Trent Richardson*, RB, Alabama
Height: 5-9. Weight: 228. 40 Time: 4.46. Projected Round (2012): Top-10 Pick. 4/24/12: Richardson worked out for scouts in late March and the reports were that he looked excellent. Some pundits believe that he is as elite of a prospect as either Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III. Richardson was unable to work out for scouts at the NFL Scouting Combine or Alabama's pro day as he recovered from knee surgery. It was said to be a minor procedure.
Richardson had a massive season in 2011 and was one of the best players in college football. With a string of dominant performances in conference play, he proved to be the best running back in the nation. Richardson produced 24 total touchdowns (21 rushing, three receiving). He ran for 1,679 yards while averaging 5.9 yards per carry. Richardson also caught 29 passes for 338 yards.
In Alabama's two games against LSU, the junior played well. During the regular season matchup, Richardson ran the ball 23 times for 89 yards and caught five passes for 80 yards against the Tigers. He ran for 96 yards on 20 carries with a touchdown in the rematch. Richardson produced even with LSU's talented defense focused on stopping him. He dominated Florida, Arkansas, Ole Miss and Mississippi State among others.
Richardson looks like a three-down back for the NFL. He is a good receiver out of the backfield who has the skill set to develop into a quality blitz protector. Richardson has an elite combination of strength and speed. He gets yards after contact from his strength, and is fast enough to break off long touchdowns on any carry or reception. Some believe that Richardson is the best running back prospect since Adrian Peterson.
8/18/11: Trent Richardson is considered by some to be a better pro prospect than former teammate Mark Ingram. The reason is Richardson has a fabulous make-up of size and speed. Last year, he ran for 700 yards on 112 carries with six scores. As a freshman, Richardson ran for 749 yards and eight touchdowns. He has been used as a receiver out of the backfield with 23 receptions last year after 16 catches in 2009.
Richardson has the ability to run through linebackers and to run away from defensive backs. Many consider him a favorite for the Heisman trophy and it wouldn't be surprising if Richardson has a massive 2011 season.
Doug Martin, RB, Boise State
Height: 5-9. Weight: 223. 40 Time: 4.47. Bench: 28. Vertical: 36. Broad: 10-0. Arm: 29 7/8. Hand: 9. Projected Round (2012): 1-2. 4/24/12: Martin has had a strong offseason. He was the most impressive running back at the Senior Bowl and showed the ability to battle defenses as a runner, receiver and blocker. Martin then ran well at the Combine while tying for the lead on the bench press. As expected, he performed well in receiving drills. Martin looks secure as an early second-round pick who could sneak into the first round.
The senior put together a quality season in 2011. He averaged five yards per carry with 1,299 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns. Martin also contributed 28 receptions for 263 yards and two scores. Out with an injury, the Broncos missed him a lot in their one loss against the TCU Horned Frogs.
Martin is a skilled kick returner and averaged 34 yards per return this season. He looks like a starting three-down running back for the NFL. Martin is a sudden runner with good quickness and cutting ability. He also is very strong and uses that to break tackles, get yards after contact and move the pile. Martin is a complete, well-rounded back.
8/18/11: The Boise State offense has been led by a variety of playmakers and Doug Martin is certainly part of that group. Martin broke out in 2010 when he ran for 1,260 yards with an average of 6.2 yards per carry and 12 touchdowns. Martin also notched 28 receptions for 338 yards and two scores. As a sophomore in 2009, he ran for 765 yards and 15 scores. Martin can run with power, as he will lower his shoulder and knock defenders on their back. Martin also has quickness and cutting ability. With Titus Young and Austin Pettis gone, the Broncos could lean even more on Martin in 2011.
David Wilson*, RB, Virginia Tech
Height: 5-10. Weight: 206. 40 Time: 4.40. Vertical: 41 Broad: 11-0. Hand: 9 3/8. Projected Round (2012): 2. 4/24/12: Wilson had a massive Combine performance. Not only did he have a fast 40 and lead the running backs in the vertical and broad jumps, but he was also excellent in the pass-receiving drills. Wilson looked like a natural receiver and showed the ability to be a three-down back in the NFL.
