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Labell Betts- future starting rb?


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Most projections have him in the 3rd or later

Ladell Betts




40: 4.50


Pro Football Weekly

Notes: High school All-American and Missouri prep Player of the Year. Has led Iowa in rushing every year he has been in school. As a true freshman in 1998, played in every game, started eight and carried 188 times for 679 yards and five touchdowns and caught 20 passes for 259 yards. Started every regular-season game the past three years but hardly played in the 2001 Alamo Bowl after injuring his hamstring in practice. Carried 189-857-5 and caught 20-195 and one touchdown in 1999. In 2000, Iowa wound up the year with 1,090 net rushing yards as a team, and in 12 starts, Betts carried 232-1,090-5 and caught 17-111-0. In '01, Betts carried 220-1,056-10 and caught 14-127-1. Positives: Productive and durable four-year starter who led the Hawkeyes in rushing all four years. Has good run vision and skills. Knows how to use and cut off his blocks and will make the first man miss. Generally catches the ball well. Negatives: Tries to get too cute and will make too many moves at times. Lacks great top-end speed. Average blocker. Does too much cut-blocking. Summary: A good, solid, durable back when he is not trying to get too cute. Lacks special qualities but can be a solid pro if he runs north-south instead of east-west.

Iowa RB LaDell Betts, who had strong showings at the Senior Bowl and Scouting Combine, continues to shine in his individual workout, posting sub-4.5 times in the 40.

Iowa RB Ladell Betts, who opened eyes at the Senior Bowl, elevated himself at the Combine in RB drills, running very well and catching every ball thrown to him.


Len Pasquarelli

Economical back who rarely makes a misstep and rarely breaks the long run, does very few things special, but usually bleeds every inch out of rushing attempts. No frills about this guy and he goes about his business in workmanlike fashion. Only problem are actually those occasions when he wanders outside the hole in an effort to prove he can take the ball the distance. A squat build but does not always generate as much lower body strength as he should. Extremely durable, he started all four seasons, and led the team in rushing every year.


Mel Kiper

First player ever to lead the Hawkeyes in rushing in 4 separate seasons. Lacks breakaway speed (timed at 4.58 in the 40), but is patient and sets up blockers well. Uses strong lower body and compact build to dart through holes. Outstanding receiver (71 career receptions) and effective blocker.



Overall: 6.1

Strengths: Is a slasher. Shows more quickness than pure speed. Plays with a low center of gravity, and has excellent vision and balance when he gets past the line of scrimmage. Is a patient runner who does a great job of setting up blocks. Plays with a strong base, and runs with deceptive power. Runs with pads down. Will lower shoulder and deliver a blow. Shows impressive short-area burst out of cuts. Continues to improve as a blocker. Is a good receiver, and lines up in the slot at times. Weaknesses: Lacks ideal speed and a second gear. Is not a threat to turn the corner and challenge the secondary. Doesn't have the ability to change gears in the open field and go the distance. Is more of a short/intermediate-type runner. Because of lack of speed, 10-yard gains in college might turn into 3-yard gains in the NFL. Bottom line: Betts is elusive and powerful but lacks top speed. He has excellent vision and balance. Betts won't make people miss in the open field but will use traffic to his advantage because he has the power to break arm tackles and vision to find open lanes. Betts continues to prove capable of contributing in the passing game, which certainly enhances his draft status.


Rob "Boomer" Rang

Ladell Betts (5'11, 218, #46) is one a solid back with just enough power, speed, and strength to be effective in the NFL. He doesn't have great speed to the outside, and this will certainly limit him, but he is a very good interior runner that makes a lot of yards after first contact.


Dan Pompei

A one-cut runner with vision, quickness and leg drive. Plays at a good pad level. Doesn't have great speed or size, but he is a consistent, resourceful back.


Joel Buchsbaum

Iowa’s Ladell Betts is a good, solid all-around back when he runs north-south and does not do any dancing while getting to the line. Betts, who does tend to get too cute at times, lacks a really special quality and is not that sudden or explosive, but he has good vision and can catch the ball. Last year Iowa had 1,090 net rushing yards, and Betts had all of them.


Football Corner

Betts is a solid interior runner. He lacks the pure speed to be a breakaway threat, but where he excels is getting tough yards inside. He does a good job of staying low, reading his blockers, and finding a crease. He has strong legs and runs with good power. He can break tackles, bounce off of defenders, and gets yards after contact. He is more quick than fast and is not a true outside threat.


Great Blue North

RB Ladell Betts would also love to see Sobieski back on the field; Betts is no burner, but the 215-pounder has plugged away for 2,600 career rushing yards, including 1,100 last year, working behind some very suspect offensive lines.


John Murphy

Betts is an elusive runner with good hands out of the backfield, but lacks breakaway speed. He tends to run upright, which allows him to be tackled by a defenders initial hit. A four-year starter, he gained over 1,000 yards each of the past two seasons and finished his career with 32 touchdowns. He is a patient runner with good field vision and does a very good job of using his blockers to avoid front seven defenders. His occasional tendency to become an east-west runner will turn his ten-yard runs in college into three-yard gains in the NFL. Betts will need to work on his blocking, which is average at best – he all too often drops his head and tries to cut block rushers. He has above-average hands, generally makes good decisions when choosing the hole and is an experienced player that should prove to become a sturdy backup in the league.

