2018 was likely not the year that Chris James expected to have. After seeing reserve duty in 2017 after being usurped by freshman phenom Jonathan Taylor, James had an underwhelming 2018 as well, hardly seeing the field.
However, that is not indicative of James’ ability. Prior to transferring to Wisconsin and sitting out the 2016 season, James rushed for 437 yards and four touchdowns as a true freshman at Pitt, but whether it be injuries or competition, James was never able to get as many carries as he was as a freshman. James is a thickly built, smooth runner who’s shown the aptitude to catch the ball and pass protect.
Weight: 222 pounds
40 Yard Dash: 4.58 seconds
Vertical Jump: 34”
Broad Jump: 9’9”
Short Shuttle: 4.09 seconds
Three Cone: 6.93 seconds
Bench Press: 18 reps
*Height and weight taken from Wisconsin’s 2018 roster. Statistics come courtesy of Wisconsin’s pro day in March.
Strengths: Thickly built athlete who has added size during his time in Madison. Has decent straight line speed and has shown the ability laterally to make defenders miss in the hole. Is able to stay on the field on third downs as a pass protector. Has also exhibited the prowess to catch the ball out of the backfield. Has played special teams.
Weaknesses: James hasn’t gotten consistent playing time since his freshman season at Pitt. Was dinged up on and off during his time at Wisconsin. Fell down the depth chart both seasons at Wisconsin.
Summary: James’ athletic ability has never been in question. A victim of Jonathan Taylor’s success, he found himself on the sideline more than anticipated and was never really able to get back into the rotation consistently. James will likely be rookie mini camp bound, so he will need to make a splash somehow. James played special teams in Madison, so that’ll certainly be a necessity to endear himself to a coaching staff, but it will be an uphill battle for James.
Round Projection: Undrafted free agent