2023 NFL Draft Profile: Air Force RB Brad Roberts
The Air Force fullback is a bulldozer with few peers, but does he have the tools to be selected in this year’s NFL Draft?
A big play back looking for a chance.
Brad Roberts cemented himself into the Air Force record books in 2022, clearing the program’s single-season rushing record by 234 yards. He also caused Falcons head Coach Troy Calhoun to re-evalute how they recruit the fullback position for his run-heavy offense.
The former track star took over a position normally filled by converted linebackers and made an impact on the Mountain West. Roberts averaged five yards a carry over his career and scored 35 rushing touchdowns in just over two full seasons. His single-game high came in his final regular season game against San Diego State with 187 yards.
Measurables (taken from Dane Brugler)
Height – 5′ and 10 7/8″
Weight – 210 pounds
40-yard time – 4.62 seconds
10-yard split time – 1.65 seconds
Arm length – 29″
Hand size – 9 1/4″
Wingspan – 72 3/4″
Vertical jump – 36″
Broad jump – 10′ (or 120″)
Shuttle time – 4.48 seconds
3-cone drill time – 7.31 seconds
Bench press – N/A
Brad Roberts is an extremely efficient runner. He was good at finding holes and then pulling away from the defense before they knew where he was. While not the fastest runner, Roberts was very good at at hitting the hole or creating one when needed.
Roberts was also good at drawing attention to himself. You had to pay attention when he was on the field. Better yet, he always found a way to get his, anyway. The military discipline is also a plus as you know you will be getting a hard worker.
We didn’t get to see Roberts’s hands pretty much ever at Air Force since he only had one reception in his career. This was mainly due to the triple option offense. You could file that under unknown, but until he shows out it could be counted against him.
Roberts could also be thought of as a system back. We don’t know how he will play in a conventional offense. The Air Force commitment could also count against him as teams might not want to use a draft pick on a guy who they don’t know for sure will be available to them.
Editor’s note: It was confirmed by ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Saturday morning, April 29, that Roberts will be able to delay his commission in order to play in the NFL.
Roberts could end up being a slotback type of player given his track background and if he shows good enough hands. He also could go the route of putting on weight and turning into a FB/H-Back type of role. If he ends up in a camp/on a roster, teams know they’ll be getting a workhorse type of back who will put his all into the role he is given. But, he’s still a lower ranked commodity and will most likely be an undrafted free agent.