This year, his first season as a starter, Wilson was the ACC Player of the Year. He averaged 5.9 yards per carry and totaled 1,709 yards and nine touchdowns in 2011. Wilson caught 22 passes for 129 yards and a touchdown, too. In 2010, as a backup, he ran for 619 yards and five scores. Wilson uses speed and explosiveness to rip off some long runs. He is a shifty runner with nice moves to avoid tacklers and pick up extra yards. In the NFL, Wilson will need to work on his ball security as he had a lot of fumbles in 2011.
Lamar Miller*, RB, Miami
Height: 5-11. Weight: 212. 40 Time: 4.38. Vertical: 33. Hand: 9 1/4. Projected Round (2012): 2. 4/24/12: Miller ran a fast 40 time, as expected, at the Combine. He didn't perform as well in the receiving drills and some are questioning if he can be a three-down back in the NFL. That is the reason why Miller has fallen behind Wilson and Martin, who project to being every-down backs.
Miller was a dynamic playmaker in 2011. He ran for 1,272 yards and nine touchdowns rushing while averaging 5.46 yards per carry. As a receiver, Miller caught 17 passes for 85 yards and a score. He showed the speed to break off long touchdown runs, and is a threat to score with any touch. Miller also has the size and strength to handle a large amount of carries. The redshirt sophomore was one of the most dynamic backs in college football.
Miller ran for 646 yards (six yards per carry) in 2010, scoring six touchdowns. He looks like a future starting running back in the NFL. Miller has playmaking speed and the size to handle a large amount of carries. He is a little raw and is not as polished as runners with more experience, but the benefit of that is less wear-and-tear compared to other prospects. Miller has a unique and special skill set.
LaMichael James*, RB, Oregon
Height: 5-8. Weight: 194. 40 Time: 4.37. 10-Yd Split: 1.60 Bench: 15. Vertical: 35. Broad: 10-3. Hand: 9. Projected Round (2012): 2-3. 4/24/12: James confirmed his special speed at the Combine. He also performed well in the receiving drills. To start the 2011 season, James struggled against LSU, running for only 54 yards on 18 carries with a score. It was the second straight game in which he was contained by a quality SEC defense. After a slow start to season, he turned it on and tore up some weaker competition. James recorded four games this year where he went over 200 yards rushing.
In the end, the junior had 1,805 yards rushing and 18 touchdowns in 2011, averaging 7.3 yards per carry. He also caught 17 passes for 210 yards and a score. James missed a couple of games in the middle of the year after suffering a dislocated elbow. The elbow injury was a tough blow to his draft stock since there were already durability concerns and some question his ability to stay healthy in the NFL.
James should be viewed as a change-of-pace and third-down back at the pro level. He does not have the size and durability to be an every-down player. That makes James a luxury pick to a degree, but he could be an effective piece in an offense, if used correctly. A key to James turning into a good pro will be to develop his blitz protection.
8/18/11: LaMichael James is an electric playmaker who led Oregon to an appearance in the National Championship Game. He led college football with 1,731 yards rushing and 21 touchdowns in 2010. James has averaged 6.3 yards per carry in his career. He has some receiving ability with 34 catches for 376 yards and three scores. Running backs typically fall in the draft, but James is a dynamite playmaker. James has the ability to score on any carry from any part of the field.
Isaiah Pead, RB, Cincinnati
Height: 5-10. Weight: 197. 40 Time: 4.41. 10-Yd Split: 1.50 Vertical: 33. Broad: 9-8. Arm: 31. Hand: 8 5/8. Projected Round (2012): 2-4. 4/24/12: Pead helped himself with a nice week of practice at the Senior Bowl. He performed well as a runner, receiver, blocker and returner. At the Combine, Pead ran well and looked like a natural in the receiving drills. He appears to be a good complementary back as part of a stable as an ideal third-down back.
Pead averaged 5.3 yards per carry this season, rushing for 1,259 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also caught 39 passes for 319 yards and three scores. Pead runs with good vision and balance. The senior had huge games against Tennessee, North Carolina State and Louisville, but he did not play well against either South Florida or Connecticut.
