1. Carlos Hyde, Ohio State
Hyde is the consensus #1 RB in this class. Complete back with power and solid speed for his size (6-0, 230). Great feet and vision — can slide, find a hole, then get downhill. Good pass protector and has natural hands out of the backfield. Will he break the stigma of dissapointing Big Ten plodders? 2nd round.
2. Tre Mason, Auburn
Compact, decisive runner with great vision and feet to get through the hole. Smaller than ideal. Very good athlete with initial quickness, lateral agility and long speed. 2nd round value.
3. Andre Williams, Boston College
Love this guy. Right there with Hyde (or better) as the best pure power runners in the draft. Runs people over. Can break off big runs with surprising long speed. Reminds me of LaGarrette Blount, but without the character issues. Not used at all in passing game at BC. If Williams is able to develop enough receiving/blitz pickup skills to play every down, he could end up the best back in this class. A steal if he falls to day three.
4. Storm Johnson, UCF
Storm has been a little under the radar as a prospect. Tall and strong with some big play ability. Smooth inside/outside runner. 3rd down skills. Can be a starter.
5. Terrence West, Towson
Dominated the small school competition. At 5-10, 225, West has has the perfect build for feature NFL back. No nonsense north-south runner. Won’t make a lot of people miss in open field. Proved during workouts that he has the tools to match up with best RBs in draft.
6. Charles Sims, West Virginia
Height/weight/speed stands out. Great receiver. My full scouting report on Sims can be found here.
7. Davonta Freeman, Florida State
Short, but pretty well built (5-8, 206). Not afraid to mix it up as inside runner or blocker. Team probably wont draft him as a starter, but I like him best among the undersized change of pace backs.
8. Bishop Sankey, Washington
Athletic change of pace/3rd down back. Chance to be more, but not as instinctive of a runner as guys above him on this list. Lacks power between tackles.
9. Ka’Deem Carey, Arizona
Productive, compact RB with great balance, feet, and vision. Not fast. Only ran 4.70 40 at combine. Willing blocker. Has a lot of qualities to be a great RB, but lack of size and speed will hurt him.
10. Jerrick McKinnon, Georgia Southern
Converted QB project. Crazy athlete (5-9, 209 4.37 40, 32 bench reps, 40” vert). Could surpirise how high he goes. Skills to develop into a playmaker ala Randall Cobb in Green Bay.
11. Isaiah Crowell, Alabama State
Transfer from Georgia with the talent to be at the top of this list. Prototype build and athleticism (5-11, 224, 4.53, 38” vert). Shows vision, short area burst, power and speed. Where he goes will depend on how comfortable teams are with his character.
12. Jeremy Hill, LSU
Height/weight/speed guy. Good not great speed. A little traight line-ish. Not much lateral agility or vision to cut back. Will get what is blocked, but doesn’t run instinctively. Some character red flags.
13. Lache Seastrunk, Baylor
Another sub 5-10 RB that weighs in around 200 lbs. Explosive athlete who played in shotgun spread offense at Baylor. Does all his damage in space. Looks like more of a change of pace RB than every down guy.
14. Lorenzo Taliaferro, Coastal Carolina
Sleeper. Hybrid fullback at 6-0 230 lbs. who can do all the little things for a team. Impressive week at Senior Bowl. Great pass protector. Short yardage/3rd down type in the Anthony Dixon, Mike Tolbert mold. Later rounder, but I can see him sticking in the league for a long time.
15. D’Anthony Thomas, Oregon
Diminutive WR hybrid. Will have to make his name as a specialist. Very fast, but not as explosive as was hyped in college. Will find it more difficult to run around NFL defenders. Big play, change of pace, slot receiver, KR/PR value in 4th-5th round. Speed may get him drafted sooner.
16. James White, Wisconsin
The next in a long line of yawners from Wisconsin. Average across the board, no standout traits. Rotational RB.