Open Rants by Whitetail




Talking about the running back position for each team
Published at 3/29/2018
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Millen  Bill


This is in alphabetical order, not in ranking order.

 Cardinals 

1. David Johnson. Johnson was looking really promising before he broke his wrist. Johnson still has potential to be one of the league's best.

2. Elijaa Penny. Penny got 31 carries last season averaging 4.0 yards per carry. 

3.  TJ Logan. Logan was a rookie last year from North Carolina. Logan may get to see the field this year.

4. Darius Victor. Victor was recently signed by Arizona and may be cut soon.

Summary: The Cardinals probably do not need to draft a running back this year and will more than likely keep three running backs and cut Victor.

Grade C

Falcons

1. Devontae Freeman. Freeman really performed well last year and even better in 2016 scoring 11 touchdowns and recording over 1000 yards

2. Tevin Coleman. The former Hoosier has really complimented Freeman and has not been much of a step down from Freeman when he gets in.

3. Terrence Magee. Magee has been around and may not make the cut for the Falcons.

Summary: Freeman and Coleman are a good 1-2 punch. They may cut Magee and draft a running back.

Grade B

Ravens

1. Alex Collins. Collins had a surprising breakout season last year nearly recording 1000 yards rushing.

2. Buck Allen. Allen is an underrated, but solid backup to Collins recording over 500 yards in his time on the field.

3. Kenneth Dixon. Dixon missed the majority of last season due to injury.

4. Ricky Ortiz. Ortiz is technically a fullback used for short yardage situations.

Summary: Collins did a great job last year, and Buck Allen continues to improve. They could cause havoc for defenses in a two back set.

Grade B-

Bills1. LeSean McCoy. McCoy has been a really good addition to the Bills offense. He does not look like he missed a step since leaving Philly.

2. Chris Ivory. The Bills recently signed Ivory after he spent a short stint with the Jaguars. Best known for his time as a Jet, Ivory still has some in the tank.

3. Taiwan Jones. Only caught one pass last season, may not make the cut.

4. Travarius Cadet. Cadet averaged 4.2 yards per carry when filling in.

Summary: McCoy will be solid as long as he does not get injured. However, Ivory is a great relief back.

Grade B+

Panthers

1. Christian McCaffery. Arguably one of the best rookie running backs last year. Look for him to breakout this season.

2. Fozzy Whitaker. After losing Johnathan Stewert, look for Whittaker to get more carries this year.

3. Curtis Artis-Payne. The Pnathers really like this guy as a solid back.

Summary: The Panthers seem set here  at this position. Look for the running game to explode in the NFC South this year.

Grade B+

Bears

1. Jordan Howard. After posting back to back 1000+ yard seasons, expect the same from Howard.

2. Tarik Cohen. Cohen showed some glimmers of promise last year and should be the #2 running back this year.

3. Taquan Mizzell. Mizzell may get cut.

Summary: With Howard and the emerging Cohen, the Bears should be pretty well set at RB. Do not be surprised if they release Mizzell and draft a late round RB.

Grade B-

Bengals

1. Giovanni Bernard. Bernard had an under impressive year last season and hopes to improve this year.

2. Joe Mixon. Mixon has become the top backup for the Bengals and may have a breakout season this year.

3. Brian Hill. The former Wyoming Cowboy may get some playing time this year.

Summary: Mixon may jump Bernard if he does not soon improve. I believe they may draft a RB this season, perhaps a guy like Justin Jackson; Northwestern, in the 6-7 rounds.

Grade C+

Browns

1. Carlos Hyde. Hyde was recently signed from the 49ers. The former Buckeye could do well behind a good O-line.

2. Duke Johnson. Johnson is the speed guy on the roster. He showed a lot of that speed at Miami.

3. Matt Dayes. Dayes may be cut depending on the draft.

Summary: The Browns should draft a running back, but it should be later on in the draft. Perhaps someone like Kerryon Johnson in rounds 2-3.

Grade: C-

Cowboys

1. Ezekiel Elliot. Obviously Elliot is one of the top RB in the game.

2. Rod Smith. Not a bad guy to be backing up Zeke.

3. Trey Williams. Will probably be cut it the Cowboys draft a RB.

Summary: The Cowboys are set at 1-2. They may draft a RB in the later rounds as an in case of emergency guy.

Grade B+

Broncos 

1. CJ Anderson. Anderson was impressive last season accumulating over 1000 yards.

2. Devontae Booker. Booker is a suitable backup to Anderson and in 2016 had over 500 yards.

3. Deangelo Henderson. Henderson may not be kept through the off season.

Summary: Anderson is not a popular name, but may be by the end of year.

Grade: C

Lions1. Ameer Abdulah. Abdulah was extremely under impressive last year and his future in Detroit is up in the air.

2. LeGarrett Blount. Yes, Blount is now a Lion. It is undetermined what his role will be, but whatever the role, you can be sure he will be powerful.

3. Theo Reddick. Reddick may not make the offseason if a running back is drafted.

Summary: The run game was a huge disappointment for Detroit last year and I expect them to possibly take a running back in the first round. Maybe Darrius Guise of LSU.

Grade: (For now) C+

Packers

1. Ty Montgomery. Montgomery is atop the depth chart. For now.

2. Aaron Jones. Jones quietly had a good year last season.

3. Jamaal Williams. Williams had an impressive rookie season last year, and may work his way up the depth chart.

Summary: The Packers missed out in free agency in my opinion and better hope that it does not affect them this season.

Grade: D+

Texans1. Lamar Miller. Miller had a great year in 2016 and hopes to have another one this year.

