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.