- By Jeff Gusman-Contributing Writer-Radio Host-Football Reporters Online 1. Trent Richardson, Jr. Alabama. 5’11”, 225 # … 4.49-C
A two-time National Champion out of Alabama, Richardson is one of the most complete Backs to come into the Draft in recent years. He’s a big-game player with terrific vision and balance; and while his speed is not great, it is good enough. Richardson is hard to bring down, and protects the football well. Due to his lack of speed, he can sometimes be tracked down in the open field. His long term durability could be an issue, too, because of his punishing running style. The bottom line is Richardson is physically mature and NFL ready. Look for him to be the first Running Back taken in Round One.
2. Lamar Miller, R-So. Miami (FLA). 5’11”, 215 # … 4.40-C
Miller is one of the fastest players in the Draft, regardless of position. He has big play ability and can accelerate quickly once he gets through the hole. He seems to get better and stronger as the game goes on. Still rough around the edges having only played two years at Miami, he possesses tremendous upside. Miller can also play on special teams as he returned kicks, including an 88 yarder for a touchdown his freshman year vs. Ohio State. The bottom line is he’s a big play waiting to happen, and of drafted by the right team could be a star in the league for a long time.
3. David Wilson, Jr. VA Tech. 5’10”, 205 # … 4.49-C
Wilson is strong and very athletic. The 2011 ACC offensive player of the year has elite speed and good balance. He runs through arm tackles with ease. He can also return kicks. Needs to work on his pass protection and catching. Bottom line is Wilson has the potential to play in this league for a long time. Depending on a team’s need, he could go late in the first round, but the second or third round is more likely.
4. Doug Martin, Sr. Boise St. 5’9”, 220 # … 4.55-C
A rare fifth year senior, Martin had a very successful career at Boise State. Running for over 2400 yards in his Junior and Senior seasons. Martin has good power and shows good instincts. He’s got a high football IQ and has good hands out of the backfield as well as being a high character individual. Bottom line is whoever drafts Martin is going to get a very good football player and even better person.
5. Chris Polk, Sr. Washington. 5’11”, 225 # … 4.57-C
The solidly built Polk has excellent vision and good feet. He’s an excellent receiver out of the backfield as well. Polk protects the football well, and is good in pass protection. He has average speed and can do a better job of protecting himself at the point of contact to cut down on the punishment. The bottom line is Polk will contribute early wherever he goes, he would be a nice third down back to start his career.
6. LaMichael James, Jr. Oregon. 5’9”, 190# … 4.45-C
The three-time Pac 10/12 rushing champ and two-time Player of the Year just simply produces. A deceptive runner, James is very good at running between the tackles. He’s very elusive and has tremendous cutback ability. He’s a good receiver out of the backfield and will stick his nose in to pass protect as well. Lacks ideal size and has durability issues after dislocating his elbow in mid-October of this year. The bottom line is James would be a good fit for a team looking for a second or even third back. A homerun hitter, if you will. Think Darren Sproels.
7. Cyrus Gray, Sr. Texas A&M. 5’10”, 200# … 4.447-C
A third down type of back, Gray shows good balance and vision and has quick feet. He has soft hands out of the backfield and showed great character and leadership in his four years as an Aggie. Gray isn’t the fastest player, is indecisive at times and has average power. Bottom line is Gray is very versatile and would be a nice change of pace Back in the league.
8. Isaiah Pead, Sr. Cincinnati, 5’10”, 195 # … 4.47—C
Gaining over 3000 yards while a Bearcat, Pead has speed to burn. He can go the distance anytime he touches the ball. A good receiver out of the backfield Pead can be very dangerous in space. Not the best in pass protection, he also lacks size. A bit immature at times, needs to work on his character. The bottom line is Mr. Pead would be a nice complimentary Back, a nice homerun threat to have.
