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2012 NFL Draft: Running Back Rankings


The top 2012 running back prospects available for the 2012 NFL Draft in the order in which I believe they will be drafted. * - denotes 2013 prospect ** - denotes 2014 prospect.

This page was last updated May 16, 2011. Follow me @walterfootball for updates.

2013 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | OG | C | DE | DT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | NT | 4-3 OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

2014 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | 3-4 DE | NT | 3-4 OLB | 4-3 OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

2015 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | NT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K

  1. Trent Richardson*, RB, Alabama
    Height: 5-11. Weight: 220.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.49.
    Projected Round (2012): Top 20 Pick.

    5/16/11: Trent Richardson had only 112 carries as a sophomore, but he rushed for 700 yards and six touchdowns. He also caught 23 passes for 266 receiving yards. He'll have the job all to himself in 2011.

    7/26/10: Some consider Trent Richardson to be a better prospect than Heisman winner Mark Ingram. It's close. As a freshman, Richardson rushed for 749 yards and eight scores on a 5.2 average. He also caught 16 balls for 126 more yards.



  2. Knile Davis, RB, Arkansas
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 220.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.45.
    Projected Round (2012): 1-2.

    5/16/11: Knile Davis has just one year as a starter under his belt, but he rushed for 1,322 yards and 13 touchdowns on a 6.5 YPC average in 2010. He also caught 19 passes.

  3. LaMichael James*, RB, Oregon
    Height: 5-9. Weight: 185.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.38.
    Projected Round (2012): 2.

    5/16/11: Leading Oregon to an appearance in the co-national championship, LaMichael James totaled 1,731 rushing yards, 17 catches (208 receiving yards) and 24 touchdowns.

    7/26/10: Capable of going the distance on any play, LaMichael James had a tremendous freshman year, rushing for 1,546 yards and 14 touchdowns on a 6.7 YPC. He also helped out with 17 receptions.

  4. Chris Polk*, RB, Washington
    Height: 5-11. Weight: 215.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.46.
    Projected Round (2012): 2-3.

    5/16/11: Despite running behind a beleaguered offensive line that couldn't keep Jake Locker protected, Chris Polk rushed for 1,415 yards and nine touchdowns on a 5.4 YPC. He also caught 22 balls for 180 yards.

    7/26/10: Chris Polk rushed for 1,113 yards and five touchdowns on a 4.9 YPC despite being a mere freshman. More importantly, he had 25 receptions.

  5. Cyrus Gray, RB, Texas A&M
    Height: 5-10. Weight: 198.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.47.
    Projected Round (2012): 2-3.

    5/16/11: Taking over for an injured Christine Michael, Cyrus Gray totaled 1,133 rushing yards (5.7 YPC), 12 touchdowns and an impressive 34 receptions.



  6. Isaiah Pead, RB, Cincinnati
    Height: 5-10. Weight: 200.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.41.
    Projected Round (2012): 3-4.

    5/16/11: Isaiah Pead had a great 2010 campaign, rushing for 1,029 yards and six touchdowns on a 6.6 YPC. He also hauled in 26 receptions.

    7/26/10: Isaiah Pead impressively rushed for 806 yards and nine touchdowns on a 6.7 YPC. He also caught 20 passes for 201 receiving yards.

  7. Tauren Poole, RB, Tennessee
    Height: 5-11. Weight: 213.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.50.
    Projected Round (2012): 3-4.

    5/16/11: One of the few bright spots on a struggling Tennessee team, Tauren Poole rushed for 1,034 yards (5.1 YPC) and 11 touchdowns. He also chipped in with 22 receptions.

  8. Daniel Herron, RB, Ohio State
    Height: 5-10. Weight: 205.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.54.
    Projected Round (2012): 3-4.

    5/16/11: Daniel Herron improved in 2010, rushing for 1,155 yards on a 5.3 YPC. He also caught 19 balls.

    7/26/10: Daniel Herron compiled 600 rushing yards on a 3.9 average in 2009 to go along with his 11 receptions.

  9. Doug Martin, RB, Boise State
    Height: 5-9. Weight: 201.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.46.
    Projected Round (2012): 3-4.

    5/16/11: Doug Martin had an impressive 2010 campaign, rushing for 1,260 yards (6.3 YPC) and 12 touchdowns. He also notched 28 receptions.



  10. Bernard Pierce*, RB, Temple
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 217.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.51.
    Projected Round (2012): 4-6.

    5/16/11: Bernard Pierce missed some time with an injury last season, but still managed to rush for 728 yards (4.7 YPC) and 10 touchdowns in his sophomore year.

    7/26/10: Bernard Pierce had a brilliant freshman campaign, running for 1,361 yards and 16 touchdowns on a 5.8 YPC. He'll need to become a bigger factor in the passing attack (8 catches in 2009) to solidify his Day 2 status.

  11. Brandon Bolden, RB, Ole Miss
    Height: 5-11. Weight: 220.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.57.
    Projected Round (2012): 4-6.

    5/16/11: Brandon Bolden rushed for 976 yards and 14 touchdowns on a 6.0 YPC, but the remarkable thing was his 32 receptions for 344 receiving yards.

