Coming out of the NFL Combine, the biggest concern teams had about running back Leonard Fournette was his weight. Even though the Louisiana State running back has long been known for his bruising power between the tackles, scouts were worried that at 240 pounds, he might be too big to succeed at the next level.
Consider the message heard.
Fournette showed up to LSU’s pro day on Wednesday, April 5, looking considerably lighter and leaner, weighing in at 228 pounds—12 pounds lighter than when he worked out for teams in Indianapolis at the combine a month ago.
How did Fournette do it? With some intense training, and, of course, some help from his mother.
“My mom has been on me a little bit about what I'm eating," Fournette said to USA Today. "I just wanted to show everyone that I could lose the weight. But it really doesn't matter. I'm a player, I'm good at any weight I want. I just wanted to show I could stay on course and be disciplined and get my business in order."
Fournette ran a very respectable 4.51-second 40-yard dash at the Combine, but his 28-inch vertical leap left scouts unimpressed. Although Fournette didn’t run another 40-yard dash or do another vertical leap at his pro day, his new body and his performance during agility drills was enough quiet critics:
— NFL (@NFL) April 5, 2017
It also likely locked him into being a first round pick in the NFL Draft: "A lot of the (NFL) guys, it was kind of a ‘wow’ factor when he ran through those bags," Fournette’s former coach Ed Orgeron told The New Orleans Advocate.
The final numbers for Leonard Fournette from LSU Pro Day pic.twitter.com/rKj0NyTKv0
— LSU Football (@LSUfootball) April 5, 2017
Between Fournette’s combine performance and the weight loss at his pro day, the LSU running back established himself as the top player at his position in the draft, likely staying ahead of vaunted players like Florida State’s Dalvin Cook, Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey, and Oklahoma’s Samaje Perine.
Want to compare Fournette to the rest of the 2017 Draft class? Check out these shredded players and decide for yourself where the LSU running back stands in comparison: