Green Bay Packers 2021 NFL Draft Prospects to Know: Demetric Felton

PASADENA, CA - NOVEMBER 28: Running back Demetric Felton #10 of the UCLA Bruins heads down field during the game Arizona Wildcats at the Rose Bowl on November 28, 2020 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - NOVEMBER 28: Running back Demetric Felton #10 of the UCLA Bruins heads down field during the game Arizona Wildcats at the Rose Bowl on November 28, 2020 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /

A big part of what makes this Green Bay Packers’ offense under Matt LaFleur tick is the ability that this group has to keep defenses off balance. LaFleur calls it the “illusion of complexity,” a phrase that you’ve likely heard Coach say a few times since he came to Green Bay.

Essentially, what LaFleur means by this is he wants different plays to start out looking similar, and he wants to be able to run the same play from different personnel. Another key aspect to achieving that illusion of complexity is what takes place pre-snap.

So in this offense, it’s important to have that do-it-all player, who can line up in the backfield, out wide, or in the slot, be effective in both the running and passing games, and dangerous on screens and jet sweeps.

In many ways Aaron Jones filled this role; however, he is likely heading elsewhere. Tyler Ervin was someone else who could be tasked with these duties, but he battled injuries in 2020, and while there is value in bringing him back, there is no guarantee of that either. And to some extent — more so on jet sweeps and screens — mid-season addition Tavon Austin was supposed to provide a boost in this area as well, but those impact plays were few and far between.

With this role being as important as it is to the LaFleur system, don’t be surprised if the Green Bay Packers try to find that gadgety type player in this year’s draft. And one name to keep your eyes on is running back Demetric Felton from UCLA.

During his four years in college, you name it, and Felton probably did it. From 2018 to 2020, he was targeted 129 times in the passing game, catching 74.2 percent of those passes — including almost 85 percent in 2020 — for 9.8 yards per catch and with eight touchdowns. He spent time lined up out wide but was primarily used out of the backfield and in the slot.

Over his final two seasons as a ball carrier, Felton totaled just over 1,100 rushing yards, with 668 of them coming in 2020, with a career average of 4.7 yards per carry and seven total touchdowns.

But wait, that’s not all; Felton was also UCLA’s kick return man, tallying 26 career returns at 23.5 yards per attempt and one touchdown–another area that he could really help this Green Bay Packers team in.

If you couldn’t tell, Felton was the Bruins’ swiss army knife. For a closer look at his game, this is what Drae Harris of The Draft Network had to say in his pre-draft report:

"“He is a very good athlete, as evidenced by his dynamic agility, change of direction, and body control. He’s been effective in the run game when used on the perimeter. He runs with the inclination to get outside and use elusiveness and wiggle In space.In the passing game, he is very good due to his effectiveness with the ball in his hands. He is competitive and willing in pass protection situations. He demonstrates good catching skills on screens and on check-downs. He is a good route-runner out of the backfield and linebackers have a difficult time covering him in space. He doesn’t have the prototypical size for the NFL. As a result, he will likely be a slot wide receiver or a “package guy” in the NFL.”"

Given Felton’s effectiveness both as a ball carrier and a pass-catcher, along with his athleticism and ability to be moved around the formation, he really is someone who is tailormade for the LaFleur system and would be a contributor in this offense from Day 1.

Depending on where you look, Pro Football Focus has Felton listed as the seventh-best running back in this class and the 98th overall prospect. Meanwhile, over at The Draft Network, they have Felton as the 17th rated receiver and 112th overall prospect. This is a testament to just how well-rounded Felton’s game truly is.

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With mock drafts being released left and right, just about every other one has the draft analyst emphasizing that the Green Bay Packers have to get Aaron Rodgers another weapon this year. Well, Felton is someone who could provide that — sorry though, he’s not a first-round receiver — whether pre-snap, out of the backfield, or in the slot, just find a way to get the ball in his hands and let him do the rest.