2020 NFL DRAFT: RUNNING BACKS
The following running backs are eligible for the 2020 NFL draft. We have rated them from #35 – #1.
#35 Brian Herrien, Georgia
#34 JaMycal Hasty, Baylor
#33 Rico Dowdle, South Carolina
#32 Sewo Olonilua, TCU
#31 Artavis Pierce, Oregon State
#30 Kennedy McKoy, West Virginia
#29 Raymond Calais, Louisiana
#28 Benny LeMay, Charlotte
#27 James Robinson, Illinois State
#26 Rodney Smith, Minnesota
#25 Darius Anderson, TCU
#24 Patrick Taylor, Memphis
#23 Darrynton Evans, Appalachian State
#22 Pete Guerriero, Monmouth
#21 Joshua Kelley, UCLA….229-1,060-4.6-12TD
#20 Scottie Phillips, Ole Miss….125-542-4.3-5TD
#19 Tavien Feaster, South Carolina….124-672-5.4-5TD
#18 Michael Warren, Cincinnati….261-1,265-4.8-14TD
#17 Salvon Ahmed, Washington….188-1,020-5.4-11TD
#16 Reggie Corbin, Illinois…..143-675-4.7-7TD
#15 Trey Sermon, Oklahoma….54-385-7.1-4TD
#14 Lamical Perine, Florida….132-676-5.1-6TD
#13 Javon Leake, Maryland…102-736-7.2-8TD
#12 DeeJay Dallas, Miami Florida….115-693-6.0-8TD
#11 AJ Dillon, Boston College…..318-1,685-5.3-14TD
#10 Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Vanderbilt…..198-1,028-5.2-9TD
#9 Zack Moss, Utah…235-1,416-6.0-15TD
#8 Anthony McFarland, Maryland….114-614-5.4-8TD
#7 Antonio Gibson, Memphis….33-369-11.2-4TD
#6 Eno Benjamin, Arizona State….253-1,083-4.3-10TD
#5 Cam Akers, Florida State….231-1.144-5.0-14TD
#4 Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin….320-2,003-6.3-21TD
#3 JK Dobbins, Ohio State….301-2,003-6.7-21TD
#2 Clyde Edwards –Helaire, LSU….215-1,414-6.6-16TD
#1 D’Andre Swift, Georgia….196-1,218-6.2-7TD
TOP 10 PROFILES
PROFILE: D’ANDRE SWIFT
Most scouts believe Swift is the most complete back in this draft. He runs with outstanding vision and is extremely patient allowing his blockers to open up the necessary holes. He has excellent body control that helps them stay in a high gear when changing direction and has a good feel when setting up defenders. He has top notch initial burst and he runs with excellent balance through contact. He also has an excellent ability to catch the football out of the backfield. Any NFL team can line him up in various spots on the offense and he will be an immediate contributor. The one concern is he may not have the elite speed of some of the other top backs and he doesn’t have the ability to overpower defenders upon contact. The other concern is how much of a workload can he handle in the NFL. He didn’t have 200 carries in a single season at Georgia. Swift should be an excellent three – down back in the NFL and should be a starter from day one.
PROFILE: CLYDE EDWARDS –HELAIRE
He doesn’t have great size, but make no mistake about it his lower center of gravity makes him very difficult to tackle. He has the ability to bounce off tacklers and has the quickness to pick up extra yardage after breaking the tackle. He has a burst of speed when approaching the line of scrimmage that allows him to find the whole much quicker. His excellent vision and patience allows him to wait an extra beat that allows blocks to develop. He is very good at setting up defenders in the second level to get them off balance but isn’t afraid to lower his pads and take on a defender. He is another running back that is strong in the receiving game especially when setting up the screen play. Endurance at the next level could be a concern since he had only one season with a full – time workload. He was also banged up in the college playoffs including a hamstring problem. If he can become a workhorse he has the potential to be a star in the NFL.
PROFILE: JK DOBBINS
Dobbins was projected as a Heisman favorite at the beginning of the 2019 season. Though he fell short of winning the award NFL scouts believe he is a prototypical NFL running back. He’s very good in the passing game who can be a receiver as well as a running back. Dobbins is very strong between the tackles with excellent patience and good vision. He has the ability as well to find his way through traffic and absorbs contact with the ability to bounce off tackles. He is a tough player who will get his licks on the defenders. The one concern is he lacks that third gear when he gets into the second level. There was also a lack of big plays despite the many opportunities he had with this Ohio State offense. Despite some weaknesses, Dobbins has the skill set to be a lead back in the NFL.
