My Very In-Depth Look at the RB class.

Discussion in 'NFL Draft' started by ImATitan, Mar 27, 2014.

  1. ImATitan

    ImATitan Starter

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2011
    Messages:
    5,189
    After weeks of studying the RB class (watching extensive game tape..not highlights, but rather full games, reading multiple different scouting reports + my personal opinions/notes) here is my personal, in-depth look with ranking system.

    1. Carlos Hyde (Ohio State). It was clear to me that Hyde is the most NFL ready back in this class. He projects as a three down bruising back ala Eddie Lacy. Very impressive strength and keeps driving forward. He blocks very well in pass pro, and as a runner, he's decisive. I do have a slight concern regarding his durability (fatigue) and speed (fast enough for NFL?) but not enough concerns to not rank him #1.

    2. Bishop Sankey (Washington). Sankey's feet are elusive and his quickness is subtle. He has NFL-ready vision, because it doesn't take him long to identify his gap and attack it. Despite his smaller frame (not that small), you won't tackle with him one arm. You really have to put effort to bring him down. He shows great commitment in the blocking game and he catches passes smoothly. He's not overly exciting, but to me, he looks the part of a complete, 3 down back, and one who is ready for a heavy workload in his rookie season.

    3. Tre Mason (Auburn). I'll be honest, Mason excites me the most and even at #3, I'd probably take him before Sankey because of the potential here. Mason is obviously a little smaller but he's well built, especially in the lower body and he possess terrific balance, which will allow him to break more tackles than you'd guess. Again, he's a decisive runner who doesn't dance behind LOS. If you have any doubts, just watch him vs Alabama and again vs Missouri. I'd take Mason in the 2nd round.

    4. Devonta Freeman (Florida State). This may be my first surprise but I have no doubts. This guy possesses my favorite type of run style -- compact, low center of gravity. He's going to get lost to defenders ala Ray Rice & MJD. He has more speed than both of those guys too. He accelerates quickly & changes direction effortlessly. Just like Rice & MJD, he keeps the legs churning and bounces off defenders. He needs to develop better vision & just take what's there, instead of always looking for the big play. I'd take Freeman as early as the 3rd, certainly the 4th. IMO, he's a 2nd round talent.

    5. Charles Sims (West Virginia). Probably another surprise. This guy has impressive speed for 6 feet, 215 lbs. His vision is top notch & he gets to full speed flawlessly. He's also an excellent receiver, and he blocks well in pass pro. I also think he'll be better when surrounded by NFL talent, as WVU got blown out here & there. He needs to improve his ball security. When I look at Sims, I see a 3 down back.

    6. Jeremy Hill (LSU). Hill was someone I had to warm up too. I initially had him lower than this. After multiple reviews, I couldn't doubt his toughness. Hill finishes his runs with authority. He always keeps his legs moving & picks up extra yards. For 235 pounds, his speed is also impressive. Hate to use this as a negative, but his OL is beyond terrific & was apart of a rotation, which makes you question his feature back ability. He also needs to stop holding the ball with one hand. Doesn't show a strong commitment to pass protecting.

    7. Ka'Deem Carey (Arizona). Another guy I had to warm up too. Unlike Hill, Carey has already proven he can handle a feature role. He's a smart & patient runner. He takes what the defense gives him, and doesn't force the issue. While he flashes enough speed and strength, I wouldn't say I'm overly impressed with either. He sure does leave his feet often, exposing the football.

    8. Lache Seastrunk (Baylor). Seastrunk is obviously one of the most exciting athletes at the position. He's dynamic, and can score anytime he touches the ball. I think he's too small, and looks for the big play too often. He also struggled vs legit defenses, which is a red flag to me.

    9. Terrence West (Towson). Big time small school sleeper here. His stock was risen at the combine, where he flashes that power & foot quickness. At 225 lbs, he's extremely difficult to tackle. He just looks a natural at the RB position. Nearly everything about his game is smooth. He seems to be a terrific student of the game, and he catches the ball very well. He certainly doesn't have elite speed, and needs to work at protecting the ball better. I don't know if it's a small school thing, but his pass pro needs some work too.