2. Tyler Ervin. Ervin is listed at #2 on the depth chart, but that may not hold up.

3. D'Ontae Forman. Forman is to be the man of the future and should see more playing time this season.

Summary: The Texans will not take a running back this year in the draft.

Grade B-

Colts 

1. Marlon Mack. Mack finally gets his chance this year at the starting job.

2. Josh Ferguson. Expect Ferguson to see more time this year.

3. Matt Jones. Jones will more than likely be cut.

Summary: This is a very young running back group and there youth will show. 

Grade: D

Jaguars

1. Leonard Fournette. Fournette was quite possibly the best rookie running back last season. Expect the same this year.

2. TJ Yeldon. Yeldon did a great job when he was in last season, should get even more time this year.

3. Corey Grant. Grant was impressive when in. Probably one of the best third string running backs in the league.

Summary: The Jaguars ground game should be set.

Grade A-

Chiefs

1. Kareem Hunt. Hunt blew everyone away last year. Very impressive and should show it.

2. Charkandrick West. Not much of a drop from Hunt to West.

3. Spencer Ware. Ware is very fast and will stay on the roster.

Summary: With Hunt and West, the West is within reach for KC.

Grade B+

Chargers

1. Melvin Gordon. The former Badger could have an outstanding year/

2. Andre Williams. If Gordon is injured Williams can fill that spot well.

3. Austin Ekeler. May be cut prior to season.

Summary: Chargers are good for now.

Grade C+

Rams

1. Todd Gurley. Gurley continues to improve each year.

2. Malcom Brown. Brown had 63 carries last season for the Rams. Gurley's top backup.

3. Justin Davis. There is a good chance Davis is cut.

Summary: As long as Gurley stays healthy they should be ok. May cut Davis and draft a RB later in draft.

Grade B

Dolphins

1. Frank Gore. The ageless one has a new team.

2. Kenyan Drake. Drake will be sharing a lot of the touches this season.

3. Senorise Perry. Perry has very little experience.

Summary: The Dolphins made a mistake trading Ajayi. May draft a RB this year.

Grade D

Vikings

1. Dalvin Cook. Cook was looking good before the injury. Hopefully he can show his stuff this year.

2. Latavius Murray. Murray did a great job filling in last season.

3. Mack Brown. May be cut.

Summary: If Cook can continue his early season success, the Vikings could have a good run game.

Grade: B-

Patriots1. Rex Burkhead. Recently acquired from the Bengals. It will be interesting to see if he fits in with the Pats offense.

2. James Develin. Develin has very few NFL touches.

3. Jeremy Hill. Hill has a fumble problem and recently played for the Bengals.

Summary: A running back draft selection may be smart.

Grade C-

Saints

1. Mark Ingram. Part one of the best 1-2 punch in the NFL.

2. Alvin Kamara. Part two of the best 1-2 punch in the NFL.

3. Daniel Lasco. Not much is known about him.

Summary: Great Running game for New Orleans.

Grade: A

Giants

1. Johnathan Stewart. Stewart is getting older and may not hold on to that #1 spot.

2. Wayne Gallman. Gallman is young and will need another year of experience.

3. Paul Perkins.

Summary: It would be smart to draft a running back early, like maybe Saquon Barkley at #2.

Grade C-

Jets

1. Isiah Crowell. Crowell shows a lot of potential, but maybe not a #1 RB.

2. Elijah McGuire.

3. Jahad Thomas.

Summary: The Jets need a lot of things, a RB is included in that.

Grade: D

Raiders

1. Doug Martin. Martin, the former Buc, may need some help in the backfield.

2. Jalen Ricjard.

3. Deandre Washington.

Summary: It may be smart for the Raiders to take a RB early on. Like maybe Ronald Jones II of Usc.

Grade C-

Eagles

1. Jay Ajayi. Ajayi was a big part of what brought the trophy to Philly.

2. Wendall Smallwood. Smallwood may lose this #2 spor.

3. Corey Clement. The former badger showed flashes of greatness.

4. Donnell Pumpfrey.

Summary: Eagles are good at this spot.

Grade: A-

Steelers

1. LeVeon Bell: We all know what is going on here. Lets not talk about it more.

2. James Connor. Connor needs more carries. He possessed Jerome Bettis power.

3. Fitzgerald Toussaint. Toussaint should have been released.

Summary: The draft will tell a lot about the Steelers thoughts on Bell.

Grade: With Bell B+ Without Bell C-

49ers

1. Jarrick McCinnon. Interesting #1 guy. May not be ther long.

2. Joseph Williams.

3. Matt Brieda. 

Summary. The 49ers need a running back. Options would include Rashaad Penny of San Diego State.

Seahawks

1. Mike Davis.

2. Eddie Lacy. He is a free agent.

3. Chris Carson.

Summary: Seahawks should take someone in the draft.

Grade: C-

Buccaneers

1. Jaquizz Rogers. Rogers is an underrated back who could really run well this season.

2. Peyton Barber.

3. Dalton Crossen.

Summary. A running back signing in the draft would be wise. Maybe a guy like Sony Michel.

Grade C-

Titans

1. Derrick Henry. Henry should improve even mor ethis season.

2. Dion Lewis. Good aquasition from the Pats.

3. David Fuellon.

Summary: If Henry stays healthy, they will be really good. If not Lewis is a great guy to have.

Grade B+

Redskins

1. Rob Kelly

2. Samaje Perine.

3. Christ Thompson.

Summary: The skins may need to pick up someone.

Grade: C-






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