Pead is a good back for third down as he is a willing blocker and quality receiver. Those could be his most appealing characteristics. Pead runs too upright and will need to run with better pad level in the NFL. He also had some issues with ball security.
8/18/11: The Bearcats' standout Isaiah Pead ran for 1,029 yards and six scores while averaging 6.6 yards per carry. He caught 26 passes for 190 yards and one touchdown last year. Pead runs like a downhill, power back even though he is not a big back.
An aspect of Pead's game that will appeal to talent evaluators is his blitz pickup in pass protection. He shows an astute ability to identify blitzers, and get enough contact to provide time for the passer. Pead has quickness through the hole, but can be caught from behind.
Chris Polk*, RB, Washington
Height: 5-11. Weight: 215. 40 Time: 4.46. 10-Yd Split: 1.57. Vertical: 31.5. Broad: 9-3. Arm: 30 7/8. Hand: 9 3/4. Projected Round (2012): 3-4. 4/24/12: Polk was one of the more disappointing players at the Senior Bowl. He looked slow and sluggish as runner, plus he struggled in blitz protection. Polk showed up at the Combine 10 pounds lighter and ran a nice 40 time. He looked above average as a pass receiver, and his overall performance should have mitigated some of the damage done at the Senior Bowl.
Polk had a strong 2011 season. He rushed with good vision, cutting ability and hit the hole quickly. Polk is good at running behind his pads and powering through defenders. Washington had a subpar offensive line, and if Polk had better blocking, he could have even better numbers. The benefit to that line was that the 5-foot-11, 222-pounder is a very patient runner who knows how to put defenders on blockers.
Polk ran for 1,488 yards (5.1 average) and 12 touchdowns in 2011. He also snagged 31 passes for 332 yards and four scores. Polk ran well against Stanford, one of the best defenses in the Pac-12. He had 144 yards on 15 carries and two touchdowns versus the Cardinal.
8/18/11: Chris Polk was a huge part of the Huskies' improvement last season. Polk averaged 5.4 yards per carry and ran for 1,415 yards with nine scores. That excellent production came behind an offensive line that struggled throughout the 2010 season. As a freshman, he ran for 1,113 yards and five scores.
Polk runs with good vision, cutting ability and has the talent to get skinny through a hole to break runs into the secondary. He hits the hole quickly, but also is a patient runner. In that regard, the sub-par offensive line has helped make him a better running back.
Robert Turbin, RB, Utah State
Height: 5-10. Weight: 222. 40 Time: 4.44. Bench: 28. Vertical: 36. Broad: 10-2. Hand: 9 3/4. Projected Round (2012): 3-4. 4/24/12: Turbin is a sleeper prospect who has some speed and is extremely strong. He showed that off at the Combine. Turbin averaged 6.1 yards per carry this season, rushing for 1,517 yards and 19 touchdowns. He caught 17 passes for 171 yards and four scores as well. Turbin broke out in 2009 with 1,296 yards and 13 touchdowns. He missed the 2010 season because of an injury.
Turbin is put together well and is an elusive runner. He could surprise at the next level. Turbin could be one of those mid-round running backs who turns into a good pro and makes teams regret passing on him. Turbin has a lot of interest in him and has taken a lot of pre-draft visits.
Bernard Pierce*, RB, Temple
Height: 6-0. Weight: 218. 40 Time: 4.50. 10-Yd Split: 1.52. Bench: 17. Vertical: 36.5. Broad: 10-3. Hand: 9 1/4. Projected Round (2012): 3-4. 4/24/12: Pierce had a solid performance at the Combine to help his stock. He ran faster than expected and performed well in the receiving drills.
Pierce was putting together a massive junior season before injuries slowed him down in November. He still ran for 1,481 yards and 27 touchdowns in 2011. Pierce averaged 5.6 yards per carry and beat up on some weaker competition. It was disappointing for his draft stock to see him produce only 50 yards against his best opponent, Penn State. He also had a concussion and that can be a scary injury for talent evaluators. Pierce does not play as fast as he timed, but he can pound the ball between the tackles.
