NFL Draft 2013: Tracking the Best Available RBs
The value of running backs in the NFL draft is not what it once was, and it doesn't help that the 2013 class lacks an elite front-runner or even a potential first-round pick at the position.
That being said, there will be some versatile players available throughout the draft, and surely there will be at least one productive rookie running back.
Bleacher Report's Matt Miller gave 24 running backs a draftable grade in this year's class. Here is a running list of the best ones available.
15. Dennis Johnson, Arkansas
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You can view Dennis Johnson's complete scouting report here (via Bleacher Report's Ryan Lownes).
Johnson has great quickness to get to the hole, whether as a running back or as a kick returner. His effective stutter-step is of help when trying to elude in the open field. Per Lownes:
- Great balance, fights to stay on his feet
- Versatile, can play special teams and on third down
- Compact runner with good power
- Displays vision and patience
Despite his good center of gravity, he doesn't run with great pad level all the time. Ball security issues could also be an issue for Johnson. Via Lownes:
- Ball security has landed him in the doghouse
- Lacks elusiveness, straightforward running style
- Not much of a home run threat
- Has a bit of an injury history
Overall, Dennis Johnson ranks as the 15th-best running back in the 2013 NFL draft class.
19. Cierre Wood, Notre Dame
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You can view Cierre Wood's complete scouting report here (via Sigmund Bloom).
No one will complain about a lack of effort from Wood. He consistently finishes runs and keeps his legs churning on contact. Despite that, he's even more well-known for his open-field quickness. Per Bloom:
Wood is a high-effort back with elusive qualities both behind the line of scrimmage and at the second level of the defense. He is a resourceful back who will fire his legs and push to get yards after contact, and Wood also runs with good foot frequency and balance. Wood's vision spots the cutback lanes, and he has the juice in his legs to quickly change direction and attack the opening. He is also a tough back who will sacrifice his body for yardage, which isn't a quality that is usually present in elusive backs.
His skills as a power back are limited due to an overall lack of strength, and he doesn't have the long speed to fully make use of his elusive qualities. Via Bloom:
Wood is more of a speed/burst back than a power back, but he lacks long speed. He's not big enough to substantially push the pile. Wood sometimes gathers to cut and his footwork costs him yardage and momentum. He isn't an accomplished blocker or receiver and projects as a committee back in the pros, at best.
Overall, Cierre Wood ranks as the 19th-best running back in the 2013 NFL draft class.
20. Miguel Maysonet, Stony Brook
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You can view Miguel Maysonet's complete scouting report here (via Bleacher Report's Chris Roling).
Maysonet is a hard runner, refusing to go down at the first sign of contact. His decisiveness in hitting holes will be welcome for coaches who hate negative runs. Per Roling:
- Solid size at 5'9", 209 pounds
- Decisive, powerful and determined runner
- Tough between the tackles
- Sustainable speed, no fumbling issues
He isn't a great athlete, and won't hit cutback lanes all too often. He also lacks an elite second gear to create big plays in the open field. Via Roling:
- Upright runner at times
- Not enough breakaway speed
- Potentially inflated stats vs. weak competition
- Lack of versatility/receiving experience
Overall, Maysonet ranks as the 20th-best running back in the 2013 NFL draft class.
21. Ray Graham, Pittsburgh
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You can view Ray Graham's complete scouting report here (via Bleacher Report's Ryan Lownes).
Speed is the name of the game for Graham, as evidenced by his average of 5.5 yards per carry at Pittsburgh. He contributed a bit on kick returns in his first two years, as well, and was increasingly involved in the passing game over his final two years. Per Lownes:
- Exceptional vision to find cutback lanes and small creases
- Elusive runner, makes defenders miss
- Very quick with impressive lateral agility
- Good balance, breaks tackles and stays on his feet
Scouts will be concerned with his ACL injury in 2011, but whether or not it's even an issue remains to be seen, as he maintained a heavy workload the year after returning to the field. Via Lownes:
- Durability a major concern, may never return to previous form
- Slightly undersized, lacking power to carry the load
- Can be caught from behind, ran a troubling 4.80
- Patience a double-edged sword, can be hesitant in the backfield
Overall, Graham ranks as the 21st-best running back in the 2013 NFL draft class.
