Scouting Report: Running Back Rankings

Thomas Frank Carr
ESPN Radio 1450 Draft Analyst 


2014 Running Back Rankings 

  1. Carlos Hyde Ohio State
  2. Tre Mason Auburn
  3. Terrence West Townson
  4. Lache Seastrunk Baylor
  5. Bishop Sankey Washington

Overview

If you are looking for a lead back to carry the ball for your team for eight years, look elsewhere. There are no complete backs in this draft. Carlos Hyde leads the class this year. He has the size, strength and the power to be an NFL running back. Yet he lacks speed, and any sort of 'wow' factor to his game. He could be a tough, gritty power back at the next level, or he could be the guy who just can't cut it. Much depends on the situation he walks into. There are also a lot of smaller backs in this draft. Mason, Seastrunk and Sankey all are 5,9" or under. That's not as much of a problem as the fact that they are 205 pounds or less each. We've seen small backs succeed in the NFL before. But those backs were low to the ground, thickly built power backs who were hard to bring down. None of these players exhibit that in their game... The one who does is Terrence West. West has the potential to be in the Ray Rice, Jones-Drew mold of back at the next level. The problem is that he lacks agility and change-of-direction skills. 

The Weakest Links

This is one of the weakest running back drafts in recent memory. None of these backs deserve a first round grade. Give the depth at other positions and devaluing of the position overall, I wouldn't take a running back before the middle of the 2nd round this year. These backs are role players and system specific talents. None of them have transcendent skill.