The 2020 NFL Draft may lack the elite running back prospects that we’ve been lucky enough to see come through the collegiate ranks in years past. However, that doesn’t mean this class is short on talent. Players such as Jonathan Taylor and D’Andre Swift have the opportunity of sneaking into the latter part of round one, while backs like Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Zack Moss should hit the ground running in the NFL.
Below we break down the top-10 running backs in the 2020 Draft class.
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Top-10 RB Draft Prospects
1) Jonathan Taylor | RB | Wisconsin
From a collegiate dominance standpoint, Taylor belongs in the discussion amongst former top-10 backs such as Saquon Barkley and Ezekiel Elliott. He topped 1,900 rushing yards every season with the Badgers, while averaging 70 broken tackles per year per PFF. The former track star posted a 4.39 forty (fastest of all RBs). He’s the best pure runner of the football in the class. The one downfall is concern over wear and tear, as he touched the ball 968 times in just three years at Wisconsin.
2) D’Andre Swift | RB | Georgia
Swift is just 5-foot-8-inches but is solidly built at a sturdy 212-pounds. Unsurprisingly, he runs low to the ground and possesses elite vision for the position. Swift hauled in 56 receptions over his final two seasons at Georgia, showing the ability to win one-on-one routes against linebackers and safeties on a regular basis. Swift’s dual-threat abilities will likely place him atop most draft boards.
3) JK Dobbins | RB | Ohio St.
JK Dobbins is a bowling ball of a human being who thrives on workhorse-type volume. With that said, he checked-in at just 209-pounds at the combine. He’s a bit tight-hipped and lacks the wiggle and vision of an elite prospect. His 2018 film pales in comparison to his 2017 and 2019. He dominated in big games for the Buckeyes and is capable of serving as a three-down back.
4) Cam Akers | RB | FSU
A blue-chip recruit out of high school, Akers never materialized into the superstar player he was pegged to be. However, he still produced behind a poor Florida State offensive line. He has the ability to be a better pro than college player. Akers possesses a compact build and above-average elusiveness. He struggled with ball security at FSU, putting the ball on the ground 10 times during his three-year college career.
5) Clyde Edwards-Helaire | RB | LSU
Like Swift and Dobbins, Edwards-Helaire is diminutive in stature, standing at 5-foot-7-inches, yet packs a strong punch. He’s an instinctive ball carrier with highly-impressive foot quickness and arguably the best receiving skills of the top backs in the class. He does, however, lack home run hitting long speed.
Drafted: Kansas City Chiefs (R1, 32nd-Overall)
6) Zack Moss | RB | Utah
Moss has the prototypical build of a bell-cow back, weighing in at 223-pounds. His size shows up on film, as he runs behind his pads. Yet, even more impressive is the vision and patience he possesses for a back of his size. Though lacks elite athletic traits and wow factor, his abilities as a pure-runner should allow him to find his way into a running back tandem early on in his career.
7) AJ Dillon | RB | Boston College
If a team is looking for a Derrick Henry-esque type back, this is your guy. Dillion is built like a linebacker, checking-in at nearly 250-pounds. He has plus-vision and knows when to be patient in the hole. However, Dillon lacks high-level quickness and never caught more than 13 passes in a single season at Boston College.
8) Antonio Gibson | RB | Memphis
Gibson is a playmaker who has a chance of lining up at either running back or wide receiver at the next level. He adds bonus value in the return game. Has the opportunity to become a matchup nightmare if placed in the right system. Gibson scored seven touchdowns of 40+ yards at Memphis. However, he only carried the ball 33 times during his college career.
9) Eno Benjamin | RB | Arizona St.
Benjamin is an elusive, productive three-down playmaker. He is slightly undersized, which may limit his usage at the next level. Benjamin is best in the open field and loves to cut back on defenders. He has a knack of looking for the big play too much at times, rather than taking what’s given to him.
10) Ke’Shawn Vaughn | RB | Vanderbilt
Vaughn has the look of an every-down back and the production to back it up. He’s tough to bring down and agile enough in the hole to extend plays. However, his lack of burst and high-end vision will likely keep him on draft boards until late day-two, early-to-mid day three.
- On the Cusp:
- Joshua Kelley – UCLA, Anthony McFarland Jr. – Maryland, DeeJay Dallas – Miami
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