Top-10 Running Backs, Pre-Combine

There’s no time to waste. The NFL Scouting Combine is around the corner and it’s critical that we plant our flags and allow these takes, hot or otherwise, to fly. For reference, my initial top-32 big board can be found here. More importantly, here were all my early positional rankings and thoughts. Let’s see what has changed between now and then, and where my head is at walking into Indianapolis.

RB1 Damien Harris, Alabama — A pair of 1000-plus yard seasons averaging over 7-yards on the ground in the SEC seems good to me. Harris the total package, on the field and off. Underrated explosiveness and arguably best-in-class vision make early impact and success an easy bet.

RB2 Darrell Henderson, Memphis — Save for a healthy Bryce Love, Henderson is the most explosive player in this year’s class. Back-to-back seasons averaging 8.9 yards per carry is silly. He had 22 scores in 2018 alone. He is the definition of a home run hitter. Consistent production as a receiving option, as well (20, 24, and 19 grabs respectively). Reminds me of a faster version of Aaron Jones.

RB3 Devin “Motor” Singletary, Florida Atlantic — Owner of the best highlight footage in the class is Singletary. He’s smaller, but his compact build allows him to dance around at the line of scrimmage routinely making defenders miss; forced 94 missed tackles while racking up over 1000-yards after contact, per PFF. The game is shifting away from big, bruising-types. I’ve read Shady McCoy and Frank Gore comparisons.

RB4 Josh Jacobs, Alabama — The RB1 on many boards, Jacobs doesn’t quite have the production that some feel is required. It’s easy to fall in love though, even with limited reps. Tenacious runner for his size with plus-hands and balance in the open field. Much like Alvin Kamara coming out of school (also the running comparison), the lack of work can be viewed as a positive (not as beat up).

RB5 David Montgomery, Iowa State — True bell-cow-type runner who could be the first back off the board. Broke a staggering amount of tackles per our friends at PFF, which translates. Despite his thicker, stout build, his ability to create in tight spaces is excellent. He’s Kareem Hunt-like.

RB6 Trayveon Williams, Texas A&M — Williams’ size will be a talking point. Can he carry the load? Complied over 1700 yards and 18 scores last year, ending on a high note. Also added 27 receptions. He can do it all; particularly strong in pass protection. Wrote about him here.

RB7 Miles Sanders, Pennsylvania State — Had Sanders inside the top-5 at one point, and now he floats around this area for me. Either way, he deserves our attention. More here.

RB8 Elijah Holyfield, Georgia — Bigger body with better-than-you’d-think footwork, similar to Montgomery in that regard. Muscular build with incredible power to push the pile, gobble up extra yards, or just run over and embarrass defenders. Yards after contact machine.

RB9 Mike Weber, Ohio State — It’s hard to put 2019’s running back class up against recent groups like 2017 and 2018. In a year where the entire position is being overlooked, Weber may be at the top of the list as far as prospects we’re not giving enough attention to. Once the 40 number comes in, that’ll change. Model of consistency.

RB10 Dexter Williams, Notre Dame — Only a one-year starter in South Bend, Williams has Love and Henderson-type explosiveness. His ability as a pass-catcher, along with (maybe?) some off-field concerns, will keep him down in the rankings for me. Talent is certainly there.

Who do you want the Raiders to come away with and why? If someone missed the cut, tell me who and also don’t forget to tell me how wrong I am.

Catch me on Twitter: @StillRyanFive