23. Onterio McCalebb, Auburn
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You can view Onterio McCalebb's complete scouting report here (via Bleacher Report's Wes Stueve).
McCalebb has the versatility to contribute as a runner or a receiver. He even lines up in the slot at times. He's dangerous in the open field, and Auburn did well at using him on screens and plays that could get him in space. Per Stueve:
McCalebb's biggest strength is immediately obvious: his speed. Few players at any level are as quick to the outside as McCalebb. It is nearly impossible to get the angle on the speedy Auburn product. His pure speed leads to many defenders over-pursuing, allowing McCalebb to easily make them miss. McCalebb's burst is also obvious, and he explodes from the snap. He is also sudden in his movements and quick enough to make most defenders miss. When catching the ball, McCalebb uses his hands and rarely drops routine passes. McCalebb is a potentially elite kick returner, and he could have a huge impact on special teams.
He's very small at just 5'10" and 168 pounds, so it's fair to wonder if his body can handle an NFL-sized beating. He relies primarily on his speed, and doesn't have great suddenness in the open field to elude tacklers. Via Stueve:
McCalebb has limited experience at wide receiver. He spent the majority of his time at Auburn running the ball out of the backfield, and his route-running is raw. His hands aren't the best, and he struggles to reel in passes that aren't thrown right to him. Though he does consistently use his hands to catch the ball, his hands don't appear to be particularly strong, and that could lead to drops. McCalebb's lack of size and strength are also concerning, and he could struggle to beat the press and stay healthy.
Overall, Onterio McCalebb ranks as the 23rd-best running back in the 2013 NFL draft class.
24. Michael Ford, LSU
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You can view Michael Ford's complete scouting report here (via CBS Sports).
Ford has the skill set coaches will like in terms of his foot quickness, and he has the hallmark of a late-round pick: special teams experience, with 20 kick returns as a junior. Per CBS Sports:
Excellent athlete with good speed, acceleration and leaping ability. Has special teams experience, including as a kickoff returner.
Ford may be limited to a two-down back in the NFL if he can't figure out pass protection and discipline in catching the ball. His draft stock may have been hurt by coming out too early. Via CBS Sports:
Struggles with pass blocking and doesn't possess great hands out of the backfield. Made a curious decision to leave LSU as a junior despite being projected as a late-round pick.
Overall, Ford ranks as the 24th-best running back in the 2013 NFL draft class.
4. Giovani Bernard, North Carolina
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You can view Giovani Bernard's complete scouting report here (via Sigmund Bloom).
Bernard has great discipline as a runner, waiting for blocks to develop before kicking it into gear, and has the ability to contribute catching passes out of the backfield. He's also a dynamic punt returner. Per Bloom:
Bernard runs with a good, low pad level and high foot frequency that allows him to change direction and routinely break tackles around his feet and lower legs. His acceleration is good enough to get to the second and third level, breaking long gains.
Bernard is among the best pass receiving backs in this draft, and he is also an above-average punt returner. You won't see Bernard dance or be shy about running between the tackles, and he usually falls forward. He finishes games well and looks like a lead back in the NFL.
His burst isn't phenomenal, and although he has some quickness to his game, he's not going to win many footraces or elude every tackler in open space. Via Bloom:
Bernard isn't big enough to push the pile. He doesn't have true breakaway speed, and his initial burst is good, not great. He can make a tackler miss in the open field occasionally, but he doesn't have ankle-breaking quicks or sudden moves that tend to leave opponents grasping at air. In short, as a runner Bernard is good at everything, great at nothing.
Overall, Bernard ranks as the fourth-best running back in the 2013 NFL draft class.
Drafted: Round 2, pick 37, Cincinnati Bengals
5. Le'Veon Bell, Michigan State
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You can view Le'Veon Bell's complete scouting report here (via Ryan Lownes).
