One of the positions that has undergone the most drastic changes to their stock has been the RB position. With more and more teams going to a two or even three back rotation the need for a feature back is being downgraded. That being said teams still need players who can move the chains, pick up tough yards, and help bleed the clock and protect a lead. Here are the top 10 guys for the 2013 NFL Draft.
2013 Top 10 RB’s
1. Montee Ball-Wisconsin
Wisconsin has a long history of producing good college RB’s, the issue is those backs often flame out in the pros. Ball will look to change that trends with his deceptive speed and bowling balls style. Ball can be a 20 carry a game type guy in the NFL.
2. Andre Ellington-Clemson
When you think of Clemson one word comes to mind ‘speed’, and they have plenty of it, which is why when you look at them Ellington stands out so much. On a team that seems to have speed at every position you have a back that has a little bit of that James Davis thunder running style to him.
3. Christine Michael-Texas A&M
Last year Cyrus Gray entered the season as our #1 ranked senior RB, he ended up being the 4th senior RB taken and much of that was because Michael took a bunch of his carries. Michael power style combined with some quickness and burst make him an intriguing prospect.
4. Kenjon Barner-Oregon
We all know about LaMichael James, but what about the back whose worked behind him? Barner may be a bigger, faster, and better pro prospect than James. Blessed with world class speed we expect Barner to light the Pac 12 on fire this fall and see his stock sky rocket.
5. Johnathan Franklin-UCLA
Here is a Pac 12 back you may not be as familiar with, Johnathan Franklin first impressed us back when he was a Sophomore and only starting to get carries in a deep UCLA backfield. He is a complete back who runs well, catches the ball, and can block.
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6. Ray Graham-Pittsburgh
Graham may have wanted to be the next ‘Shady’ McCoy but that’s not quite how we see him. The speed back is a threat on the outside to turn the corner and burn a defense for a big gain. Can he prove to NFL scouts that he is big enough to take the pounding this year though?
7. Onterio McCalebb-Auburn
With Michael Dyer now gone the rushing game will fall almost exclusive on the shoulders of McCalebb. McCalebb is a speed back who will need to continue to be an effective option in the passing game in order to maintain his current value.
8. Orwin Smith-Georgia Tech
Orwin Smith is an interesting back because he plays in the Triple Option offense. He’s a nice combo back with good size and speed but he’s taken a lot of hits in that offense. Smith also has some pass catching ability and has been a favorite target of Tevin Washington.
9. Cameron Marshall-Arizona State
Many people may be looking at this and wondering why we have Marshall so high, and its become we think his skill set is a better fit in the pro game than it ever will be at Tempe. Marshall scored 18 rushing TD’s last year and was near impossible to take down with just one defender. He’s a guy who could have a huge year if given enough carries.
10. Washaun Ealey-Jacksonville State
The former Georgia Bulldog left the program last year and ended up in the FCS with Jacksonville State. Ealey had a good first season splitting carries with Calvin Middleton going for over 1,000 yards. With Middleton now graduated look for Ealey to become a top FCS rusher.
In case you missed them yesterday we released our QB Rankings HERE!
2014 Top 5 RB’s
1. Marcus Lattimore-South Carolina
The junior RB had one of the most impressive and dominant freshman campaigns we’ve ever witnessed but now coming off an injury, how will he bounce back?
2. Eddie Lacy-Alabama
Lacy was the man at times when Richardson needed a breather or got banged up. Can he transition from rotational back to full time starter?
3. Spencer Ware-LSU
Ware is only part of a four headed RB machine at LSU, he is the feature power back in this offense and with a new QB under center we expect Ware to get lots of touches.
4. Michael Dyer-Arkansas State
New team, new state, but same coach, Dyer followed his Offensive Coordinator to Arkansas State and will look to make a very good Red Wolves team even better.
5. Joseph Randle-Oklahoma State
A lot of people are high on Randle who will probably see a slightly decreased workload in 2012. He has big play ability in abundance and will be relied on to pick up for the loss of Blackmon and Weeden.