Top 10 running backs in the 2018 NFL Draft:

Over the next six weeks, I will break down my top ten (plus) prospects at each position heading into the draft in late April. These rankings are solely based on what I’ve seen on tape and in pre-draft events. Neither do I have exclusive medical reports of these players, nor did I have the chance to sit down with each and everyone of them. Today I’m starting with the running backs.

Much like last year, this RB class has a lot of talent at the top and depth throughout the top 20 or so. While there is a clear number one guy for me, from two until fifteen, there will be a multitude of opinions and my rankings may vary heavily from the mainstream media, once we get past the top spots. Here it is:


 

Saquon Barkley

1. Saquon Barkley, Penn State

Right now, Barkley is the front-runner for ending up as my number one overall prospect. He has amazing agility, breakaway speed and is absolutely electric. Those abilities are even more breath-taking if you consider, he weighs in at 230 pounds. Probably his most impressive trait is the manner, in which he works his way through traffic and makes cuts without losing any speed. The Penn State superstar runs with a lot of sink in his hips to allow himself to explode out of that. Considering how exhausting that has to be, it’s crazy he can still do it after 30 touches.

Barkley possesses an outstanding jump-cut and a nice dead-leg. He can absolutely stop a dime, which he displayed on a run versus Iowa, where he was running full speed down the sideline and then stuck his left foot in the ground to get back to zero and cut it back. His performance versus those Hawkeyes was just stupid in general and he showed some things only a selected few are capable of. Whether that was side-stepping a linebacker despite being dead to rights, hurdling two people at once or just killing defenders in coverage continuously.

I also thought, Barkley showed unheard of awareness – I swear he felt a Pittsburgh defender by his shadow. He holds almost all the records for the major weightlifting exercises in Penn State history and that combination of strength and power shows up on the field with crazy balance to absorb hits and keep going, as well as the hops to hurdle defenders with ease. I’ve even seen him take a hit and recover from it mid-air. He doesn’t look as fast as he is with a strong stature, but he just pulls away from defenders constantly.

Barkley is an outstanding overall receiver out of the backfield and made some linebackers in the Big 10 look foolish time and time again. In protection, he still has some work to do. He squares his target up and stays low to absorb the contact, but he drops his head too much and needs to become more aggressive. However, he already showed some improvement in that regard during his junior season compared to previous years.

Barkley was the clear-cut favorite in the Heisman race through the first two months of the college season, before his team lost two straight games in close fashion, despite the Penn State O-line being young and a work in progress. My biggest critique with him at this point came from those negative yards, when the guys up front missed an assignment, which left Barkley looking to make something out of nothing and made a bad play worse, instead of just lowering his shoulders and living for another down. Yet, when he did have an opening, he was off to the races.

With the work ethic, natural talents, effort and everything else about this guy, he comes pretty close to a perfect prospect at the running back position. Last year I said that I had an even higher grade on Leonard Fournette than the one I had on Ezekiel Elliott. Well, Barkley is the best one I’ve watched on tape yet.

 

Derrius Guice

2. Derrius Guice, LSU

After being the fill-in and back-up to Leonard Fournette the previous two years, Guice took over as the featured back for LSU as a junior. Much like the fourth overall pick from a year ago, this guy runs angry. He isn’t nearly the kind of highly anticipated athletic talent, Fournette was coming out of high-school, but at 5’11’’, 220 pounds, Guice has been a load to bring down, because off the incredible effort he runs with. Time and time again, you think the plays is over, but he just keeps those feet chugging and spins out of tackles, to fall forward for an additional two or three yards.

Guice recently said, that he models his game after Marshawn Lynch, which is a pretty solid comparison. Watch him rip the heart out of BYU in the season-opener. Those guys didn’t want to tackle him anymore. Guice packs an unbelievably mean stiff-arm and to be honest, he’s an even angrier runner than Fournette was. He’s built lower to the ground and has a tremendous amount of power from his belt down. He isn’t looking to make any friends on the field, as he has a ton of feistiness in himself. This LSU back lowers the shoulder to deliver the boom, but he puts his eyes down too much into tacklers and that brings some concerns about his long-term durability.

Guice had one of the most imposing runs of the entire season against Notre Dame in the Citrus Bowl (six minutes left in first quarter), which he then followed that up with a multitude of plays on which he ran over defenders and drove his legs for three yards despite being completely wrapped up. That was a contest, he could have easily sat out, with barely anything left to gain. When he shared carries with Fournette in 16 and took over when the star back was hurt, he led the SEC in rushing, with close to 1400 yards at 7.6 yards per carry.

