NFL Draft 2013: Highlighting the Most NFL-Ready RBs in This Year's Class
The 2013 NFL draft may be one of the few in recent years that doesn't see a running back taken in the first round, but that doesn't mean there aren't any NFL-ready RBs in this year's class.
While these rookie RBs likely won't have the same type of impact that Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson had on the NFL quarterback position in 2012, they can still be an effective tool in NFL offenses in 2013.
Let's take a look at college running backs who are ready to make some noise in the NFL.
Andre Ellington, Clemson
After four solid years as a Tiger, Andre Ellington will be looking to make a name for himself in the NFL.
His 5'9", 190-pound frame may not be perfect for the league, but Ellington has the speed and the talent to bolster any NFL backfield.
The 24-year-old averaged 5.1 YPC for Clemson in 2012, gaining more than 1,000 yards and scoring eight touchdowns on the ground. Look no further than Ellington's back-to-back games of two rushing touchdowns this season against Ball State and Furman as evidence of his talent.
He's extremely difficult to bring down and is flexible enough to keep his knee off the ground and keep the play going, as we can see in this video:
Ellington can also be utilized in the passing game, as he averaged 16.6 YPC on 14 receptions out of the backfield during his senior year.
If Ellington hits the weights and beefs up his frame, his durability will increase and he can be the shifty back in the NFL that he was at Clemson.
Montee Ball, Wisconsin
As the third-leading rusher in the nation last season, Wisconsin's Montee Ball is definitely ready to make an impact in the NFL.
Which RB will have the biggest impact in the NFL in 2013?
Ball boasted a stat sheet of 1,830 yards and 22 rushing touchdowns in 2012, as he single-handedly carried the Badgers offense. Ball sported six multi-touchdown games in 2012, including three games with three touchdowns, and the RB also posted nine games with more than 100 rushing yards.
At 5'11", 210 pounds, Ball has the ideal frame for an NFL back. He's a couple of inches taller than Ray Rice but still possesses the patience and strength between the tackles to find the open hole and hit it.
With a heavy workload at Wisconsin, Ball proved his durability and is the type of player who could be used as an every-down RB in the NFL.
Eddie Lacy, Alabama
You already know him as a two-time National Champion and pretty soon you'll recognize Eddie Lacy as one of the top rookie running backs in the NFL.
The 6'1", 220-pound back had an outstanding season for Alabama in 2012, rushing for more than 1,300 yards and 17 TDs. Lacy put up three games where he scored three times on the ground and averaged 6.5 YPC for the season.
Lacy is also effective in the passing game, as he totaled 22 receptions for 189 yards and two touchdowns last season as a junior.
Given his build, Lacy is your prototypical NFL running back, possessing both speed and power, as you can see here:
If there's a running back in this class who has the best chance of being drafted in the first round, it's definitely Lacy.
With all three of these guys spending at least three years in college, they have the background and experience to be solid contributors to NFL offenses in 2013.
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