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ASU’s Ballage has strong NFL Combine performance, Richard underwhelms

(AP photos)

The Arizona State Sun Devils had a pair of former running backs at the NFL Combine and when performing in drills Friday, they had mixed performances.

Kalen Ballage had one of the stronger performances of all the running backs.

He ran a 4.46 40-yard dash, tied for the third-fastest time at his position.

It’s quite an impressive time considering Ballage measured in at 6-foot-1 and 227 pounds.

Ballage had an average 33.5-inch vertical leap but ranked in the top half with his 122-inch broad jump and three-cone drill of 6.91 seconds.

He earned a No. 5 spot on the NFL Network’s top-five combine performances.

Ballage rushed for a career-high 669 yards with a 4.3 per-carry average as a senior in 2017. He added 20 receptions for 91 yards, a far cry from his 44 catches for 469 yards a year prior.

The current projection for Ballage’s draft placement is in the fifth or sixth round, per NFL.com, but some believe he bumped that stock up on Friday.

Richard, meanwhile, did not have as good of a day.

Among running backs, he posted one of the five slowest 40-yard dashes, a 4.70, his 12 bench reps were tied for the second-lowest and a 29.5-inch vertical leap was the worst.

Richard split carries with Ballage throughout their time together at ASU. He was a 1,000-yard rusher in 2015and 2017, accumulating a career-high 12 touchdowns in his senior season.

While Ballage is projected to be drafted by NFL.com, Richard is not, and his combine stats will surely not help his chances.

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