At 6'1" and 230 pounds, Bell is tough to bring down when he gets up to speed. His production speaks for itself, with 26 total touchdowns (25 rushing, one receiving) over the past two seasons. Per Lownes:
- Tremendous balance, very strong
- Excellent size at 6'1", 230 pounds
- Good power, can punish defenders
- Capable receiver with a wide catch radius
As his size would suggest, he's not going to make defenders miss in the open field nor is he going to break off long gains once he gets to the open field. There is also some significant wear on his tires, after he led the nation in carries and in total touches in 2012. Via Lownes:
- Lacks breakaway speed
- Average acceleration and burst
- Pass protection needs work
- Questionable vision, decision-making
Overall, Bell ranks as the fifth-best running back in the 2013 NFL draft class.
Drafted: Round 2, pick 49, New York Giants
8. Montee Ball, Wisconsin
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You can view Montee Ball's complete scouting report here (via Ryan Lownes).
Ball is aggressive when hitting the hole at the line of scrimmage, and he has the ability to change direction on a dime. He has the ability to contribute in the running game as well as in blitz protection in the passing game. Per Lownes:
- One of the most productive players in NCAA history
- Good balance, breaks tackles and stays on his feet
- Hits the hole hard with impressive burst
- Displays some lateral agility, elusiveness in the open field
Ball has been in the news for being arrested in May for trespassing (via CBS Sports), and he also has a whopping 924 carries and 983 total touches on his resumé before ever taking a snap in the NFL. He caught just 59 passes in college and isn't incredibly experienced in that phase of being a running back. Via Lownes:
- Lacks breakaway speed, can be caught from behind
- Has some wear on his tires, 983 career touches
- Stats inflated behind a big, physical offensive line
- Occasionally drops his eyes in traffic, missing opportunities for big runs
Overall, Ball ranks as the eighth-best running back in the 2013 NFL draft class.
Drafted: Round 2, pick 58, Denver Broncos
2. Eddie Lacy, Alabama
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You can view Eddie Lacy's complete scouting report here (via B/R featured columnist Ryan Lownes).
Lacy is the latest top back to come out of Alabama. He is regarded as a hard runner and is smart at reading his blocks to find the right holes. Per Lownes:
- Excellent balance
- Punishing runner with good power
- Ideal size, 6’0” 220
- Surprisingly nimble and elusive
He doesn't have great foot speed to elude defenders in the open field and is liable to get caught from behind even when he gets out in open space. Via Lownes:
- Unrefined pass protector
- Limited experience as a receiver
- Inconsistent decision-making
- Lacks breakaway speed
Overall, Eddie Lacy ranks as the second-best running back in the 2013 NFL draft class.
Drafted: Round 2, Pick 61, Green Bay Packers
9. Christine Michael, Texas A&M
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You can view Christine Michael's complete scouting report here (via Bleacher Report's Sigmund Bloom).
Michael has great vision and is willing to hit the hole hard. His first-step acceleration and lateral agility are solid to pick up yards in the open field. Per Bloom:
Michael is an electric runner. He gets north-south in a hurry with explosive cuts into the hole and generally plays at a different speed than anyone else on the field. Michael is a rugged and explosive player who will attempt to run a tackler over just as quickly as he'll put a move on one in the open field.
His initial burst and acceleration through the line are unrivaled in this class, and he loses little momentum when he changes direction. Michael's speed makes tacklers take bad angles, and he has the long speed to take the ball to the house from anywhere on the field. He also has an ideal compact build and low pad level that makes it very tough to knock him off balance.
A history of injuries will be a black mark on his scouting report. There are also questions about whether he can hold up in pass protection, and therefore he may only be a two-down back in the NFL. Via Bloom:
There are questions about injuries (broken tibia in 2010 and torn ACL in 2011). There are questions about his pass-blocking and receiving ability—both are limited and sometimes ineffective. There are questions about his character, which caused him to be used in a smaller role during 2012 and also resulted in Michael sleeping through some meetings with teams at the combine. He has also never had more than 166 carries in a season.
Overall, Michael ranks as the ninth-best running back in the 2013 NFL draft class.
Drafted: Round 2, Pick 62, Seattle Seahawks
11. Knile Davis, Arkansas
Matt Miller Breaks Down Knile Davis
You can view Knile Davis' complete scouting report here (via Sigmund Bloom).
