The NFL Comparison for Top 10 RB Recruits from Class of 2015

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst IApril 20, 2014

The NFL Comparison for Top 10 RB Recruits from Class of 2015

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    It's easy to look at a 5-star running back recruit and compare him to Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings or Marshawn Lynch of the Seattle Seahawks.

    Yet, these comparisons take a close examination of a recruit's skill set to match it with an NFL runner who exhibits similar traits with the ball on Sundays.

    A running back from Kentucky looks a lot like a runner in the NFC East, while Miami has a pledge from a running back who resembles a promising runner for the Cincinnati Bengals. Plus, a speedster from Texas races by defenders like an NFL running back who hails from the same state.


    All recruiting ratings and rankings are from 247Sports.
    Player evaluations are based on review of tape at Scout.comRivals and 247Sports.

Jordan Scarlett

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    Kathy Willens

    At 5'10" and 197 pounds, 4-star running back Jordan Scarlett can do a lot of different things behind and past the line of scrimmage.

    From Florida, Scarlett has the strength and the toughness to run through arm-tackles while slashing through alleys. He has solid quickness to jump to the second level, plus the Florida Atlantic commitment displays above-average speed in the open field.

    Scarlett's blend of solid speed and strength are identical to Chris Ivory of the New York Jets. 

Nick Brossette

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    Matt Slocum

    A 4-star running back from Baton Rouge, Nick Brossette committed to LSU last summer. The Tigers are getting a 6'0", 207-pound running back with good strength and power.

    Yet, Brossette has deceptively quick feet to pick and slide to holes behind the line. He can be a bully with the ball toward defenders who challenge him, and the future Tiger has solid buildup speed.

    Pittsburgh Steelers running back LeGarrette Blount is Brossette's NFL comparison.

Ronald Jones II

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    Charlie Riedel

    Hailing from Texas, 4-star running back Ronald Jones II is one of the fastest players on this list. He has the ability to put a lot of pressure on defenses due to his athletic running style.

    At 6'0" and 185 pounds, Jones has impressive awareness and instincts with the ball. He locates holes well, and makes correct decisions more times than not. He can dance around defenders with ease, but his speed is even better.

    He looks a lot like Jamaal Charles of the Kansas City Chiefs on tape. 

Desherrius Flowers

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    Rick Osentoski

    Desherrius Flowers is a 4-star running back who is 6'1" and 212 pounds. He runs with a great deal of physicality and toughness, as he will seek out contact here and there.

    Flowers is at his best when he can work in a straight line, as he isn't overly elusive. Yet, he breaks many tackles and has solid speed to make a big run. The Alabama commitment isn't going to break many ankles, but he's capable of breaking other things on defenders.

    Flowers compares to Andre Brown of the Houston Texans. 

Dexter Williams

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    A Florida native, Dexter Williams has a chance to be considered a 5-star prospect before this recruiting cycle is over.

    He is an excellent athlete who also has above-average strength. The 6'0", 192-pounder uses his eyes well to pick holes and find cutback lanes. He slides with quickness to and through alleys, plus the Miami pledge has great speed.

    Williams has a well-rounded skill set that is reminiscent of Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard. 

Soso Jamabo

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    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    At 6'3" and 210 pounds, Soso Jamabo is a tall running back who is a faster-than-quick athlete. Jamabo isn't explosive, but he's dangerous when he is allowed to get his legs churning.

    With his size, the Texas native can break a tackle or two while getting upfield. He's powerful when he can square his shoulders to the end zone, plus he has solid buildup speed.

    Jamabo is a lot like Fred Jackson of the Buffalo Bills. 

Taj Griffin

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    Dave Martin

    Taj Griffin is a 5'10", 175-pound bundle of dynamite. He likely will not be a bell-cow running back in college, but he still is capable of being an offense's main weapon.

    The Georgia native has excellent speed and quickness. Griffin is a versatile player who can be used as a running back, wide receiver and slot receiver. His ability to create matchup problems makes things tough on defenses, as Griffin commands a cornerback when he's aligned in the slot.

    The 4-star prospect is a similar player to Darren Sproles of the Philadelphia Eagles. 

    On March 25, Chad Simmons of wrote:

    "He picks his feet up and puts them down in a hurry."

Jacques Patrick

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    Tom E. Puskar

    Jacques Patrick isn't going dodge too many defenders in traffic. He's not going to make a lot of moves that belong on a highlight reel.

    However, what the 4-star running back is going to do is beat up defenses for four quarters. Patrick isn't a "lugger," but he is the type of running back who needs a lot of touches for his full impact to be felt on the game.

    The 6'1.5", 220-pounder runs hard and powerful, plus he finishes most of his carries with a nasty demeanor.

    Patrick has similar qualities to Le'Veon Bell of the Pittsburgh Steelers. 

Kerryon Johnson

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    Although he is listed as an athlete, Kerryon Johnson is a 5-star recruit who could very well be a running back at Auburn.

    Johnson is 6'0" and 200 pounds, operating with advanced instincts, awareness and vision with the ball, as evidenced by his ability to locate backside holes and manipulate linebackers. 

    Johnson slashes through creases with excellent quickness and explosiveness, plus he's tough at the point of attack. He has enough strength to break tackles, and he can elude defenders in space.

    There may be faster running backs on this list than Johnson, but he may be the most naturally instinctive.

    He compares to Montee Ball of the Denver Broncos. 

Damien Harris

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    At 5'11" and 205 pounds, 5-star running back Damien Harris has solid strength and tackle-breaking ability. 

    However, it's his foot-quickness, agility and speed that make him such a terrific running back. The Kentucky native has great balance and athleticism, which allows him to wiggle around defenders in different situations.

    He has the speed and the explosiveness to turn the corner and race by defenses to the end zone, which he does often. Harris is also a good receiver out of the backfield.

    DeAngelo Williams of the Carolina Panthers is his NFL comparison.


    Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants and the Cleveland Browns.