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Row12.com - A Community of Sports Writers and Fans!                                               ***Attention Writers***
 
Top 10 Running Backs in the 2015 NFL Draft
By Matt Horkman

1. Todd Gurley, Georgia
The best running back prospect to declare for the NFL Draft since Adrian Peterson (2007), Gurley’s running style compares to Steven Jackson and Marshawn Lynch. If he checks out medically, he is one of the 10 best players of the 2015 class.

Click here for Todd Gurley's scouting report

2. Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin
A highly touted, productive running back out of Wisconsin, Gordon has all the tools to emerge as a high-level starter. He has a very good work ethic, understands the game, and has the big-game experience to contribute immediately.

Click here for Melvin Gordon's scouting report

3. T.J. Yeldon, Alabama
Yet another Alabama running back slated for the pros, Yeldon runs hard between the tackles. Nowhere was this more evident than against Texas A&M, a team he frankly embarrassed. He shows good vision, doing a nice job of a weaving his way through traffic. He’s also good in the open field, breaks tackles, and displays good cutback ability. 

4. Ameer Abdullah, NebraskaAmeer Abdullah
Despite his size (5-foot-8, 205), Abdullah is a hard runner. He finishes runs, showing the courage to take on heavy-hitting linebackers. He breaks tackles, especially in the open field. He has good hands; he’ll make an impact out of the backfield as a receiver, though his pass blocking woes could make coaches reluctant to use him in obvious passing situations. Ball security is also a major concern. He puts the ball on the ground too much, possibly due to his small hands. Overall, Abdullah is a tough as nails runner with a terrific burst. If he improves his pass blocking and ball security, he could develop into a three-down running back.

5. Jay Ajayi, Boise State
An excellent open field runner, Ajayi runs downhill and hit’s the hole with terrific explosiveness. He’s a willing pass protector and a good receiver out the backfield; he’s especially effective in the screen game. He had a wonderful performance in this year’s Fiesta Bowl, rushing for 134 yards and three touchdowns against Arizona. He is locked in as a second round pick.

6. Jeremy Langford, Michigan State
Langford possesses a good power, speed combo. He has good vision, showing the patience for the hole to develop. In addition, he runs with balance, and does a fine job of finishing runs.

7. Karlos Williams, Florida State
Williams has good straight-line speed, but doesn’t accelerate around the edge well. He’s a tough runner; he’ll fight for yardage and run hard between the tackles. He catches the ball well, making him a viable receiver out of the backfield.

8. Duke Johnson, Miami (FL)
Questions surrounding Johnson’s durability could slide him down the draft board later this month. Nevertheless, he is a dynamic athlete who features some of the best receiving skills of his running back class. He’s dangerous in space, and shows the vision and quickness to create on his own. Overall, Johnson probably doesn’t have the size and durability to be an every-down running back, but his athleticism and receiving skills makes him prime for a third-down role. 

9. Tevin Coleman, Indiana
A record-setting 2014 season put Coleman on the map. He rushed for a school-record 2,036 yards, earning recognition as a Doak Walker Award finalist. He’s a downhill runner, who displays the toughness to run between the tackles. Additionally, he has the speed to break open big runs. He needs to improve his vision and he’d benefit from developing his receiving skills.

10. David Cobb, Minnesota
Lacking great speed could hamper Cobb in the NFL. He ran a poor forty, though he did pull a quad while running it at the NFL Scouting combine. He’s a tough runner, who fights for yardage. As a result, he’ll be a pretty good short-yardage option. He reads his blocks well, making him a better fit for the zone blocking scheme. His NFL comparison is Ben Tate, though he doesn’t come with many durability red flags.

On the Bubble
Javorius Allen, USC
Michael Dyer, Louisville
Michael Davis, South Carolina
David Johnson, Northern Iowa
Venric Mark, West Texas A&M

@RowTwelve

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