what are the bills and saints supposed to do, not pay their franchise LT's, which you have stated in the past are one of the 3 most important position on a team? They are both elite and at the top of their game, while still young. Don't see any reason why they shouldn't be A grades.
Eddie Lacy*, RB, Alabama
Height: 5-11. Weight: 231. Projected 40 Time: 4.55. Projected Round (2013): 1-2. 4/23/13: Lacy had a late workout for NFL scouts after dealing with injuries leading up to the draft. He didn't impress in the workout and was unable to finish it. There are some concerns if Lacy can pick up the passing game as a blocker and receiver in the pros. That being said, scouts love Lacy's running ability with his power, quickness and elusiveness. Many believe that he is the top back in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Lacy totaled 1,322 yards (6.4 average) and 17 touchdowns this season on only 204 carries. He was a power runner for Alabama and lost touches to standout freshman T.J. Yeldon. Lacy caught 22 passes for 189 yards and two touchdowns, too. He had massive performances against Georgia (20-181) in the SEC Championship and Notre Dame (20-140) in the National Championship.
8/16/12: Lacy is a clone of the recent mold of Alabama running backs. Under head coach Nick Saban, they've been led by ball-carriers who have a combination of size, quickness and power.
Lacy was the backup to star back Trent Richardson as a sophomore last year. However, when Lacy received carries, he made the most of them running for 631 yards on 84 carries with seven touchdowns.
With Richardson in the NFL, Lacy figures to be the lead back for Alabama. He has a tremendous offensive line and should have an extremely productive season in 2012.
Giovani Bernard**, RB, North Carolina
Height: 5-8. Weight: 202. Hand: 9.38. 40 Time: 4.53. Projected Round (2013): 2-3. 4/23/13: Scouts have told WalterFootball.com that they love Bernard despite his generally flying under the radar. They think he is a late second-round or early third-round pick who could be a steal. Bernard had a solid Combine. He ran well in the 40 and looked good in the receiving drills. Size concerns are his biggest negative.
Bernard was an electric play-maker for North Carolina this year. He dominated conference play including a massive day (23-267) against Virginia Tech. Bernard found the end zone in every game he played in 2012.
Bernard ran for 1,228 yards and 10 touchdowns this season while averaging 6.7 yards per carry. He also hauled in 47 passes for 490 yards and five touchdowns. Bernard averaged 16 yards per punt return as well, and even scored on two of them. One was the game-winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter against N.C. State. He missed two games with an undisclosed injury.
8/16/12: Bernard burst onto the scene with 1,324 yards and 13 touchdowns (5.24 average) last year as a redshirt freshman. He also showed fantastic receiving ability with 45 receptions for 362 yards and one touchdown. Bernard carried the Tar Heels' offense, and he was consistently good.
Bernard is extremely quick to break runs for big gains. Furthermore, he is hard to tackle in the open field as he has shiftiness to dodge tacklers.
Johnathan Franklin, RB, UCLA
Height: 5-10. Weight: 205. Arm: 29 1/4. Hand: 9 1/2. 40 Time: 4.49. Projected Round (2013): 2-3. 4/23/13: There is a nice buzz about Franklin's stock, and he could end up being the second running back off the board. Franklin continued his strong postseason with a good performance at the Combine. He ran faster than expected and was one of the quicker running backs. Franklin looked very polished in the field drills, too.
The senior was awesome this year and really helped his draft stock. He averaged 6.2 yards per carry while churning his way to 1,734 yards and 13 touchdowns. Franklin also caught 33 balls for 323 yards and two touchdowns. He has real quickness as a runner and is shifty, but is more physical and tough than one would think.
Fraklin had a huge performance against USC with 171 yards and two scores. He also went over 200 yards against Rise and Nebraska. Franklin showed some real power and toughness in the Pac-12 Championship by running for 194 yards on 19 carries against Stanford and its physical defense. It was a very impressive performance.
Franklin performed well in blitz protection at the Senior Bowl and showcased nice ability to contribute on third down. He helped himself in Mobile.
8/16/12: Franklin ran for 976 yards and five touchdowns in 2011. His sophomore season was more productive with 1,127 yards and eight scores. The drop in yards and touchdowns wasn't Franklin's fault as UCLA struggled throughout the 2011 season.
