Running back Lew Nichols of the Central Michigan Chippewas led the nation with 1,848 rushing yards in 2021. He was unable to replicate that production in 2022, but Nichols showed enough upside in his collegiate career to draw the attention of NFL teams.
The explosive running back had some jaw-dropping performances at Central Michigan. This includes back-to-back games with 200+ rushing yards and at least three touchdowns in November of 2021. Even though Nichols wasn’t able to get back to that level in 2022, he proved that he can thrive under the right conditions.
Lew Nichols: Scouting Report
Nichols is a powerful, downhill runner that has good acceleration through the line of scrimmage. However, his top-end speed is limited, and he’s more of a between-the-tackles runner that relies on balance and a low pad level.
The Central Michigan product is a tried-and-true power back without much upside beyond that. Although his game could develop, Nichols doesn’t appear to have much versatility beyond that while running outside the tackles or taking on third-down responsibilities.
Mock Draft landing spots
Lew Nichols will likely be an undrafted free agent when the weekend wraps up.
Fantasy football implications
Nichols could be a draft-day bargain as a potential backup running back. It’s hard to predict whether or not he’ll have a sizable role in his rookie year, but Nichols is a power runner who could be a factor around the goal line if he’s given the opportunity.
The Dolphins, Patriots, Buccaneers, Browns, and Raiders are projected in different mock drafts to be looking for late-round running backs. If they aren’t happy with the remaining RBs on the board, Nichols could potentially end up with one of those teams as a UDFA. However, UDFA running backs are not likely to make a rookie fantasy impact.