Davis has good long speed and has versatility to contribute in the passing game with soft hands as a pass-catcher and toughness in blitz protection. According to CBS Sports, he was voted a team captain in 2011 and 2012. Per Bloom:
Davis is a freak athletic specimen with long speed in a thick, sturdy body. He has a good initial burst and the light feet to make cuts in the hole. Davis also spots cutback lanes and has the agility to reroute and burst out of his cuts without losing much momentum. He showed great stamina in 2010 to wear down a defense over the course of a game.
Davis has battled through some injuries in his career, as well as some issues with ball security. There is some overall stiffness to his game that some scouts are not thrilled about. Via Bloom:
Ankle injuries and ball security are both big issues for Davis. He runs like a small back and tries to break outside or elude tacklers instead of run them over. Davis goes down easily on first contact at an alarming rate for a big back.
Even though his size/speed/strength is terrific, Davis is actually a somewhat stiff and sometimes clumsy athlete. He runs with a high pad level that fails to generate power and stops his feet too often while deliberating his next move.
Overall, Davis ranks as the 11th-best running back in the 2013 NFL draft class.
Drafted: Round 3, Pick 96, Kansas City Chiefs
1. Johnathan Franklin, UCLA
Matt Miller Breaks Down Johnathan Franklin
You can view Johnathan Franklin's complete scouting report here (via Bleacher Report NFL draft lead writer Sigmund Bloom).
Franklin may be one of the best big-play threats out of the backfield in this year's class. He is fast and capable of breaking off a big gain when he gets into the open field, but he's also a tough runner and hard to bring down despite his smaller frame (5'10", 205 pounds). Per Bloom:
Franklin has the long speed to take the ball to the house. He also has the vision and elusiveness to get to the third level and bring that speed into play. Decisive cuts that cause Franklin to lose very little momentum/speed are a staple of his game, and that decisiveness also helps him break a lot of tackles for a smaller back.
Franklin is surprisingly powerful for a smaller back, with legs that never stop churning and a low pad level. He usually either makes the first tackler miss or breaks the attempt to bring him down. A terrific receiver out of the backfield, Franklin is light on his feet and dangerous in the open field.
He needs to get better in pass protection if he's going to be more than a two-down back. He also needs to clean up some flaws in his technique which lead to fumbles. Via Bloom:
Franklin is just not big enough to push the pile or bowl tacklers over. He is a weak pass-blocker and will get exploited if he is used in that role in the pros. This might limit him to be a committee back at the next level. He had fumbling problems in the past but seemed to get that under control in 2012.
Overall, Franklin ranks as the best running back in the 2013 NFL draft class.
Drafted: Round 4, Pick 125, Green Bay Packers
3. Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina
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You can view Marcus Lattimore's complete scouting report here (via Sigmund Bloom).
Lattimore has all kinds of versatility in the passing game and the running game, with the ability to run inside and outside, catch passes out of the backfield and even serve in blitz protection. Per Bloom:
Lattimore is a fluid, strong athlete with a great initial burst and a second gear. His balance and leg drive result in a ton of yards after contact, and he always falls forward. Lattimore is also decisive with excellent vision to see holes developing and hit them at full speed. He has a nose for the goal line and is as strong at the end of games as he is at the beginning.
Lattimore also projects as that true three-down feature back that has become a rare commodity in the NFL. He has soft hands out of the backfield, and he is an outstanding pass-blocker. Lattimore has the size and experience to be a reliable 300-carry back in the pros, and he doesn't need to be replaced in any situation.
He is also one of the hardest workers and strongest character players in the entire draft.
Lattimore's knee injuries will most certainly be the biggest knock on him. He has had both knees surgically reconstructed in the past two seasons. Via Bloom:
Lattimore is not a burner, he won't run over defenders, and he won't make them miss very often in the open field. Arian Foster has become an elite back with no elite tools, but most stud backs in the NFL have some physical trump card.
The bigger question about Lattimore is the condition of his surgically repaired knees. He tore his left ACL in 2011. After a comeback last year, he didn't quite look the same and then tore three ligaments and dislocated the kneecap in his right knee, in one of the more gruesome knee injuries you'll ever see.
Dr. James Andrews said his recovery was ahead of schedule (via ESPN) in February, and that he could possibly play this year, but the truth is that no one knows whether Lattimore will ever get back to the player he was before his two catastrophic knee injuries.