Guice wasn’t used a lot as a pass-catcher, but he hasn’t shown anything, which would make me think his hands aren’t good enough. He also caught two TDs versus the aforementioned Irish. The bigger area of improvement for him will be pass protection. His overall technique is sub-par at this point and that was the reason he was taken off the field on third downs for Darrell Williams a lot. Guice is just a running back, who gets the big buys up front excited, because of how hard he is running and with the way he fights for extra yardage. He has some nice shake and moves to complement his physicality.

His competitiveness is off the charts, but his patience is questionable and he misses some lanes because he wants to hit the first opening he sees so hard. However, he does a good job pressing and cutting in general. He wasn’t even 100 percent for the majority of the 2017 season and still dominated the competition.

 

Ronald Jones

3. Ronald Jones, USC

This young man they call RoJo was probably the closest thing, the Trojans have had to Reggie Bush, since that guy was drafted second overall in 2006. Jones couples vision on inside run with breakaway speed to kill linebacker angles. I wasn’t all in on this guy before last season started, but I liked him much better overall as a junior. He started running through tackles and not getting brought down as easily as in years prior, avoiding that extra step, which led to him being caught low a bunch of times. That mixes very well with his open-field ability and burst. He can run on all fours for some extra yardage if he’s tripped up and keeps running with high knees even when completely wrapped up.

Jones has the lateral agility to stretch a play towards the sideline, stick his foot in the ground and immediately accelerate North. He barely loses any speed when making his cuts and what I’ve seen him do in terms of making defenders miss in the backfield is unbelievable. Versus Colorado, the Trojans ran a trap on a fourth-and-inches from their own territory. The center took a way too aggressive angle on the inside linebacker and that guy was behind the line of scrimmage, as soon as Jones got the handoff. Yet instead of taking a three yard loss, RoJo did a quick jump-cut at the last split second and almost untouched ran for a positive three. That’s what excites me the most. His offensive line had a bunch of missed assignment throughout last year and he still produced in such a high manner.

The former track star has outstanding burst through the hole and his stutter-steps in one-on-one tackling situations in the open field has defenders stuck in quicksand. He is extremely dangerous when catching the ball in the flats or over the middle and he has room to operate. While he definitely still is a liability in pass-protection and that might never change, because of his stature, it’s not the willingness that is lacking. However, he brings much more to the table when running routes out of the backfield anyway. I thought Jones became more involved in passing concepts and established himself as a dual-threat last year.

The Trojans phenom just continues to rack up yardage, even in shootouts, when you’d think teams would start abandoning the run. He’s just so dangerous when he gets some room to work with. That’s when he can get creative and really show off how talented he is. Jones gained over 1700 yards and 20 touchdowns from scrimmage as a junior. That includes an unbelievable catch-and-run versus Texas with time running out in the first half, when he had seven defenders in-between him and the 30+ yards to the end-zone. The big question mark with this young man is obviously the ability to hold up as a featured back in the NFL. He’s only 200 pounds and he took some big shots in college, but if you have a second guy to take some pressure off of him, Jones can be an electric playmaker.

 

Sony Michel

4. Sony Michel, Georgia

Michel is one of those guys, whose tape really intrigued me. He has great acceleration and dangerous speed, but also doesn’t mind lowering his shoulder and running over a defender. He could seemingly get to the edge whenever he chose to and was a game-breaker once he got in the open field. Michel just went off on Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl with 15 touches for 222 yards and three TDs, including the game-winner in double-overtime. Georgia’s second-string RB averaged 8.0 yards per carry heading into this year’s National Championship game.

Michel manipulates defenses and runs with his eyes up, often pressing the hole to allow his blockers to get set up and then cut upfield. He can go from running East-and-West to North-and-South with just one step. Time and time again, he forced linebackers to commit against double-teams before he jumped back to the opposite gap. While I don’t believe he’s a guy who can line up in the I and pound the ball inside 25 to 30 times a game, he comes in with some juice and if the defense is spread out, he can quickly burn pursuit angles and take it the distance.

His reception numbers went down a little as a junior, but he is a threat on screens and catching passes out of the backfield. When I watch him, I just can’t help but see Alvin Kamara, who came out of Tennessee a year ago and went on to win Offensive Rookie of the Year. Much like the Saints’ young superstar, Michel only surpassed 20 carries once over the last two years, because of Nick Chubb forming a one-two punch with him. Michel has a nice wiggle in the hole to take advantage of the defensive flow and can hit them, where they are most vulnerable at.

