You may or may not have seen my list of Top Running Back prospects… at least thru the second iteration of CPGM’s Top 5 Prospect by Position breakdown (FYI 3.0 will be coming out soon). But I wanted to offer just a little more context to my rankings as the 2017 NFL Draft draws near.
- Dalvin Cook, Florida State
- Leonard Fournette, LSU
- Joe Mixon, Oklahoma
- Christian McCaffrey, Stanford
- Alvin Kamara, Tennessee
Synopsis – Dalvin Cook is too good of a talent to have a combine alter my opinion on the running back class. The class is absolutely loaded headlined by Cook whose vision, patience, balance and yes, speed makes him a dynamic home run threat who can get tough yardage in between the tackles. The only question I have with Cook is long term durability. Three different procedures on his shoulders, including a torn rotator cuff in high school, surgery to repair the front part of his labrum in 2014 and surgery on the back part of his labrum in 2015 will possibly move Cook down the draft board. If you’re worried about Cook’s health you have a monster lurking in Leonard Fournette. This guy is too big to be moving that fast. Fournette displays a rare combination of size/power and speed to go along with underrated shiftiness in between the tackles. The former LSU Tiger will likely be the first back taken off the board. Next up we have a player who might have a bigger upside than Cook and Fournette, Joe Mixon. His off the field transgression is well known and will be the only reason he is not a first round pick come April 27th. Mixon possesses swift moves like Cook in the open field with size similar to Fournette. He is a better pass catcher than the Top 2 guys and is reminiscent of Le’Veon Bell and David Johnson #Scary. My fourth and fifth ranked guys are often times compared to each other due to their pass catching abilities. I keep going back and forth on Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara due to the different set of play-making skills they have. Kamara is a weapon who in space utilizes his speed and dynamic tackle-breaking ability to gain huge chunks of yards while McCaffrey is a more patient runner in between the tackles who rivals Cook’s vision.
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