B/R NFL 1,000: Top 80 Running Backs

Matt Miller@nfldraftscoutNFL Draft Lead WriterApril 16, 2012

B/R NFL 1,000: Top 80 Running Backs

0 of 81

    Pop quiz: Who is the best running back in the NFL?

    Adrian Peterson might be the strongest, Ray Rice the best on third downs and LeSean McCoy the most athletic, but who is truly the best in the game?

    After spending countless hours locked in the film room breaking down the 2011 NFL season, here is our ranking of the top 80 running backs in the NFL today as part of the B/R NFL 1,000 series.

    The series offers an in-depth look at every position in the NFL, breaking down players' skills in a way never before seen on the Internet.

    B/R 1,000 rankings don't assess who had the best year or even who has the most potential. Rather, players are judged on their current skills and mechanics, based on film study of the 2011 NFL preseason and regular season only.

    After hours spent scouting every starter and every potential starter, the top 80 running backs have been scored on 10 criteria (more on the criteria here). In the slides that follow, we'll explain each player's strengths and weaknesses as the final ranking is revealed.

80. Chester Taylor, FA

1 of 81

    Agility

    5

    Very limited athletically, but that's to be expected at this point of his career.

    Ball Protection

    10

    Holds the ball high and tight. Will rarely let it hit the ground.

    Burst

    5

    Average, short burst to the hole, but no longer possesses a second gear.

    Hands

    3

    Very bad hands. Struggles to look the ball in.

    Pass Block

    7

    Still possesses above-average strength when blocking, but his technique is starting to slip.

    Power

    6

    No longer powerful enough to move the pile with any consistency.

    Route Running

    4.5

    Does not run great routes and is not a reliable receiver.

    Speed

    7

    Deceptively fast and quick enough to eat up big chunks of yardage at a time.

    Vision

    7

    Looks for cutback lanes too often, which will get him trapped in the backfield.

    Health

    7

    Missed four games in 2011.

    Overall

    61.5

    Taylor is no longer the dominant change-of-pace back he once was, but he can still get the job done in certain spots.

79. Tashard Choice, Buffalo Bills

2 of 81

    Agility

    6

    Above-average athlete, but not necessarily quick.

    Ball Protection

    6

    Holds the ball loosely in open space.

    Burst

    7

    Slow to accelerate when he finds open field.

    Hands

    6

    Drops too many passes to be considered reliable.

    Pass Block

    5

    Limited pass-blocker who lacks the fundamentals and technique.

    Power

    7

    Good size and explosion. Finishes off runs with good power.

    Route Running

    6

    Will round out his routes, which allows linebackers to keep up.

    Speed

    6

    Does not have great speed for a running back.

    Vision

    6

    Not an incredibly instinctive runner.

    Health

    8

    Sat out three games in 2011.

    Overall

    63

    Has the power and burst to be effective as a backup.

78. Kahlil Bell, Chicago Bears

3 of 81

    Agility

    7

    Possesses good quickness and flexibility.

    Ball Protection

    7

    Susceptible to losing the ball when hit high.

    Burst

    7

    Good burst, but slow to accelerate in space.

    Hands

    7

    Good hands overall, but needs to do a better job looking it into his hands.

    Pass Block

    3

    Can be a liability in the backfield as a blocker.

    Power

    5

    Does not have the power to play a factor between the tackles.

    Route Running

    7

    Runs clean routes, but needs to create more separation.

    Speed

    7

    Has the burst to beat a defender to open space and speed to maintain the advantage.

    Vision

    5

    Struggles to find his running lane.

    Health

    8

    Missed three games in 2011.

    Overall

    63

    Quick runner in space. Good change-of-pace back.

77. Jamie Harper, Tennessee Titans

4 of 81

    Agility

    7

    Possesses good flexibility and quickness.

    Ball Protection

    7

    Good protection overall, but susceptible to losing the ball on high hits.

    Burst

    7

    Good, short burst to the hole but struggles to accelerate in open space.

    Hands

    7

    Must work on looking the ball in.

    Pass Block

    3

    Not a good pass-blocker. Lacks the solid base and fundamentals.

    Power

    6

    Does not have the power to go through the middle and move a pile.

    Route Running

    6

    Struggles to run crisp routes.

