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Football started with men running the ball into a pile and it will end with men running a ball into a pile. They say running backs have been devalued but with the revolutionizing of the position, they have become more important to an offense than ever before. Check out these studs from across the nation who pride themselves with taking a handoff to the gut and putting their teams on their backs.
This is one of the most stacked position groups this year. The talent gap between the top prospects is very minimal and each could be a first round pick in their own right.
1. Kennedy Brooks, Oklahoma
HT: 5’11” WT: 209 lbs.
2019 Statline: 1011 Rush Yards, 6 Touchdowns, 6.5 Yards Per Carry
Kennedy Brooks opted out of last year due to COVID-19 but he is back this year and ready to show why he is on top of this list. Brooks is a fast and patient straight-line runner that hits his top gear quickly. He runs with surprising power for his size and possess great balance after contact.
He has the uncanny ability to set up blockers and pop the home run play on routine carries. He doesn’t have any open field moves that make guys miss but he can simply outrun them. He does have the capability to be a good pass catcher and that would only add to his pro value.
2. Zamir White, Georgia
HT: 6’0” WT: 215 lbs.
2020 Statline: 779 Rush Yards, 11 Touchdowns, 5.4 Yards Per Carry
White is a slippery power back with break away speed in the open field. He rarely outruns his blockers, patiently letting the play develop in front of him before bursting through for big gains. He is a one cut runner who can and will make the first person miss with some of the best jump cuts in the class.
White fits in as more of a zone run concept back at the next level, which cuts down on his versatility in the NFL. He has the juice to be effective in the passing game but is more of a threat rushing as a chunk-yardage back. He will be a good option for a team looking for a day one starter on a young offense or with an aging running back on the roster.
3. Isaiah Spiller, Texas A&M
HT: 6’1” WT: 225 lbs.
2020 Statline: 1036 Rush Yards, 9 Touchdowns, 5.5 Yards Per Carry
Spiller is young…I mean really young. At just 19 years old, he plays like someone much older. His vision and ability to set up blocks with subtle moves is elite. He runs behind his pads, using all of his 6’1” 225-pound frame to punish tacklers in the open field.
Spiller has a pro-ready body but lacks the break away speed to break the homerun play. Spiller may be the best pass catcher of the top five as he is a natural hands catcher. If a team is looking for a lead back who can play all three downs, Spiller is your guy.
4. Ty Chandler, North Carolina
HT: 5’11” WT: 205 lbs.
2020 Statline: 456 Rush Yards, 4 Touchdowns, 4.6 Yards Per Carry
Chandler is a dual threat back in every sense of the word. His natural loose hips and vision help him choose holes to exploit with his speed and his hands are certified gold. He can make you miss and is very elusive in the open field, never allowing the tackler to square him up.
Chandler is undersized and not a thumper or a guy that will get extra yards after contact. He can create big plays in the passing game and runs very clean routes for a running back, which adds to his value as a player. He can come in and have an immediate impact as a rookie and should rise fast after transferring to North Carolina.
5. Kevin Harris, South Carolina
HT: 5’10” WT: 225 lbs.
2020 Statline: 1138 Rush Yards, 15 Touchdowns, 6.2 Yards Per Carry
Harris is a wrecking ball and likes it that way. He doesn’t shy away from contact, as a matter of fact he seeks it out, often opting to run over a defender rather than making them miss. Harris does have some suddenness to him in the open field, rarely being caught from behind on long runs.
He runs good routes but lets the ball get into his body more than you would like. He has a lot of Nick Chubb-like qualities in his run style and is definitely lead back material. If he improves into a hands catcher he can jump into on of the top three backs available in this year’s draft pool.