Draft Profile: Zach Charbonnet, RB, UCLA


The 2023 NFL offseason is here and that means it’s time for mock drafts, draft profiles and everything that goes with them. So without further ado, here’s one of many Draft Profiles for the 2023 NFL draft.

Zach Charbonnet, RB, UCLA

HT: 6’1
WT: 225 lbs


• First-team All-American (2022)
• First-team All-Pac-12 (2022)
• Second-team All-Pac-12 (2021)



• Rusher with a great combination of overall size and strength with excellent speed
• Has the feet and feel running between the tackles and in the open field. He has very good vision and the patience to pick through defenses.
• Fights for extra yardage and is reliable in short-yardage situations.
• Improving patience as a runner, following pulling guards and makes good decisions on his cut.
• Strong interior runner. Quickly presses the line of scrimmage and has the burst to get through the line of scrimmage and into the second level quickly. A classic North-South runner who doesn’t waste time moving laterally.
• Very physical runner; keeps his legs churning on contact. Rarely goes down with the first hit. Lowers shoulder into defenders and shows pure determination with natural running skills to break free and stiff-arm and spin move to dodge tacklers.
• Has good vision to find the hole and get North-South. Gets a good initial push and always seems to be falling forward for a positive gain. A hard runner with a workhorse-type back mentality.
• Offers an extra dimension as a receiver – was regularly split out wide as a senior and had a 97.0 QB rating when targetted with 320 yards
• Demonstrated the ability to track the ball over his shoulder. Good flexibility and balance to adjust to the poorly thrown pass. Good vision and patience for screens.
• Always maintained strong academics, has a high football IQ and is well-regarded both in and out of the locker room. He left Michigan, largely to be nearer his disabled sister


• Loses momentum when he gears down to change direction and it takes him a few steps to accelerate back to full speed. Appears indecisive; will dance too much at the line of scrimmage. Lacks natural playmaking ability.
• He is more fast than quick and doesn’t have the super quickness you will pound on elite backs
• Doesn’t make tacklers miss – needs to develop a greater bag of tricks if he is going to succeed in the pros
• Had trouble with drops at Michigan – although his hands seem to have significantly developed at UCLA
• Offers little in pass protection and poor technique cut blocking


Charbonnet has really helped his stock this past year and his move to UCLA proved to be an excellent move. He has the ideal size for the position combined with decent speed and a powerful running style and has put this all together this last season chalking up great numbers both on the ground and in the air. In addition, Charbonnet has very much become a complete back at UCLA and has increasingly made an impact as a receiver. He isn’t perfect, however, and struggles as a pass protector – possesses decent but not elite quickness, and isn’t elusive at the second level.

We consider Charbonnet as a likely third-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft who has promise as a starter at the next level and offers the ability to fit a number of pro schemes.

Information in this article first appeared on NFL Draft Buzz and is used with permission. Find the latest coverage, analysis, and player rankings for the 2023 NFL Draft at nfldraftbuzz.com


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