He doesn’t work as well in traffic, when defenders get a clear shot at him. Yet, he doesn’t panic if the play isn’t there and someone is in pursuit, quickly changing plans and taking what is there. Michel was bottled up time and time again in their first meeting with Auburn, when he gained just 21 yards on his nine carries. You can see how his stutters make tacklers nervous, because they know, he can explode out of them. The UGA back can push the pile with a head of steam and he breaks a lot of tackles when he’s moving, because of the contact balance he possesses. However, you can see him get knocked back at times as well, because he just doesn’t have the mass of his teammate Chubb.

I think he does a good job taking out rushers by their knees on cut-blocks, which should help him see the field early on. If Michel is drafted into a situation, where a team doesn’t ask him to carry the load, but rather pairs him up with more of a pounding runner, don’t be surprised to see him put up crazy yards per touch numbers.

 

Nick Chubb

5. Nick Chubb, Georgia

I’ve been a huge fan of this big banger, ever since Todd Gurley went down for the Bulldogs in 2014 and Chubb became their workhorse as a freshman. He loves to run defenders over and packs a mean stiff-arm, but he also displays excellent short-area quickness and better pull-away speed than people think. He performs a lot of subtle cuts and once he sees space, he becomes a North-and-South runner with a mean spirit.

Chubb puts a major pounding on opposing defenses with his style of running. He might run into traffic and get some hard-earned three yards in the first quarter, but it all has a cumulative effect on the opposition and leads to big runs towards the end of games.

Two years ago, the Georgia back tore all ligaments in his knee and wasn’t quite the same player he was before the injury. After a full offseason to gain confidence in his knee and getting back, to being the type of hard-nosed runner, with excellent forward lean and feet, that are constantly moving, he got much closer to the guy, who averaged 7.4 yards until his horrific injury.

Chubb plays with a low center of gravity and therefore displays outstanding balance to recover from shots by the defenders. He makes potential tacklers pay continuously, for coming in high and not wrapping up on him. In addition to that, he shows tremendous understanding for blocking schemes and when to hit the hole. He and Sony Michel built an almost unstoppable RB duo, with Chubb doing a lot of the dirty work to set up his teammate, running away from defenders. Those two led them all the way to an appearance in the National Championship game.

While I’m more intrigued by the abilities of his teammate, I think a ton of people underestimate Chubb and falsely label him a pure battering ram. His footwork to guide his way through traffic and then accelerate again is excellent, plus he catches the ball much better than his low reception numbers would indicate. Chubb beat Michel in almost all the combine drills as well. When he is fully healthy and with the work ethic he brings to the table, I have no doubt Chubb will be an extremely productive player in this league. It will be crucial for scouts to look at his medical reports to see if his knee will ever be back to 100 percent, but if he can get back to that point, I will never bet against him.

 

Kerryon Johnson

6. Kerryon Johnson, Auburn

Johnson is very patient in letting his blocks develop and then has the acceleration to hit the hole with high speed. In the open field he intrinsically goes North and South, with no care about who’s in the way, fighting through tackles constantly and wearing out opponents. He will run through arm-tackles all day long. Johnson catches the ball pretty well and has an understanding of how to make screens work. He says he models his game after Le’Veon Bell, as the way he sets up his blockers and then just darts through the opening is very similar. However he’s not nearly the type of receiver out of the backfield yet, the Steelers’ RB has become in the NFL.

The concern with Johnson is that he defers to a pretty upright running style and with his long legs, he presents a large target for tackler. While he was a high-volume back, who never complained about his team riding him heavily, he has dealt with some hamstring and shoulder issues in that role as well.

Johnson was named the 2017 SEC Offensive Player of the Year and if he was heathy for the conference’s championship game versus Georgia, he would have made a run as the Heisman as well. The 215-pound back averaged 4.9 yards on 285 carries and score a total of 20 touchdowns in 2017/18. He only fumbled once during that campaign and also had just one game with less than 3 yards per clip, which was versus Missouri, when he converted from close range on the goal-line five times.

I think Kerryon uses his off-hand very well to keep defenders away his body and once he’s wrapped up, he doesn’t stop working. He also showed me a ton of heart, when he was hurt during the end of the season and still fought, despite obviously not being close to 100 percent. While I’m a concerned about his injury history, I give him a load of credit for giving up his body for the team.

