Tyler Badie is a four-year running back for the Tigers that became a difference-maker when he finally was made the primary rusher as a senior. He spent his first three seasons as a complement to Larry Rountree and was an SEC All-Freshman Team selection. When he took over in 2021, he ran for 1,604 yards and 14 touchdowns and upped his role as a receiver with 54 receptions. He set the new Missouri single-season record in rushing yards despite playing behind a below-average offensive line.
He was a highly effective rusher with a 6.0-yard average and was First Team All-SEC last year. He ranked third in the FBS in rushing yardage in his only starting season as one of the best running backs in college football. He was also the SEC Scholar Athlete of the year in 2021. Last year, he turned in five games with over 200 rushing yards playing in the SEC.
Weight: 197 pounds
40 time: 4.42 seconds
Badie’s size already has him categorized as a third-down back, and history witnessed plenty of highly productive yet smaller backs fail to replicate their college success going against defenses full of ex-college all-stars. But the NFL continues to evolve the role of backfields, and Badie will find a team that can use his talents.
Table: Tyler Badie NCAA stats (2018-21)
- Good open-field burst
- Shifty runner
- Quick feet with lateral moves
- Outstanding route runner
- Natural receiver that can do more than dump-off catches
- Compact and runs hard with low center of gravity
- Patient waiting for holes to develop
- Good balance on sharp cuts
- Only lost two fumbles in four years
- Size an issue on short-yardage and inside runs
- Could struggle on picking up blitz
- Smaller catch radius needs accurate passes
- Already pegged as a third-down complementary back
The expectation is that Badie will be drafted on Day 2 and would become an early target for Round 4 if he fell that far. His only knock is his size – only 5-8 and 197 pounds usually gets pushed around as a runner in the NFL though that’s almost the same size as Michael Carter. He will be taken as a third-down back but he’ll have his chance to assert his role as a runner as a rookie. Most third-down types have only moderate rookie seasons as they learn the nuances of catching the ball and blocking in the NFL.
He’s a definite add to a fantasy dynasty team since he’ll develop for the first year or two before reaching whatever his optimal production will be. His fantasy stock as a rookie lies almost entirely on which team selects him and the opportunity that they will afford him in his first season.
Badie is worth a deeper pick in a fantasy draft regardless of where he lands. He has the tools to find success in the NFL, the only question being if he can continue to make a difference as a rusher. Offering a third-down role will keep him in the game plan and rack up reception points. It will also keep him in line for more work if he proves himself or if the team’s primary back is injured.