Christine Michael, RB, Texas A&M
Height: 5-11. Weight: 215. Hand: 9.38. 40 Time: 4.54. Projected Round (2012): 2-3. 4/23/13: Scouts told WalterFootball.com that Michael would go on the second day of the 2013 NFL Draft. They said he has a first-round skill set but will fall because of injuries and off-the-field questions.
Michael did well at the Combine and continued to look the part of a starting running back. His performance in the team interviews was as important as his workout.
Michael played as part of a running back-by-committee approach in 2012. Quarterback Johnny Manziel and running back Ben Malena each received more carries than Michael. He totaled 417 yards on 88 carries (4.7 average) and 12 touchdowns. Michael is a sleeper running back who could surprise in the NFL.
Michael had an outstanding week at the East-West Shrine. He ran with speed, power and good cutting ability. There were a ton of teams showing a lot of interest in Michael, and he helped himself significantly.
8/16/12: Michael is said to be healthy and ready to go for the 2012 season. In 2011 before going down with a knee injury, he outshined teammate Cyrus Gray. Michael led Texas A&M in rushing prior to the injury. He averaged six yards per carry with 899 yards and eight touchdowns. Michael had a massive game of 230 yards rushing and three touchdowns against Arkansas. He is a quick and powerful runner who gets good yards after contact.
Michael was knocked out during the 2010 season, too, breaking his tibia in the eight game. Gray took over and finished the 2010 season strong for Texas A&M, and Michael became a forgotten man in many respects. Still, he had 631 yards rushing with four touchdowns and a five yard per carry average into the eighth game of the season.
Michael had 844 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns as freshman, averaging 5.1 yards per carry. He will be the lead back in 2012. Michael is very talented with power and speed, but he has to stay healthy to get drafted.
Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin
Height: 5-11. Weight: 214. Projected 40 Time: 4.66. Projected Round (2013): 2-4. 4/23/13: There seems to be a bigger buzz about Ball in the media than there is with NFL teams. WalterFootball.com has been told by some scouts that they aren't impressed with Ball. He had a very slow 40 time at the Combine. Ball should be a third-day pick in this writer's opinion, but it sounds like he will go as high as the second round.
Ball started his senior season slowly, but heated up in conference play. He averaged 5.2 yards per carry this year on his way to 1,830 yards and 22 touchdowns. Ball had huge games against Purdue, Minnesota, Indiana and Nebraska. He had a costly fumble against Ohio State on the goal line in the fourth quarter.
Ball also had a fumble late in the fourth quarter to end Wisconsin's hopes of tying Nebraska. The slow start to the season wasn't Ball's fault completely as the Badgers' new quarterback and offensive line were a big drop off from 2011. Ball should've entered the 2012 NFL Draft. He declined to play in the 2013 Senior Bowl.
8/16/12: In September of 2011 I wrote this: "Montee Ball could be a player who explodes across the national scene quickly in the 2011 season with John Clay no longer at Wisconsin. Ball came on like gangbusters late in the (2010) season for the Badgers with five straight 100-yard games with a total of 777 yards in those five contests. He was third on the team in rushing behind Clay and James White, but Ball led the team with 18 touchdowns. Ball has a nice blend of power and speed that will appeal to NFL coaches and scouts. He hits the hole quickly and is hard to bring down."
That turned out to be a relative understatement as Ball was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy. He ran for 1,923 yards, averaging 6.3 yards per carry, and 33 touchdowns in 2011. Ball also caught 24 passes for 306 yards and six scores. His 39 total touchdowns were one of the most prolific season totals in college football history, putting him next to Barry Sanders in the record books.
Ball runs with excellent vision, balance and pad level. He is not a burner, but he hits the hole before it closes. It wouldn't be surprising if Ball's production declines in 2012 with teams selling out to stop him. His supporting cast is greatly reduced as well. Wisconsin lost center Peter Konz, guard Kevin Zeitler, its offensive line coach, its offensive coordinator, quarterback Russell Wilson and wide receiver Nick Toon.
Ball will also enter the NFL with another season of wear-and-tear on his legs. An additional concern is that he was jumped by a group of men shortly before fall camp, sustaining a concussion in the altercation. The Badgers may reduce how much they use Ball early in the season.
