Tony Pollard Jersey

POSITIVES:

—Swiss army knife in the Memphis offense who showcased a skill set as a runner, receiver and return man.

—One of the best return men in college football; returned seven kicks for touchdowns during his time at Memphis.

—Slasher who can get to the second level in a hurry and does a good job finding openings outside. Has some scoot to his game to run away from defenders.

—Very good receiver out of the backfield; can be used on dumps, wheels or even split out as a wide receiver. Can be dangerous on jet sweep options.

—Instant-impact special teams player who has upside as a runner or receiving option.

NEGATIVES:

—Lacks strength as a runner and doesn’t have the gear to push the pile.

—Limited reps as a true running back because of the play of Darrell Henderson. Might be more of a gadget guy.

—Tweener prospect who will only be a fit in some schemes because of lack of power and vision as a runner and undeveloped route-running ability.

—Jack of all trades, master of none. Teams who don’t value his return skill set will have little use or value for him.

—Didn’t wow with speed or agility. Has average long speed, burst and juice in his hips to make defenders miss.

OVERALL:

Pollard is the answer if NFL teams are looking for a return specialist, but he lacks value as a straight-up running back prospect. Pro teams will have to find a role for him, but if they do want a highly productive return man and upside third-down option, Pollard is a good value late in the draft.

Former Tiger kick returner/wide receiver Tony Pollard was selected Saturday by the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth round of the NFL Draft.

Pollard became the second Tiger drafted this year. Running back Darrell Henderson was taken Friday by the Los Angeles Rams with the 70th overall pick in the draft.

Pollard played a versatile

Pollard played a versatile role under coach Mike Norvell, getting reps at running back and wide receiver. He rushed for 941 yards and nine touchdowns while catching 104 passes for 1,292 yards and nine receiving touchdowns. No other Tiger produced more all-purpose yards in the last two years.

In addition to his rushing and receiving numbers, Pollard could earn a slot with Dallas as a kick returner.

The Memphis native tied the NCAA record for kickoff return touchdowns with seven. He broke a 20-year drought in 2016 when he returned a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown in a 34-27 win over the Temple Owls. Special teams play earned him All-American honors in 2017.

Teams started kicking away from Pollard in his last season at Memphis, so he returned only one kickoff for a touchdown. That was a 97-yard return in the Birmingham Bowl that tied the NCAA record.

Henderson, who was selected No. 70 overall by the Rams, and Pollard being picked make it consecutive years where two Tigers were picked in the NFL Draft. Anthony Miller and Genard Avery were the two Tigers selected in 2018.

Tony Pollard grew up in Memphis and played his high school football at local Melrose High School before playing at the University of Memphis, and he is now preparing for the National Football League Draft this weekend.

The former Memphis standout has been constantly working out and going on pre-draft visits following the conclusion of his redshirt junior season, and he said he is finally getting to sit back and enjoy the process and his hard work.

“The whole process has been surreal for me, and I couldn’t be happier to be in this position,” Pollard said. “It’s crazy to me that I’m just a kid from Memphis and all my hard work led to this point.”

Throughout the draft process, Pollard said he turned to his former college, high school and little league coaches for advice on how to handle the countless visits, workouts and interviews.

“Everything has been crazy over the last few months, but luckily I’ve had my family and mentors to lean back on,” Pollard said. “They’ve all told me that I only get to do this once, so I’ve really been trying to take it all in and enjoy it along the way.”

When I spoke with Pollard, he was on his way to yet another pre-draft visit. With the NFL Draft only a few days away, Pollard said he was not quite sure how to feel at this point.

Pollard said his emotions have been “all over the place” recently, and he is ready and hopeful to hear his name called at some point.

“With the draft basically being here at this point, I’m not really sure how to feel,” Pollard said. “It’s hard to believe I’m at this point already.”

Since finishing his career at Memphis, Pollard has been courted by multiple NFL teams, and he said he feels like he has handled himself well throughout the process. Throughout the NFL draft process, teams are known for asking tough questions, but Pollard said he has been prepared.

“With playing in the Senior Bowl and talking to all the scouts and all the media training in college, I feel like I’ve done well in all my interviews,” Pollard said. “I think I’ve been able to show teams who I am as I person, and I feel like they’ve all liked me.”

Although Pollard will be heading to a different city shortly to play in the NFL, he said he will never forget his Memphis roots. Pollard said he plans on spending draft weekend in the Bluff City with his close friends and family.

“I’m not planning on doing anything special really, and we will probably just watch it at my mom’s house,” Pollard said. “I want to spend that moment with the people that helped me get to this point.
1COMMENTS

Pollard – who is now tied for the most kickoff return touchdowns in NCAA history with seven – is looked up to by young players in the city he calls home. Pollard said he enjoys being a role model to young players in Memphis, and he wants to continue to be a role model throughout his career.

“I would just tell any young football player in the city of Memphis that you can make it to the next level,” Pollard said. “If you work harder than anyone else in trust in God at all times, anything can happen. I never thought I’d be in this position, but I made it with my faith and my work ethic, and I want that for every young player in Memphis.”

“I would just tell any young football player in the city of Memphis that you can make it to the next level,” Pollard said. “If you work harder than anyone else in trust in God at all times, anything can happen. I never thought I’d be in this position, but I made it with my faith and my work ethic, and I want that for every young player in Memphis.”

Tony Pollard:

Pollard played wide receiver, running back and kick returner at Memphis, which could make him a valuable player in his rookie season with the Cowboys. Ezekiel Elliott has been a workhorse for the Cowboys ever since entering the NFL in 2016, but Pollard offers a great change of pace back.
1COMMENTS

The former Tiger has a slighter build than Elliott, and he also has great receiving skills. It will be interesting to see if Dallas uses him some in the slot and some in the backfield because he certainly has the ability to do so.

Although he was projected as a sixth or seventh round pick by most NFL analysts, the Cowboys felt like Pollard could be a difference maker. Pollard will also likely take over as the Cowboys kick returner from day one.

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