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NFL Draft 2013: Ranking Eddie Lacy and Top Running Back Prospects

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 07:  Eddie Lacy #42 of the Alabama Crimson Tide runs with the ball against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the 2013 Discover BCS National Championship game at Sun Life Stadium on January 7, 2013 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Dan TalintyreSenior Analyst IIJanuary 14, 2013

Several great running backs will be featured in the NFL Draft for 2013, and if the class of 2012 is anything to go by, then there's bound to be some seriously good prospects littered throughout the draft.

Players like Doug Martin, Trent Richardson and Alfred Morris dominated on the ground as rookie running backs this year.

That will no doubt give great hope to teams and draft prospects alike that they can succeed similarly in the NFL, which means we could see lots of action for running backs again in the draft again this year.

Read on to see the top running backs prospects for the NFL Draft 2013.

 

Eddie Lacy, Alabama

Might as well start with the top-rated running back in the draft this year—Alabama's Eddie Lacy, who has dominated the backfield all season for the Crimson Tide.

Lacy was key in Alabama's BCS Title Championship win over Notre Dame, rushing for over 140 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. Those numbers were even greater over the year, where Lacy finished with 1,322 yards and 17 touchdowns for the season.

Several franchises are in desperate need of a ground game to complement their aerial assault this year, and Lacy is the most likely option that somebody will turn to in the first round.

He is rated as a second-round player, but it's hard to let a runner like Lacy go on the boards and someone is bound to try and pick him up early.

 

Montee Ball, Wisconsin

Coming off two remarkable college seasons for Wisconsin, Montee Ball is certainly another running back that will attract plenty of second-round attention in the 2013 NFL Draft, and rightly so.

Over 1,900 yards in 2011 and over 1,800 yards in 2012 for 55 touchdowns in two seasons are remarkable numbers from the Wisconsin running back.

Ball did struggle at times to carry the team when needed but was still able to move the chains with great regularity throughout the season, and has great potential as a running back in the league this year—wherever he might end up playing.

The biggest question mark will be about his longevity in the game and numbers he can post without having the plethora of carries he gets at the moment.

Ball had carried the ball over 650 times in the past two years—more than any other running back in that time period. Simply put, he isn't going to get that many carries in the NFL, so the question now becomes whether he can be as efficient on the ground in 2013 as he was in 2012 without the raw amount of rushing attempts.

Andre Ellington, Clemson

Clemson running back Andre Ellington is the smallest of the top-rated running backs in the draft this year, but certainly still packs plenty of potential and drive when on the ground.

Standing at just 5'9" and 192 pounds (per CBS Sports), Ellington is significantly lighter and shorter than many other running backs in the draft this year. 

The Clemson Tigers back is coming off a 1,000 yard season that featured eight rushing touchdowns at a very strong 5.1 yards per carry, and could turn out to be one of the steals in the draft late in the second or third rounds.

He has good hands in the aerial game and is a solid check-down option, and simply won't chalk up a bad day on the ground—even if his numbers aren't incredibly high. They will always be solid and always provide something to build off, which is exactly what Ellington brings to the table this year.

 

Who do you think are the top running back prospects in the 2013 NFL Draft?

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