    Speed

    7

    Has a good burst to get to the hole but will get closed on in open space.

    Vision

    5

    Struggles to find his lanes.

    Health

    8

    Missed three games in 2011.

    Overall

    63

    Average backup running back at best.

76. Alfonso Smith, Arizona Cardinals

5 of 81

    Agility

    6

    Above-average athlete, but not known for his elite quickness.

    Ball Protection

    10

    Holds the ball high and tight and is reliable with it.

    Burst

    6

    Does not have a high-level burst. Struggles to start and stop effectively.

    Hands

    5

    Has a hard time looking the ball into his hands.

    Pass Block

    8

    Strong, solid base in pass protection.

    Power

    4

    Not a good between-the-tackles runner.

    Route Running

    5

    Does not run smooth routes. Rounds off too many corners.

    Speed

    6.5

    Has decent speed but can be chased down in the open field.

    Vision

    4

    Below-average vision. Has a hard time finding running lanes.

    Health

    9

    Missed one game in 2011.

    Overall

    63.5

    Reliable second or third back in a platoon system.

75. Tim Hightower, FA

6 of 81

    Agility

    6

    Slightly above average athlete.

    Ball Protection

    9

    Possesses strong hands and arms. Will rarely fumble.

    Burst

    7

    Strong burst to the hole but can be slow to accelerate.

    Hands

    6

    Does not have great hands out of the backfield.

    Pass Block

    10

    Very good pass-blocker who is an asset on third downs.

    Power

    7

    Good size and hip explosion when finishing runs.

    Route Running

    5

    Does not run fluid routes out of the backfield.

    Speed

    6

    Average speed at best, but not good enough.

    Vision

    5

    Has a hard time seeing the correct running lanes.

    Health

    4

    Missed 11 games in 2011.

    Overall

    65

    Really an asset as a power runner and pass-protector when he's on the field. How he recovers from a torn ACL for 2012 will be key.

74. Felix Jones, Dallas Cowboys

7 of 81

    Agility

    8

    High-level quickness and overall athleticism.

    Ball Protection

    6

    Holds the ball far too loosely in space.

    Burst

    7

    Has a good initial burst but struggles to find the second gear in open space.

    Hands

    4

    Does not have good hands as a pass-catcher out of the backfield.

    Pass Block

    5

    Does not possess good technical skills or a strong base as a blocker.

    Power

    6

    Can be effective at times between the tackles but isn't consistent.

    Route Running

    8

    Very fluid route runner out of the backfield but lacks the consistency with his hands.

    Speed

    7

    Fast enough to pick up good chunks of yardage but doesn't have elite speed or a second gear.

    Vision

    7

    Can find cutback lanes well but needs to get downhill more often.

    Health

    7

    Missed four games due to an ankle injury in 2011.

    Overall

    65

    Good change-of-pace back who can be effective when utilized correctly.

73. Anthony Dixon, San Francisco 49ers

8 of 81

    Agility

    7

    Possesses enough quickness and flexibility to be a factor.

    Ball Protection

    8

    Doesn't consistently keep the ball high and tight.

    Burst

    7

    Slow to accelerate in the open field but has a good burst to the line of scrimmage.

    Hands

    6

    Drops too many sure passes.

    Pass Block

    5

    Limited pass-blocker who doesn't have a good base or technique.

    Power

    6

    Not extremely effective when meeting tacklers head-on at the line of scrimmage.

    Route Running

    5

    Is not a reliable receiver out of the backfield. Does not run crisp routes.

    Speed

    6

    Does not have enough speed to be a major factor.

    Vision

    5

    Struggles to find his running lanes.

    Health

    10

    Didn't miss any games in 2011.

    Overall

    65

    Backup running back but will be pushed back on the depth chart by more talented runners.

72. Evan Royster, Washington Redskins

9 of 81

    Agility

    6

    Has good enough athletic ability but lacks quickness.

    Ball Protection

    10

    Royster simply does not fumble.

    Burst

    7

    Has some burst in his game, showing an ability to quickly hit the hole.

    Hands

    7

    An able receiver with soft hands but can turn upfield before locking the ball in.

    Pass Block

    8

    Has the strength and physical nature to be a damn good pass-protector.

