Senior Bowl 2013: Best Running Backs Playing in Mobile
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Some of college football's most talented players have assembled in Mobile, Alabama to participate in the 2013 Senior Bowl. While the game itself is important, the week leading up to the game can be just as important. Players practice with their one-time teammates in front of NFL scouts and representatives in an effort to raise their draft stock.
As the players prepare for the game, a few running backs stand out above the rest. These are players that NFL teams won't be able to ignore come April.
Ellington had a very impressive career at Clemson. As a Tiger, Ellington rushed for over 3,400 yards and scored 33 times. Andre spent his career making plays in the open field, electrifying defenses throughout the ACC and the nation.
The former Tiger has great hands out of the backfield and has a surprising amount of power. He's strong in pass protection, which is a huge commodity in the pass-heavy NFL.
NFL teams who need a playmaker out of the backfield will have their eyes on Ellington at the Senior Bowl. Ellington probably isn't ready to be a starting running back, but he is one of the best running back prospects, if not the brightest, in this year's draft class.
Rouse had a stellar year, rushing for almost 1,500 yards and 12 touchdowns last season for Fresno State. Rouse is one of the best backs in the class with surprising strength and great speed for a back of his size.
The back's small stature is being questioned by scouts, but with a skill set much like Ray Rice and Maurice Jones Drew, Rouse could be one of the best offensive players to come out of this draft, especially at the running back position.
Barner, like most Oregon alumni, will have to adjust to the NFL game after playing in a wide-open offense. As a Duck, he racked up more than 3,600 yards and scored an impressive 41 touchdowns, 21 during his senior season.
Barner is a very speedy back who can make a difference on NFL squads. He most likely won't get drafted very high, but he could be huge as a change-of-pace back for a team with a great passing attack. If Barner can keep catching passes out of the backfield and making plays in the open field, he could have a major impact in the NFL.
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