Overall, Lattimore ranks as the third-best running back in the 2013 NFL draft class.
Drafted: Round 4, Pick 131, San Francisco 49ers
10. Stepfan Taylor, Stanford
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You can view Stepfan Taylor's complete scouting report here (via B/R featured columnist BJ Kissel).
Taylor has been incredibly productive for a majority of his career. In fact, he was the first Stanford sophomore to break 1,000 yards rushing since Darrin Nelson in 1978 (via CBS Sports). He doesn't shy away from contact, and his stocky 5'9", 214-pound frame allows him to keep his legs churning and push through. Per Kissel:
- Impressive vision
- 3-down back
- Low center of gravity
Taylor doesn't have great long speed and also isn't incredibly decisive when looking for holes at the line of scrimmage. Despite his ability to fight through contact, he doesn't do so on a consistent basis. Via Kissel:
- Not a big-play running back
- Lacking elite short-area burst
- Will dance in traffic at times
- Doesn't possess breakaway speed
Overall, Taylor ranks as the 10th-best running back in the 2013 NFL draft class.
Drafted: Round 5, Pick 140, Arizona Cardinals
6. Joseph Randle, Oklahoma State
Matt Miller Breaks Down Joseph Randle
You can view Joseph Randle's complete scouting report here (via Sigmund Bloom).
Randle is versatile with his ability to run and catch passes out of the backfield. He hauled in 108 total passes in his three years at Oklahoma State and ran for an average of 5.5 yards per carry. He has the quickness to make defenders miss in the open field. Per Bloom:
Randle runs with a good low pad level and keeps his legs churning upon contact. His initial burst and speed chews up yards very quickly, and he runs hot with urgency on most touches. Randle is a good receiver out of the backfield, and he is also amazingly effective in the red zone for a back that isn't big enough to push the pile. He can make guys miss in the open field and make big plays for an offense that gives him room to operate outside of the hashmarks.
He had good discipline in falling forward after contact, but he lacks the strength to push through contact for additional yards. Via Bloom:
Randle is rarely going to break tackles or get a lot of yards after contact, but he does initiate contact and falls forward. He doesn't look like a back who will excel between the tackles or otherwise be productive when the offensive line doesn't give him big lanes to run through. Randle is somewhat stiff and straight-linish for the most part and will need to add weight to project as a starter in the NFL. He also had major ball-security problems in the past.
Overall, Randle ranks as the sixth-best running back in the 2013 NFL draft class.
Drafted: Round 5, Pick 151, Dallas Cowboys
17. Zac Stacy, Vanderbilt
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You can view Zac Stacy's complete scouting report here (via CBS Sports).
Stacy proved capable of carrying a heavy workload at Vanderbilt, with over 200 carries in each of the past two years, averaging 5.7 yards per carry in that span. Stacy was a three-sport athlete in high school, and looks to take his athleticism to the NFL to help a team as a between-the-tackles runner. Per CBS Sports:
Compact build and runs with a good blend of toughness and power. Finishes runs and does a nice job staying on his feet as long as possible. Very good vision and feel as an inside runner with the forward lean to break tackles. Strong plant foot and does a nice job weaving through the defense.
Stacy's return experience will be another boon for whichever team selects him. CBS also suggests that he has good character and should be a leader in the locker room.
He doesn't have great burst or long speed, and therefore his upside is limited. He won't make many defenders miss in the open field, either. He's almost strictly a between-the-tackles back. Via CBS Sports:
Ordinary burst and lacks elite long-speed. Not overly elusive and doesn't have much make-you-miss ability. Runs light at times and allows his pads to rise, taking away from his power. ... [Wasn't] a large part of the passing game. Seemed to be dinged up easily and carries some durability concerns.
Overall, Stacy ranks as the 17th-best running back in the 2013 NFL draft class.
Drafted: Round 5, Pick 160, St. Louis Rams
12. Mike Gillislee, Florida
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You can view Mike Gillislee's complete scouting report here (via Bleacher Report's BJ Kissel).