8/18/11: Bernard Pierce ran for 728 yards with 10 touchdowns and an average of 4.7 yards per carry in 2010. He had some injury issues that decreased his production last season. As a freshman, Pierce ran for 1,361 yards and 16 touchdowns with an average of 5.8 yards per carry. One drawback to his game is lack of pass receptions. He has only 16 receptions through two seasons.
Cyrus Gray, RB, Texas A&M
Height: 5-10. Weight: 206. 40 Time: 4.47. 10-Yd Split: 1.57. Bench: 21. Vertical: 32.5. Broad: 9-6. Arm: 29 3/8. Hand: 9 1/8. Projected Round (2012): 4-6. 4/24/12: Gray had a nice Combine performance. He ran fast and looked natural in the field drills as a receiver. The biggest issue for Gray is the medical checkup and durability concerns. For the majority of his senior season, he split carries with teammate Christine Michael.
After Michael went down with an injury, Gray became the lead back until he missed the final two games with a shoulder injury. He ran for 1,045 yards (5.3 average) and 12 touchdowns in 2011. Gray also caught 31 passes for 239 yards and three scores. He has a nice skill set but may not have the size or durability to be a lead back in the NFL. Gray could be an interesting back as part of a running back-by-committee approach.
8/18/11: The resurgence of Texas A&M came from playmakers like Cyrus Gray. Last year, he totaled 1,155 yards (5.3 average) with 12 touchdowns. Gray also offers strong receiving skills with 72 career receptions for 537 yards and three touchdowns.
Gray has the speed to turn the corner on exterior runs. He has a fabulous burst to get through the line and into the secondary. Gray runs with nice body lean and finishes his runs well. He has homerun speed and can break off long touchdown runs. Gray is not extremely elusive and doesn't juke out a lot of would-be tacklers, but he beats defenders with his excellent speed. Gray looks like a solid second or third-round prospect.
Vick Ballard, RB, Mississippi State
Height: 5-10. Weight: 219 40 Time: 4.63. Bench: 23. Vertical: 33. Broad: 9-7. Arm: 31 1/8. Hand: 9 1/2. Projected Round (2012): 4-6. 4/24/12: Ballard had a disappointing 40 time at the Combine after he had just an average performance at the Senior Bowl. Ballard started out the 2011 season very strong, but he ended up with only two 100-yard rushing games against a conference opponent. Ballard totaled 1,189 yards and 10 touchdowns for an average of 6.1 yards per carry this year. To end 2011, he ran for 180 yards against Wake Forest after totaling 144 yards against Ole Miss.
Teams sold out to stop Ballard and make Mississippi State beat them through the air. He plays with a nice combination of size and speed. Ballard could be a good sleeper running back on the third day of the draft.
8/18/11: The junior college product Vick Ballard had a solid debut for Mississippi State last season. He ran for 968 yards on 186 carries (5.3 average) with 19 touchdowns. Ballard was instrumental in sealing their 10-7 road victory over Florida. He is a physical, downhill runner who is capable of logging a large amount of carries. The Bulldogs are a program on the rise, and Ballard figures to be their workhorse back in 2011.
Chris Rainey, WR/RB/KR/PR, Florida
Height: 5-8. Weight: 180. 40 Time: 4.37. Bench: 16. Vertical: 36.5. Broad: 10-0. Arm: 30 3/4. Hand: 9 1/2. Projected Round (2012): 5-6. 4/24/12: Rainey had a quality week at the Senior Bowl, showing off his speed and receiving ability. His 40 time at the Combine was actually a little slower than expected, and he dropped some passes in the receiving drills. Rainey started out the 2011 season with a bang but trailed off in conference play. He was banged up and unable to maintain his productivity while playing injured. Rainey totaled 861 yards rushing with three touchdowns this year. He also caught 31 passes for 381 yards and two touchdowns.
Helping Rainey's draft stock is his punt-blocking prowess. He had six blocked kicks in his collegiate career. Rainey has off-the-field concerns stemming from aggravated-stalking charges in 2010. The off-the-field trouble combined with durability concerns push Rainey into the third day of the draft.