    7/26/10: A complete back, Brandon Bolden rushed for 614 yards on 4.8 YPC in 2009. He also caught 20 balls for 209 receiving yards.

  12. Jeff Demps, RB/KR, Florida
    Height: 5-8. Weight: 190.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.25.
    Projected Round (2012): 4-6.

    5/16/11: Jeff Demps had just 92 carries last year, but managed a 6.0 YPC in the process. He also caught 18 balls and helped on kickoff returns.

    7/26/10: Will be drafted as an offensive playmaker; Jeff Demps and his 4.25 40-yard time rushed for 745 yards and seven touchdowns in 2009 on just 99 carries.

  13. Marc Tyler, RB, USC
    Height: 5-11. Weight: 230.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.58.
    Projected Round (2012): 4-6.

    5/16/11: The stopwatch in Indianapolis will be an issue, but Marc Tyler is a talented back who notched 913 rushing yards (5.3 YPC) and 17 receptions in 2010.

    7/26/10: Marc Tyler was a highly recruited running back coming out of high school, but hasn't been able to play much because of various leg injuries.

  14. Washaun Ealey*, RB, Georgia
    Height: 5-11. Weight: 215.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.46.
    Projected Round (2012): 4-6.

    5/16/11: Washaun Ealey rushed for 811 yards and 11 touchdowns on a 5.2 YPC. He has to become a better pass-catcher out of the backfield; he had just eight receptions as a sophomore.

    7/26/10: In nine games, Washaun Ealey totaled 717 rushing yards on a 5.7 average. He caught just three passes.


  15. Christine Michael*, RB, Texas A&M
    Height: 5-11. Weight: 215.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.48.
    Projected Round (2012): 5-7.

    5/16/11: Christine Michael was having a great year - 631 rushing yards, 5.0 YPC - when he cracked his tibia and was ruled out for the season.

    7/26/10: Christine Michael had 844 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns on a 5.1 average in 2009. He also chipped in with 15 receptions.

  16. Montel Harris, RB, Boston College
    Height: 5-10. Weight: 200.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.50.
    Projected Round (2012): 5-7.

    5/16/11: Montel Harris totaled 1,242 yards and eight touchdowns on a 4.6 YPC. He also logged 18 receptions.

    7/26/10: Montel Harris impressively rushed for 1,457 yards and 14 touchdowns on a 4.7 average in 2009, but questions about his being able to be an every-down runner at 5-10, 200, 4.50 40 will be asked.

  17. Bryce Brown*, RB, Kansas State
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 215.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.45.
    Projected Round (2012): 5-7.

    5/16/11: Bryce Brown has indeed transferred to Kansas State. He'll play in 2011 after taking the 2010 season off.

    7/26/10: The No. 1 running back recruit coming out of high school in his class, Bryce Brown played well behind Montario Hardesty last year as a freshman. Character issues have surfaced, however, as Brown unceremoniously left the team. He may transfer to Kansas State.

  18. Lance Dunbar, RB, North Texas
    Height: 5-9. Weight: 203.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.55.
    Projected Round (2012): 5-7.



  19. Vick Ballard, RB, Mississippi State
    Height: 5-11. Weight: 215.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.52.
    Projected Round (2012): 5-7.



  20. Jason Ford, RB, Illinois
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 235.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.53.
    Projected Round (2012): 6-FA.



  21. Caleb King, RB, Georgia
    Height: 5-11. Weight: 210.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.40.
    Projected Round (2012): 6-FA.

    3/29/10: Has never lived up to the prospect he was billed to be coming into Georgia; rushed for just 594 yards on a 5.2 YPC in 2009. Caught 10 balls as well.

    2/6/09: Perhaps a bit of a disappointment in his freshman year, Caleb King rushed for a meager 4.1 YPC average, gaining 247 yards and a score. He'll get much more work with Knowshon Moreno gone.

    7/25/08: One of the highest-recruited running backs a year ago, Caleb King has all the talent in the world, and it showed in the spring game, when he ran for 31 yards on just six carries. He won't steal many of Knowshon Moreno's carries, so look for him to shine in 2009, once Moreno moves on to the NFL.

  22. Jermaine Thomas, RB, Florida State
    Height: 5-11. Weight: 190.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.48.
    Projected Round (2012): 6-FA.

    7/26/10: Jermaine Thomas rushed for 832 yards and nine touchdowns on a 5.1 average to go along with his 17 receptions for 129 receiving yards.

  23. Michael Shaw, RB, Michigan
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 187.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.49.
    Projected Round (2012): 6-FA.



  24. Victor Anderson, RB, Louisville
    Height: 5-9. Weight: 185.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.48.
    Projected Round (2012): 6-FA.

    7/26/10: Victor Anderson played in only eight games because of a shoulder injury, but rushed for 473 yards on a 5.3 YPC. He caught 12 balls for 89 receiving yards.

  25. Bryce Beall, RB, Houston
    Height: 5-11. Weight: 205.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.53.
    Projected Round (2012): 6-FA.

