In Response to Re: Needle in the haystack of the draft...:
[QUOTE]Really no thoughts but mine and one others on this guy? I know he isn't a household name but dang!
Posted by DaBlade[/QUOTE]

     This appears to be a much better draft for RBs than last year. Though I like Robert Turbin and Chris Polk better, Ballad appears to be the type of guy that the Patriots really could use. He's a good short yardage/goal line type, though he did have some fumbling issues. He is predicted to be a 4-5th round pick by ProFootball Weekly. OurLads has him going in the 5th or 6th round. Mel Kiper has him projected as a 5th rounder. Here's what Kiper had to say about him:


12. Vick Ballard 5-10½ 219 Mississippi St. (S. 4.64) R. 7.5

Background: High School – Ballard hails from Pascagoula, MS where he ran for 940 yards and had 522 yards receiving as a senior. He also scored 17 TDs in his final prep season. JUCO – Ballard spent two seasons at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College where he ran for 555 yards and 12 TDs as a freshman before earning JUCO All-America honors after a 1,728-yard, 22-touchdown sophomore campaign. Junior – In his first year with Mississippi State, Ballard set a school record with 20 total touchdowns, 19 of them on the ground. He finished with 968 yards in 2010, with a 5.2-yard average, and he caught 10 balls out of the backfield for 106 yards. He ran for 119 yards and three touchdowns on just eight carries vs. Alcorn State; he carried the ball 14 times for 134 yards and three more TDs at Houston; and he had his third three-score game of the year as part of a 33-carry, 150-yard day against Arkansas. Senior – This past season, Ballard ran for 1,189 yards, a 6.2-yard average, and 10 touchdowns, while catching 20 passes for 187 yards and another TD. His best games as a senior came at Memphis (10-166, 3 TDs), at Auburn (21-135, TD), vs. Mississippi (23-144, TD; 2-25, TD rec), and in the Music City Bowl against Wake Forest (14-180, 2 TDs). Analysis: Ballard is a big, powerful back. He’s not flashy or real fast for the stopwatch, but he’s consistent and hard-working. He is a north-south guy who always runs with a great deal of fight and determination. Ballard also proved to be very effective in short-yardage and goal-line situations. He’s a pounder who could be a complementary number-two back at the pro level who can get you the short yardage you need. *Combine Note: Ran a 4.63, did 23 reps, and had a 33” vertical jump.