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Scouting Report
Ball has a full trophy case of accolades and awards, highlighted by being a 2011 Heisman Trophy finalist and 2012 Doak Walker Award winner - not to mention two first-team AP All-America and All-Big Ten selections. Yet for all his rushing yards (5,140) and rushing touchdowns (his 83 are the most in NCAA history) amassed at Wisconsin, there are questions whether Ball can perform at a similar level in the NFL. He finished with 1,850 yards and 22 touchdowns last season despite opponents keying on him as the Badgers reached a third consecutive Rose Bowl, but his 5.1 average per carry was more than a full yard less than his junior year. The heavy workload - Ball had 663 carries his last two seasons - may give some pro teams pause, but the bigger concern is how much Ball can do when taken out of his college system. He doesn't accelerate well after getting through a hole, doesn't have breakaway speed and may be better suited for a team that utilizes a zone-blocking scheme given how much space linemen at Wisconsin cleared for him. Ball did show himself capable of catching the ball out of the backfield, totaling 24 receptions for 306 yards and six TDs as a junior, but without Russell Wilson throwing to him last season, he had only 10 catches. Ball did help himself at the Wisconsin pro day by running a 4.46 in the 40, a full two-tenths of a second better than at the scouting combine. He likely won't last through the third round, especially given the lack of quality running backs in the draft.