 149 touches in 2020.
= Other =
Thin, slender build. Nicknamed “Joystick”.
Pro Comparison: Ito Smith
= Projection (Role & Fit) =
Javian Hawkins projects as a Good backup with upside of becoming a Good complementary player. He’s best when running any play design that gets him outside the tackles and into open space. His nickname is “Joystick” for a reason; he’s extremely elusive, probably the most elusive RB in this draft class. His quickness, agility, explosiveness, and speed are all high-level traits. Although his movement skills are enticing, there are several things that need work. His thin frame is concerning and he’ll need to add a bit more muscle. He also must learn to be more controlled with his footwork and do a better job at setting up blockers. Finally, while some may be quick to assume he’ll be a good receiver from day 1, there’s no evidence supporting that as he was barely used as one at Louisville. Whether he has that ability or not remains to be seen. Overall, Hawkins is an exciting prospect that any team should want to add to their roster because of his outstanding athletic ability, but he won’t be able to carve out a consistent role with any offense if certain parts of his game aren’t developed.