25 Sep Scouting Notes: Demetric Felton, WR/RB, UCLA
Redshirt Junior | 5’9” 185 lbs | Temecula, CA
A dynamic receiving threat and hybrid RB/WR with good contact balance and home run ability who needs to improve as a blocker
Demetric Felton is an all-purpose weapon who primarily lines up at running back and in the slot for Chip Kelly’s spread offense. The former 3-star recruit initially played receiver at UCLA before becoming the team’s primary pass catching running back and kick returner last season. He’s primarily been used as a receiving threat, as evidenced by his 55 catches last season, and he’s also often used on jet sweeps and screens to get the ball in his hands in open space. As a runner, Felton is a jitterbug who constantly tries to bounce plays to the outside, where he can take advantage of his high-end speed. He’s had experience with both zone and power-based concepts, but looks most comfortable stretching the field on outside zone runs.
–Elusive open field runner with great change of direction ability and a nifty spin move. Able to consistently make the first man miss
– High-end long speed gives him home run ability whenever he has the ball in open space
– Surprisingly good contact balance for his stature. Hard to bring down with just one defender and plays with a low center of gravity to keep plays alive through contact
– Shows the ability to make catches outside his frame and pluck the ball out of the air
– Deceptive route runner who shows good use of head fakes and hesitation moves that help create separation
– Kick return mindset in the open field. Shows the ability to manipulate pursuit angles and weave through open space with good vision.
– Mismatch against linebackers as a receiver due to his high-level play speed and precise route running out of the backfield
– Return experience gives him added special teams value
Areas to improve:
– Lack of an ideal NFL build will likely limit his role at the next level unless he gains weight or transitions to primarily a slot receiver
– Does not have the power or disposition necessary to go north and south up the middle. Consistently tries to bounce A or B gap runs to the outside
– Effort and execution are lacking as a blocker. Tends to shy away from contact in this facet when given the opportunity
– Will suffer from occasional inexcusable concentration drops
– Untested with his ability to make contested catches or release cleanly against press coverage
Felton profiles as a hybrid positional player who can line up in the slot, in the backfield, or as a return man. He doesn’t have the ideal size or disposition to be an every down runner, and his lack of skills as a blocker will make it tough for him to step into a third down back role early. However, his ability to consistently make the first man miss coupled with his high-end speed and receiving prowess should make him a dangerous weapon in certain packages. Putting him in a Percy Harvin-esque role seems like the best fit for him at he next level. Expect Felton to be an early-to-mid Day 3 selection who could rise into the Day 2 conversation if he proves himself as a pass blocker or dazzles in a more featured role.
What to watch in 2020:
With Joshua Kelley now with the Chargers, Felton has an opportunity to seize a more featured role on offense. While he was second in receptions and third in rushing attempts last season, he could finish first in both categories this year depending on how involved he is as a runner. Monitoring Felton’s development as a blocker and in contested catch situations will be paramount to his success. Additionally, it will be interesting to see if he develops as a runner between the tackles or keeps attempting to take nearly every run to the outside.
- XTB’s Director of Scouting
- Bay Area-born sports lover who has worked in the football industry as a journalist, coach, film analyst, and scout.
- Currently a graduate student attending the UMass Sport Management program, and received his BA in journalism at Hofstra University.