Kalen Ballage, Arizona State: 2018 NFL Draft Scouting Report

TEMPE, AZ - AUGUST 31: Running back Kalen Ballage
TEMPE, AZ - AUGUST 31: Running back Kalen Ballage /

Arizona State’s Kalen Ballage is a bigger running back prospect who flashes some big-play ability.

Kalen Ballage has a long and solid build for a running back prospect. His size helps him take some hits and keep on moving. However, Ballage shouldn’t be seen as a power runner because he doesn’t keep his legs moving after contact.

Most of his success is thanks to his quick feet which allow him to make quick cuts in traffic. This helps Ballage find some running room even when things are tight at the line of scrimmage. He also flashes an explosive burst when he is focused and willing to let it all lose.

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The problem is that Ballage tends to do too much dancing which keeps him from hitting the hole at full speed. He also struggles outpace angles when attacking the edge of the defense. His inconsistency as a runner makes it really tough to get a solid grade established.

There are times where Ballage looks like someone who could move the chains and be an effective NFL runner. In other situations he does too much thinking fails to take advantage of open running lanes.

He will really struggle picking up yards after contact at the next level. Ballage appears to be bracing for contact rather than looking to finish the run. He needs to do a better job lowering his shoulder and rolling over defenders.

Ballage’s contributions in the passing game are going to be limited. He is a poor pass protector who looks disinterested. His approach to blocking is also an issue where he tends to dive at the legs of the defender rather than squaring up.

As a pass catcher, he doesn’t show natural hands and will often fight the ball. There are more than a few situations where he takes his eyes off the ball which caused issues.

Overall, Ballage just doesn’t play with enough consistency to be considered an early round prospect. The flashes of big-play potential are too far between to feel comfortable about Ballage being able to be a major contributor at the next level.