2018 NFL Draft Prospects: Top 5 Running Backs
One of the deepest positions in the draft for the second straight year. The running backs coming out in 2018 are insanely talented. Here are some names you’ll hear early on…
1. Saquon Barkley Penn State 5’11 223
The term “Freak Athlete” applies here. Saquon is one of the best players in this draft. Excellent athleticism, speed, power, receiving ability vision; you name it, he has it. He’s improved his blocking and should continue to do so. If you have to nitpick you can say he lacks physicality. Overall this guy is wildly talented and should make an impact the minute he steps on the field.
2. Derrius Guice LSU 5’11 212 – A
A hard-nosed, no-nonsense type of runner. Guice has no problem lowering his shoulder and running over a defender. On top of the physicality, he also has great balance and straight-line speed. His offensive scheme in college didn’t call for him to be much of a receiver, but he’s shown the ability to excel at that aspect in the NFL. Average lateral quickness and injury concerns due to the violent nature of his running style are the only concerns. Guice is another in a long list of players that should help a team early on.
3. Ronald Jones USC 6’1 200
An explosive electric runner. Jones is a former sprinter, so he has more than enough speed to score from anywhere on the field. His excellent lateral quickness is evident with his devastating jump cuts. With all that speed he also offers some power to his game as well, regular arm tackles won’t be enough to bring him down. Works well-catching passes out of the backfield showing good hands. A lack of overall bulk could be the only issue with Jones. He should be an exciting player to watch wherever he lands.
4. Sony Michel Georgia 5’11 215
One of the more versatile running backs in the class. Michel is equally good running the football or catching out of the backfield. A very shifty runner, showing elusiveness to make a defender miss in a phone booth. Michel also has enough speed to break through for long gains as well as strength to run through would-be tacklers. Ball security is the main concern for him. He’s had fumbling issues in the past. Overall a dynamic multi-purpose player on offense.
5. Nick Chubb Georgia 5’11 228
Excellent vision and instincts get Chubb north and south very quickly. Not much dancing around, Chubb gets right to the point. Thickly built frame makes tacklers bounce off of him. Quick to identify the hole and get through it. Not a burner, but Chubb has enough speed to put fear in a defense. A gruesome knee injury in 2014 robbed him of some elite physical ability. Not very quick, lateral quickness is average. Even after his injury, Chubb is a very impressive prospect.
This class is way too deep to just name 5 guys….
Jaylen Samuels NC State 5’11 223 – An insanely versatile player. He played Wide Receiver, Tight End and Running Back in college. Has a good strength/speed combo to go along with his dynamic skill set.
Rashad Penny SDSU 5’11 220 – Prototype size for the position with speed to go along with it. Has decent vision and ability catching out of the backfield. Penny also has special teams value with his ability to return kickoffs.
Royce Freeman Oregon 5’11 231 – Freeman easily could have been in the top 5 if he wasn’t slowed by injury. Good quickness for a player his size and power to break tackles. Good speed and vision as well. Maybe even more effective dropping some weight.
Mark Walton Miami 5’9 206 – An amazing overall athlete. Great speed, quickness, and agility packed into a compact frame. Good vision and a mean jump-cut leaves defenders grasping at air while he jukes towards the end zone. Major upside.