    Power

    7

    Has good lower-body strength and strong running to get through the line with power.

    Route Running

    5

    A limited route runner who doesn't have the foot speed to be elite.

    Speed

    6.5

    Lacks great speed and won't run away from anyone in space.

    Vision

    5

    Can struggle to find cutback lanes. Is more of a battering ram.

    Health

    4

    Played in just 10 games in 2011.

    Overall

    65.5

    Royster is a strong runner who brings value as a situational back. He's strong enough to be a great stand-in pass-protector and is strong enough to carry the rock in goal-line situations.

71. Danny Woodhead, New England Patriots

10 of 81

    Agility

    7

    Agile and athletic runner.

    Ball Protection

    10

    Very strong possession skills. Holds the ball high and tight.

    Burst

    5

    Does not have a great burst of speed to the hole.

    Hands

    7.5

    Good hands as a receiver. Catches the ball away from his body.

    Pass Block

    3

    Poor pass-blocker who doesn't have the strong base or fundamentals.

    Power

    2

    Will not be mistaken for a downhill power runner.

    Route Running

    8

    Runs clean, crisp routes and can be flexed out.

    Speed

    6

    Despite his small size and agility, he does not possess elite speed.

    Vision

    8

    Has the ability to find the hole and make quick cuts.

    Health

    9

    Missed one game in 2011.

    Overall

    65.5

    Very good situational player who is effective as a receiver out of the backfield as well.

70. Maurice Morris, Detroit Lions

11 of 81

    Agility

    6

    Displays decent agility and flexibility.

    Ball Protection

    8

    Upper-level protection skills, but needs to develop better consistency.

    Burst

    5

    Decent, short burst to the hole but does not have a good second gear.

    Hands

    7

    Pretty good hands but needs to do a better job looking the ball in.

    Pass Block

    5

    Does not possess good pass-blocking technique.

    Power

    5

    Not a very powerful runner. Will not break many tackles.

    Route Running

    8

    Has good body control in the flats and runs crisp routes.

    Speed

    6

    Does not have great speed. Very average runner.

    Vision

    6

    Does not have great instincts for finding running lanes.

    Health

    10

    Didn't miss any games in 2011.

    Overall

    66

    Decent third option at running back. Will be good for a series or two.

69. Marion Barber III, Retired

12 of 81

    Agility

    6

    Does not have great quickness and is a slightly above-average athlete.

    Ball Protection

    8

    Good, strong hands. Will normally protect the ball well.

    Burst

    8

    Dangerous first step and short-area acceleration.

    Hands

    7

    Possesses a pair of fairly reliable hands for a running back.

    Pass Block

    4

    Does not have the technique and is a liability as a blocker.

    Power

    8

    Physical and punishing runner who will fight for extra yards and move the pile.

    Route Running

    5

    Does not have good route-running skills.

    Speed

    6

    Below-average speed for a running back.

    Vision

    7

    Instinctive runner, but looks for too many cutback lanes, which slows him down.

    Health

    7

    Played in 11 games in 2011.

    Overall

    66

    Once top-notch running back who was nearing the end of his career. Retirement proves he just didn't have it anymore.

68. Earnest Graham, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

13 of 81

    Agility

    6

    Does not have great athleticism or mobility.

    Ball Protection

    8

    Good protection skills but needs to be more consistent.

    Burst

    6

    Has a good burst to the hole but struggles to maintain.

    Hands

    5

    Does not possess good hands as a receiver out of the backfield.

    Pass Block

    10

    Very good blocker who has a solid base and knows where he needs to be in the backfield.

    Power

    6

    Not powerful enough on a consistent basis.

    Route Running

    7

    Runs smooth routes but needs to take sharper corners.

    Speed

    7

    Has a good initial burst and can pick up good yardage in the open field.

    Vision

    6

    Does not consistently find running lanes.

    Health

    5

    Missed a big chunk of games in 2011.

    Overall

    66

    Veteran running back who can make a huge positive impact on offense.

67. Ricky Williams, Retired

14 of 81

    Agility

    7

    Possesses good flexibility, mobility and athletics.

    Ball Protection

    7

    Needs to protect the ball better when hit high.

    Burst

    7

    Very good burst to get to the hole but loses a step in space.