8/19/11: Chris Rainey is a lightning-fast playmaker who has been used as a running back, wide receiver, and returner. Last year, he ran for 366 yards and two touchdowns while averaging 7.2 yards per carry, which matches his career average per rush. Rainey also caught 25 passes for 216 yards and three scores. He averaged 23 yards per kick return. It will be interesting to see how Rainey is employed under new offensive coordinator Charlie Weis. For the NFL, Rainey looks like a slot receiver and special teams performer.
Ronnie Hillman*, RB, San Diego State
Height: 5-9. Weight: 200. 40 Time: 4.41. 10-Yd Split: 1.50. Bench: 17. Vertical: 37. Hand: 8 1/2. Projected Round (2012): 5-6. 4/24/12: Hillman ran well at the Combine, but he has small hands that make fumbling a concern at the next level. Hillman ran for 1,711 yards (5.5 average) with 19 touchdowns in 2011. He also caught 24 receptions for 270 yards and a score. Hillman has the speed to rip off yards in chunks, but he didn't play as well against his top competition compared to big games against the lesser opponents.
In the NFL, Hillman projects to be part of a stable of backs and not a three-down starter. He could be a speed scat back as part of a good running back rotation. He ran for 1,532 yards and 17 touchdowns as a freshman in 2010.
Tauren Poole, RB, Tennessee
Height: 5-10. Weight: 205. 40 Time: 4.53. 10-Yd Split: 1.56. Bench: 24. Vertical: 34. Broad: 9-10. 8. Projected Round (2012): 5-6. 4/24/12: Poole has really helped his stock this offseason. He had a strong week at the East-West Shrine and followed that up with a solid Combine. Poole ran well with quickness and cutting ability. He was banged up this season and battled a hamstring injury. Poole didn't perform well in the second half of the season, and some feel he quit on his team.
Thus, Poole did not produce the numbers that many were expecting in 2011. He totaled just 693 yards and five touchdowns. Poole is a sleeper prospect who could surprise, but could also be a bust.
8/18/11: Tauren Poole was the workhorse for Tennessee in 2010. He averaged 5.1 yards per carry and totaled 1,034 yards and 11 touchdowns. Poole has a nice burst through the hole and runs with both power and good body lean. He runs through arm tackles and can bulldoze his way through the pile in short-yardage situations. Entering the 2011 season, Poole is one one the best short-yardage runners in the draft class. If Poole can improve on his numbers in 2011, it wouldn't be surprising if he improves his draft stock to be in the second to third round range.
Terrance Ganaway, RB/FB, Baylor
Height: 6-0. Weight: 241. 40 Time: 4.63. 10-Yd Split: 1.58. Bench: DNP. Arm: 31 3/4. Hand: 9 1/2. Projected Round (2012): 5-6. 4/24/12: Ganaway did not impress at the Senior Bowl. He looked slow and sluggish. His 40 time of 4.60 athe Combine was better than expected, but he really struggled in the receiving drills. Ganaway did not catch many passes in college, and he will need to improve a lot in this area.
Right now, Ganaway looks like a situational back in the NFL. If team wants him to play at fullback, he will need to be developed as a lead blocker and a receiver. It could be that moving to fullback would be the best use of him.
Ganaway played running back for Baylor and had a good senior season. He ran against very easy fronts because teams played the deep part of the field to try to limit quarterback Robert Griffin III and wide receiver Kendall Wright. Ganaway ran for 1,547 yards (6.2 average) and 21 touchdowns in 2011. He has a nice mix of size and speed to run through tackles and break off some long runs.
In the NFL, Ganaway could be a hybrid power back and fullback. He needs to improve on his receiving ability, having totaled only 12 receptions for 133 yards and one touchdown in his collegiate career.
