With Free Agency in the books, it’s officially draft season around the CFL. For the next few weeks, I’ll be taking a look at some of the eligible draft prospects that could be a fit with the Bombers. Through attending most Bison games as well as watching film, here are my thoughts on RB Mercer Timmis.
Name: Mercer Timmis
Position: Running Back
“Game-breaker” is a rather cliché term used to describe big-play players, but that’s exactly University of Calgary running back Mercer Timmis to a tee. The explosive junior wasn’t always the feature of Calgary’s offense with Hec Creighton award winner Andrew Buckley at QB, but he still exhibits traits that could lead to him being an explosive player in the pro ranks.
You can view his highlights here.
At six-foot-one, 220-pounds, Timmis has good speed for a running back of that size, and I’d be shocked if he didn’t run a sub-4.55 40-yard dash at the CFL combine. To compare, the balanced, but primarily speed back is not only much faster, but also bigger than the five-foot-ten, 213-pound fellow-Canadian Andrew Harris.
Timmis’ natural blend of size and speed are the first things that come to mind when on the topic of the fourth-year Dino. He stands every bit of six-foot-one, with a well-built frame that’s made to shed arm tackles. Like I said, he has legit 4.55 speed (at least) with an incredible second gear to destroy pursuit angles in the open-field. While not overly shifty, he has enough moves to make people miss in the opening field, including a strong stiff-arm. He’s a straight-line burner that reads blocks well downfield and will get his nose dirty. But, frankly, he didn’t have to all that much at the University level.
It must be considered that Timmis played behind a stout offensive line that opened up huge running lanes. I question if Timmis has the wiggle to succeed between the tackles on a consistent basis, squeezing through small holes and just making plays happen on his own. Similarly to guys like Chris Johnson, CJ Spiller, Lesean McCoy and even Barry Sanders, Timmis is a home-run hitter – a threat to score on any play. But, like the rest, while always searching for the long run, they could lose yardage on any play. It frustrates coaches until they break one 55 yards to the house.
Receiving and pass protection:
Having caught only eight passes in 2015, Timmis doesn’t have a lot of experience as a route-runner. While he does have decent hands, the Burlington, ON. native hasn’t shown the abilities to create mismatches with crisp route-running. He’s an ideal running back for the screen game, however, with his good initial burst and ability to read blocks downfield and make quick decisions.
Timmis is an above-average pass protector coming out of University. While he doesn’t always take good angles and fire his feet enough, he goes low and delivers hits, unlike most running backs, rather than taking them. He reads defenses good and identifies flaws in the pass-pro scheme versus the defensive front, anticipating free rushers or the need of a double team.
Timmis has hardly played special-teams since his freshman year, as he took over starting duties on offense the following season and never relinquished them. But with his size and speed as well as his toughness in the pass-protection game, I have no doubt that Timmis could excel on every unit, particularly as a wedge-buster and punt protector.
An underrated prospect, Timmis is one of the best draft-eligible running backs in a long time. After he stands out at the CFL combine, few will be shocked if he’s a late first-round pick. He only had 80 carries in 2015 – to compare, Argos’ draft pick Dillon Campbell had 186 – which is certainly good news and something pro teams absolutely consider.
It would be wise for the Bombers to add another national running back in Mercer Timmis to their stable with their consecutive second round picks at ninth and tenth overall, as well as an offensive lineman. There’s no way Kyle Walters could pass on Timmis if he was still available when they’re on the clock.
He could be a future star.