    Hands

    6

    Does not have great hands out of the backfield.

    Pass Block

    3

    Struggles to get a good base as a pass-blocker.

    Power

    8

    Possesses great power at the point of contact.

    Route Running

    5

    Does not run smooth routes coming out of the backfield.

    Speed

    6.5

    Still has a burst, but at this point in his career he doesn't have the speed needed to play a huge factor.

    Vision

    7

    Has a veteran understanding of running lanes but will cut back too often.

    Health

    10

    Didn't miss any games in 2011.

    Overall

    66.5

    At this point of his career, Williams is more of a short-yardage power back who can be used situationally.

66. Kendall Hunter, San Francisco 49ers

15 of 81

    Agility

    7

    Good athletics and quickness in the open field.

    Ball Protection

    10

    Very good at keeping control of the ball. Holds it high and tight.

    Burst

    5

    Decent, short bursts but does not have a second gear.

    Hands

    7

    Good hands and extension, but needs to work on looking the ball in.

    Pass Block

    4

    Does not have the base or technique to be a good blocker.

    Power

    4

    Not a powerful downhill runner.

    Route Running

    8

    Possesses good body control in the flats and is even able to flex out in situations.

    Speed

    6.5

    Good initial burst but doesn't have game-breaking speed in the open field.

    Vision

    5

    Struggles to find running lanes or cutback lanes.

    Health

    10

    Didn't miss any games in 2011.

    Overall

    66.5

    Decent scatback-type player who can play a role in the passing game.

65. Jackie Battle, FA

16 of 81

    Agility

    6

    Slightly above-average athlete.

    Ball Protection

    10

    Holds the ball high and tight. Won't cough it up much.

    Burst

    6

    Struggles when he has to start and stop but has a good initial burst.

    Hands

    5

    Does not have good hands as a receiver.

    Pass Block

    7

    Strong pass-blocker with good fundamentals and a solid base.

    Power

    5

    Not incredibly effective between the tackles. Will not break many tackles.

    Route Running

    6.5

    Runs clean routes but lacks the ability to get separation from his defenders.

    Speed

    6

    Below-average speed.

    Vision

    6

    He can lower his pads and charge forward but is not an instinctual runner.

    Health

    9

    Missed one game in 2011.

    Overall

    66.5

    Does a good job as a platoon back but has too many weaknesses to be much more.

64. Cedric Benson, FA

17 of 81

    Agility

    7

    Good quickness and flexibility.

    Ball Protection

    6

    Veteran ball-carrier who fumbled a surprising five times in 2011.

    Burst

    7

    Has a decent burst to hole but struggles in open space.

    Hands

    5

    Does not have solid hands as a pass-catcher.

    Pass Block

    7

    Very limited blocker in the backfield.

    Power

    7

    Good size and hip explosion make him a dangerous runner at the point of contact.

    Route Running

    5

    Does not run fluid routes out of the backfield.

    Speed

    5.5

    Not a fast running back.

    Vision

    8

    Veteran knowledge of the game allows him to find the hole and cutting lanes.

    Health

    9

    Sat out one game in 2011.

    Overall

    66.5

    Solid veteran power runner who can still be effective between the tackles but lacks the speed to be a factor after the first wave of tacklers.

63. Mewelde Moore, Pittsburgh Steelers

18 of 81

    Agility

    6

    Good quickness and flexibility.

    Ball Protection

    8

    Strong arms allow him to hold on to the ball effectively.

    Burst

    6

    Good, short burst to the hole but lacks the ability to start and stop effectively.

    Hands

    6

    Drops far too many passes to be considered consistent.

    Pass Block

    7

    Good pass-protector with a good base and technique.

    Power

    6

    Not an effective between-the-tackles runner.

    Route Running

    8

    Runs very crisp routes out of the backfield.

    Speed

    7

    Possesses good speed in the open field.

    Vision

    6

    Has a hard time finding running lanes consistently.

    Health

    7

    Sprained his MCL in 2011 but didn't miss many games and looks fine for 2012.

    Overall

    67

    Solid back who can be a positive contributor but isn't great in any way.

62. James Starks, Green Bay Packers

19 of 81

    Agility

    7

    Good athleticism and quickness in the open field.