PROFILE: JONATHAN TAYLOR
Taylor produced at the collegiate level during his entire four year career. He is a big back with the ability to power his way in and through heavy traffic. He also has the patience and vision it takes to allow blockers to create lanes for him. Taylor can run with excellent tempo and has excellent balance to slip past the tacklers into the second level. Once he gets to that second level he has the ability to deliver punishment and finishes runs very strong. Nobody in college football was stronger in the fourth quarter than Taylor. His stamina was excellent and that allowed him to dominate late in games when defenses were tired. He is not known as a an excellent receiver out of the backfield. Many times ball security was an issue as well. Another concern is how much he has left in the tank after 968 career touches at Wisconsin in three seasons. Many NFL teams will be willing to take him early as a tone – setting running back. Any NFL team that takes Taylor will have to be built around a power running game.
PROFILE: CAM AKERS
Akers was once the top running back recruit in the country. He has the natural athleticism that gives him the ability to change directions and stay at top speed. He has the homerun speed that it will outrun defenses and is very dangerous in the open field. Akers has the ability to finish his runs with a pop. He may have had better numbers if the offensive line were better. He is a solid receiver out of the backfield with the potential to become a key weapon in the passing game at the next level. NFL scouts are hoping Akers will overcome some bad habits he developed at Florida State. Many times he bounced everything outside instead of taking advantage of holes opening up between the tackles. He also had some fumbling issues last season. In the right system Akers could be a future star.
PROFILE: ENO BENJAMIN
Benjamin is the type of running back who can make something out of nothing. He is a low – to – the – ground running back who has outstanding contact balance. He runs with a low center of gravity and has the ability to stay on his feet during the first contact. Benjamin has learned to keep his legs churning for extra yardage. He has the ability to accelerate quickly and has an extra burst of speed through the creases. He also has the speed to the homerun when the opportunity is there. He is also one of the most natural pass receivers in this class. Scouts say Benjamin does too much dancing behind the line of scrimmage. That will get him caught for a loss much more at the next level. His vision needs to improve after missing several cutback lanes last season. Most NFL teams believe at this point he is a part – timer on early downs but has the chance to become a quality lead back with further development.
PROFILE: ANTONIO GIBSON
Memphis used Gibson as both a running back and a receiver because of his ability to be a serious weapon when the ball is in his hands. He has excellent speed with the ability to run away from defenders and a powerful lower half allows him to break tackles. He can change direction without changing gears. Gibson can also return kicks and punts. The one thing that hurt Gibson at Memphis was he didn’t have a true position. He doesn’t have the proper tempo when approaching the line of scrimmage. Scouts believe he also tends to run up right too often. One thing that will help Gibson at the next level is the increasing lack of positions in the NFL. Nonetheless, Gibson can be a true threat for any NFL team.
PROFILE: ANTHONY MCFARLAND
Another stocky and powerful running back who can explode when it’s time to make a move. NFL scouts say McFarland has the ability to cut on a dime without changing his speed. He runs with excellent leverage and has the ability to churn out yards between the tackles. His quick feet make him deadly in space where he has the ability to make defenders miss. Durability is a huge question after a broken leg forced him to sit out his freshman year at Maryland. McFarland did battle back from an ankle injury last year, but he has not been a proven work course during his college career. If he stays healthy, NFL teams can use his homerun threat.
PROFILE: ZACH MOSS
Moss combines excellent size with straight-line speed. If he stays healthy he is one of the most impressive players in this draft. He has the ability to break tackles and will lower his shoulder and finish the run. He has also shown the ability to be creative at the second level. His vision has allowed him to take advantage of cutback lanes and the lateral movement. He has good balance and can run low getting through tight spaces for extra yardage. The concern is his knee. A torn meniscus cost him the end of the 2018 season. Scouts are also concerned about the kind of impact he will have in the passing game. With the right coaching staff and his overall athleticism Moss could be a solid lead back.
PROFILE: KE’SHAWN VAUGHN
he is a shifty runner with good vision and makes excellent decisions. His ability to run low with excellent balance enables him to create extra yardage after contact. His burst to the outside allows him to thrive on zone runs and he has the ability to break off the big play. In the passing attack, he shows an easy transition from running back to receiver. Scouts don’t believe he has the eye – popping trait you look for in a high-end NFL running back. He could be a committee running back in the NFL if he plays in the right system. His senior season production was considered disappointing after defenses keyed on him all season.