Andre Ellington, RB, Clemson
Height: 5-9. Weight: 199. Arm: 30 5/8. Hand: 9 1/4. 40 Time: 4.61. Projected Round (2013): 2-4. 4/23/13: Ellington had a solid senior year. His added weight allowed him to be a more effective runner between the tackles and pick up more yards after contact. He averaged 5.2 yards per carry with 1,081 yards and eight touchdowns. Ellington also caught 14 passes for 232 yards and a score. The senior improved his draft stock. He did well at the Senior Bowl and the Combine.
8/16/12: Ellington is the lead back of a high-powered offense. He averaged 5.3 yards per carry as a junior in 2011, totaling 1,178 yards with 11 touchdowns. Ellington also caught 22 passes for 109 yards. He ran for 686 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2010, averaging 5.8 yards per carry.
Ellington is a smaller speed-back who is a big-play threat. He is quick to the hole and can turn the corner on perimeter runs. When Ellington gets in the open field, he is tough to to keep out of the end zone.
There are concerns about if Ellington can hold up under a large number of carries in the NFL. He also needs to show more strength to get yards after contact. Ellington has some big-play ability and could be considered as a change-of-pace backup.
Le'Veon Bell*, RB, Michigan State
Height: 6-1. Weight: 230. Hand: 9.18. 40 Time: 4.52. Projected Round (2013): 2-4. 4/23/13: Bell received a lot of interest in the form of pre-draft visits. He looks like a good bet to go on Day 2. Bell was among the running backs who helped themselves at the Combine. He ran faster than expected, showing some burst in the 10-yard split. Bell said he played in the 240s in 2012 and plans to play in the 230s in the NFL.
Bell carried Michigan State's offense in 2012. He averaged 29 carries (382 total) per game as the Spartans struggled to move the ball aside from handing it off to him. Bell averaged 4.7 yards per carry despite all the action and ran for 1,793 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2012. He also had 32 receptions for 167 yards. Bell went over 200 yards against Boise State, Eastern Michigan and Minnesota.
The concern with Bell is if he has enough quickness to hit the hole in the NFL. The Big Ten has produced a lot of Ron Dayne-types who are big backs but not fast enough to play at the next level. Bell needs to prove that he has enough speed.
It was a good move for the junior to enter the 2013 NFL Draft rather than let Michigan State's coaching staff run him into the ground as a senior. He has demonstrated plenty of durability already.
8/16/12: Bell is a massive back who could move to fullback in the NFL. He outperformed Edwin Baker and became the lead back for the Spartans in 2011. Bell ran for 948 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also caught 35 passes for 267 yards.
The Spartans like to run the ball and are breaking in a new quarterback, so Bell should get plenty of carries in 2012. He ran for 605 yards and eight touchdowns as a freshman.
Knile Davis*, RB, Arkansas
Height: 5-10. Weight: 227. Hand: 8.58. 40 Time: 4.37. Projected Round (2013): 2-4. 4/23/13: Davis put on a display at the Combine with a shockingly fast 40 time. He measured in with small hands, which helps explain his fumbling problems, but his combination of size and speed has really helped him to improve his draft stock.
Davis was rusty in his return this season and didn't have the same power or explosiveness. He averaged 3.4 yards per carry on his way to just 377 total yards and two touchdowns. Davis also had 11 receptions for 157 yards and one touchdown. He had three fumbles against Texas A&M.
The junior flashed his old ability at times, but he was generally running tentatively and indecisively. Davis should've returned for his senior season to be a workhorse for Brett Bielema, but entered the 2013 NFL Draft instead.
8/16/12: Davis has been excellent when he has played, but he has had durability issues. Davis injured his ankle in August of 2011 and missed the season. It wasn't the first ankle injury for him as he broke the same ankle during his senior season of high school.
Davis averaged 6.5 yards per carry and totaled 1,322 yards and 13 touchdowns for the Razorbacks in 2010. He was one of the best backs in the SEC that year.
Davis is very talented, but he needs to stay healthy to push his draft stock back into the early rounds. Davis entered fall camp ready to go, but has to show the ability to stay on the field.
Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford
Height: 5-9. Weight: 216. Arm: 29 5/8. Hand: 8 3/8. 40 Time: 4.76 Projected Round (2013): 3-4. 4/23/13: Taylor had a slow time at the Combine and that wasn't surprising. He did well in the receiving drills.