    Ball Protection

    7

    Will normally hold on to the ball but needs to get better at protecting it against high hits.

    Burst

    7

    Has a great first step and burst to the hole.

    Hands

    7

    Fairly consistent hands for a running back. Looks the ball in well.

    Pass Block

    8

    High-level pass-blocker with a strong base and good technique.

    Power

    5

    Has trouble breaking tackles and is inconsistent through the middle.

    Route Running

    5

    Does not excel at running crisp, smooth routes.

    Speed

    8

    Top-notch speed and ability to outrun opponents in the open field.

    Vision

    5

    Has a hard time finding open lanes to run through.

    Health

    8

    Missed three games in 2011.

    Overall

    67

    Starks has a ton of raw ability and is full of potential. Tough runner who will always move the ball forward, but he needs to put together a consistent season.

61. Curtis Brinkley, San Diego Chargers

20 of 81

    Agility

    7

    Good athleticism and quickness for a running back.

    Ball Protection

    10

    Will rarely let go of the ball. Holds it in optimal position.

    Burst

    7

    Strong first step and a good burst at the hole.

    Hands

    7

    Solid hands. Will catch most passes thrown his way.

    Pass Block

    7.5

    Pretty good run-blocker but needs to develop better technique.

    Power

    5

    Does not have the strength to be effective between the tackles.

    Route Running

    6

    Does not run smooth routes and struggles to get separation.

    Speed

    6.5

    Doesn't show consistent speed, but he has the ability to outrun opponents.

    Vision

    5

    Struggles to find running lanes.

    Health

    6

    Missed six games in 2011.

    Overall

    67

    Has the ability to be an effective backup but needs to work on some of his fundamentals and speed.

60. Chris Ivory, New Orleans Saints

21 of 81

    Agility

    6

    Slightly above-average athlete, but is not exceptionally quick.

    Ball Protection

    10

    Holds the ball high and tight.

    Burst

    7

    Has a decent, short burst and can stop and start effectively.

    Hands

    5

    Has a hard time looking the ball into his hands.

    Pass Block

    8

    Strong base with above-average strength. Can hold his own against the pass rush.

    Power

    8

    Very impressive power runner who can run over defenders.

    Route Running

    5

    Not a good route runner out of the backfield.

    Speed

    7

    Does not have great speed for a running back.

    Vision

    7

    Struggles to find open lanes or cutback lanes.

    Health

    4

    Missed 10 games in 2011.

    Overall

    67

    Bruising back who is exceptional between the tackles when healthy.

59. Cadillac Williams, St. Louis Rams

22 of 81

    Agility

    6.5

    Slightly above average athlete but doesn't possess great quickness.

    Ball Protection

    10

    Tucks the ball high and tight.

    Burst

    5

    Does not have the second gear to outrun defenders in the second level.

    Hands

    4.5

    Struggles to have reliable hands in the passing game.

    Pass Block

    7

    Well above average strength and a very solid base.

    Power

    6

    Despite his strength, he struggles to move piles on a consistent basis.

    Route Running

    6

    Not reliable out of the backfield as a receiver.

    Speed

    7

    Does not have the speed to be a consistent factor.

    Vision

    8

    Does not have the ability to make quick and efficient cuts.

    Health

    7

    Missed five games in 2011.

    Overall

    67.5

    Good backup running back, but doesn't have what it takes to be the feature back.

58. Isaac Redman, Pittsburgh Steelers

23 of 81

    Agility

    7

    Very good mobility and athleticism as a runner.

    Ball Protection

    7

    Needs to get better at protecting when hit high.

    Burst

    7

    Very good initial burst but doesn't have a second gear.

    Hands

    7

    Possesses good hands but needs to look the ball in more.

    Pass Block

    5

    Does not have the fundamentals to be an adequate pass-blocker.

    Power

    6

    Can move the pile, but cannot do so consistently.

    Route Running

    5.5

    Reliable receiver but needs to work on running crisper routes.

    Speed

    7

    Has enough speed to pick up big chunks of yardage before being tracked down.

    Vision

    6

    Does not really run off instinct. Has a hard time finding lanes.

    Health

    10

    Didn't miss any games in 2011.

    Overall

    67.5

    Has the speed, explosiveness and ability to be serviceable, but he's not great.

