Jeff Demps made his debut for the New England Patriots in NFL preseason action last night, rushing for 41 yards on three carries and returning one kick for 16 yards. But if you haven't seen the video of his longest carry, a 29-yard scamper on a draw, you haven't seen why Demps is going to be effective in the NFL.
Guess what? It's his speed that will do it. There are two surprisingly good cuts here — Demps plants his foot in the backfield to cut back almost instantly, and shakes outside by making a man miss — but he's just faster than even most NFL athletes, capable of forcing defenders to make the wrong decision by squirting one way or another. (You can kind of see this in these terrible GIFs.) Plays like this, in which there are holes, will be big wins for the Patriots if Demps is on the field.
Of course, the disclaimer is that this came with five minutes left in the fourth quarter, on Demps' second carry of the night, against the backups' backups, and that these are some of the finest lateral cuts I have seen Demps make in four years of watching him play football. But that speed remains elite.