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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Montee Ball Reportedly Likely To Return To Wisconsin

Montee Ball has announced a press conference for today at 3pm CT, and it’s being reported that the star Wisconsin running back and Heisman Trophy finalist will return to Wisconsin for his senior year, forgoing the 2012 NFL Draft for the hope of raising his draft stock. That’s a good move if scouts’ notions of Ball’s NFL chances are true.

Ball had an incredible season last year, leading the Badgers with 33 rushing touchdowns and 1,923 rushing yards. Another year at Wisconsin could help him work on other aspects of his pro game. Matt Waldman, for example, thinks Ball needs to work on his receiving skills to round out his game.

He writes, “As a runner, Ball lacks a good third gear and he is caught from behind on longer runs. ESPN/ABC commentator Brent Musberger’s characterization of Ball as “the hammer,” is also overstated. Ball has good balance and he will run through arm tackles, but he is not a great pile mover. In the NFL, I think Ball’s skills may translate more to those of Chester Taylor in his prime than a long-term feature back and this is only if Ball becomes a better player in the passing game and third down.”

The current running back class is headed by Trent Richardson of Alabama, who should be an early first round selection.