Gillislee proved capable of being a workhorse in 2012 when he finished with 244 carries for 1,152 yards and 10 touchdowns. He's a great athlete in the open field, and his burst allows him to make small holes turn into big gains. Per Kissel:
- Good combination of size, strength and speed
- 3-down back
- High motor, runs hard
- Decisive runner with good vision
He can be indecisive at the line of scrimmage at times, which can lead to him being brought down behind the line of scrimmage. He also needs to learn to run with better pad level so he's not so easily brought down by arm tackles. Via Kissel:
- Doesn't possess game-breaking speed
- Spins too much after first contact
- Isn't a power back or speed back, lacks definitive trait
Overall, Gillislee ranks as the 12th-best running back in the 2013 NFL draft class.
Drafted: Round 5, Pick 164, Miami Dolphins
13. Kenjon Barner, Oregon
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You can view Kenjon Barner's complete scouting report here (via Sigmund Bloom).
Barner has done nothing but produce, no matter how heavy his workload. In fact, his yards-per-carry average defied the laws of regression and actually rose each year with more carries. His speed to get to the corner will cause big problems for defenses at the next level. Per Bloom:
Barner has surprising speed to get to the corner and outrun chasing defenders. His quickness is also very subtle, with quick adjustments on the fly to get yards after contact or elude tacklers. He is a fluid athlete with loose hips and a smooth stride that gobbles up yards. Barner is a good receiver out of the backfield and can also provide punch as a kick returner.
Despite his speed, he doesn't have a great second or third gear. He also won't be incredibly effective at running between the tackles. Via Bloom:
Barner runs with little to no urgency. He breaks very few tackles and prefers to take runs outside instead of getting north-south. While he is faster than he appears, he doesn't really have a second gear. His feet will go dead behind the line of scrimmage while he is looking for a hole, and he usually just gets what's there on a running play, nothing more. He's not physically formidable enough to be an everydown back or quality pass blocker, and seems to shy away from contact.
Overall, Barner ranks as the 13th-best running back in the 2013 NFL draft class.
Drafted: Round 6, Pick 182, Carolina Panthers
7. Andre Ellington, Clemson
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You can view Andre Ellington's complete scouting report here (via Ryan Lownes).
Ellington is a great athlete with the quickness to elude defenders in the open field. He knows how to keep a play alive, even when it appears broken. He also offers some versatility as a returner, having contributed sparingly in that regard throughout his career. Per Lownes:
- Shifty runner, effortlessly changes gears
- Good burst, acceleration
- Resilient with impressive balance
- Capable receiver with natural hands
At 5'9" and 199 pounds, Ellington doesn't have the ideal frame for an NFL running back, so there are questions as to whether he can take a beating and stand the test of time. He also doesn't have elite straight-line speed to break off long gains when he gets into the open field. Via Lownes:
- Lacks power and bulk to carry the load
- Occasionally too hesitant
- Does not have breakaway speed
- History of minor injuries
Overall, Ellington ranks as the seventh-best running back in the 2013 NFL draft class.
Drafted: Round 6, Pick 187, Arizona Cardinals
22. Rex Burkhead, Nebraska
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You can view Rex Burkhead's complete scouting report here (via Sigmund Bloom).
Burkhead is at his best when operating between the tackles. He also has soft hands to contribute in the passing game. Per Bloom:
Burkhead is a bruiser who runs with no regard for his or anyone's else health. He has a terrific sense of urgency and initial burst with the ball in his hands. He makes sharp, smart cuts with little loss of momentum. Burkhead, in general, has great feet and lateral agility, but doesn't dance or hesitate with the ball in his hands. He is an excellent receiver and has a true workhorse mentality.
Burkhead is devoid of long speed, running a 4.73-second 40-yard dash at the combine (via NFL.com). There are some flaws in his running style, primarily that he runs too upright. He also needs to work on his technique in pass protection. Via Bloom:
Burkhead doesn't have an extra gear, and his lateral moves are more subtle than spectacular. His elusiveness may not completely translate to the NFL. Burkhead's barreling-downfield running style also makes him more open to big hits and less able to use his agility and quickness. He's not going to win footraces to the corner or otherwise stretch a defense laterally.
Overall, Burkhead ranks as the 22nd-best running back in the 2013 NFL draft class.
