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Washington RB Salvon Ahmed Declares for NFL Draft

The Huskies lose a 3rd key junior of the offense to early entry

Washington State v Washington Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Washington Huskies running back Salvon Ahmed announced today that he will be entering the 2020 NFL Draft and forgoing his final season of eligibility.

The junior out of Juanita high school in nearby Kirkland, WA served as a capable backup to Myles Gaskin during his first two seasons at UW before taking over as the starter this season. He finished the regular season with exactly 1,000 yards rushing at 5.5 yards per carry and 9 TDs as well as 14 catches for 58 receiving yards. He added 6 carries for 20 yards and 2 TDs against Boise State in the Vegas bowl victory plus 2 catches for 26 yards.

His most memorable moment as a Dawg will likely go down as the 89-yard TD run against USC this year coming almost immediately after a Elijah Molden end zone INT which completely broke open the game for Washington. Although his 25-yard TD on a reverse against Oregon last season will also be a highlight.

Ahmed missed the Huskies’ win over BYU due to injury and was banged up for a game or two last season although he never missed an entire game. With those injuries and Ahmed’s relatively slight size (5’11, 196 lbs) it shouldn’t be a surprise that he decided it was time to move on to the draft now rather than risk suffering a major injury as a senior.

Coming out of high school Ahmed was the crown jewel of the Huskies’ 2017 recruiting class with his blazing speed. Nearly every recruiting service had him as a top-150 national recruit and the 2nd ranked player in the state of Washington behind OL Foster Sarrell. Ahmed and Hunter Bryant both were elite recruits as members of FSP and both will head to the NFL early after instant impact college careers. They are joined by QB Jacob Eason which means that the Huskies are losing their leading passer, rusher, and receiver early to the draft (plus their head coach and offensive coordinator for other reasons). Ahmed rushed for 996 yards combined in his first two seasons with Washington at a clip of better than 6 yards per carry.

Without Ahmed on the roster the Huskies still have solid depth at the position. Sean McGrew will be a senior and broke out in the beginning of the season before injuries knocked him out of the rotation down the stretch. Redshirt freshman Richard Newton was the primary “big back” for the Huskies rushing for 4.2 yards per carry with 9 TDs. It wouldn’t be surprising to see McGrew and Newton share most of the carries. Washington is also slated to have senior Kamari Pleasant, freshman Cameron Davis, and incoming true freshmen Sam Adams and Jayveon Sunday.

It’s unclear what kind of evaluation Ahmed might have gotten from the NFL. Teams will likely want to use him as a 3rd down pass catching back given his speed but Ahmed never showed the greatest of hands while at Washington. We’ll see if he’s able to improve that aspect of his game. I would not be surprised to see him end up somewhere around or about the 5th round as running back depth for a team who already has a goal-line type back and also needs help on kick returns. It’s unlikely that evaluation would change with another year at Washington in a crowded backfield so it makes sense for Ahmed to get paid now and avoid a year of 200+ hits on his body before getting a paycheck.

We wish Salvon the best of luck as he tries to pursue his NFL dreams!