    10. Isaiah Crowell (Alabama State). I originally had Crowell around 16 because of all of his red flags, but could no longer deny his incredible talent. If not for those red flags, he'd be top 5. His game tape really "wow's" you. He is a dynamic runner with great speed, quick feet, he changes direction at ease, and runs REALLY HARD. He is not afraid to fight for extra yards, always keeping his legs churning. Now he transferred to Alabama State after getting kicked off Georgia after multiple run ins with the law. If you think his tape impresses because he played vs lesser competition, go watch him vs South Carolina while he was at Georgia. Absolutely dynamic. Besides the legal concerns, he also missed games with minor injuries. Crazy to think he may even go undrafted.

    11. Tyler Gaffney (Stanford). Gaffney ran a blazing fast 40 at the combine but I rarely saw that speed in game. I did however, see a runner who is determined and runs physical. He likes to take his runs right between the tackles and fight for his yards. I did not see that speed on tape, and I question how much his production had to do with playing at Stanford. I wouldn't take him until late 4.

    12. Andre Williams (Boston College). Williams is easily one of the toughest runners in this class. He matches Hyde, Hill & Carey in his ability to fight for extra yards. He routinely turns 0 yard gains into 2-3. He doesn't have blazing speed, but has enough to pick up big yards here and there. I'd have Williams ranked much higher if not for his complete ineptness to catch the football. 0 career receptions (really?) and embarrassingly bad on field drills at the combine. He just can't catch the football. I do however, rather spend a 5th on this guy then a 2nd on Hill or Carey, for example.

    13. James White (Wisconsin). It's all about White's vision to locate the hole and attack it quickly. He also shows a determination to fight for yards that will surprise you, considering his size. At 5"9, 200 pounds, there's obvious size concerns there though. He's also been a backup most of his career. I did like what I saw on tape though. I'd feel comfortable taking White in the 5th.

    14. De'Anthony Thomas (Oregon). I originally had Thomas even lower than this, but chose to respect his unbelievable athletic ability. I think Thomas might be the quickest player in the entire draft, and the most dynamic athlete. He can score anytime he touches the ball. It's not all athletic ability, as I believe he has a good football IQ. He is also an excellent pass catcher. I rank Thomas so low because as cliche as it is, I just can't get his over size -- how small does CJ look to us? Thomas is about 25-30 pounds smaller. That size is what makes him so elusive, but it's clear Thomas will never be a feature back, just a compliment... But he may surprise us ala Sproles. Johnson is worth a 5th round gamble.

    15. Storm Johnson (UCF). At 6"0 / 210, Johnson keeps his legs churning & has good hands to catch the football. He doesn't have break away from defenders speed, but is able to locate cut back lanes. He's actually less powerful than his frame suggests, or at least it appears so on tape. Concerns with lack of history as feature back, and also playing with potential #1 pick QB (defenses take focus away from Johnson). I do like Johnson as a 5th or 6th.

    16. Marion Grice (Arizona). He accelerates quickly and is a good pass catcher. He may actually be the best receiving back in this class. He flashes great ball security for a back his age. He has quick cuts, shows a good plant foot and burst. He does however run too upright. I simply don't love his intangibles at the next level. 5-6 round pick.

    17. James Wilder Jr (Florida State). His 40 time surely hurt his stock. Wilder runs with excellent power & determination to move the pile. He's always gaining positive yards. He's never been a featured back and already has injury concerns in a limited role -- can he handle the work load of a feature back? I think not. He projects as a short yardage back. 6th round pick.

    18. Kapri Bibbs (Colorado State). Bibbs is another small school sleeper. For a young back, he shows good patience & vision. He has deceptive speed, and enough strength to break would be tacklers. The issue here is he's played one year, making him raw, at a relatively smaller school. In my books, worth the gamble in 6-7.

