Baylor’s Trestan Ebner is the next subject in a series in which I evaluate 2022 rookie running backs solely on their ability to run the ball. The Breakout Finder installments can be found here. The PlayerProfiler installments can be found here. If you happened to already catch those and don’t need a refresher on my methodology, feel free to skip to the player-focused analysis.
Trestan Ebner is the “other” guy out of Baylor in this year’s draft class. Abram Smith got the Senior Bowl invite and the sleeper buzz. But the only person I’ve seen talk about Ebner is Fusue Vue; who recently tabbed him as a dark horse candidate to post the fastest 40 time of any running back at this year’s Combine. Whether that happens or not (editors note: it didn’t), Ebner is an interesting prospect. He’s a former high school wide receiver who first committed to Baylor during the final days of the Obama administration. So he’s another one of these fifth-year seniors that keep popping up in the 2022 draft class. Let’s take a look at his rushing efficiency profile.
Trestan Ebner was never a high-volume runner in college. He carried the ball just 343 times in 58 games. This per-game carry rate would be bottom-10 among running backs drafted since 2007. On that low volume, he was terribly inefficient. His YPC+ of -0.82 is just a 10th-percentile mark among that same group of players.
As a prolific receiver (127 receptions), he largely played in passing situations. He saw average box counts that were 0.17 defenders lighter than those his teammates ran against; an 8th-percentile discrepancy. Even such ease of travel did not result in positive team-relative efficiency.
Given those light box counts, Ebner posted an 85.2-percent Box-Adjusted Efficiency Rating and -9.2-percent Relative Success Rate. Those marks land in the 4th and 2nd-percentiles, respectively. That’s obviously not good at all, but I do believe some of that poor performance can be explained away by two factors:
- Ebner was terrible in the open field, with an 18.0-percent (5th-percentile) Breakaway Conversion Rate. Conversely, he was fine at reaching the secondary, with a 1.40-percent (56th-percentile) Chunk Rate+.
- All of that probably ties into the situations in which he is carrying the ball. Listed at 5-11 and 215-pounds last year, the dude was playing a satellite back role. He was mostly catching passes and running the ball in obvious passing situations. If the defense is backed up to stop the pass on 3rd-and-13, it’s difficult to convert a decent gain into a breakaway gain. And eight-yard gain doesn’t count as a successful rushing attempt because it still results in a punting situation on the next down.
I say all of that to say that Ebner’s usage played a role in his poor efficiency numbers. But he was pretty bad regardless.
Rushing Efficiency Score and Comps
Given all of the non-BAE metrics touched on above (in addition to overall team quality, offensive line play, and strength of opponent), Trestan Ebner earns a 32.3 out of 100 in my process’ Rushing Efficiency Score composite rating. In a composite accounting for box count data, he earns a 2.8, by far the worst in the class.
Using the same metrics that go into the main Rushing Efficiency composite (as well as physical measurables), I am able to generate similarity scores between current and historical prospects to find comps for players as pure runners. Assuming he runs a 4.40 40-yard dash at a projected 5-11 and 213-pounds, his most comparable players are the following:
At sub-80-percent, most of these comps are pretty weak. It is nice to see that most of the players here are fellow satellite back-types who would’ve played similar roles as Ebner’s in college. The guys who didn’t were Josh Jacobs and DeMarco Murray. Both were similarly poor in the open field while outdoing their teammates in Chunk Rate as collegians.
Trestan Ebner is a guy I’m seeing no buzz on in this rookie class. He’s got good size and has one of the more impressive receiving profiles among 2022 running backs. But the ability as a ballcarrier probably isn’t there. Unless you play in the deepest league of all time, there’s probably no reason to consider him in dynasty. His absolute ceiling is probably a faster version of Dare Ogunbowale.