Taylor was phenomenal for Stanford in 2012 and was the workhorse for the Cardinal's offense. He carried Stanford to an upset win over USC with over 200 combined yards and two touchdowns. The senior followed that up with other big games against the likes of Oregon and UCLA.
Taylor averaged 4.8 yards per carry this year, having collected 1,530 yards and 13 touchdowns. He totaled 41 receptions for 287 yards with two scores through the air, too. Taylor showed three-down ability with his blocking and receiving. He had an excellent week of practice at the Senior Bowl that proved he could be a three-down player in the NFL. Nationally, Taylor is a sleeper prospect who could be a draft-day steal.
8/16/12: Taylor could be one of the more underrated players in college football. Quarterback Andrew Luck, guard David DeCastro and tackle Jonathan Martin have received more attention, but Taylor has been a critical player in Stanford's ongoing success. The underappreciated back averaged 5.5 yards per carry in 2011, rushing for 1,330 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also caught 25 passes for 182 yards and two touchdowns.
Taylor had his first 1,000-yard season as a sophomore, racking up 1,137 yards on the ground (5.1 average) and 15 touchdowns. He also caught 28 passes for 266 yards and a score.
Taylor has a nice mix of quickness and strength. He has three-down back ability as well. The challenge will be for him to maintain his production without those tough run blockers in front of him and a quarterback like Luck.
Marcus Lattimore*, RB, South Carolina
Height: 6-0. Weight: 218. Hand: 9.78. Projected 40 Time: 4.58. Projected Round (2013): 3-5. 4/23/13: Lattimore used recent a workout for NFL scouts to prove that he is making excellent progress in his rehab. Teams love Lattimore's character, drive and work ethic. He looks likely to be a mid-round pick.
Lattimore's season came to a tragic end after suffering a gruesome knee injury against Tennessee. His knee was dislocated and there was ligament damage as well. There is some doubt about him playing in 2013, but Lattimore has decided to make his comeback to football in the NFL.
It might be a good idea for him to spend his first season on injured reserve, but at the Senior Bowl, Lattimore told WalterFootball.com and other media that his goal was to be ready for the 2013 season. His doctors said it is achievable.
Lattimore was having a good season prior to the injury. He was gradually regaining his speed and explosiveness. Lattimore averaged 4.6 yards per carry with 662 yards and 11 touchdowns. He had 26 receptions for 173 yards as well.
8/16/12: Lattimore is a powerful workhorse back who took college football by storm as a freshman. He ran for 1,197 yards and averaged 4.8 yards per carry with 17 touchdowns in 2010. Lattimore also hauled in 29 receptions for 412 yards and one touchdown. For that effort, he was named the SEC Freshman of the Year.
Lattimore's second act didn't go as planned. The sophomore was one of the nation's leaders in rushing through seven games in 2011. Lattimore tore ligaments in his left knee against Mississippi State and that ended his sophomore campaign. On the play, he was blocking for a receiver when a defender rolled into his leg.
Lattimore ran for 818 yards on 163 carries (5.02 average) with 10 touchdowns in his shortened season. He also caught 19 passes for 182 yards and one touchdown.
The power back hits the hole quickly and trucks into the second level of the defense. He is very strong, tough to bring down and breaks arm tackles with ease. Lattimore has more agility than one might think with good pad level, vision and cutting ability. The only thing missing from his game is that he does not have a second gear to break off long touchdown runs when he hits the open field.
Lattimore is said to be 100 percent healthy and has been practicing without restrictions. The injury is said to have refocused the junior. Reportedly, he is doing more work in the training room to maintain his body and has improved his eating habits. Lattimore checked in 12-15 pounds lighter for fall camp.
Mike Gillislee, RB, Florida
Height: 5-11. Weight: 207. Arm: 30 3/4. Hand: 8 3/4. 40 Time: 4.55. Projected Round (2013): 3-5. 4/23/13: Gillislee performed well at the Combine. He had a quality 40 time and held his own in the field drills.
Gillislee had a superb senior season for the Gators. He averaged 4.7 yards per carry while amassing 1,1152 yards and 10 touchdowns. Gillislee played hurt, yet helped push Florida to a tough road win against Texas A&M. He had impressive games against Tennessee, Bowling Green and LSU, too. Gillislee closed out the regular season by destroying Florida State to the tune of 140 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries.
