2015 NFL Draft Preview: Running Backs
By: Justin Partlow
Taking a look at the next position in my draft preview series is the running back position. Traditionally the running back position was a strong suit, until the two back system came into play and many teams went away from drafting those backs early on in exchange for two guys later who could provide the same production. Fortunately for fans of running backs, the 2015 class looks to have a group of guys who can break the mold and become stars in the NFL. We’ve seen the running back class move into obscurity, but now it’s got it chance to move right back into the forefront of the NFL Draft. Below I’ll take a look at three guys who I think could have big impact years in college and be top end guys in the NFL.
RB Todd Gurley Georgia
For what it’s worth, I think of Todd Gurley as one of the top running backs in college football and would easily be a top 10 pick if he were to declare at the end of this year. Gurley is everything you want in a running back and then some. With his ridiculous power, ability to break away and get touchdowns and his surprisingly soft hands, he’s a dynamic threat in every sense of the game. Gurley though does have a bit of concern as he’s had some nagging injuries in college, but it doesn’t look to be a forefront issue when he reaches the NFL. The injuries though will be something to keep an eye on as he plays this upcoming year and if he has any more of those nagging issues. Gurley though is the perfect blend of speed, strength, and agility that teams want at RB, and should see himself go in the top 10 and at worst the top 15 picks come next draft.
RB Melvin Gordon Wisconsin
Another favorite of mine and how he plays the game, Melvin Gordon reminds me a little of Jamaal Charles at RB, but obviously not the same player as Charles has shown to be one of the top 3 RB’s in the NFL. Gordon is a dynamic player, he gets the ball in his hands and he’s already a threat to take it to the house every time. The issue though with Gordon is his hands, as he’s not shown enough in the passing game to be a reliable threat and that will cause some concern with teams. Gordon though is a great fit for teams who are moving more for that spread NFL offense that takes advantage of speed in all ways. Gordon will need to show teams better pass catching, but if he does he could cement himself as the 2nd RB off the board.
RB Duke Johnson Miami
Another guy who burst onto the scene as a RB, Duke Johnson was easily the heart and soul of the Miami offense until he suffered an injury last year and missed significant time. When Johnson went down, it was obvious how different the Miami offense was without him. Johnson is very good at getting into the open field and making plays with his feet. Johnson can take a small gain into something more with his vision, but that vision at times does cause him to have negative plays. Johnson though is someone to watch as he comes back from the injury. He may not be the highest rated guy compared to others like TJ Yeldon(who I believe is overrated), but Johnson will see his stock rise if he comes back healthy and shows what he can do.