Two weeks ago I started my preview into the 2014 draft class. After that post I went through some life issues that forced me to suspend my blog. Now that my life issues have been sorted out, I'm ready to continue where I left off, with the running back class for the 2014 draft. But before I get to that, I would like to take this opportunity to thank a few people who have helped me out in the last two weeks. To James Bozeman, Robert Parker, Brendan Toungate, and Elinor Levin thank you guys for all the support you have given me! Now, without further adieu, I present to you the top 5 running backs in next year's draft.
1.) De'Anthony Thomas, University of Oregon*. This year's draft class was a historically weak class for the running back position, with none being taken in the first round for the first time in over 40 years. In my opinion, next year's class isn't much stronger than this one. Running back is quickly becoming one of the most overlooked and under-developed positions in the NFL. If three of these guys are selected in the first round, I will be shocked. That being said, I think that Thomas is by far the top of the class. He's had a pretty good first two years splitting time with Kenjon Barner and LaMichael James. Now it's Thomas' turn to show what he can do as a featured back. If he can expand on what he was able to do the last two seasons, he should be the first running back off the board next April.
2.) Ka'Deem Carey, University of Arizona*. Carey isn't far behind Thomas for the top spot in this class. He took the college football landscape by storm last year, coming from relative obscurity to lead the nation with nearly 2,000 yards while maintaining a 6.4 yards per carry average. Though Carey does not possess ideal size, if he is able to add 10lbs or so to his frame and maintain his quickness, he may make a strong case for leapfroging Thomas into the number one position.
3.) Lache Seastrunk, University of Baylor*. Seastrunk possesses a bit more size than Carey does, so if Carey doesn't add the bulk that he needs to, Seastrunk could easily surpass him. The top three running backs in this class. With the departures RGIII, Nick Florence, Kendall Wright and Terrance Williams, Seastrunk should be the number one option for the Baylor Bears. With 1,000 yards and 7 touchdowns (including 843 in the final six games) last season as a second or third option, his numbers should increase significantly this season. If he improves upon his numbers from last season and reaches his own personal goal of winning the Heisman Trophy, he could easily become the number one guy on most people's boards. I have Seastrunk as the number 3 guy because he has a bit of a tendency to dance in the hole and not to just trust his instincts and run downhill.
4.) Damien Williams, University of Oklahoma. Much like Seastrunk at Baylor, Williams has been a second or third option in the past, but should finally get the chance to be the focal point of the Sooner's offense. At 5'11" and 215lbs, Williams has the best size of any running back in this class, and while he does have nice elusiveness and quickness for his size, he isn't quite as complete of a running back as the previously mentioned prospects.
5.) Silas Redd, University of Southern California*. In light of the scandal at Penn State revolving around former coach Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State running back decided to jump ship and transfer to USC. In his first season with the Trojans, Redd amassed 905 yards and nine touchdowns. In his previous season at Penn State, Redd ran for 1,200+ yards and seven touchdown, so Redd does have the potential to be a successful running back. The knock on Redd comes when you look at his receiving ability. He doesn't catch the ball often out of the backfield, and at the next level he's going to be asked to do that. Until he can display this ability, he can't be rated any higher. If he does though, he may leapfrog over Williams.
There you have it folks, the top 5 running back prospects in next year's draft. Four out of the five are underclassmen, which is pretty much par for the course when it comes to running backs. It's a position that gets beat up a lot, so they have to get their money when they can. Tomorrow I'll look at the top 5 wide receivers. Come back tomorrow to see who is ranked and where!
Welcome! My name is Chris Spooner. I am an overly-passionate Dolphins fan who has many opinions about his team, and the sports landscape as a whole. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy voicing them.