Johnson is far from his idol at this point, since that guy is the league’ best running back, but Bell wasn’t very involved in the passing game either, coming out of Michigan State. The Auburn kid was impressive running routes and catching the ball at the combine in Indy. His ability to stop and start will give him a chance to prove himself as a bell-cow for a zone-based offense and as he continues to grow, he could develop into a dual-threat back.

 

Rashaad Penny

7. Rashaad Penny, San Diego State

Penny took over for the all-time leading rusher in FBS history last season and he did not disappoint, as he led the country with 2248 yards rushing and put up 25 total touchdowns. The San Diego State back already amassed over 1200 scrimmage yards the year prior, but with twice the workload as a senior, his average of 7.5 yards per attempt even improved by .3 yards. Penny finished fifth in the Heisman vote and at 220 pounds, he outweighs Donnell Pumphrey by about 45 lbs.

The Aztecs star runner patiently follows his blockers and when he slips past them, he kicks into another gear. He has supreme straight-line speed and doesn’t lose any of it, when making slight shifts and cuts. Penny likes to turn his shoulder when cutting against the grain to give defenders less area to grab. While he doesn’t shy away from contact, he definitely isn’t one of the more physical guys out there. He has trouble running through tackles and got pushed around quite a bit in protection. Yet, if he is running at full speed, arm-tackles don’t bother him. I’ve seen him drop the shoulder and drive his legs occasionally, but he prefers to outrun people.

Penny won’t be able to bounce to the outside as much with all that speed in the NFL. He lined up behind a young offensive line, that did a great job executing different gap-schemes. That’s where I think, he will be at his best and can really help an offense. If the big guys up front can open up room on dive and counter plays, where he just needs them to indicate a side to go with their shoulders, that shade is all he needs to go the distance.

The nation’s leading rusher saw very limited usage as a receiver, but he took advantage of the opportunities he got and made a crazy one-handed grab versus Air Force. Moreover, he returned seven kicks for touchdowns during his collegiate career and averaged 31.2 yards per kick return since his sophomore campaign. Penny ended the 2017 season with five straight games of 200+ yards and a total of 15 touchdown on the ground. He also led the country in missed tackles forced and with 3.5 yards after contact.

 

John Kelly

8. John Kelly, Tennessee

This guy is a super-shifty runner with excellent balance and vision. Kelly is slippery into contact, displays unbelievable effort on his runs and just shrugs of half-hearted tackling attempts. He surges through the defense with a wiggle and burst. He has such a mean stiff-arm for a rather small guy at 212 pounds, but he just runs like he’s 250. The way he drops his shoulder and shoves his forearm up the face of the potential tackler is unreal. That also tells you a lot about flexibility, as he can keep his balance despite leaning that far forward. It is obvious that Kelly practiced the balance touch drill a lot, when he gets tripped up, as he puts the off-hand on the ground and falls forward for extra yardage constantly.

Tennessee’s center-piece in 2017 is a very good receiver out of the backfield, who can make easy adjustments to passes thrown low or behind him and then quickly turn upfield. He caught a bunch of quick check-downs into the flats or screens and got to work. Versus Georgia Tech in the first game of the season, Kelly scored four touchdowns. He also gets after it in protection, looking to jack up rushers and not letting anybody bully him despite being 20 to 30 pounds lighter than those blitzing LBs.

His only fumble in 2017 came after a 45-yard reception, when he left a linebacker standing and then broke a couple of big tackles. Kelly runs through a multitude of defenders, but doesn’t always get going, because somebody grabs a leg and he can’t spring free. His last 44 carries at Tennessee went for just 84 yards, but a lot of that had to do with the entire team struggling heavily, finishing the year with a 4-8 record. Watch him against Florida and you can see how the offense was all about him early on in the season and he still amassed 237 yards from scrimmage in that contest.

Kelly did a lot of the stuff Alvin Kamara did for the Vols the prior year and the thing those two players share is the contact balance they possess. The Tennessee passing offense went just over 2000 yards over the course of the season and 300 of those came through quick dump-offs to Kelly. He won’t beat any receivers at running a straight line, but when asked to change directions, he’s going to shine. The one red flag for this guy, is the fact was suspended for misdemeanor of possession of marijuana and this will ultimately go a long way in deciding his draft spot.

