1).Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
Height: 5-11. Weight: 225. Hand: 10.5.
40 Time: 4.47. Elliott is tremendous with his burst, vision, balance and ability to rip off yards in chunks. He has the strength to run through tackles and pick up yards after contact with the burst to get to the second level. He has tremendous forward lean while running the ball. Elliott also did some impressive blocking, which is valuable for pro evaluators. His first-step quickness is phenomenal, and he looks to be a future three-down starter in the NFL. Sources have said that Elliott has graded out as a high first-rounder and is expected to go in the top 20.
Scouts have told me that Elliott didn’t interview well at the combine. They suspect that he used party drugs at Ohio State. Elliott also has a strong personality that rubs some the wrong way in the locker room. Teams didn’t think these issues would cause him to slide.
2). Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama
Height: 6-2. Weight: 247. Hand: 8.75.
40 Time: 4.54.
At the NFL combine Henry was lighter and faster than NFL teams expected him to be. In 2015, Henry averaged 5.7 yards per carry (359 carries) for 2,061 yards with 25 touchdowns with 11 receptions for 91 yards. Not only was his running impressive, but the blitz protection will really excite scouts. Henry’s contributions in the passing game will help his draft grade and give NFL teams the evidence that he can be a three-down starter as a pro.
Henry is a downhill bulldozer who has an underrated burst to get to the second level and break off long runs. He isn’t an elusive back, and is a one-cut downhill runner, but he has shown surprising speed to run away from defensive backs when breaking off long runs. The key for Henry is not to have to change directions before his third or fourth step. Thus, Henry needs a team with good blocking because he doesn’t have the elusiveness to really create by himself. Much better back than former Alabama running back Trent Richardson, is much quicker on his feet, will be a solid NFL back.
3). C.J. Prosise, RB, Notre Dame
Height: 6-0. Weight: 220.
40 Time: 4.48.
Prosise has a surprising burst to go along with having good size for a NFL running back. He hits the hole quickly and runs with vision and balance. For the NFL, Prosise needs to improve his ball security.
At the combine, Prosise ran faster than expected and he was very good as a receiver. If there is a David Johnson-type back in the this draft, Prosise could be it. However, Johnson had more power than Prosise and the Notre Dame product needs to run with more power considering his size. Could be a steal for somebody late 2nd-3rd round.
4). Devontae Booker, RB, Utah
Height: 5-10. Weight: 219. Hand: 8.63.
Projected 40 Time: 4.52.
Booker is a quick runner who is more physical than one would think. If he could add some weight for the NFL, that could help him to be a three-down runner. Booker was rumored to be entering the 2015 NFL Draft, but he wisely decided to return to Utah as he has only one season of major college football experience. Great at getting yards after contact, will not be as successful in the NFL that way, dark horse pick that may be worth the chance.
5). Kenneth Dixon, RB, Louisiana Tech
Height: 5-10. Weight: 215. Arm: 30.38. Hand: 8.5.
40 Time: 4.58.
Dixon is a well-balanced, tough runner who has some quickness to go with strength to get yards after contact. He had a strong week at the Senior Bowl. Immediately in the NFL, Dixon could be a receiving back as he is a natural route-runner with soft hands. Dixon is very skilled in the passing game. Dixon is a solid safe pick, that will make an NFL roster