1) Mark Ingram, Alabama*
Range: 1st Round
Synopsis: Former Heisman trophy winner who’s a tough runner, stout, and will break tackles. Doesn’t have elite speed, but surprisingly nimble feet and always keeps his legs moving. Injuries are his only major concern.
2) Mikel Leshoure, Illinois*
Range: Late 1st – Early 2nd
Synopsis: Good size and underrated vision. He found ways to break long runs and is the next great Illinois running back. He was a one year wonder, but he destroyed teams in college. Speed is his only legitimate concern.
3) Ryan Williams, Va Tech**
Synopsis: His vision and awareness is second to none. However, he’s still young and has been banged up. He needs to prove he’s athletic and tough enough for the NFL.
4) DeMarco Murray, Oklahoma
Range: Mid 2nd – Early 3rd
Synopsis: Do-it-all running back who is incredibly versatile. Awesome speed and solid size and knows how to catch out of the backfield. He will be a solid complimentary back at the worst.
5) Daniel Thomas, K State
Range: Mid 2nd – Mid 3rd
Synopsis: One of the few true power backs in the draft. He’s a downhill runner who will grind down defenses and make teams pay. He lacks true speed, but that’s to be expected with someone his size.
6) Kendall Hunter, Oklahoma St
Synopsis: He’s small, but Hunter plays much bigger than his size. He’s shifty enough and has solid balance to where he can run inside and out. Biggest concern is injuries and lack of productivity during his junior year.
7) Jordan Todman, Connecticut*
Synopsis: Fast. Todman will out-run plenty of people in the NFL. However, is size and lack of power will scare teams off. If he can prove his durability, he’ll be a nice change-of-pace back.
8) Shane Vereen, Cal*
Range: 3rd – 4th
Synopsis: Looks like a scatback, but has deceptive power and is very solid inside runner. Great speed, can catch out of the backfield, and field returns. He’ll be a steal if he lasts this long in the draft.
9) Taiwan Jones, Eastern Washington*
Range: 3rd – 4th
Synopsis: Speed, speed, speed. Jones will never run anyone over, but he will certainly out-run or juke a huge percentage of them. Think of him as a poor man’s Chris Johnson.
10) Jacquizz Rodgers, Oregon St*
Range: 3rd – 5th
Synopsis: Really undersized, but knows how to move in open space and is one of the shiftiest runners in the draft; his change of direction skills are ridiculous. Basically a Darren Sproles clone.
11) Roy Helu Jr, Nebraska
Synopsis: The most underrated back in the draft. Has the size to speed ratio NFL teams crave, he has solid instincts. He needs to get tougher in the middle, but has the strength and size to do so.
12) Alex Green, Hawaii
Range: 4th – 5th
Synopsis: Big back with solid quickness, Green was in Hawaii’s spread offense. He tends to play like a speed back instead of using his power and will need to prove he can get tough in the middle and not bounce everything outside.
13) Delone Carter, Syracuse
Range: 4th – 5th
Synopsis: Good vision, awesome patience, big build, and a fluid athlete. Good at everything but not great at anything. He’s a one cut and go RB who will make a zone running team extremely happy.
14) Jamie Harper, Clemson*
Synopsis: Big RB who doesn’t play like it. He tends to dance around too much and needs to learn to lower his pads. He has good vision, but someone needs to teach him to play like a power back and not like Ron Dayne.
15) Derrick Locke, Kentucky
Synopsis: Another scatback with awesome speed that can’t stay healthy. He hits the hole fast and is willing to go up the middle. He also has good hands as well. Size and durability are his biggest concerns.
16) Stevan Ridley, LSU*
Range: 5th – 6th
Synopsis: He’s a solid runner with good size who played in the best conference in college football. However, his speed is underwhelming and there are concerns if he could carry the load.
17) Da’Rel Scott, Maryland
Synopsis: A speedy RB who never put it all together at Maryland, but flashed. He’s done well in workouts and post-season games so he will garner some interest and has some potential. Typical 3rd down back, similar to Steve Slaton.
18) Dion Lewis, Pitt**
Range: 5th – UDFA
Synopsis: Incredibly undersized and didn’t test well at the combine. However, he’s incredibly talented and productive and could find a niche on a team. He’ll contribute as a returner or 3rd down RB.
19) Bilal Powell, Louisville
Range: 6th – 7th
Synopsis: At first glance Powell seems like a bullish runner who lowers his head and goes forward, but he has underrated vision. He has durability concerns and was a one year wonder.
20) Evan Royster, Penn St
Range: 7th – UDFA
Synopsis: Exploded onto the scene as a sophomore before fading off a bit. He’s a patient runner who can carry the load, but isn’t a big play threat and not very physical. He’s ideal for zone running schemes.