NFL Draft: Running Backs
2. CJ Spiller (Clemson) 84
Has had trouble staying healthy in college and his career YPC does not suggest good running back skills, but he has a place in the NFL. He’s way too fast and agile to not have one. He can return kicks, return punts, and can serve as a 3rd down back or wildcat, but unlike Best I don’t think he’s a feature back at the next level.
3. Ryan Matthews (Fresno State) 81
2/28/10: Matthews would have moved up anyway given Jonathan Dwyer’s stink bomb because the two are compared often because both are considered future feature backs. However, that’s not the only reason he’s moving up. A 4.41 40 at 6-0 218 turned a lot of heads. He’s a good pass catcher and a great pass blocker for his age and he also runs extremely well. He could go 28th to San Diego because he has everything they look for in a back.
He’s a bit of a one hit wonder but with 1808 yards and 19 touchdowns on a 6.6 average, some teams are going to look past that like they did with former one hit wonders Donald Brown and Rashard Mendenhall, who both went in the first round. He runs a bit upright, but he has very refined pass blocking and pass catching abilities for his age and doesn’t fumble often. He has all the makings of a future feature back, though admittedly I’d like to see one more great season on his stat sheet just for him to prove that he can do it again and again, though you can’t really blame him because he was mostly a #2 back or goal line back throughout his first two years at Fresno State.
4. Toby Gerhart (Stanford) 77
2/28/10: Gerhart proved that just because he’s white, doesn’t mean he’s not athletic. Gerhart ran a very impressive 4.53 at 6-0 231 and also had a 38 inch vertical and 22 reps of 225 pounds. He likely shot himself ahead of a plummeting Jonathan Dwyer.
He’s a Heisman runner up, but, contrary to popular belief, that does not make him a future star at the next level. He is very slow and doesn’t change direction and he runs really upright and isn’t going to break nearly as many tackles next year against linebackers with refined tackling abilities. He does have good size though and runs with a lot of force and explosion so he should be a solid change of pace back, goal line back, or even fullback if his lead blocking improves, so he has a spot for him at the next level. It just won’t as a feature back or a star.
5. RB Jonathan Dwyer (Georgia Tech) 76
2/28/10: Dwyer’s workout today proved what his weigh in showed and what people all around the NFL have been saying all week. He’s out of shape. At 5-11 229, Dwyer ran a 4.59, which isn’t awful, but when you consider his second time was 4.69, it looks a lot worse. He also only benched 15 reps, 3rd fewest of all RBs.
2/26/10: He just looked like a fat guy at his weigh in. He was 5-11 229 which sounds good, but he did not look in shape at all.
Excellent size, but he put on a lot of weight from last season to this season and looked a lot more sluggish this year as a result, though his stats don’t suggest he struggled. He also played in a weird offense that just isn’t used in the NFL so you have to wonder how he would have fared statistically being overweight and in a normal offense. However, he’s got all the physical tools and is still projected to run a mid 4.4 40 at 235 pounds which is amazing so someone is going to snatch him early on upside alone.
For the complete list of running backs click here