    7/26/10: Bryce Beall totaled 670 rushing yards (4.8 average), 32 receptions and 309 receiving yards in 2009.

  26. Ralph Bolden, RB, Purdue
    Height: 5-9. Weight: 194.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.49.
    Projected Round (2012): 7-FA.

    7/26/10: Ralph Bolden had a great season (935 rushing yards, 4.7 average, 20 catches), but suffered a major knee injury in spring practices. Bolden had ACL surgery on the same knee a few years ago.

  27. Enrique Davis, RB, Ole Miss
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 220.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.44.
    Projected Round (2012): 7-FA.

    7/26/10: Enrique Davis rushed for just 110 yards on 32 carries in seven games last year.

  28. Robert Turbin, RB, Utah State
    Height: 5-10. Weight: 202.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.57.
    Projected Round (2012): 7-FA.

    7/26/10: What a shame - Robert Turbin was having a dynamic sophomore campaign (1,296 rushing yards, 6.3 YPC, 30 receptions, 418 rec. yards), but tore his ACL this winter.

2013 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | OG | C | DE | DT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | NT | 4-3 OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

2014 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | 3-4 DE | NT | 3-4 OLB | 4-3 OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

2015 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | NT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K


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RealityCheck 03-12-2012 11:36 pm xxx.xxx.xxx.111 (total posts: 1)
58     16

Seriously Chris Rainey is going to be drafted higher than a 5-7 round pick more like a 3-4 round pick. He was too good at the receiving drills during combine and is too quick. That doesn't even cover his special teams play, returning and blocking.
Vince 03-12-2012 04:05 am xxx.xxx.xxx3.99 (total posts: 1)
25     16

Correction... Ronnie Hillman was a true freshman when he ran for 1500+ yards.
Pontus 03-12-2012 02:26 am xxx.xxx.xxx.133 (total posts: 1)
21     18

Come on.. Ganaway in the top 10. And Marc Tyler won't even get drafted. Otherwise good!
Marklar 02-27-2012 08:02 pm xxx.xxx.xxx5.88 (total posts: 1)
22     23

Vick Ballard, RB, Mississippi State
Height: 5-10. Weight: 2157
Projected 40 Time: 4.60.
Rare combination of size and speed.
Adam 02-25-2012 08:01 am xxx.xxx.xxx3.36 (total posts: 1)
97     20

No Alred Morris out of FAU?
Spoooky Ghosty 02-22-2012 01:22 pm xxx.xxx.xxx.203 (total posts: 1)
72     33

@ Jon Allgaier level of competition doesn't matter in college Matt Forte and Chris Johnson both played in the Conference USA
Ray Rice and Lesean McCoy both played in the Big East so who you play in college doesn't really matter because if the defense is just better than your offensive line there isn't much that you can do
Jon Allgaier 02-21-2012 11:44 am xxx.xxx.xxx7.67 (total posts: 1)
62     90

No offense to any Boise State fans, but Doug Martin is a bust. I don't know if you know this but Boise State is known for scheduling small schools with no chance of beating them. The only game that Martin had a very good game was a 200 yard 3 td effort against Colorado State.

When Boise State played Georgia, Martin rushed for 57 yards on 24 attempts, 2.4 avg, and 1 TD

I don't like him as a 3rd rounder, but as long as the Bengals don't draft him in the 3rd round i'm good
matt magill 02-03-2012 03:06 am xxx.xxx.xxx0.17 (total posts: 1)
12     27

wow talk about a draft year of running back nothings and nobodies.
Omar 01-29-2012 03:26 pm xxx.xxx.xxx.110 (total posts: 1)
54     10

If Vick Ballar actually runs the 40 in 4.60 at 2157 lbs he is a freak. It is going to be tough to bring down a guy who weights as a bison.
Kyle 01-25-2012 11:05 am xxx.xxx.xxx.158 (total posts: 1)
21     18

austin its ok when mike throws 225 on the bench 15 times and runs under a 4.5 and has the fastest shuttle in the draft i think his draft stock might raise
austin 01-17-2012 12:27 am xxx.xxx.xxx.216 (total posts: 1)
19     21

what about charels sims or micheal hayes from houston?
Blake 01-16-2012 02:05 pm xxx.xxx.xxx.145 (total posts: 1)
30     25

Ronnie Hillman is very underrated. I think he should a top ten RB.
terry 01-16-2012 12:06 pm xxx.xxx.xxx9.74 (total posts: 1)
22     45

yall fags
Person 01-16-2012 11:46 am xxx.xxx.xxx.170 (total posts: 1)
26     20

Dakota, I'm pretty sure Graham was only a sophomore and can't enter the draft. I could be wrong though.
Dakota 01-11-2012 07:36 pm xxx.xxx.xxx.219 (total posts: 1)
22     15

I hope you're assuming Ray Graham is going back to Pitt because he would be a top 5 RB IMO.



2014 NFL Mock Draft - April 24


2014 NBA Mock Draft - April 23


NFL Free Agents - April 22


2015 NFL Mock Draft - April 17


Fantasy Football Rankings - March 28


NFL Picks - Feb. 2





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