Nov 29, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Washington Huskies running back Bishop Sankey (25) rushes against the Washington State Cougars during the second half at Husky Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Draft: Best Fits for Top 5 Running Backs

Running back is a position of intrigue heading into the 2014 NFL draft.  Where do the top five names on the board fit best?

Carlos Hyde – Best Fit:  Miami Dolphins

Arguably the best in the 2014 class, Carlos Hyde mirrors a lot of the game of All-Pro Marshawn Lynch.  He runs hard and with an attitude, making it tough on defenders to bring him down but at the same time showing sneaky speed and receiving ability.  The Miami Dolphins could use an upgrade in toughness at the position.  Hyde would be their ideal solution.

Bishop Sankey – Best Fit:  Tennessee Titans

Much more the modern type of running back, Bishop Sankey is a do-it-all player.  He showed at Washington he can run between the tackles but he’s even better on the perimeter and shows excellent hands catching passes and recognition in pass protection.  The Tennessee Titans are hoping to replace Chris Johnson.  Sankey has a similar skill set and far less baggage coming out of the 2014 NFL draft.

Tre Mason – Best Fit:  Indianapolis Colts

Trent Richardson remains the short yardage guy for the Indianapolis Colts but the loss of Donald Browns has left them without a slashing type runner who can double as a receiving threat.  Despite his size (5’8″) Tre Mason showed during Auburn’s national title run that he can run with power but makes his money with speed and versatility.  He should make a good fit for the West Coast system of Pep Hamilton.

Ka’Deem Carey – Best Fit:  Cleveland Browns

The game tape shows clearly enough that Ka’Deem Carey is a true running back.  He shows smoothness, good vision, and a hard running style that breaks tackles and long gains.  Yet all anybody can talk about is he’s not very fast.  Neither was Alfred Morris coming out of college and he’s a star.  Carey has a similar style to the Redskins Pro Bowler, which is why Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, who developed Morris, should have great interest in Carey.

Jeremy Hill – Best Fit:  New England Patriots

This union makes sense for a number of reasons.  First and foremost is need.  The New England Patriots lost LeGarrette Blount in free agency and once again are on the lookout for a bigger back who can run with power.  Jeremy Hill fills both requirements coming out of LSU.  On the opposite end, Hill has some character flaws dogging him heading into the 2014 NFL draft.  Experts agree he’d best be suited playing for a coaching staff who can handle that.  Bill Belichick would certainly top that list.

Tags: 2014 Nfl Draft Bishop Sankey Carlos Hyde Cleveland Browns Indianapolis Colts Jeremy Hill Ka'deem Carey Miami Dolphins New England Patriots Tennessee Titans Tre Mason

  • Jarod Cook

    RB is no longer a real big concern for the Browns IMO. They have a good stable of backs, after they signed Tate in FA. If Tate can stay healthy he should be a good starting RB, he’s got low miles and is a physical runner who should fit well in the AFC North. Baker looked good in the final 3 games of the season rushing for a 4.0 average per an attempt and scoring 2 TD’s. Lewis and Whitaker are serviceable and can be used as backups or change of pace. Ogbonnaya is good all around Full Back. He’s a decent run blocker, and can run and catch the ball out of the backfield. With more pressing needs at other positions, I think the Browns could hold off till the late 4th or 5th round to draft a RB.

    • Erik Lambert

      That’s just it. I don’t trust Tate is a workhorse back, especially if he’s getting hurt despite Foster toting the bulk of the carries. The others you mentioned are good in small doses. Hyde is a legit three-down guy. He can pound away on 3rd & 1 or take it 60 yards on 2nd & 8. Strong, tough and versatile.

      • Jarod Cook

        I’m not saying to not take a RB, but they’ve got more pressing needs that need attention with there first 6-7 picks. They can wait till day 3 and still find quality talent, in the late rounds. Seastrunk or Sims could possibly fall into the 5th. Or players that are supposed to be 5th/6th round targets are James White, Storm Johnson, and De’Anthony Thomas, are all good players and with the right system could produce great results. Another target could be Isaiah Crowell. Had to transfer to a smaller school cause of legal issues after Freshman year, but since then has been clean and had no other issues.

  • Josh Hart

    If the Browns could get Carey with a 4th round pick, I’d be thrilled. Anything before that is too soon for a RB right now, imo.

    • Erik Lambert

      Carey truly is an underrated guy who deserves more attention. Unfortunately speed is the big selling point during pre-draft and he’s not flash like that. Doesn’t matter. He’ll still be successful.