 

Justin Jackson

9. Justin Jackson, Northwestern

When I checked out the rankings for this guy around the major sports networks, I was stunned by how lowly he is regarded. Jackson combines outstanding lateral agility with the leg drive to run through contact. He gets skinny in tight spaces and literally jumps through the hole at times. Northwestern’s all-time leading rushers runs with great lean and consistently falls forward for those extra yards. He might not have sprinter speed, but he always seemed to be able to get to the edge of defenses.

Jackson has a tremendous understanding for his blocking being set up and how to use head-fakes to his advantage. He follows his blockers and stays right on their shoulder. Moreover, he uses his off-arm extremely well to keep defenders away from his body and his stiff-arm is just perfect. He was an absolute workhorse over his four years at Northwestern, totaling 6298 yards from scrimmage, on 4.8 yards per carry and while scoring 42 TDs. He broke all kinds of school records during his collegiate career, while ending up as the third-leading rusher in Big Ten history.

Jackson pulls his legs out of ankle tackles consistently. Sometimes it looks like he’ll be caught in traffic, but then he just shifts laterally to take defenders out of the play. He was a true bell-cow back at the collegiate level and so durable, because defenders never got a straight shot at him. This guy can bounce and stretch the play more and more and then just stick his foot in the ground and get upfield. Jackson accelerates through his cuts and possesses outstanding balance to sustain hits, due to keeping his pads over the knees, his head up and feet moving.

I thought Jackson was the most underappreciated running back in college football over the last three seasons and despite being dependent on that heavily in the run game, he was the team’s second-leading receiver in 2017. The Wildcats all-rounder is an unselfish player, who sets an example by what he does on and off the field. He was on no snap-count in their bowl game versus Kentucky and received 32 carries overall. Despite being featured in such a major way throughout his time with the Wildcats, he never missed a single game.

He’s not quite a speed back and he doesn’t measure in at 200 pounds to be a power guy, but he just offers teaching tape for running backs and does so many things right. I’m just in love with this dude and I have no idea how he would not be a top ten prospect at the position.

 

Akrum Wadley

10. Akrum Wadley, Iowa

Man, this guy is fun to watch. The Hawkeyes key piece on offense over the last two plus years has been one of the most underrated running backs in the country during that stretch. He first jumped onto the scene as a sophomore when Iowa’s number one RB was out and Wadley went for over 200 yards and four TDs in his debut with the team. Since then, he has been a highlight waiting to happen.

Wadley is such a shifty runner with unbelievable shake. Some teams will question his size at 5’11’’, 195 pounds, but I think he can add some muscle and with the way he is running, he’s just not taking a lot of straight shots, plus he is a pretty tough runner at that size, who was never scared to run through the middle. He can not only cut on a dime, but also fights for extra yards, while bouncing off people and slithering his way downfield. A lot of times, you think his legs are covered in oil, with the way tacklers slip off of him.

When Iowa’s O-line created running room, he went off. Wadley gets super-skinny in the hole and in one-on-one tackling situations. His patience and feel for the lane opening up are off the charts. He just has that shimmy and body-lean to get defenders out of position. I mean, his wiggle just freezes defenders and once they stop their feet, he is gone. I’ve seen him make some incredible cutbacks, as he just has a feel for the flow of the defense and when he can put his foot in the ground.

Wadley has this unique tendency to throw his blockers the way he needs them to take out defenders. He is an excellent return-man and pass-catcher out of the backfield, who will only get better as part of an NFL offense, which can spread opponents out. However, at sub-200 pounds, Wadley gets caught on ankle tackles way too often and will never offer much as a pass-protector, if he doesn’t cut down rushers at their knees.

I think he has special abilities, but he needs to be put in the right situation to succeed. Watch Wadley’s game-tying touchdown in regulation versus Iowa State and you know what he is all about.  He’s at his best in the zone game, where he can pick and choose where to go and then take advantage of the defense flowing too hard.


 

Just missed the cut:

 

Kalen Ballage, Arizona State

The former Sundevil averaged just around ten carries per game during his collegiate career. He was more of an all-purpose weapon for ASU and he has some special traits. Ballage first really came onto my radar at the Senior Bowl in Mobile. There he showed speed to the edge and excelled at running away from people in one-on-one coverage drills. After checking the tape on him, I came away with the impression, that he is definitely a three-down running back, who is hungry for an opportunity to show off his talents. After all, he once scored eight touchdowns in a game for Arizona State. Ballage doesn’t mind lowering his shoulder and running through a man to finish runs in a strong way. He has much more burst to the edge than you’d anticipate for a guy his size. He can split two tacklers by side-stepping through them, as well as bringing a lot of power and momentum when meeting a tackler downfield. Ballage can spin out of tackles and keep his balance despite taking a shot. To me, the under-utilized back drops his head too quickly when trying to cut rushers in protection and still has some room to grow, but I really like his potential.