9. Bernard Pierce, Jr. Temple, 6’, 218 # …4.49-C
Rush for almost 1500 as a Junior and over 3500 in his career for the Owls, Pierce has excellent size and good vision. Good at cutting back against the grain and shows good bursts through the hole. Pierce is a hard runner who runs well between the tackles. He does lack power and had very little receiving production while at Temple. The bottom line is Pierce could end up starting in this league for the right team. He would be ideal in a zone-blocking scheme.
10. Vick Ballard, Sr. Mississippi State, 5’10”, 215 # … 4.65-C
After two years at Mississippi Gulf Coast CC, Ballard gained over 2100 yards for the Bulldogs. He runs hard and with patience. He’s good in pass protection and has good hands. He’s very effective between the tackles. He does lack break-away speed and runs a little stiff. The bottom line is Ballard will be a nice Second Back in the league and will definitely help a team early.
11. Ronnie Hillman, R-So. San Diego State, 5’9”, 190 # …4.45-C
Hillman was a highly productive Back running for over 3200 yards as an Aztec. He’s got great vision and shows good balance. He’s a good receiver out of the backfield. He does lack elite speed and burst and needs to improve in pass protection. The bottom line is Hillman has a chance to be a nice change of pace Back in the league.
12. Edwin Baker, Jr, Michigan State, 5’9”, 210 # … 4.53-C
After gaining over 1200 yards as a Sophomore for the Spartans, Baker’s production fell off his Junior year, leaving some to speculate whether he should have stayed for his Senior year. Has an NFL-ready build and is a hard runner with good burst. A patient runner, Baker reads his blocks very well. He does lack that extra gear to break long runs and doesn’t protect the ball well (9 career fumbles). The bottom line is Bake will be a nice Second Back to give a breather to the Feature Back.
13. Chris Rainey, Sr. Florida, 5’8”, 180 # … 4.45-C
Rainey did it all for the Gators; rushing, receiving, special teams, you name it. He’s an explosive runner with elite speed, has excellent hands out of the backfield and can probably even be used as a slot Receiver. Can return both kicks and punts. He does however lack ideal size and had some off the field issues while at Florida.
14. Robert Turbin, Jr. Utah State, 5’10”, 220 # … 4.50-C
Turbin gained over 2800 yards his Junior and Senior years as an Aggie despite tearing an ACL in between. He has good speed and stout body. Punishes defenders at the point of contact. He protects the football well and is a good pass catcher. Durability is an issue because of his knee and he didn’t play against the best competition.
15. Dan “Boom” Herron, Sr. Ohio State, 5’9”, 210 # … 4.66-C
Gained over 2800 yards in a roller coaster career as a Buckeye. Herron has quick feet and shows good instincts. He catches the ball well out of the backfield and uses his body well after the catch. He does lack breakaway speed and his off the field issues became well-known while at Ohio State.
16. Terrance Ganaway, Sr. Baylor, 5’11”, 240 #… 4.67-C
Pounded his way to over 1500 yards rushing his Senior year at Baylor. Has good quicks, despite his big, powerful frame. He’s a downhill runner, whose punishing at the point of contact. Had only one productive year at college, and his pass catching and pass protection could use some work.
17. Marc Tyler, Sr. USC, 5’11”, 230 # …4.76-C
The son of former NFL Running Back Wendall Tyler, Marc is powerfully built and already has an NFL body. Good at changing direction, and is a good receiver out of the backfield. He’s also good at pass protection. Has below-average speed and goes down a little too easy, given his size. Had some character issues while at USC.
18. Darrell Scott, Jr. South Florida, 6’, 235 #… 4.73-C
Head a good year as a Bull, after two unproductive and disappointing seasons at Colorado. He’s a strong runner who’s good between the tackles. He’s a patient runner with good vision. Finishes runs off good. Lacks ideal speed, and struggles in the passing game. Has some trouble picking up the blitz.