    19. Jerick McKinnon (Georgia Southern). I'm just not as high on this guy as most. There is no doubt McKinnon is a terrific athlete. He ran a blazing 40, he changes direction with ease & accelerates smoothly. He has crazy in game speed. However, he's going from QB to RB (makes sense). He has 0 experience as a real RB. He mainly took read option pitches, giving you no information on how he projects running between the tackles. He also (obviously) didn't show good pass protection. Round 7, at best. Would be a good UFA.

    20. Darrin Reaves (UAB). Reaves is an excellent receiving back, who is tough, compact and has some juice to his game. He gives good effort in pass pro, and projects as a nice late round pick or UFA.

    Again, my rankings don't 100% indicate where I'd draft guys. If I was the Titans, I draft Mason before Sankey; I draft Crowell before West & Seastrunk; I draft Williams & White before Gaffney. You guys get the point.

    Hope you enjoyed, hope the post wasn't too long (LOL) and looking forward to your guys feedback.
    #1
    • High Five High Five x 7
  2. Fry

    Fry Hatin' is what I do.

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2004
    Messages:
    26,191
    High five for the Freeman love. I had him ranked #4 as well.

    Don't know why people are sleeping on him. You'll all be shocked when he's drafted in the third ahead of guys like Carey and Seastrunk.

    Blocks, catches, good balance and acceleration in and out of his cuts . Two inches taller and he'd be an easy second round pick.
    #2
  3. ScotTitan

    ScotTitan Special Teams Standout

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    Messages:
    841
    Nice list buddy

    I think we will go defense 1 and 2.
    Rb in 4 or 5, therefore I would look at Hill down.

    Jeremy Hill in the 4th would be cool
    #3
  4. JCBRAVE

    JCBRAVE Tweet me @JCBRAVE

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    Messages:
    45,286
  5. The Hammer

    The Hammer Straight Ridah

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2012
    Messages:
    16,322
    Damn son nice work
    #5
  6. JR1980

    JR1980 Starter

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    Messages:
    1,554
    Hell of a post partner, with hard work put in....I would do these more often if I had the time haha. That being said, I dig the list. I would take Freeman, Hyde, or Mason personally. I like that you didn't swing from Dri Archer either because of his "40" time...Kudos
    #6
  7. ImATitan

    ImATitan Starter

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2011
    Messages:
    5,189
    Fry: Thanks, we are on the same page with Freeman. I'd love him in the 4th (ideally 3rd but we don't have that pick).

    ScotTitan: Thank you. If we go defense 1-2, I expect guys like Carey & Hill to be gone by 4. Probably looking at Freeman & Sims, which I'm okay with.

    JcBrave: I could get behind Hyde at 42.

    Hammer: Thank you

    JR1980: Lol thanks. I've been devoting an hour before bed to this list for weeks now. I love the 3 you mentioned.

    I would have tagged all you guys in this post if I knew how hahaha
    #7
    • High Five High Five x 1
  8. The Hammer

    The Hammer Straight Ridah

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2012
    Messages:
    16,322
    Easiest way to tag is to type '@' then start typing the name of the person you want to tag. Names will start to appear below and you just select the one you want from the list. It is similar to twitter.


    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Overall how strong do you think the RB class is this year? It appears as though, like last year, there may not be an RB taken in the first. Is that because there are no strong RB prospects or is it a comment on how NFL decision makers view the RB position?
    #8
  9. ImATitan

    ImATitan Starter

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2011
    Messages:
    5,189
    It's definitely not front loaded with talent, but rather has a lot of value in mid to late rounds IMO. I don't see a single superstar back, and think guys like Freeman & Mason have best chance of coming out as the #1 from this class in a few years.

    I certainly don't see any Adrian Peterson's or Jamaal Charles'

    I think it's a combination of no home run RB prospects + lessening value of the position.

    But when your #1 ranked back is being compared to Eddie Lacy & Le'Veon Bell, well....

    Thanks for the lesson on tagging posters, super easy.
    #9
    • High Five High Five x 1
  10. lilkhmerkid4u

    lilkhmerkid4u Somebody Saveeeeeee Meee!

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Messages:
    1,424
    #10