Running backs may not get loves on draft day, but they are no less important to offenses. Which names are on the 2015 NFL draft watch list?
Todd Gurley – Georgia
Though the draft is still a long ways off, the buzz has already been increasing around Georgia running back Todd Gurley. Not only big and strong, he’s also got the burst and speed to break away. He can run inside, outside and catch passes out of the backfield. The only thing holding him back from breaking the 1st round barrier in the 2015 NFL draft is staying healthy.
Melvin Gordon – Wisconsin
Another bigger back with speed, Melvin Gordon has patiently waited his turn in a Wisconsin offense that stockpiles running backs. Yet in his limited chances Gordon hasn’t disappointed, posting 7.8 yards per carry in 2013. If he can prove durable, which he has thus far, he has the look of a bell cow runner. However, his lack of receiving prowess may hurt his stock.
T.J. Yeldon – Alabama
Coming from Crimson Tide country, it’s reasonable to assume T.J. Yeldon will be yet another high quality back to reach the pros. He was their primary runner last season and didn’t disappoint with over 1,200 yards and 14 touchdowns. Still, he will have to improve his explosiveness in order to keep the starting job, as others are in line to steal it if he’s not careful.
Mike Davis – South Carolina
A sheer power runner who does not shy away from contact. Teams were selling out to stop South Carolina runner Mike Davis all year and they failed miserably. He finished with over 1,180 yards rushing, 352 receiving and 11 touchdowns. Some believe he’s even better than predecessor Marcus Lattimore. A better season could earn him high marks for the 2015 NFL draft.
Karlos Williams – Florida State
It’s hard to get noticed in a crowded backfield. Despite running the ball just 91 times in 2013 for the national champion Seminoles, he still posted 730 yards and 11 touchdowns. Now that Devonta Freeman and James Wilder Jr. are gone, the road blocks are out of his way. Given his size-speed combination, Williams is poised to exploit the presence of Jameis Winston for a huge season.