Analysis: Iowa senior RB Ladell Betts is a three-year starter, who gained 1,090 yards last season, while scoring 16 touchdowns in his first three seasons with the Hawkeyes. He is also a good receiver out of the backfield, runs with good balance, shows good vision at the line of scrimmage and knows how to use his blockers. He is more of a between the tackles runner, lacks ideal breakaway speed and may not have the quickness to bounce plays outside in the pros. Most of his 10-20 yard runs in college will likely become 5 yard gains in the NFL. He will break arm tackles and has also shown improved hands as a receiver during the last two years. Betts will need to run in the 4.55 range, but will likely earn some post-season all-star bid, which could really boost his status. He has similar potential, but not as powerful a runner as Sedrick Shaw -- the last Iowa back to play in the NFL (New England). A mid-to-late round player (5th to 7th round) unless his workouts are superb, but he is a smart kid who coaches will like. Betts gained 113 yards against Wisconsin and with a strong finish should earn All-Big Ten honors.



One of the most productive backs in Iowa's history, Ladell Betts will offer versatility and the possability of a feature back at the next level. Here's our report on this former Hawkeye.

STATS & BIO: Fourth year starter that has led the program in rushing the past three seasons. Second team All-Conference selection last year when his totals were 220/1,056/4.8/10on the ground with 14/127/9.1/1 receiving, though he was slowed by injury throughout the campaign. Junior rushing totals were 233/1,090/4.7/5 and 17/111/6.5/0 catching the ball. 189/857/4.5/5 carrying the ball as a sophomore with 20/195/9.8/1 receiving.

THE GOOD: Productive collegiate runner that has shown the ability to carry the load in the past. Instinctive runner with great field vision, patience and a ball carrier that will pick and chose his spots. Runs with forward lean, quick cutting it back in a small area and displaying some wiggle when the ball is in his hands and the ability to avoid defenders. Has a burst through the hole, keeps his feet moving forwards and breaks arm tackles. Works his runs, puts his shoulders into defenders and looks to pick up positive yardage. Solid blocking for the passing game; quick to pick up blitzes and blocks with sound technique. Nice hands out of the backfield and a better receiver than his numbers would dictate. Tough, plays while injured and competitive.

THE BAD: Not fast, cannot beat defenders around the corner, nor can he run to daylight.

THE SKINNY: From a production stand point hard not to like this prospect especially with the team he played on early in his collegiate career but a poor forty time will push him down draft boards. Mid Fifth Round

The man on offense is LaDell Betts, Iowa’s feature runner the past three seasons. Betts is a back with great vision, footwork in a small area and tenacity. Though not a power runner he is able to pick up yardage off initial contact and is a durable runner that carries the load. How he runs in workouts prior to the draft will dictate much of his draft standing.

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Seems like I very recently read in the WP that Stanley Stephens, who was allocated to NFLE, has been told he should retire based on a heart condition discovered during a physical.

Maybe a newly realized lack of depth at the RB position had something to do with this move.

In any case, on the highlight tapes ESPN showed, Ladell Betts looks awfully good.

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But with Antonio Bryant AND Terrence Metcalf on the board, I do not understand why we spend a second rounder on a backup RB who may NEVER play, when when BOTH Bryant and Metcalf could probably be starters right away. Stanley Stephens was a scrub, LaDell Betts is probably a little better, but you do not spend a second round draft pick on depth when there are potential starters on the board at positions your team direly needs.

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Height: 5-10 Weight: 220

40-yard dash: 4.53 10-yard dash: 1.57

20-yard shuttle: 4.06 60-yard shuttle: 11.33

Broad jump: 9-8 225 lb. bench: 23

3-cone drill: 7.06 Vertical jump: 38

Wonderlic: 31 20-yard dash: 2.62

Plenty fast at 4.53 40

Intelligent: look at his Wonderlic

Athletic: look at vertical jump

Strong: 23 reps ar 225 LBs

Fine Receiver: 71 career catches

Apparently, this young man put on quite a show at the Combine and the Senior Bowl.

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I don't think a second rounder like Betts is going to provide much leverage against a Pro Bowl RB.

Pro Football Weekly rates Betts as the 9th best RB in the draft, with a grade of 5.4, putting him on the bubble of a 3rd or a 4th rounder.

The Sporting News has him as the 8th best RB and a probable third rounder.

I guess this isn't a BAD reach, based on where we drafted him. I just can't figure out WHY we kept trading down, to where we'd be in position to take him??????

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Still even if hes someone they really wanted they could have got him in the 3rd. Seems like a waste of a pick to me. They have been trading down all day well they should have traded down some more or just waited.

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we have seen Davis get injured every year he didnt have someone solid backing him up.

If we are not planning on resigning KJCarter, then this is not a bad pick to get a solid backup for Davis... and maybe even a replacement for him if the contract issues dont work out.

I love hearing a RB described as having good vision and patience. This is a guy who may be a much bigger contributor as a rookie than we think.