19. Brandon Bolden, Sr. Mississippi, 5’11, 220 #
Bolden had a nice four-year career at Ole Miss. He has good feet and finishes runs well. He’s a good receiver out of the backfield, and can be elusive. Doesn’t have great speed, but is a good runner in the open field. His pass protection needs work and he has some durability issues, mainly an ankle injury that limited him to ten games his Senior year.
20. Ryan Houston, Sr. North Carolina, 6’1”, 245 #
Houston’s a big Back in the mold of Brandon Jacobs. Can play some Full Back but is more of a Tail Back. He powers through arm tackles and can definitely move the pile. His blocking and pass protection could use a little work. Had some off the field issues that were well-documented while at North Carolina.
21. Tauren Poole, Sr. Tennessee, 5’10”, 210 #
A solid, compactly built runner, Poole followed his 1000 yard Junior season with a somewhat disappointing Senior season as a Volunteer. He;s a good runner between the tackles with good pad level. He’s got average speed and is not very elusive. Had some attitude problems his Senior season.
22. Adonis Thomas, Sr. Toledo, 5’9”, 185 #
Thomas rushed for over 2000 yards and caught over 60 passes his final two years for the Rockets. A versatile Back with decent speed, he works well in space and is hard to bring down. A bit under-sized, Thomas needs to work on his pass protection as well.
23. Lennon Creer, Sr. Louisiana Tech, 6’, 220 #
Gained over 2000 yards in his two years at LA Tech after spending his first two years at Tennessee. Creer shows patience, has good vision and some speed. Has good hands, having caught over 40 passes at his two years at LA Tech. Always seemed to have some sort of nagging injury throughout his college career.
24. Rodney Stewart, Sr. Colorado, 5’6”, 175 #
Stewart had a nice, productive career while playing for the Buffalos. He could hide behind blockers due to his small frame. Has some speed and is very quick which makes him hard to stop in the open field. Lacks ideals size as mentioned before, and has trouble picking up the blitz.
25. Antwon Bailey, Sr. Syracuse, 5’6”, 200 #
Bailey figures to be a good third down Back in the NFL. He has good hands and always runs hard. He;s not afraid of sticking his nose in, in pass protection either. He’s a bit under-sized and is not the fastest.
26. Davin Meggett, Sr. Maryland, 5’8”, 220 #
The son of former ProBowl returner Dave Meggett, Davin is a completely different player than his father. Davin is more of a Power Back who is quick and built low to the ground. Has deceiving power for his size. Good hands and good vision. Lacks elite speed and unlike his father, does not play on special teams.
27. Alfred Morris, Sr. Florida Atlantic, 5’10”, 220 #
Morris had an outstanding career while playing for the Owls, rushing for over 3500 yards. Can play both Tail Back and Full Back, and is a physical runner who isn’t afraid of contact. An unselfish player, Morris will do whatever is asked of him. Doesn’t possess great speed and will have to put on some weight to be an NFL Full Back, which is what he projects to be.
28. Jermaine Thomas, Sr. Florida State, 5’11”, 185 #
An elite prospect out of high school, Thomas had an average career while at Florida State. He possesses some big play ability and has good hands out of the backfield. He has good speed and is dangerous in space. Not the biggest of guys, Thomas often played injured in college. Could see time as a #3 Back and special teams contributor at the next level.
29. Bobby Rainey, Sr. Western Kentucky, 5’7”, 210 #
Rainey did it all for the Hilltoppers in his final two years, running for over 3300 yards, scoring 28 touchdowns and catching 65 passes. He’s a hard runner, with good vision and has good instincts. He doesn’t possess ideal size or speed.
30. Cody Johnson, Sr. Texas, 5’11”, 260 #
A versatile runner, Johnson will be asked to do a bit of everything at the next level. He’s a good goal line Back, having scored 36 career touchdowns as a Longhorn. Hard to bring down, Johnson also possesses good hands and is good in pass protection. Johnson has NFL Full Back written all over him.