2019 NFL Draft Running Back Rankings: From The College Perspective

2019 NFL Draft Running Back Rankings: From The College Perspective

2019 NFL Draft

2019 NFL Draft Running Back Rankings: From The College Perspective


Which running backs will matter in the 2019 NFL Draft, and what’s the college perspective on all of the top prospects?

Contact/Follow @ColFootballNews & @PeteFiutak

It’s a class of running backs. No more, no less.

There might be a few decent prospects, and there are certainly a whole slew of starters, but is there a Saquon Barkley? No.

Is there a Leonard Fournette, Ezekiel Elliott, Christian McCaffrey or Todd Gurley? Nope.

It’s the softest class of backs since the awful 2014 group that didn’t see one go until the late second round – Bishop Sankey to Tennessee, by the way – but it’s deep with a whole lot of options. Here are the top 15 guys on the board.

15. Alexander Mattison, Boise State

5-11, 221: There’s no flash to what he can do, but he’ll catch the ball, come up with big yards in key moments, and he’ll carry the mail. As tough as they come, he’s going to block – and be good at it – and he’ll fit as a powerful ten-carry guy as a No. 2 back in a rotation.
Projected Round: Fifth

14. Benny Snell, Kentucky

5-10, 224: There’s nothing fancy about his game, but he’s one of the tougher physical backs in the draft. It didn’t matter if he was keyed on; he kept on producing. There’s no burst and no breakaway speed, but he’ll bring the toughness to keep things moving.
Projected Round: Fifth

13. Myles Gaskin, Washington

5-9, 205: An ultra-quick power-packed runner who has the talent and ability to work in a variety of ways. He can be a decent third down receiver, a returner, and a part of a rotation who’s a better football player than his raw tools. He’ll be a mid-Day Three guy who’ll stick.
Projected Round: Fifth

12.  Justice Hill, Oklahoma State

5-10, 198: A bit of an afterthought in the process, all of a sudden his stock rose up with a great offseason of workouts including a 4.4 40 and an explosive 40″ vertical. He’ll never be a 20-carry back, but no one will ask him to be one. He can move, he’s slippery, and he can gash a defense as part of a rotation.
Projected Round: Fourth

11. Elijah Holyfield, Georgia

5-10, 217: SLOWWWWWWWW. The 4.78 is a killer, but he’s quick on the field and he brings tremendous power and toughness to the position. The workout process hasn’t been kind, but someone will take him off the board early on Day Three as an attitude pick. There’s a shot he grows into a big-time grinder who’s great around the goal line.
Projected Round: Fifth

10. Trayveon Williams, Texas A&M

5-8, 206: Way small and way quick, he bounces off tacklers, he’ll block a little bit, and he’ll be a three down back who’ll make plenty of grabs. There are plenty of reasons not to take him – he’s not going to be a volume-carry top back – but he knows how to eat up yards.
Projected Round: Third

9. Dexter Williams, Notre Dame

5-11, 212: The sub-4.6 40 might not seem like a big deal, but for a big back with a penchant for tearing off yards in chunks, it’s good enough. There’s little to no wiggle in his game, but he showed what he can do to change around an offense. He might not have the breakaway runs at the next level like he had with the Irish, but he’s got the game to become an instant star in the right system.
Projected Round: Fourth

8. Rodney Anderson, Oklahoma

6-0, 224: If you think he can last, and it you’re going to blow off the knee injuries, you just might have the best running back in the draft. He’s a tough guy runner with good size, a solid burst, and a penchant for getting into the end zone. He’ll have a short shelf life, but he’ll be fantastic while he can last.
Projected Round: Third

7. Bryce Love, Stanford

5-9, 200: Just think about what he might be able to do if healthy. He’ll have to be drafted on trust – he’s still rehabbing a torn ACL – but he’s more than worth the shot at greatness as a fantastic Day Three flier. He worked too hard playing through injuries, and it proved costly. Everyone knows that, and everyone knows his elite quickness when he’s right.  He’ll go higher than you think.
Projected Round: Fourth

6. Devin Singletary, Florida Atlantic

5-7, 203: The offseason workout process hasn’t been kind. For his size, he’s too slow, not quick enough, and missing the basic NFL tools … in shorts. On the field, he’s an ultra-productive runner who found ways to score 67 career touchdowns, block, and do everything asked of him. He went from being an overlooked top 50 prospect to a likely Day Three steal.
Projected Round: Fourth

5. Miles Sanders, Penn State

5-11, 211: And then the NFL combine happened.

A great recruit for Penn State, he was fine, but he suffered from not being Saquon Barkley once he got his chance to handle the running duties.

He always had the skill set to do a little of everything right, but he seemed like just a guy. Now – after hitting a 4.49 in the 40 and blowing through the rest of the combine drills like he was having a snack – he might just be a guy who’s about to take off and shine once he’s in a pro attack.

He needs to find his groove. The tools are there, but he was never quite able to bust out and show them all off. He could use a little coaching, some more work, and a little bit better vision to see hole, hit hole, and go.

With his three-down ability and his toughness and willingness to block, he’ll catch the eye of at least one team that’s going to want to unlock all of the potential.

Projected Round: Third
Real Value: Third

NEXT: The guy who was better than The Guy …


More College Football News