 

Ito Smith, Southern Mississippi

This small-school kid displays excellent patience and kind of disappears behind his blockers at times. Smith recorded 4000 yards rushing, another 800 receiving and 47 TDs during his three seasons as a starter. At just 5’9’’, 195 pounds, he is smallest one on the field most of the time, but he is not afraid of running into much bigger guys. Smith understands how to take advantage of defenders committing early to open lanes. He is super shifty and has a side-step that will make tacklers look foolish. This little guy is an extremely creative open-field runner, plus he adds value catching passes and returning kicks. He shows the speed to pull away from defenders with an extra gear and reminds me a lot of the Bears’ Tarik Cohen, who they selected early on day three of last year’s draft. The former Golden Eagle plays with a low center of gravity and makes his cuts a few inches above the ground it seems like. That knee-bend also allows him take big shot, remain his balance and keep on going. Smith doesn’t mind giving up his body and puts in the work as a blocker, as he likes to stun blitzes very close to the line of scrimmage. While he is definitely too loose with the ball into contact at this point, I thought he looked like the best player on the field versus Florida State’s defense last season, which is filled with high-class recruits.

 

Mark Walton, Miami

Walton shows great lateral movement to create the hole and then outstanding acceleration to burst through it. He can run the counter and as soon as that foot hits the ground to change directions, he has the speed to defeat the pursuit. The Miami 190-pouner is very quick off the ground and uses slight leaps to avoid being cut down by his ankles. He brings that lift as a route-runner as well, when he goes straight at linebackers, then hop-steps and just is a step quicker than his man in coverage. On zone plays, he dances around too much at times instead of stretching the defense out and then just making one cut and going. Walton might lack some size and strength to stun linebacker on the rush, but he is super-tough as a pass-protector. He possesses a jump-cut that will make defenders lose their cleats. He also has the burst to kill the containment and get to the edge, while also possessing the nice feet to tight-rope along the sideline. Sometimes you’d like to see him stay on schedule more in terms of letting the blocking get set up instead of hitting the first opening he sees though. Walton won’t run anybody over, but he keeps his legs driving for the most part. Miami had a very limited route-tree for their RBs and Walton ran a boatload of swing and flat routes, but I believe he could be asked to expand his role in the passing game. After rushing for over 350 yards and three TDs in his first two games of the season, the Canes’ speedster played with a banged up ankle over the next two, before being lost for the rest of the season. However, in his final appearance of 2017, he even made plays for them on special teams, despite visibly favoring the opposite leg.

 

Royce Freeman, Oregon

Unlike most of the recent Oregon running backs, Freeman is a big body with a physical brand of running. He still ran a bunch of zone, but he didn’t really string plays to the outside and then chose a lane, but he rather didn’t fool around and took the first opening to get North. Freeman runs with a good forward lean and doesn’t worry about who’s in his way. He’s a smart runner, who plays down and distance very well. He uses a unique running style with a wide base. Freeman scored a total of 38 touchdown in his first two seasons in the Pacific Northwest, but saw a massive drop in carries as a junior, before turning back into the workhorse he was to start his collegiate career during as a senior. The Ducks’ RB finished with over 6400 yards and 64 touchdowns from scrimmage. In my opinion, Freeman lacks any elite traits and doesn’t make defenders miss consistently enough, but he just gets the job done. I like him a lot when reading his blockers, making a quick decision and getting upfield, but he isn’t very creative in the open field and tends to stop his feet if he can’t just run through defenders. He also benefitted from an impressive Oregon offensive line. A concern for some NFL teams will be the fact, he has quite a lot of tread on his tires with more than 1000 touches for Oregon.



 

The next guys up:

 

Ralph Webb (Vanderbilt), Bo Scarbrough (Alabama), Nyheim Hines (N.C. State), Justin Crawford (West Virginia), Josh Adams (Notre Dame), Phillip Lindsay (Colorado), Chase Edmonds (Fordham), Roc Thomas (Jacksonville State)

 



 

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