Gillislee has speed and deceptive power. He is very impressive as a blocker in blitz protection as well. Gillislee really helped his draft stock in 2012 and followed it up with a good performance at the Senior Bowl. He ripped off some long runs in Mobile.
8/16/12: Gillislee hasn't played much as he had Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey ahead of him on the depth chart, but both of those backs are gone and he figures to be the lead back for Florida in 2012. When Gillislee has played, he has demonstrated some real burst and running ability. Gillislee has averaged 6.3 yards per carry in his career, totalling 920 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns. Like the previous Gators backs, he is very fast.
Kenjon Barner, RB, Oregon
Height: 5-9. Weight: 196. Arm: 29 5/8. Hand: 9 1/4. 40 Time: 4.52. Projected Round (2013): 4-6. 4/23/13: Barner was a little slower than expected at the Combine, but he did well in the field drills. Barner ripped off big yardage for Oregon throughout 2012 as its feature back. He had 1,767 yards and 21 touchdowns, and averaged 6.4 yards per carry. Barner also snagged 20 receptions for 256 yards and two touchdowns. He ran for 321 yards and five touchdowns against USC, but had some struggles against California and Stanford.
The speed back is a threat to score on any carry, but he doesn't compile yards after contact. Barner had a decent week at the Senior Bowl.
8/16/12: Like all Oregon running backs, Barner has the speed to break off big runs. He had a strong season in 2011 despite splitting carries with LaMichael James and D'Anthony Thomas. Barner ran for 939 yards and 11 touchdowns, averaging 6.2 yards per carry. He has returned punts (10.1 average) and kicks (22.5 average) in his collegiate career, too.
Barner could be a third-down back in the NFL who also contributes on special teams. He needs to clear up ball-security issues.
Stefphon Jefferson*, RB, Nevada
Height: 5-11. Weight: 213. Hand: 9.18. 40 Time: 4.68. Projected Round (2013): 4-6. 4/23/13: Jefferson could be this year's Alfred Morris; a sleeper running back who surprises everyone in the NFL. Jefferson has quickness to go along with power and size. He finished second in the FBS in rushing this year with 1,883 yards (5.0 average) with 24 touchdowns. Jefferson also caught 22 passes for 170 yards and a touchdown.
Jefferson has fresh legs after serving as a backup in 2011 and 2010. He is high-character individual who will be a good teammate and locker-room presence.
Latavius Murray, RB, Central Florida
Height: 6-3. Weight: 222. Projected 40 Time: 4.56. Projected Round (2013): 4-6. 4/23/13: The power back has generated a lot of interest and has done lot of pre-draft visits and private workouts. Murray's stock has been rising and a lot of teams are intrigued by the big back - 26 teams came to watch his pro day. Murray ran for 1,106 yards and 15 touchdowns as a senior. He averaged 5.6 yards per carry. Murray also chipped in 27 receptions for 231 yards and four scores. He put all that production together despite missing three games. Murray could go a lot sooner than expected.
Joseph Randle*, RB, Oklahoma State
Height: 6-1. Weight: 200. Hand: 8.68 40 Time: 4.63. Projected Round (2013): 4-6. 4/23/13: The Combine didn't help Randle as he had a slow 40 time and checked in with small hands.
Randle averaged 5.2 yards per carry in 2012 on his way to 1,417 yards and 14 touchdowns. He picked up 28 receptions for 224 yards as well. Randle ran for 199 yards on 25 carries against Texas including a long run for a score. He had big games against TCU, Oklahoma, Baylor and Iowa State.
The junior has demonstrated good blitz-protection skills, including a devastating block versus the Longhorns. Randle ran with speed and elusiveness this year, but less power and physicality compared to what he showed in 2011.
8/16/12: The Cowboys had a passing offense with Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon, but Randle still put together a massive season. He finished off a number of drives with touchdown runs for Oklahoma State. Randle averaged 5.9 yards per carry with 1,216 yards rushing and 24 touchdowns as a sophomore in 2011. He chipped in with 43 receptions for 266 yards and two scores, too.
Randle picked up the slack for Kendall Hunter and provided a similar speedy and shifty runner. Randle was a First-Team All-Big XII selection for his breakout sophomore campaign.
Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy said Randle will take on a much bigger load this season. He only averaged 16 carries per game last season. Word out of Stillwater is that Randle has been working relentlessly this offseason and is preparing for a bigger work load per direction of the coaching staff. His weight is up 10 pounds from last year.