Daniel Herron, RB, Ohio State
Height: 5-10. Weight: 213. 40 Time: 4.65. 10-Yd Split: 1.57. Bench: 22. Vertical: 35. Broad: 9-9. Arm: 31 5/8. Hand: 9. Projected Round (2012): 6-7. 4/24/12: Herron looked bad at the Senior Bowl. He was terrible in blitz protection, ran slowly and seemed, overall, rather disinterested. His terrible 40 time and otherwise lackluster performancee at the Combine didn't help his stock. Herron was suspended for six games this year for his part in the Ohio State scandal. He played well in his first three outings before trailing off late in the season. In seven contests, Herron ran for 678 yards with three touchdowns. His work ethic and off-the-field decision making are big question marks.
8/18/11: Dan Herron looked to be starting on a quality resume for the NFL after his junior season. In 2010, he ran for 1,155 yards on 5.3 yards per carry with 16 touchdowns. Herron also caught 19 balls for 180 yards. The year before, he totaled 600 rushing yards with an average of 3.9 yards per carry, so there were clear signs of improvement. However Herron's numbers, and his draft stock, will take a hit from being suspended for the first five games of the season in the scandal that rocked Buckeye nation. He is a well-rounded back, but could be overrated. Herron has had an excellent offensive line in front of him, yet he has only three 100-yard games in his career. I wouldn't be surprised if he gets passed by some players who are lower on this list.
Brandon Bolden, RB, Ole Miss
Height: 5-11. Weight: 222. 40 Time: 4.56. 10-Yd Split: 1.59. Bench: 21. Vertical: 38. Broad: 9-11. Hand: 10. Projected Round (2012): 6-7. 4/24/12: Bolden had a solid performance at the Combine with quality numbers to help him get drafted. He injured his ankle in the Rebels' season-opening loss to BYU, picking up only four carries for 21 yards in that contest. Bolden missed a game because of that injury, plus had other injuries throughout year. He ran for a total of 472 yards on 96 carries and four touchdowns in 2011.
8/18/11: Brandon Bolden is one of the bigger backs in next year's draft class. Last year, he ran for 976 yards and 14 scores while averaging six yards per carry. Bolden also had 32 catches for 344 yards. As a sophomore, he was the change of pace from Dexter McCluster and had 614 yards rushing with four touchdowns. Bolden has very good hands and that will appeal to offensive coaches in the NFL. Not only can Bolden run with power but he also has been known to hurdle over defenders. Bolden will be the workhorse for Ole Miss and figures to get a lot of opportunities in 2011.
Marc Tyler, RB, USC
Height: 5-11. Weight: 219. 40 Time: 4.72. Bench: 19. Vertical: 30.5. Broad: 9-2. Hand: 9 1/2. Projected Round (2012): 6-7. 4/24/12: Tyler had an impressive week at the East-West Shrine. He was a downhill runner who had quickness and physicality. Unfortunately for Tyler, he had a terrible Combine with a slow 40 and a disappointing bench compared to other big-back prospects.
Tyler was suspended for the first game of the 2011 season, and wasn't the focal point of the Trojans' ground offense as running back Curtis McNeal received more carries throughout 2011. Tyler totaled just 568 yards and four touchdowns this year. He dislocated his shoulder against California, and that knocked him out for basically two games. Helping Tyler's draft stock is that he is one of the few big backs available in the draft.
8/18/11: Some NFL coaches have told Walterfootball.com recently that they believe more and more that the NFL is becoming a big man's game. They said for that reason you saw backs like Jacquizz Rodgers and Dion Lewis go on the last day of the draft, while other small backs like Noel Devine and Derrick Locke went undrafted. Certainly that belief will help big backs like Tyler.
In his first season of playing time, Tyler led USC (aka University of Sexual Ballers as Tyler labeled it to TMZ) in rushing with 913 yards and nine touchdowns.
Tyler is a North-South power back who has enough of a burst to get through the hole and reach the second level of the defense. While he can be caught from behind, defenders shy away from taking him on when they see him running downhill at them. Tyler also had some gaping holes to run through with a good offensive line in front of him. In 2011, he won't be splitting carries with Allen Bradford, so that could help Tyler's numbers. Some off-the-field concerns with Tyler are going to have to be investigated by NFL teams. He has been suspended for the first game of the season after his drunken video on TMZ.