Was he a reach? Perhaps. We'll find out come August.

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if a guy is a part time player anyway - no matter how good, and KJ is good - then why not pay a lot less dough for a rb who will be part time, but can catch the ball. this, again, looks like it is driven by money, and somewhat by a shift in he offensive system to be implemented.

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Ladell Betts, Iowa's senior running back, was kind enough to answer my interview questions via e-mail earlier today. During the 2001 campaign, Betts racked up 1056 rushing yards on 220 carries and had 14 receptions for 127 yards. He scored a total of eleven touchdowns, ten of which came on the ground. Ladell was named second team All-Big Ten and co-MVP for the Hawkeyes along with sophomore safety Demond Sanders. I would like to thank Ladell for allowing me to conduct this interview, and wish him the best of luck in the future.

AOK: I'm sure you've spoken to your coaches and others about your draft status. What are they telling you about your possible draft position?

LB: From what I have heard, my draft position is somewhat up in the air. Depending on how I peform at the combine (specifically my 40 time) will dictate whether I will be a 2nd/3rd round or a second day guy.

AOK: What would you say are your three greatest strengths as a running back?

LB: My three strengths are quickness, catching the ball out of the backfield or from the slot position, and my ability to get the tough yards(toughness).

AOK: What three areas do you need to work on the most before attempting to play on Sundays next season?

LB: Blocking, speed, and conditioning. It never hurts a running back to improve in those three areas.

AOK: To what current NFL running back are you most similar? Why?

LB: Curtis Martin. He is an every down back like myself. The yards may not always be flashy but he consistently gets the job done week after week, year after year.

AOK: Who is the best defensive player you went up against this year? What makes this player better than the others?

LB: Jimmy Kennedy, exceptionally mobile and quick for his size. He causes many problems when linemen are asked to match-up one on one against him.

AOK: If you were the GM of the Texans, who would you take with the first pick? Who is the best senior running back in the country?

LB: David Carr would be my first pick! Honestly, I haven't had a chance to see many of the other senior tailbacks perform, but in my mind I feel I am as good or better than any senior running back in the country. I am sure they feel the same way about themselves.

AOK: Are there any freshmen or sophomores on your team that you feel will blossom into potential first round draft picks?

LB: We have a sophomore strong safety by the name of Demond Sanders who will definitely be looked at heavily by the NFL scouts because the kid can flat out play and hit with the best of them.

AOK: Kahlil Hill is one of the most highly regarded prospects coming out of Iowa this year. What kind of a player do you think Kahlil will be in the NFL?

LB: I think Kahlil will excel at the next level, because he has not yet reached his full potential. Which is a scary thought considering what he has done thus far at Iowa. He has all the tools of an NFL reciever.

AOK: One of the negatives I've seen listed for you on several sites is that you don't have top notch straight line speed. What kind of 40-yard dash do you expect to put up at the combines?

LB: I know for a fact that I am faster than what all the scouts think. I think I will run somewhere around 4.50 give or take a few hundreths of a second.

AOK: Will you be playing in any of the post-season all-star games?

LB: I just received an invitation to the Senior Bowl but have not yet sent my form in, so soon as that is taken care of, I will be participating in that game.

AOK: As April approaches, players rise and fall on draft boards. Tell me a couple of reasons why you should rise on teams' boards.

LB: First of all, I am a durable everdown back who can run between the tackles and catch the ball out of the backfield. I have been a 4 year starter and never missed a game. So with me, you are not just getting a situational player, you're getting a tough, hard-nosed competitor who knows how to ge the job done every week. Hopefully scouts will see the same qualities.

Again, thanks to Ladell Betts for taking the time to answer my questions. Best of luck in the Alamo Bowl, at the combines and in the NFL, Ladell!

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I was so sure we would pick Metcalf, OrangeSkin, I had his Sportsline bio ready to post before the pick was announced.

Perhaps this pick will become clearer to us as the draft progresses. Melvin Fowler and Seth McKinney were available the last time I looked. So were Jon McGraw and Dorsett Davis.

This was a huge shock to all of us. They must have seen something in Betts no one else saw, at least as a 2nd round pick.

Let hope for more picks in positions of need for this year when its time for us to choose in the 3rd.

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At first I wasn't so sure (and only time will tell), but the more I think about it, the more I like this pick.

First, we save dough by now being able to kiss KJC goodbye. I liked what KJC did for us last year a lot but we can't afford to pay him the kind of money he must be asking.

Second, there are still A LOT of good lineman on the board. If I'm not mistaken, there's still names like Metcalf, Weary, Davis, Johnson, Brown, Overstreet and tons more. I think there's still a chance we can grab a starter in the 3rd round. Maybe I'm only hoping, but like I said above, time will tell.

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Actually, this kid was getting a lot of press coming out of the combines because he caught everything they threw at him and I mean everything. I read somewhere (I'm trying to backtrack and find it) that he didn't have one drop. That turned some heads because everyone has drops especially since they're catching balls thrown by guys they've never played with.

I had never heard of him but was still turned off by his size. If he's as tough as he says he is then maybe we caught a break getting this guy but I still think we would have been there in the third.

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