Jawan Jamison, RB, Rutgers
Height: 5-7. Weight: 203. Hand: 8.38. 40 Time: 4.68. Projected Round (2013): 5-6. 4/23/13: Jamison didn't stand out at the Combine and was slower than expected. He carried the Rutgers offense this season, running for 1,075 yards and four touchdowns while averaging 4.2 yards per carry. Jamison totaled 897 yards (3.9 average) and nine touchdowns in 2011. The compactly built back has a nice mix of power and speed. Many compare him to former Scarlet Knights running back Ray Rice.
Spencer Ware*, RB, LSU
Height: 5-10. Weight: 228. Hand: 9.58. Projected 40 Time: 4.57. Projected Round (2013): 5-6. 4/23/13: Ware had 367 yards on 94 carries (3.9 average) as part of a committee approach this season. LSU literally gave carries to five different running backs. He didn't workout at the Combine. Scouts said he looked good at his pro day and there are a number of teams that think Ware could be a steal.
8/16/12: Ware was the starting back last year, but he finished second on the team in rushing. LSU regularly rotates its backs and, while that keeps the backs fresh, they are unable to put together big statistics. Ware ran for 707 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2011. With the running back-by-committee approach, it could be hard for any of the Tigers' running backs to have a breakout season in 2012.
Cierre Wood, RB, Notre Dame
Height: 5-11. Weight: 213. Hand: 8.58. 40 Time: 4.56. Projected Round (2013): 5-7. 4/23/13: Wood was suspended for the first two games of the season. Given that the opponents were Navy and Purdue, the Fighitng Irish got by without him. Wood's suspension was for the massively broad 'violation of team rules'. He was solid, but unspectacular, at the Combine.
Wood ran for 742 yards and four touchdowns in 2012 while averaging 6.5 yards per carry. He only had four receptions this year, so his third-down ability is a big question mark for NFL evaluators.
8/16/12: Wood averaged five yards per carry, totalling 1,102 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground as a junior in 2011. He is an experienced, well-rounded back who could push his stock into the second day with a big 2012 season.
Zac Stacy, RB, Vanderbilt
Height: 5-8. Weight: 216. Hand: 8.58. 40 Time: 4.55. Projected Round (2013): 5-7. 4/23/13: Stacy ran well for Vanderbilt. He totaled 1,141 yards (5.5 average) and 10 touchdowns this season. Stacy excelled against Presbyterian, Auburn and Wake Forest with solid performances versus Georgia, Florida and N.C. State. He had a decent week at the East-West Shrine.
8/16/12: Stacy was a Second-Team ALL-SEC selection for his 2011 season. He ran for 1,193 yards and 14 touchdowns, also catching 20 receptions for 106 yards. Stacy was a workhorse back for Vanderbilt and figures to perform the same role in 2012.
Ray Graham, RB, Pittsburgh
Height: 5-9. Weight: 199. Hand: 9.58 Projected 40 Time: 4.80. Projected Round (2013): 5-7. 4/23/13: Graham averaged 4.7 yards per carry this year while running for 1,042 yards and 11 touchdowns. He looked more and more like his old self as the season progressed in terms of speed and explosiveness. The Pittsburgh staff had estimated that Graham was playing at about 90 percent in the early portion of 2012. He ran for 172 on Notre Dame and 113 on Rutgers, two good defenses.
Graham was solid, but unspectacular, at the East-West Shrine. He had an ugly 40 time at the Combine.
8/16/12: Graham was having a massive 2011 season before a knee injury ended it in late October against Connecticut. He ran for 958 yards and nine touchdowns in only eight games. That still surpassed his sophomore year production of 922 yards rushing and eight touchdowns in a running back-by-committee approach. If Graham can regain his pre-injury form and stay healthy, he should definitely push his stock higher.
Michael Ford*, RB, LSU
Height: 5-10. Weight: 215. Hand: 9.08. 40 Time: 4.50. Projected Round (2013): 6-FA. 4/23/13: Ford ran for 392 yards on 71 carries (5.5 average) with three touchdowns in 2012. The Tigers continued to employ a big variety of running backs, so it was hard for any of them to really standout. At the Combine, Ford ran well with a faster than expected 40.