Drafted: Round 6, Pick 190, Cincinnati Bengals
16. Theo Riddick, Notre Dame
Matt Miller Breaks Down Theo Riddick
You can view Theo Riddick's complete scouting report here (via B/R featured columnist Dan Tylicki).
Riddick is at his best when making defenders miss, not when running through them—although he did both at Notre Dame. He also isn't afraid to get involved in pass protection, and caught a whopping 120 passes in his four-year career, and 114 in the past three years alone. Per Tylicki:
Riddick's biggest strength is his versatility. He was used as a slot receiver his sophomore and junior years, and his career receiving yards are better than his rushing numbers (1,263 vs. 1,169). As a wideout, he has developed great hands and can be used in both roles.
He is not a running back that goes down on the first hit, as he is able to stay upright, and his toughness should translate well to the NFL. His quick feet provide great acceleration and he shows the ability to run past the first batch of defenders.
Beyond that, Riddick has the ability to stop on a dime and change course when needed. He may not be an open-field runner, but if a safety is closing in on him he can easily get past him.
Riddick doesn't have great long speed, running just a 4.68-second 40-yard dash (via NFL.com), and therefore won't be a great open-field threat in the NFL. It won't help that his backup, Cierre Wood, put up better numbers across the board at their Pro Day. Via Tylicki:
Riddick was never the feature back in college. He split carries with Cierre Wood his senior year, though he did have the yards advantage, 917 to 742. He also does not possess breakaway speed.
For a running back, he does not have a good build, which is leaner than preferred. While he makes up for it in toughness, he will need to bulk up to hang with NFL defenses.
Notably, he was able to perform at parts of his combine due to injury, but his pro day numbers were disappointing. A 40-yard time over 4.6 seconds and Wood easily beating him in everything could be cause for concern.
Overall, Riddick ranks as the 16th-best running back in the 2013 NFL draft class.
Drafted: Round 6, Pick 199, Detroit Lions
14. Jawan Jamison, Rutgers
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You can view Jawan Jamison's complete scouting report here (via Sigmund Bloom).
Jamison is versatile enough to run between the tackles or get to the edge of a defense, and he can also contribute in the receiving game. Per Bloom:
Jamison is a hard-charging back with a low center of gravity and great lower body strength and balance. He runs with outstanding determination and tremendous stamina at the end of games. He gets low and churns his legs upon contact, and is surprisingly elusive in the open field. Jamison is also a solid receiver for a workhorse-minded back.
He doesn't have ideal size to take a beating on a down-to-down basis, and may be limited to a rotational role. Via Bloom:
Jamison has below-average quickness, speed and initial burst. He is only good at making moves at the second level and beyond and gets caught in the backfield almost every time that there is penetration. Jamison is an ineffective back when he is going parallel to the line of scrimmage, and it appears that his production came via volume in college
Overall, Jamison ranks as the 14th-best running back in the 2013 NFL draft class.
Drafted: Round 7, Pick 228, Washington Redskins
18. Kerwynn Williams, Utah State
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You can view Kerwynn Williams' complete scouting report here (via Sigmund Bloom).
Williams can contribute as a runner and a pass-catcher, and was even used on wheel routes out of the backfield, as well. He has good quickness to make defenders miss, and has enough speed to create big plays when in the open field. Per Bloom:
Williams is a compact back with great feet and good hands as a receiver out of the backfield. He has the long speed to take any touch to the house. Williams doesn't dance in the backfield and will run hard between the tackles. He can also make moves at speed in the open field to extend long runs.
He doesn't have incredible burst off the snap, and takes some time to build speed. He doesn't have a plethora of open-field moves, either, so defenders could figure out how to stop him if he doesn't develop a few more. Via Bloom:
Williams lacks the size and strength to be an every-down back. He generally goes down on first contact and is much more effective running outside. Williams' initial burst doesn't match his long speed, and he isn't elusive in the backfield. He won't be an effective blocker against NFL pass-rushers, and his frame is probably maxed out.
Overall, Williams ranks as the 18th-best running back in the 2013 NFL draft class.
Drafted: Round 7, Pick 230, Indianapolis Colts