NFL Draft Breakdown: Running Backs

By Trevor Sartin
KTSW Sports

DRAFT

Running Back Rankings for 2015 Draft

  1. Todd Gurley (Georgia): Gurley undoubtedly has the talent to be the first running back to go in the draft. Although he battled some injuries and suspensions throughout his college career, when healthy he showed his unique combination of strength and power. Gurley should go in the middle of the first round.
  2. Melvin Gordon (Wisconsin): Gordon might be the most well known back in the draft. Gordon had an excellent senior season, and he should be drafted in the first round. Gordon ran a 4.52 40-yard dash, and threw up 19 reps on the bench press. Gordon doesn’t necessarily excel in any given category, but has shown throughout his career that he is capable of being an elite back in the league.
  3. Tevin Coleman (Indiana): The stereotypical workhorse running back. Coleman led the Indiana team to a somewhat successful season with his powerful north-south running style. Coleman is 5’11’’, 206 lbs, and is capable of running over defenders. Coleman will go in the second or third round, and has the capability of having a successful NFL career.
  4. Jay Ajayi (Boise State): Ajayi is yet another powerful back in this years draft. Ajayi is a tough runner, but runs with light feet. Many around the league feel that Ajayi could be the steal, as he will probably go in the second or third round. Ajayi’s style has been compared to that of Marshawn Lynch, and he should bring a lot of firepower to his future team.
  5. J. Yeldon (Alabama): Yeldon is another Crimson Tide running back that is destined for a successful NFL career. At 6’1’’, 226 lbs, Yeldon has some bulk to him. Although he will probably slim down just a bit, Yeldon has the body type of an NFL running back. Yeldon didn’t necessarily have the senior season he might have hoped for, with a lot of fumble issues, but he has the capability of being an every-down back in the next couple of years.
  6. Ameer Abdullah (Nebraska): Abdullah is a grinder. Standing at only 5’9’’, Abdullah doesn’t seem to have the size for a career in the NFL. However, he makes up for it on the scale. Abdullah weighs 206 lbs, and has some incredible power in his legs. Although he still lacks overall size, he understands the game better than most. He has had some fumble issues, to go along with his size being questioned, which means Abdullah should go somewhere in the second or third round.
  7. Duke Johnson (Miami): At 5’9’’, 207 lbs, Johnsons’ size could be an issue. However, Johnson makes up for this in quickness. He ran a 4.54 40-yard dash, and plays with extreme burst and speed. He does lack a traditional north-south running style, but Johnson could excel as a change-of-pace back in the league. Johnson should go in the second to fourth round.
  8. Mike Davis (South Carolina): Davis had an injury-riddled senior season, but showed that he has some serious talent when healthy. At 5’9’’, 217 lbs, Davis is another north-south, bulldozer running back. The biggest problem for Davis is that he seems to have lost his edge. Many are starting to question his conditioning, which will ultimately drop him down to the third or fourth round.
  9. David Cobb (Minnessotta): Cobb reminds me a lot of Tevin Coleman, mentioned at number 3. Another strong north-south runner who plays tough and with a lot of grit. At 5’11’’, 229 lbs, Cobb has the workforce body style His 40 time wont impress you, but I don’t think speed is really what Cobb is going for. Cobb should be a nice addition as a powerful red-zone runner early in his NFL career.
  10. David Johnson (Northern Iowa): Johnson has the body for the position. At 6’1’’, 224 lbs, Johnson showed that he has some speed to go along with his power. Although he doesn’t possess quick burst, he did run a 4.5 40, which shows that he can turn on the jets when given open space. Johnson is probably the best back you’ve never heard of.

Sleeper: Karlos Williams (Florida State): Williams won’t go in any of the top rounds due to a very disappointing senior season, as well as Williams’ inexperience at the position in general, but he possesses talent nonetheless. Standing 6’1’’, 230 lbs, Williams has a big frame and quickness (4.48 40 time). Williams isn’t getting any hype heading into the draft, but I think he could be starting for a team in the next few years.

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