The 2008 NFL draft is only a couple of weeks away. Here are the top three running backs to watch for...
1. Rashard Mendenhall, Illinois
5-11, 210 pounds 40 time-4.48 Projection: 1st round
I know all of you are wondering why I put him at No. 1, but in my eyes, he is the best back of the class. He has the balance of an Adrian Peterson type of back.
He runs tough, is an average pass catcher and puts in extra effort so his team can win. If you are wondering why the Illini were so good this year, you need look no further than this guy. What you do need to watch out for though is he was only a lead back in his junior season.
2. Jonathan Stewart, Oregon
5-11, 235 pounds 40 time-4.48 Projection: 1st round
Virtually no scout thinks much of Stewart. They don't think about his stop-watch speed or his junior season. I have watched plenty of video of his breakaway speed, and he looks better then maybe even Mendenhall for balance.
Stewart is the perfect blend of speed and power a team would want in a running back. Watch out for the same thing in Stewart as with Mendenhall. He only started his junior season.
3. Darren McFadden, Arkansas
6-2, 210 pounds 40 time-4.38 Projection: 1st round
McFadden is basically a bigger and stronger Marshal Faulk. Even though he's No. 3 on my list, I think he may be better than the two above him.
He can catch the ball, run hard and get you those extra three yards for the first down. There's also his trouble holding the ball during his career in Arkansas.
In his three years, he fumbled 15 times and recovered it only five times. Don't listen to the critics. McFadden is a good guy who gets in trouble for the dumbest reasons.