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2014 Pre-Draft Rookie Running Back Rankings

2014 Pre-Draft Rookie Running Back Rankings

Hyde leads the way
By: Pete Davidson : May 08, 2014 12:30pm

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Here’s a pre-draft look at this year’s running back class. This our top thirty, but we will add some more sleeper candidates in our day three article. I used a different format than with the quarterbacks to work in some Combine numbers and to keep all thirty players better organized.

We like the depth of this years class and we think there is strength at the top in Carlos Hyde. The backs after Carlos are a deep group with a lot of potential NFL starters. There are as many as twenty “location backs” as I call them. These are guys with the ability to post quality fantasy numbers in the right set of circumstances, but who could lost in the shuffle if they go to the wrong team. I’ll sort out all of that next week in our post-draft rankings.

You can access the player's full scouting report by clicking on his name.

 
Rank PLAYER College Height Weight 40 time THE SKINNY
1 Carlos Hyde Ohio State 6’0” 230 4.66 Moves the pile and is a big play back.
2 Tre Mason Auburn 5’8” 207 4.50 Three down back and a big game player.
3 Terrance West Towson 5’9” 225 4.54 225 pounds of 4.5 speed and he can make people miss.
4 Jerick McKinnon Georgia Southern 5’9” 209 4.41 A special athlete who has learned three positions already. He can learn one more.
5 Lache Seastrunk Baylor 5’9” 201 4.51 A big ceiling but a shaky all-around skill-set. Scheme fit is important for Lache.
6 Jeremy Hill LSU 6’1” 233 4.66 Very dangerous 3-down back that needs to prove he can keep his nose clean. If he does, he’s a potential monster. He could easily be pushed up to the 2nd spot. Lots of upside here.
7 Bishop Sankey Washington 5’9” 209 4.49 NFL skill set with few glaring weaknesses and plenty of speed. Could be worth plenty and could produce early in the right situation.
8 Ka'Deem Carey Arizona 5’9” 207 4.70 A good fundamental back who will keep coming at you for 60 minutes.
9 Devonta Freeman Florida State 5’8” 206 4.58 One of the more game-ready backs in the draft and he’s got some nice PPR potential.
10 Charles Sims West Virginia 5’11” 214 4.48 The best receiving back in this class, but he’s a bit soft as a primary ball-carrier and doesn’t play to his weight. Still, he has a ton of PPR upside in the right situation. He could move up after the draft for sure.
11 Dri Archer Kent State 5’7” 173 4.26 An offensive weapon with no defined position. Archer could prove to be a great NFL player if he can handle the pounding. Time will tell. It appears that this year’s “Tavon Austin” is more reasonably priced.
12 Isaiah Crowell Alabama State 5’11” 224 4.57 As much talent as any back in this draft, but he has very questionable character. He needs to find the right team and coaching staff. Could be a monster if things break right.
13 Storm Johnson UCF 6’0” 209 4.60 Has to clear up his ball security issues but we like his quick feet and determined running style. He’s also got some potential in the passing game.
14 Charcandrick West Abilene Christian 5’10” 204 4.37 West has the ability to play on all downs at the next level. He’s a very underrated back capable of posting good fantasy numbers. His 40 time is a Pro Day time.
15 Damien Williams Oklahoma 5’11” 222 4.45 A big fast back with 3-down potential. If he can mature, you could have a lead back at the next level. Not a safe option by any means, but lots of upside.
16 Tyler Gaffney Stanford 5’11” 220 4.49 We toyed with the idea of ranking him even higher. People seem to think that this kid has no upside. We’re open-minded on that front. He’s a very smart back with more athleticism than some may realize and he is extremely competitive.
17 De'Anthony Thomas Oregon 5’9” 174 4.50 Obviously size is a huge question mark, but this is a pure football player and he could develop into an interesting hybrid weapon in the right system. As with Dri Archer, Thomas’ durability has to be proven.
18 Henry Josey Missouri 5’8” 194 4.43 Josey’s scouting report is going to be up soon. He’s a bit under-sized, but we really like his overall game. He’s got speed and agility to spare and he’s got good football instincts. This guy deserves more respect. He could be a value in PPR leagues.
19 Andre Williams Boston College 5’11” 230 4.56 We’re concerned about his shoulder issues because his upper body in central to his running style. He could be a steal if he gets fully healthy and finds the right situation.
20 Terrance Cobb Cumberlands 5’10” 221 4.45 A very interesting back with nice tackle-breaking ability and outstanding measurables. This is a name for dynasty owners to know.
21 LaDarius Perkins Mississippi State 5’7” 195 4.46 Good all-around back with quick feet good at finding small creases and cracks. Good vision.
22 George Atkinson III Notre Dame 6’1” 218 4.48 Great measurables and we like a lot of what we see on film, but he lacks experience. He’s a quality sleeper in dynasty leagues.
23 James White Wisconsin 5’9” 204 4.57 We like his vision and versatility. His cuts and balance are above average and he can break tackles. We also like him a lot in pass protection, which means he could get on the field as a rookie. Might be a bit faster than he timed at the Combine. Has more power than his 204 pounds suggest.
24 Tim Cornett UNLV 6’0” 209 4.48 A slasher with some nice speed, who could do some damage in the right situation.
25 Silas Redd USC 5’10” 212 4.70 Need to get healthy, but he’s a good back with all around skills. He’s worth a late look in rookie drafts if he finds a good home.
26 James Wilder Jr. Florida State 6’3” 232 4.86 An interesting athlete. We like him as a project and are impressed with his 2012 film.
27 Rajion Neal Tennessee Good solid power back with 3-down skills. Not much burst or speed, but has some wiggle to him. He’s an NFL back.
28 Josh Harris Wake Forest 5’10” 206 4.46 A fast back with some size who could actually be faster than his Pro Day time. He makes some good cuts on film.
29 David Fluellen Toledo 5’11” 224 4.72 Good solidly built back, but lacks the speed to get the corner and break off long runs. Good between the tackles.
30 Marion Grice Arizona State 6’0” 208 He’s not quick enough at his size for our tastes, but he’s a solid fundamentally sound back with good feet and should be an NFL player. Just not much upside in San Diego right now. Tough depth chart.