Top 15 RBs w/ Scouting Blurbs

NFL Draft

1. Todd Gurley, Georgia

Phenomenal RB who has had two leg injuries over the past two years. Big, fast, and explosive with excellent balance and solid vision. Uses both power and quickness to evade tacklers. Solid pass catcher and pass blocker. Can hesitate too much when holes are not apparent and pass up yardage. Dynamic future top RB in the NFL if healthy.

2. Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin

Extremely productive. Gets up to top speed very quickly and is difficult to tackle. Very good outside runner with decent vision on the inside. Patient and lets blocks develop before full acceleration. Not a burner but not a bruiser either. Lack of pass catching experience. Willing blocker. Future NFL starter.

3. Tevin Coleman, Indiana

More athlete than football player. Good bulk for his speed. Great acceleration and has very quick feet. Was the only offensive threat for Indiana and still flourished against stacked fronts with mediocre offensive line. Can catch the football and accelerate after catch. Homerun threat to hit the big play. Kicks too much to the outside after missing open holes on the inside. Can be starter in a committee approach.

4. Jay Ajayi, Boise State

Great pass catching and zone runner with good vision to boot. Good cutting ability. Always falls forward for extra yardage during contact. Doesn’t always make defenders miss consistently. Has a 3rd gear and quickness. Is slowed down a lot by contact. Below average blocker. May be better as lead back in a committee approach.

5. TJ Yeldon, Alabama

Bigger bodied back with quickness. Soft hands and decent blocking ability. Difficult to tackle straight on and will usually break first contact. Has never carried a full load. Vision is inconsistent and seems to differ from game to game on his effectiveness. Slow to get up to top speed so NFL defenders may close on him fast. Has dealt with some nagging injuries. Good committee RB.

6. Duke Johnson, Miami (FL)

Extremely quick and shifty in short space. Extremely hard to tackle. Gets up to speed quickly and gets to the outside very quickly. Goes for the big play over short yardage. Great pass catcher. Not much of an inside runner and vision is average. Below average pass blocker. Likely best as a committee RB/3rd down RB used for big plays and pass catching.

7. David Johnson, Northern Iowa

Good speed for a big back. Good footwork in open space but can plod a bit too much in traffic. Devastating blocker with good hands to catch the football. Not overly dynamic in any aspect. Lacks leg drive and strength to push the pile despite his size. Good committee RB.

8. Mike Davis, South Carolina

Tough to bring down. Strong upper and lower body to run between the tackles. Keeps moving feet through traffic and always falls forward on contact. Not overly fast or quick. Vision got worse throughout his career and made numerous wrong hole decisions his final year. Solid receiver and blocker for his size. Has dealt with injuries this past year. Underrated committee back with potential for more if he goes back to his sophomore form.

9. David Cobb, Minnesota

North-South runner who is extremely hard to bring down. Takes multiple tacklers. Runs low to the ground. Decent cutting ability to find appropriate holes. Excellent vision. Willing blocker, but struggles against speed. Not much of a pass catcher. Not much speed or quickness. Ball security issues.

10. Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska

Extremely quick with great feet and movement ability. Solid pass catcher with big time ability after the catch. Good balance. Kicks a lot of runs to the outside and goes for the homerun play. Vision is inconsistent with some really great hole identification and some very poor plays. Overrated and likely profiles as a 3rd down RB in the NFL.

11. Josh Robinson, Mississippi State

Runs with great toughness up the middle with driving legs. Powerful. Runs low to the ground. Okay hands but can be awkward as a pass catcher. Falls forward on contact. Not great speed or quickness in open space. More of a plodder than a complete runner. Might be underrated and could be a strong committee back.

12. Buck Allen, USC

Bruising inside runner who is a volume carrier. Good receiver for his size and solid pass blocker. Struggles to fit into small spaces and keep acceleration. Won’t give a homerun threat or outside threat. Hard to tackle head on in open space. Powerful runner. Backup short yardage runner.

13. Jeremy Langford, Michigan State

Versatile athlete who gets to the outside quickly. Plays with low pad level and is a tough runner when the hole is there. Doesn’t shine in one area but provides a solid inside or outside runner. Can get caught off balance when trying to move too fast. Brain doesn’t always work as fast as his body. Doesn’t get to top speed quickly. Not much experience as a receiver. Poor blocker. All around RB with the workout numbers to develop.

14. Malcolm Brown, Texas

Big athlete with a lot of wiggle. Can beat you with power or athleticism. Fast footwork with good cutting ability. Uses power to fall ahead on short yardage situations. Has a 3rd gear despite lack of speed that can be deceptive. Has shown some receiving and blocking skills. Vision is often questionable. Plays high. Speed and motor vary. Can often play too slow and get caught by better athletes. Developmental prospect with athletic pedigree.

15. Zachary Zenner, South Dakota State

Good size and speed with good intangibles. Very good at cutting on a dime and moving the ball up field. Identifies holes well and stays balance amidst contact and compact situations. Not very dynamic and lacks and outside running presence. May not be more than a situational player. Back up whose best fit might be one cut scheme.

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