Nick Sitro’s 2020 NFL Draft Running Back Rankings

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From now until the draft, I will post my top 10 rankings at each position. To read my other rankings, click the corresponding link below.

1. D’Andre Swift, Georgia

You could theoretically rank the top-five running backs in any order, but in my opinion, D’Andre Swift owns the number one spot. He is a true workhorse and three down back in the NFL. He has soft hands, good route running ability and incredible contact balance. I suppose you could argue his production wasn’t elite, but that really doesn’t matter to me when I pop on the film.

2. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU

Back in January, I had Clyde Edwards-Helaire as my running back four. Since then, he has risen to the number two spot on my rankings. His long speed is lacking, but it really doesn’t matter when you have elite agility. When you watch Edwards-Helaire on film, he glides through the line of scrimmage with ease. He also possesses fantastic pass catching ability with sufficient blocking capabilities.

3. J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State

I dropped J.K. Dobbins down one spot in my rankings due to lack luster pass blocking ability. But make no mistake, Dobbins has the tools to be a three down back at the pro level. His vision is top notch and he often bounces the ball outside for big gains. He also has the receiving ability you need in today’s NFL, and should make an impact day one.

4. Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin

Jonathan Taylor was once in the Heisman conversation to start the college football season. Since then, he has fallen a bit in a deep running back class, but that is not an indictment on his ability. Taylor is a bruiser of a back who will wear out defenses as the game progresses. He reminds me of a smaller Derrick Henry, but with better receiving ability. He is another back in this class that can be slotted into a feature role in the NFL

5. Cam Akers, FSU

Cam Akers comes in at number five in my rankings, but the gap between two and five are so close, that it shouldn’t be counted against him. Akers played with a very weak offensive line at FSU and still produced at a high level. He is incredibly explosive and is sufficient as a pass catcher and run blocker. He is yet another player who can be a featured back in the NFL.

6. Eno Benjamin, Arizona

Eno Benjamin has been a forgotten name with a deep running back draft. But make no mistake, Benjamin is still a fantastic talent. He possesses superb contact balance coupled with a power archetype that makes him a fantastic fit in a power rushing offense. With that being said, Benjamin can sometimes be to eager to hit the hole, instead of waiting for one to open, which can result in loss of yards.

7. Anthony McFarland, Maryland

Like Eno Benjamin, Anthony MacFarland possesses superb contact balance with a knack for making defenders miss in open space. He needs to improve as a pass blocker if he wants to be a three down back in the NFL, but the physical traits are there.

8. Lamical Perine, Florida

Lamical Perine has the physical traits to be a featured back in the NFL. At Florida, his relatively low mileage is a plus, but his ability to carry a large workload is unproven. The ideal fit for Perine is a scheme that utilizes zone rushes, as you can maximize his explosiveness

9. Darrynton Evans, Appalachian State

Darrynton Evans is an elusive back with intriguing upside in this draft. He projects as a Darren Sproles or James White type of player, with good receiving ability and agility in space. You won’t be relying on him on 3rd and one, but Evans isn’t that type of back.

10. Antonio Gibson, Memphis

If you need a pass catching running back, Antonio Gibson is your guy. He needs to be drafted into a guy situation that will utilize him in the slot and the screen game though, similar to a Tarik Cohen. His production and rushing totals at Memphis were lacking, but he can still be a solid weapon at the NFL level if used correctly.

Check back with BucsReport.com for more position rankings with Nick Sitro!

 

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