57. Knowshon Moreno, Denver Broncos

24 of 81

    Agility

    8

    High-level athlete with good quickness.

    Ball Protection

    8

    Good protector, but needs to consistently hold on to the ball.

    Burst

    8

    Good initial burst to the hole, slow to accelerate in the open field.

    Hands

    8

    Good hands overall. Won't drop many passes.

    Pass Block

    4

    Very poor pass-blocker. Doesn't display good technique.

    Power

    6

    Does not have enough power to break many tackles.

    Route Running

    7

    Runs very smooth and clean routes.

    Speed

    7

    Good burst and is quick enough to maintain it, but lacks that second gear to really escape.

    Vision

    7

    Has the ability to find running lanes well.

    Health

    5

    Missed from Week 11 through the end of the season after a knee injury

    Overall

    68

    Speedy and effective runner, especially in the right system.

56. Justin Forsett, Seattle Seahawks

25 of 81

    Agility

    7

    Possesses high-level athleticism.

    Ball Protection

    10

    Holds the ball high and tight and will rarely put it on the ground.

    Burst

    7

    Possesses a good, short burst to the hole.

    Hands

    7.5

    Possesses good hands and extends his arms well when catching.

    Pass Block

    3

    Not a reliable blocker in the backfield.

    Power

    4

    Not an effective between-the-tackles runner.

    Route Running

    6.5

    Rounds off too many routes, but he's a reliable receiver.

    Speed

    8

    Possesses very good speed in the open field.

    Vision

    5

    Struggles to find running lanes.

    Health

    10

    Didn't miss any games in 2011.

    Overall

    68

    Very good quickness and speed make him an effective change-of-pace back.

55. Brandon Jacobs, San Francisco 49ers

26 of 81

    Agility

    7

    Displays good quickness and agility for a running back of his size.

    Ball Protection

    6

    Holds the ball solely in open space, which makes it susceptible to getting punched out.

    Burst

    7

    Great burst to the line of scrimmage, but a tad slow when accelerating in space.

    Hands

    6

    Has solid, but not great, hands as a receiver.

    Pass Block

    4

    Despite his size and strength, he doesn't have good technique or base when blocking.

    Power

    8

    Very powerful, downhill runner. Needs to lower his pads at the point of impact though.

    Route Running

    8

    Runs clean routes overall but needs to get more separation.

    Speed

    6

    Does not have great speed. Much more of a momentum runner.

    Vision

    8

    Can see the field well but looks for cutback lanes far too often.

    Health

    8

    Missed two games in 2011.

    Overall

    68

    Extremely good change-of-pace back. Typical downhill bruising runner who is very effective.

54. Shonn Greene, New York Jets

27 of 81

    Agility

    7

    Decent flexibility and agility, but nothing special.

    Ball Protection

    9

    Possesses good strength in his arms, will rarely fumble.

    Burst

    7

    Has a good, short burst to the hole and can start and stop well, but doesn't have the open-field quickness to be an elite runner.

    Hands

    4

    Doesn't have great hands as a receiver.

    Pass Block

    7

    Above-average strength allows him to hold his ground against the rush.

    Power

    8.5

    Strong between-the-tackles runner who can punish defenders and break tackles.

    Route Running

    6

    Does not run great routes and doesn't cut crisp corners.

    Speed

    4

    Poor speed for a running back. Relies more on his strength.

    Vision

    6

    More of a bulldozer runner than an instinctual runner who will cut back into lanes.

    Health

    10

    Didn't miss any games in 2011.

    Overall

    68.5

    Good downhill presence that will pick up tough yards when needed, but needs to be more consistent.

53. Bernard Scott, Cincinnati Bengals

28 of 81

    Agility

    7

    Good quickness and flexibility, but is not great.

    Ball Protection

    10

    Holds the ball high and tight and will rarely fumble.

    Burst

    7

    Has a good, short burst to the line, but is slow to accelerate in open space.

    Hands

    5

    Does not have good hands. Struggles to look the ball in.

    Pass Block

    5

    Can be a liability as a blocker in the backfield.

    Power

    6

    Not very effective running between the tackles.

    Route Running

    5

    Poor hands and poor route-running skills.

    Speed

    6.5

    Decent speed but isn't quick enough to make a huge impact.

