It will take more than just a lingering ankle injury to turn off the NFL on LSU running back Leonard Fournette.
According to Matt Miller of Bleacher Report, the league is still in love with the idea of Fournette as a first-round talent in the 2017 NFL draft.
“No,” one NFL general manager said after being asked if injuries would hurt Fournette’s draft stock. “That’s a Round 1 player.”
Others were even more direct about their feelings on the LSU running back.
“Go ahead and put a one [Round 1 grade] on him, and call it a day,” one scout told Miller. “He’s (expletive) rare.”
Fournette, who rushed 1,953 yards and 22 touchdowns last season, has already missed two games this season to an ankle injury. He’s played in just three games, rushing for 368 yards and two touchdowns.
Fournette won’t play Saturday against Southern Miss.
“No, he’s not ready. He’s just not ready,” LSU coach Ed Orgeron said, via Ross Dellenger of the Advocate. “It’s taking a little longer than we thought. I’m sure if he’d be ready, he’d be playing. He’s not ready to even practice right now.”
Oregeron expects Fournette to return at 100 percent at some point this season.
The injuries haven’t hurt Fournette in Miller’s eyes. In his latest mock draft, Miller has Fournette going No. 7 overall to the New York Jets. While he might not win the Heisman this season, the LSU star is still expected by many to go high in next spring’s draft.