2013 NFL Draft Player Rankings: Running Backs
More NFL Draft player rankings are available as we move onto the top running backs for the 2013 NFL Draft.
It does not seem hard to find a game-changing running back in the NFL nowadays. Alfred Morris came out of nowhere in 2012 being a later pick in the draft, only to rush for over 1,600 yards. Don’t forget that Jamaal Charles and Stevan Ridley (both now starters) were both third round picks in their respective drafts, as well.
Right now, the number one position for running back in this year’s draft is up for grabs. I am in love with Giovani Bernard’s running style, but Eddie Lacy is an exceptional back that has picked it up over the last 12 months. Here are my running back rankings, with some quick notes:
1. Eddie Lacy, Alabama
Exceptional size and toughness. Has solid speed and intangibles. Probably the most complete back in the draft but has just one year of experience as a true starter. Fumbling issues still a concern.
2. Giovani Bernard, North Carolina
Really gifted runner with solid speed and exceptional quickness. Can run inside and out and projects well to the next level. Doesn’t have excellent size or break-neck speed for the next level.
3. Jawan Jamison, Rutgers
Quality runner who can run inside and out. Can move the pile. Has a solid frame despite small stature. Pass protection is weak.
4. Mike Gillislee, Florida
Good speed and acceleration. Can run inside and possesses nice versatility. Experience, hands and durability are concerns.
5. Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina
Very good natural runner with ideal size and strength. Not a burner by any means. Knee injury is very concerning, but could be the most talented back in the draft.
6. Andre Ellington, Clemson
Electrifying runner with loads of potential. Lacks size, power and consistency. Hands aren’t where they should be.
7. Le’Veon Bell, Michigan State
Has really nice size and solid overall athleticism. Very effective inside runner with a nose for the end-zone. Lacks elite speed and has amassed a ton of carries already.
8. Montee Ball, Wisconsin
Tough, hard-nosed runner with a nose for the end-zone. Not an elite athlete or especially fast. Insanely productive, however, while also having taken a heavy load at Wisconsin.
9. Christine Michael, Texas A&M
Balanced runner with great size and bulk. Has the ability to be an every down back but needs to stay healthy. Injury prone?
10. Johnathan Franklin, UCLA
Had an awesome senior season. Needs to bulk up. Not especially fast or explosive. Has shown some versatility.
11. Kerwynn Williams, Utah State
Very athletic, versatile talent. Has a lot of upside. Not big or strong, though. Lacks experience.
12. Stepfan Taylor, Stanford
Really productive runner who can carry a full load. Solid size. Lacks elite speed and explosiveness.
13. Cierre Wood, Notre Dame
Has really nice size, vision and natural running ability. Not the best receiver. Ball security could be an issue. Not the fastest guy out there.
14. Joseph Randle, Oklahoma State
Very productive college back with good size and speed. Needs to add bulk and prove he can carry the full load at the next level.
15. Stefphon Jefferson, Nevada
Insane senior season. Good size and decent speed. Shows some versatility and potential. One year wonder?
16. Kenjon Barner, Oregon
Freak athlete with loads of versatility and upside. Not a good short yardage or inside runner. Not strong and awareness is lacking. Very small frame. Scat back?
17. Ray Graham, Pittsburgh
Not insanely productive, but has good experience. Great vision and a natural runner. Doesn’t have ideal size or elite speed.
18. Theo Riddick, Notre Dame
Has the ability to be a bell cow but needs to get bigger and stronger. Very versatile but not overly experienced or productive.
19. Zac Stacy, Vanderbilt
Really strong, powerful back who excels running inside. Vision and toughness are top notch. Not the biggest guy and lacks versatility.
20. Montel Harris, Temple
Gifted runner with a ton of experience. Broken down already? Has injury and character red flags.
21. Michael Ford, LSU
Excellent size and speed but hasn’t shown a ton of versatility. Lacks experience.
22. Spencer Ware, LSU
Nice mix of balance, speed and power. Not a fast back by any means, but can hit the hole with a burst. Lacks experience.
23. Dennis Johnson, Arkansas
Johnson is a very versatile, balanced running back. Good size and great speed. Older than most prospects and has durability concerns.
24. Knile Davis, Arkansas
An excellent runner with a terrific blend of agility, speed, size and power. Pass protection needs a lot of work. Hasn’t done much the past two years.
25. D.J. Harper, Boise State
Has been in college for six years, so do the math. Senior season was very productive. Could stand to get bigger. Durability in question.
26. Rex Burkhead, Nebraska
Vastly underrated athlete. Cuts extremely well, can block, and is as versatile as they come. Needs to get bigger and doesn’t have break away speed.
27. Miguel Maysonet, Stony Brook
Solid runner who has good overall size. Drives with his legs well and can run inside. Insanely productive but faced weak competition. Not explosive.
28. Mike James, Miami (Fl.)
Strong and physical. Has really nice size and bulk. Not very productive. Not explosive or overly fast.
29. John White IV, Utah
Had one exceptional year and then wasn’t used in 2012. Inexperienced and on the small side. Very quick with good speed.
30. Chris Thompson, Florida State
Great speed and explosiveness but has scat-back written all over him. Under-sized and lacks strength or power.
31. Robbie Rouse, Fresno State
Talented runner with great cutting ability. Speed and agility are definitely there. Size is not. Vision is solid but awareness is questionable.
32. Onterio McCalebb, Auburn
Gifted athlete with exceptional speed and acceleration. Badly needs to add bulk and get stronger. Might be better suited for wide receiver.
33. Isi Sofele, Cal
Has proven he can handle a full load before, but overall not the most experienced back. Lacks great size or speed.
34. Benny Cunningham, Middle Tennessee
Has really nice size. Can find the end-zone and fight for tough yardage, but he’s not a complete back. Lacks great speed and burst.
35. Eric Stephens, Texas Tech
Solid back who always makes the most of his touches. Has some versatility. Does’t possess great timed speed. Under-sized.
36. Curtis McNeal, USC
Very fast and explosive. Surprisingly durable, but that can’t last. Under-sized and lacks great versatility.
37. Washaun Ealy, Jacksonville State
Tough, hard runner who has a knack for finding the end-zone. Runs with good power. Strong with great size and build. Not explosive or fast at all. Not the most versatile guy, either.
38. Trabis Ward, Tennessee State
Pretty productive the past two seasons. Solid runner who seems to have good vision and instincts. Not the fastest guy and faced weak competition.
39. Dominique Whaley, Oklahoma
Has a pretty good blend of size and speed. Tough runner with some upside. Durability is a major concern.
40. Orwin Smith, Georgia Tech
Really versatile back with tons of upside. Timed speed is really poor but he plays much faster. Can do a lot of different things and has a knack for making big plays.
41. Perry Jones, Virginia
Not the biggest or toughest guy, but he can run and catch very well. Love his versatility. Isn’t the fastest or most explosive, however.
42. Matthew Tucker, TCU
Not overly productive but very experienced. Solid runner who can hit the hole well. Has good vision. Lacks great versatility. Great size and bulk.
43. Ronnie Wingo, Arkansas
Senior year was a bust. Has crazy size for the position. Maybe too tall? Good speed for how big he is. Has some versatility.
44. Cameron Marshall, Arizona State
Junior season was one to remember (18 TD) but otherwise he hasn’t been overly impressive. Good size and build, but lacking speed.
45. Khiry Robinson, West Texas A&M
Terrific size and build. Not bad speed for his size, either. Very good senior season, but faced soft competition. I like his versatility and upside.