Oklahoma State RB Joseph Randle Will Enter 2013 NFL Draft

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistJanuary 10, 2013

Oklahoma State running back Joseph Randle will skip his senior season with the Cowboys and enter the 2013 NFL draft, according to Gina Mizell of The Oklahoman

Randle accounted for over 3,100 yards of total offense and 40 touchdowns in his final two collegiate seasons, making him one of the most productive backs in the nation. He averaged over five yards per carry in all three of his seasons at Oklahoma State.

What makes him an attractive option for NFL teams is his versatility. Along with being able to carry the rushing load, the Kansas native can also make plays out of the backfield as a receiver. That's crucial with all of the league's high-powered passing games.

He's ranked as the No. 5 running back in the class by CBS Sports, but that only makes him a fringe second-round prospect as the draft process begins.

While it makes his decision to leave Oklahoma State risky, it has more to do with the fading value of rushers in the draft than Randle's ability. The Washington Redskins took productive rookie Alfred Morris in the sixth round last season, which has become commonplace.

Since more and more teams are relying on a passing attack to carry the offense, running backs are having a tough time cracking the first round unless they are viewed as a truly elite prospect. Trent Richardson is the latest example.

So Randle's task between now and draft day is to prove how important he can be to an offense with hopes of solidifying his second-round status and perhaps even sneaking into the late first round.