    Vision

    7

    Has good instincts but looks for the cutback too often.

    Health

    10

    Didn't miss any games in 2011.

    Overall

    68.5

    Average, young running back who won't be much more than a backup.

52. D.J. Ware, New York Giants

29 of 81

    Agility

    6

    Just above-average athlete.

    Ball Protection

    10

    Holds the ball high and tight, which allows him to protect the ball well.

    Burst

    6

    Displays a decent, short burst to the hole.

    Hands

    7

    Decent hands but needs to look the ball in.

    Pass Block

    5

    Does not have great fundamentals as a blocker.

    Power

    5

    Not effective running between the tackles.

    Route Running

    7

    Runs cleans routes but needs to work on using his body to get separation.

    Speed

    7

    Quick enough to pick up good chunks of yardage in open space.

    Vision

    6

    Does not have great instincts as a runner. Struggles to find the proper lanes.

    Health

    10

    Didn't miss any games in 2011.

    Overall

    69

    Good platoon back who can play a factor in the passing game.

51. Ryan Grant, FA

30 of 81

    Agility

    6

    Not extremely athletic and has average quickness.

    Ball Protection

    8

    Has strong arms and will rarely put the ball on the ground.

    Burst

    6

    Decent short burst to the hole.

    Hands

    7

    Possesses good, solid hands out of the backfield.

    Pass Block

    4

    Liability as a blocker out of the backfield. Does not have good technique as a blocker.

    Power

    6

    Below-average power. Has trouble breaking tackles.

    Route Running

    9

    Has great balance out of the backfield and runs smooth, crisp routes.

    Speed

    6.5

    Lacks elite speed needed at his position.

    Vision

    8.5

    Has good vision. Very good at finding the right lanes.

    Health

    9

    Missed one game in 2011.

    Overall

    70

    Has had a hard time with consistency and injury in the past two years, but when he's on, he's a legitimate starting running back.

50. Kevin Smith, Detroit Lions

31 of 81

    Agility

    8

    Has very good mobility and quickness.

    Ball Protection

    9

    Holds the ball well and will rarely fumble.

    Burst

    7

    Good, short burst to the line of scrimmage, but is not necessarily explosive.

    Hands

    6

    Not an elite-level receiver out of the backfield.

    Pass Block

    8

    Strong base allows him to hold his own in the backfield.

    Power

    5

    Not an effective between-the-tackles runner.

    Route Running

    7.5

    Runs clean routes and shows good balance in the flats.

    Speed

    7.5

    Possesses good-to-great speed in the open field.

    Vision

    7

    Has the ability to see the field well and find his lanes.

    Health

    5

    Battled injury throughout 2011.

    Overall

    70

    Can play above his skill level at times, but truthfully he is nothing more than a good backup who will pick up yards when needed.

49. Donald Brown, Indianapolis Colts

32 of 81

    Agility

    7

    Good mobility, athleticism and quickness.

    Ball Protection

    10

    Will rarely fumble the ball. Holds it high and tight to his body.

    Burst

    6

    Has a good burst to the hole, but struggles to start and stop with a high-level burst.

    Hands

    4

    Does not have consistent hands.

    Pass Block

    9

    Very good pass-blocker with a solid base and good technique.

    Power

    5

    Is not a consistent threat between the tackles.

    Route Running

    6

    Struggles to run effective routes.

    Speed

    8

    Possesses high-level speed and can outrun opponents in the open field.

    Vision

    5

    Does not run the ball instinctively.

    Health

    10

    Healthy for all of 2011.

    Overall

    70

    Has the ability to be a very good change-of-pace back.

48. Daniel Thomas, Miami Dolphins

33 of 81

    Agility

    8

    Very good athlete with good mobility and quickness.

    Ball Protection

    7

    Usually protects the ball well but needs to do a better job when hit high.

    Burst

    7

    Great first burst to the line of scrimmage but struggles to accelerate once he hits the open field.

    Hands

    7

    Good hands but needs to look the ball in more.

    Pass Block

    6.5

    Limited blocker who needs to work on his technique.

    Power

    8

    Possesses very impressive power on contact.

    Route Running

    6

    Reliable receiver but needs to learn to run cleaner routes.