8/16/12: Ford ran for 756 yards and seven touchdowns last season. The rotation with Ware hurts Ford's production. He barely led the team in rushing, and the Tigers had three backs go over 500 yards on the ground.
Dennis Johnson, RB, Arkansas
Height: 5-9. Weight: 213. Projected 40 Time: 4.54. Projected Round (2013): 6-FA. 4/23/13: Johnson had 757 yards on 137 carries (5.5 average) and eight touchdowns in 2012. He caught 25 passes for 160 yards and two scores as well. Johnson gradually earned more playing time over Knile Davis.
8/16/12: Johnson took over the starting running back position after Knile Davis was lost for the 2011 season. Johnson ran for 670 yards (6.3 average) with three touchdowns. He showed nice receiving ability too, making 24 catches for 255 yards and two touchdowns.
Johnson lost his 2010 season to injury. He has been one of the best kick returners in the SEC every year he has played. Johnson has averaged 24.3 yards per return in his career, scoring three touchdowns. He will split carries with Davis in 2012, but Johnson could be a potential third-down back and special teams contributor in the NFL. He figures to be a backup to Davis this season.
Theo Riddick, RB, Notre Dame
Height: 5-10. Weight: 201. Hand: 8.68. 40 Time: 4.68. Projected Round (2013): 6-FA. 4/23/13: Riddick averaged 4.8 yards per carry as a senior to collect 917 yards and five touchdowns. He also contributed well in the passing game with 36 receptions for 370 yards and a touchdown. Riddick is an undersized back who looks like a solid rotational back in the NFL who can contribute in the passing game. He didn't impress at the Combine.
Onterio McCalebb, RB, Auburn
Height: 5-10. Weight: 168. Arm: 30 1/8. Hand: 8 3/4. 40 Time: 4.34. Projected Round (2013): 6-FA. 3/23/13: McCalebb was a rotational runner during his career at Auburn as he split carries with the likes of Michael Dyer, Tre Mason and Cam Newton. McCalebb averaged 6.1 yards per carry with 570 yards and six touchdowns as a senior. He contributed all four years and his best season came as a sophomore when he ran for 810 yards and nine touchdowns.
McCalebb is extremely undersized. He blazed a fast 40 time at the Combine and his pro day.
Robbie Rouse, RB, Fresno State
Height: 5-5. Weight: 190. Arm: 27 1/2. Hand: 9 1/8. 40 Time: 4.80. Projected Round (2013): 6-FA. 4/23/13: Rouse averaged 5.3 yards per carry and ran for 1,490 yards with 12 touchdowns as a senior. He also caught 63 passes for 435 yards and two touchdowns. Rouse ran for 1,549 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2011. He is a good runner and receiver, but struggled as a blocker in blitz protection at the Senior Bowl.
Rouse is thickly built, but is still extremely undersized for the NFL. He had a surprisingly slow 40 time at the Combine.
Rex Burkhead, RB, Nebraska
Height: 5-10. Weight: 214. Hand: 9.68 40 Time: 4.73. Projected Round (2013): 7-FA. 4/23/13: Burkhead mildly sprained a ligament in his left knee against Southern Mississippi and that caused him to miss three games. He then missed four more games in the second half of the season.
Burkhead never was able to get in a real rhythm this year due to the all time out. He averaged 6.9 yards per carry over 98 rushes that he turned into 675 yards and five touchdowns. Burkhead finished the 2012 well with 140 yards on 24 carries against Georgia. He didn't impress at the Combine.
8/16/12: Burkhead, a power back, was an All-Big Ten selection for his 2011 season. He averaged 4.8 yards per carry with 1,357 yards rushing and 15 touchdowns. Burkhead had a quality sophomore season in 2010 with 951 yards rushing (5.5 average) and seven touchdowns. Even though he is a downhill North-South power runner, Burkhead has some receiving skills. He has caught 49 passes for 415 yards and three touchdowns in his career.
Burkhead is known as a hard worker and high-character individual who is active in community charity work. He has the potential to be a fan favorite in the NFL.
Montel Harris, RB, Temple
Height: 5-8. Weight: 208. 40 Time: 4.68. Projected Round (2012): 7-FA. 4/23/13: Harris averaged 5.7 yards per carry in 2012 as he picked up 1,054 yards and 12 touchdowns on 186 carries. Harris had a record-setting game against Army with 351 yards and seven touchdowns. Making it through the season healthy was big for Harris. He didn't impress at the Combine.
