RB Fannin’s Fabulous 40 is Freakin’ Flabbergasting

1 Mar

4.38 seconds. It’s a fast 40 yards. Receivers hit the mark occasionally. A cornerback here and there. But when a 231lb running back logs that fast of a time, it’s a revelation. Such is the case with Auburn’s backup tailback Mario Fannin, who stepped in out of nowhere and scorched the turf at Lucas Oil.

How rare is Fannin’s speed? So far as we can tell, only three bigger and faster players have ever been to the combine, Vernon Davis, Calvin Johnson, and the much maligned Matt Jones. Yep, none of them running backs.

Equally puzzling for a big back? Fannin left Auburn with the record for receptions by a ball carrier and receiving yards, done in limited playing time. Soft hands, an insane/size vs speed ratio, this guy is unique. So why didn’t Fannin explode at Auburn? What happened?

In short, Ben Tate happened. The bruising back grabbed the starting job and didn’t let go. He graduated in 2010, going to the Texans. Heading into last season, Fannin was finally going to be the man in Auburn’s backfield. He was preseason 2nd team All-SEC. Then, a shoulder injury shelved him at the start of the season. Cam Newton would lead the Tigers in rushing. Youngster Michael Dyer would lead the running backs in carries.

Something for Fannin to work on? Fumbling. He has developed a bit of a reputation for putting the ball on the ground. He has lost the ball 9 times in 252 career touches. Whoever gets a hold of him down the road will need to help him learn to secure the rock.

On the flip side, whoever gets a hold of Fannin will probably have only spent about a 5th rounder on a guy who can catch and averaged 5.85 yards per carry in the SEC. Oh yeah, he’s also bigger than Arian Foster and ran faster than Jamaal Charles.

Certainly worth a look, in our humble opinion.

Go Dolphins, and feel free to follow us on Twitter @thebottlenose

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2 Responses to “RB Fannin’s Fabulous 40 is Freakin’ Flabbergasting”

  1. Adam March 1, 2011 at 10:08 am #

    Great find. I think that he could be a great all around back at the NFL level. He has everything that the Miami Dolphins NEED and want in a RB.

    Go Fins!!!

    • Dan Ewen March 1, 2011 at 12:48 pm #

      He could definitely be a gem in the mid to late draft. Insane for a 5’11” 231lb back to have wheels like that.

      Thanks for stopping by The Bottlenose, Adam.

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