    Speed

    6

    Very average speed for a running back.

    Vision

    7

    Not an incredibly instinctive or shifty runner.

    Health

    8

    Played in 13 games in 2011.

    Overall

    70.5

    Young, powerful back who has the ability to grow into a bruiser role.

47. Thomas Jones, FA

34 of 81

    Agility

    6

    Does not possess great athleticism this far into his career.

    Ball Protection

    10

    Veteran ball-carrier who holds it high and tight.

    Burst

    8

    Possesses a strong first step and good burst in short-area acceleration.

    Hands

    6

    Decent hands but is not a consistent pass-catcher.

    Pass Block

    8

    High-level pass-blocker with a good, solid base.

    Power

    7

    Strong runner who will break tackles and move the pile.

    Route Running

    4

    Not a reliable route runner.

    Speed

    5

    Does not possess good quickness.

    Vision

    7

    Good, veteran knowledge of the run game and where his lanes are.

    Health

    10

    Didn't miss any games in 2011.

    Overall

    71

    Veteran player who is no longer the workhorse he once was, but can still put his head down and get valuable yards.

46. Roy Helu, Washington Redskins

35 of 81

    Agility

    8

    Very agile and quick running back.

    Ball Protection

    8

    Does a good job holding on to the ball because of his strong arms.

    Burst

    8

    Has a strong first step and good explosion in short areas.

    Hands

    5

    Does not possess great hands as a receiver out of the backfield.

    Pass Block

    8

    Strong base allows him to hold his own against the pass rush.

    Power

    5

    Not an effective runner going between the tackles.

    Route Running

    7

    Runs good, crisp routes out of the backfield.

    Speed

    8

    Combines very good agility with game-breaking speed.

    Vision

    5

    Has a hard time finding the running lanes, but this will come in time.

    Health

    9

    Sat out one game in 2011.

    Overall

    71

    Young running back with a ton of potential, but still needs time to develop.

45. LeGarrette Blount, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

36 of 81

    Agility

    6

    Not incredibly athletic or mobile.

    Ball Protection

    5

    Struggles to protect the ball and will put it on the ground when defenses attack his arms.

    Burst

    7

    Good, strong burst but struggles to accelerate in open space.

    Hands

    4

    Does not possess reliable hands as a pass-catcher.

    Pass Block

    9

    Good, solid base makes him a reliable blocker.

    Power

    10

    Elite power as a runner. Possesses a lower center of gravity and is punishing to meet head-on.

    Route Running

    8

    Runs relatively clean routes for such a big player.

    Speed

    7

    Possesses a deceptive burst of speed.

    Vision

    7

    Can easily pick out running lanes but has a hard time finding cutback lanes in space.

    Health

    8

    Missed Weeks 6 and 7 of the 2011 season due to a knee injury.

    Overall

    71

    Very powerful runner who can be a force when he gets going.

44. Joe McKnight, New York Jets

37 of 81

    Agility

    9

    Great athlete with good quickness and mobility.

    Ball Protection

    9

    Has good protection skills and will rarely fumble.

    Burst

    8

    Very strong first step and can be a very explosive runner.

    Hands

    7

    Good hands, but needs to work on looking the ball in.

    Pass Block

    5

    Not a good blocker in the backfield.

    Power

    4

    Does not have good power as a runner. Not good between the tackles.

    Route Running

    8

    Good body control in the flats and can even be flexed out from time to time.

    Speed

    8

    High-level speed. Has the ability to outrun opponents in the open field.

    Vision

    4

    Struggles to find his running lanes.

    Health

    9

    Missed one game due to injury in 2011.

    Overall

    71

    Very fast, young player who will only continue to develop and round out his skill set.

43. Jason Snelling, Atlanta Falcons

38 of 81

    Agility

    6

    Does not possess great athleticism or mobility.

    Ball Protection

    10

    Holds the ball high and tight. Will rarely fumble.

    Burst

    6

    Gets a good first burst but doesn't have much after that.

    Hands

    6.5

    Decent receiver but needs to work on looking the ball in.

    Pass Block

    8

    Strong base and technique allow him to be an effective blocker.

    Power

    7

    Strong enough to explode at the point of contact and push the pile.

    Route Running

    6

    Struggles to run clean routes.

    Speed

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