Breaking Down the Top Running Backs Attending the NFL Combine


With the 2020 NFL Draft just a few short months away, college players from all over will attend the biggest job interview in their lives. Many of these players will have a lot to showcase for possible future employers. This will be one final chance to boost their stock and project higher than they were prior to the combine.

D’Andre Swift, Georgia (JR, 5′ 9″, 215 lbs)

When you mention D’Andre Swift the next sentence usually follows “would be tackler”. Swift is electric by nature and does certain things without thought with his speed, pass-catching ability, and agility. Swift was able to rack up in three seasons with 2,885 yards on the ground and 666 in the air. He accumulated a total of 25 touchdowns. Swift is at his best when he is running outside the numbers or on a draw or delay run.

He does have success running between the tackles but that is not his strong suit. What seems to be his best move is planting his foot in the ground and juking from right to left. Swift does not like to go left to right. When forced to do so he will lower his head just to pick up yards. He will have to prove to NFL scouts that he is an every down back. One that can handle the punishment of putting his head down and finishing runs.

Pros: Speed and play making ability.

Cons: Durability and running between the tackles, pass blocking

NFL Comparison: Alvin Kamara

J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State (JR, 5’10”, 217 lbs)

J.K. Dobbins aka Mr. “Never Satisfied” was able to tally up 4,459 yards on the ground with 645 coming from the air with a total of 43 touchdowns to finish his college career at Ohio State. Dobbins in his own words described his sophomore season at Ohio State a “failure”. He knew he had to study more film and watch his diet to be able to elevate his game to the next level and that started with mental toughness. Dobbins is only 5’10 217 pounds but when he runs into you its like he is 250,

Dobbins isn’t going to avoid contact if its needed and he is also not afraid to cut back into pursuing linebackers for extra yards to gain a first down. J.K. Dobbins can be an every down back in the NFL if his pass blocking is up to NFL standard. Would like to see more in the pass catching department and becoming more comfortable to it. Dobbins has the open field speed and agility to make defenders miss in open field best fit would be in a downhill running offense much like the titans had for Derrick Henry.

Pros: Strength, hard worker, ball security

Cons: Pass catching, pass blocking

NFL Comparison: Maurice Jones-Drew

Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin (JR, 5’11”, 219 lbs)

Jonathan Taylor the first word that comes to mind is “Complete”. Taylor in 3 seasons at Wisconsin earned 6,174 yards on the ground with only 417 coming in from pass catching which brings a total of 55 touchdowns. He can do everything on a football field although Taylor only had 5 receiving  touchdowns he has soft hands made to catch passes.

Taylor has the ability run over and around defenders while not getting chased down from behind on his way to another touchdown. The thing that has my attention the most about Taylor is when he’s looking for an open hole to run threw “he keeps his shoulders square to the line of scrimmage”, why is that so important? I’ll tell you why, because when a back tends to turn his shoulders away from the line of scrimmage he cant see cut back lanes, and you and make a move into an open hole as quickly. Jonathan Taylor is an every down back period.

Pros: Decision making, strength, agility

Cons: None

NFL Comparison: Todd Gurley

Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU (JR, 5’8″, 209 pounds)

Clyde Edwards-Helaire “Pringles” once he pops he just cant stop as he runs to the end zone for another TD. In his 3 seasons at LSU Clyde Edwards-Helaire brought in 2,103 yards on the ground with 453 coming via air with a total of 24 touchdowns. Has the ability to break at any given moment and plays with a chip on his shoulders because he is tired of being told he is “too small”. He proved in LSU’s championship season that no task was too small for him. He helped carry the Tigers when his number was called his biggest game coming against SEC rival Alabama. Clyde Edwards-Helaire will run down hill or bounce the ball outside and offers pass catching ability. I don’t expect Clyde Edwards-Helaire to be a every down back in the NFL but he should provide some interesting runs while he’s there.

Pros: Speed, agility

Cons: Durability, pass blocking

NFL Comparison: Darren Sproles

Zack Moss, Utah (SR, 5’10”, 222 pounds)

Zack Moss “The Bully” while spending his 4 years at Utah Moss was able to get 4,067 yards on the ground with 685 from the air with a total of 41 touchdowns. Zack Moss with his 222 pound frame is not looking to juke a lot of defenders, he is looking to punish you when you get in his way. Moss took advantage of weaker opponents and probably should have played for a bigger school but, Moss made the most of his opportunities. Zack Moss carried the load of being Utah’s top back and made a name for himself NFL scouts will be looking to see if Zack Moss can translate his skills to the NFL level. Scouts want to know can he be reliable on every down as well as pass block.

Pros: Strength

Cons: Endurance, vison

NFL Comparison: Matt Forte

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