NFL Draft 2012: Ronnie Hillman and More RBs Who Will Be Late-Round Steals

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NFL Draft 2012: Ronnie Hillman and More RBs Who Will Be Late-Round Steals
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Over the last few seasons there haven't been many running backs coming out of college that have jumped off the boards as clear top-10 picks in the NFL Draft.

This year, Trent Richardson may go that early, but even that is unclear at this point.

Much of this has come due to the lack of need for running backs for many teams around the league.

Most NFL teams are comfortable with their current situation at the position.

There are a few teams, like the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals, that may take a look at the position in the first round this year.

However, most teams will likely only look for running backs in the later rounds.

Here are three potential late-round steals at the running back position in this year's draft.


Ronnie Hillman (San Diego State)

Sophomore running back Ronnie Hillman has announced that he has hired an agent and plans on entering the NFL Draft this season.

The move may have been one year too soon, but you can't fault Hillman for taking his chances with much of the talent around him leaving San Diego State.

If you haven't heard of Hillman, here is all you really need to know.

As a freshman, he broke Marshall Faulk's rushing record at San Diego State with 1,532 yards. He followed it up with 1,711 rushing yards this year and 38 total touchdowns over his two seasons.

Hillman will fall in the draft for two reasons.

First, is the obvious. He plays in a conference that doesn't get much recognition.

Second, he is undersized. At 5'10" and 190 pounds, he is small for an NFL running back.

However, once you see him play, the talent is undeniable.


Cyrus Gray (Texas A&M)

Cyrus Gray burst onto the scene late last season for the Aggies.

After spending the majority of his career as a backup, Texas A&M gave him a shot after a 3-3 start to the season.

The team won six of their next seven games and Gray rushed for over 100 yards in every game.

This season, Gray was forced to split a lot of time with Christine Michael. He still managed 1,045 yards and 12 touchdowns despite the limited carries.

This is a kid that refuses to give up and has amazing work ethic. Former Aggies head coach Mike Sherman referred to him as "the type of guy you want to marry your daughter."

I don't know if there is any sort of praise to character better than that.


Jeff Demps (Florida)

Jeff Demps is never going to be a starting running back in the NFL.

What he will bring to a team is an explosive threat who can score any time he touches the football.

Demps won't carry the ball 20 times a game. He won't pound it up the middle for a tough three yards.

The 5'7", 190-pound running back shouldn't even be categorized as a running back. He is a playmaker.

He will present matchup problems for opposing defenses. He'll line up all over the field from running back to slot receiver. He can return punts and kicks.

He will simply make plays.

What more can you ask for out of a late-round pick?

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