8/16/12: After a rough 2011 season lost to injury, Harris was dismissed from Boston College's program. He considered the NFL Supplemental Draft before landing with Temple to play one more year of college football.
Harris missed the first three games of the 2011 season due to his rehabilitation from knee surgery. He only played in two games all season. Harris ran for 108 yards on 22 carries against Wake Forest. He was injured again and didn't play after Week 5.
Previously, Harris had been a workhorse who had logged a lot of yards and a lot of wear-and-tear. He ran for 1,242 yards and eight touchdowns with an average of 4.6 yards per carry as a junior in 2010. He also logged 18 receptions for 112 yards and a touchdown.
Harris ran for 1,457 yards and 14 scores in 2009, averaging 4.7 yards per carry. He ran for 900 yards with an average of five yards per carry and five scores in 2008, his first season.
Cameron Marshall, RB, Arizona State
Height: 5-11. Weight: 223. Projected 40 Time: 4.57. Projected Round (2013): FA. 4/23/13: Marshall was part of a committee approach in 2012. He had 583 yards and nine touchdowns on 135 carries. Marshall did not work out at the Combine.
8/16/12: Marshall has had a quality collegiate career for the Sun Devils. He ran for 1,050 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2011, averaging 4.6 yards per carry. Marshall has a nice burst with some agility. He moves like a smaller back, but has good size.
Marshall entered the starting lineup in 2010 and had 787 yards rushing (5.2 average) with nine touchdowns. He is a nice receiver out of the backfield with a total of 55 receptions for 459 yards and one touchdown in three seasons. Marshall is a sleeper back who could be a nice value pick.
Curtis McNeal, RB, USC
Height: 5-7. Weight: 190. Projected 40 Time: 4.53. Projected Round (2013): FA. 4/23/13: McNeal totaled 701 yards on 116 carries in 2012 as the backup to Silas Redd. He didn't work out at the Combine.
8/16/12: McNeal is an interesting back given that he took over the starting position from senior Marc Tyler in 2011 and really played well. McNeal averaged just under seven yards per carry (6.9) with 1,005 yards on only 145 carries. He ran for six touchdowns.
McNeal had academic problems that made him ineligible for the 2010 season. He saw limited action in 2009 and redshirted in 2008. For the NFL, McNeal needs to show his receiving ability and get more active in the passing game. He is a speed back who runs with underrated power and physicality.
Chris Thompson, RB, Florida State
Height: 5-7. Weight: 192. Hand: 9.28. Projected 40 Time: 4.40. Projected Round (2013): FA. 4/23/13: The speedster Thompson was having an impressive senior year for the Seminoles before another season-ending injury. He tore the ACL in his left knee. Thompson averaged 7.5 yards per carry in 2012 for 687 yards and five touchdowns. He also had 21 receptions for 248 yards through the air. Thompson said at the ACC Championship Game that he is ahead of schedule in his rehab.
8/16/12: Thompson broke his back against Wake Forest in the fifth game of the season and missed the rest of the year. He never really got going. As a sophomore in 2010, Thompson ran for 845 yards with an average of 6.3 yards per carry and six touchdowns.
Washaun Ealey, RB, Jacksonville State
Height: 5-11. Weight: 215. Projected 40 Time: 4.46. Projected Round (2013): FA. 4/23/13: Ealey had 727 yards on 179 carries with 10 touchdowns in 2012. He caught 21 passes for 206 yards and three touchdowns, too.
8/16/12: Ealey had off-the-field troubles and transferred out of Georgia. He landed at Jacksonville State for 2011. Ealey ran for 1,119 yards, averaging 6.1 yards per carry. He ran for eight touchdowns and averaged 108 yards per game.
Ealey is a similar back to former Bulldogs back Knowshon Moreno in terms of his running style. Ealey totaled 811 yards and 11 touchdowns for Georgia in 2010, averaging 5.2 yards per carry. He ran for 717 yards and three touchdowns as a freshman in 2009.
Georgia did not use Ealey in the passing game that much. He had only 11 receptions for 108 yards over his two seasons as a Bulldog. Ealey is a talented back, but the off-the-field problems make his draft stock hard to predict.