Bobby Rainey, RB, Western Kentucky
Height: 5-8. Weight: 205. Projected 40 Time: 4.55. Projected Round (2012): 6-FA. 4/24/12: Rainey did not participate at the NFL Scouting Combine. He ran for 1,695 yards (4.6 average) with 13 touchdowns this season. Rainey was bottled up by Kentucky and LSU, the top two opponents on the Western Kentucky Wildcats' schedule. He saw a lot heavy fronts. Rainey ran for 1,649 yards (4.9 average) and 15 touchdowns in 2010. He has some power and bulk for a smaller back, and has the potential to be a quality backup in the NFL.
Davin Meggett, RB, Maryland
Height: 5-8. Weight: 211. 40 Time: 4.5. Bench: 23. Vertical: 35. Broad: 9-10. Projected Round (2012): 6-FA. 4/24/12: As a senior, Meggett ran for 896 yards (5.2 average) and four touchdowns with 17 receptions for 141 yards and one score. He ran for 720 yards and four touchdowns as a junior and 338 yards and six scores as a sophomore. Meggett earned playing time as a freshman with 89 carries for 457 yards and four touchdowns. He reportedly performed well at his pro day.
Edwin Baker, RB, Michigan State
Height: 5-8. Weight: 204. 40 Time: 4.46. Bench: 20. Vertical: 35. Broad: 9-3. Hand: 8 1/8. Projected Round (2012): 6-FA. 4/24/12: Baker had a disappointing senior season. He ran for just 665 yards and five touchdowns. Baker totaled 1,201 yards with 13 touchdowns as a junior. He seemed to slow down as a this year, and the Spartans transitioned to teammate Le'Veon Bell. At the Combine, Baker had small hands but good times. He could be worth a late-round pick.
Lennon Creer, RB, Louisiana Tech
Height: 5-11. Weight: 219. 40 Time: 4.59. Bench: 21. Vertical: 33.5. Broad: 9-2. Hand: 9 1/4. Projected Round (2012): 6-FA. 4/24/12: Creer averaged 4.2 yards per carry with a total of 838 yards and nine touchdowns this year. He caught 18 passes for 93 yards and a score. Creer had a solid week at the East-West Shrine.
Lance Dunbar, RB, North Texas
Height: 5-9. Weight: 203. Projected 40 Time: 4.55. Projected Round (2012): 7-FA. 4/24/12: Dunbar did not work out at the NFL Scouting Combine. Defenses were focused on limiting him this season. He still ran for 1,115 yards and 10 touchdowns (4.1 average). Dunbar ran for 313 yards and four touchdowns in his final game.
8/18/11: Lance Dunbar was sixth in the nation in rushing for the FBS with 1,553 yards and 13 touchdowns. He averaged 5.7 yards per carry. Dunbar played well against his better opponents as well with 117 yards in the season opener at Clemson and 270 yards rushing with three touchdowns against Kansas State in the season finale. As a sophomore, he had 1,378 yards and 17 touchdowns. Dunbar is going to have to maintain his high level of production and test well at the combine to get drafted next April.
Jeff Demps, RB/KR, Florida
Height: 5-8. Weight: 190. Projected 40 Time: 4.25. Projected Round (2012): FA. 4/24/12: Demps flashed some big plays and also showed durability concerns throughout this season. He accumulated 569 yards rushing on 98 carries with six touchdowns in 2011. The senior also caught 11 passes for 257 yards and a score. Demps can score on any touch, but he can also suffer an injury on any carry.
Demps has announced that he will pursue track instead of football. If Demps decides to attempt to play in the NFL, he could be signed as an undrafted free agent after his Olympic tryouts.
8/18/11: Jeff Demps has been one of the fastest players in college football since he broke into the lineup as a true freshman in 2008. However, Demps has never been the feature back at Florida as he has shared carries with Tim Tebow, Chris Rainey, Emmanuel Moody, and others. Last year, Demps led the Gators with 551 yards rushing on only 92 carries. He averaged 6.0 yards per carry with three touchdowns. In three seasons, Demps has caught 41 passes for 309 yards and one touchdown. He is a homerun threat who can score on any carry, but Demps will need to show NFL teams that he can contribute as a kick returner as well.