The 2014 NFL draft has come to an end, and the Georgia Bulldogs only had two players selected, which should come to nobody’s surprise. Quarterback Aaron Murray was taken in the fifth round by the Kansas City Chiefs, while tight end Arthur Lynch was chosen eight picks prior by the Miami Dolphins.
Next year should be a different story for the Bulldogs because there will be some talented players that will be draft eligible. But the leader of the pack has to be one of the best running backs in the country, Todd Gurley.
After battling an ankle injury, Gurley should be ready to have a big year and help lead the Bulldogs to a third SEC title game in four years. But even he doesn’t have a great year, many experts believe he’s the best running back prospect in next year’s draft class.
Walter Football is one of the more popular mock draft sites and they have Gurley being drafted 10th overall by the Miami Dolphins. John Norris of Rotoworld also has Gurley being drafted by the Dolphins in the first round, but it will be 13th overall instead of 10th. Norris said that Gurley will be the first running back to be taken next year, and the running back class will be very deep.
@JoshNorris I cover Todd Gurley, he's a special back. He will be a top 10 pick, no doubt. Power/speed combo rare.— Robbie Rosenhaus (@robbierosenhaus) May 11, 2014
So here’s why Todd Gurley is being considered as a first-round pick. Gurley has a true combination of speed and power. He’s not the fastest running back in college football, and he won’t be the fastest running back when he gets to the NFL, but he has enough speed to score from anywhere on the field.
Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson told Chase Goodbread of NFL.com back in December that Gurley has all the tools to be a great back in the NFL. Johnson went on to say Gurley’s big, physical and can catch the ball out of the backfield.
But the NFL is changing when it comes to viewing running backs. In fact, the first running back that was taken in this year’s draft was Bishop Sankey in the second round.
But next year’s class should be deeper than it has in the last couple of years, and Gurley will be leading the way. If Gurley is taken in the first round, that means he will most likely be the featured back for the team and will have to carry the load for the next five to seven years.
That’s asking a lot for a modern-day pro running back, but Gurley should have no issues adjusting to that because despite the depth and the talent at the running back position in Athens, Gurley is still and will always be the No. 1 back.
And even if Gurley decides to stay for his senior season, he will probably be the No. 1 running back prospect in the 2016 NFL Draft. CBS Sports agrees with that sentiment as it has Gurley as the No. 1 running back prospect for the draft that’s two years away.
So make no mistake about it, Gurley will be drafted and will be drafted very high. The only question is, will he leave Athens after the 2014 season, or will he stay for one more year?
No matter what he does, he has a very good chance of wearing a yellow jacket in Canton, Ohio when his football career is all said and done.