Back 2018 NFL Draft RB Rankings

2018 NFL Draft RB Rankings

By Jim Johnson
SouthernPigskin.com
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Ranking the draftable running back prospects from the 2018 class, out of Southern Pigskin's coverage area.

These intial rankings are comprised of what right now are the draftable/PFA worthy prospects from our coverage area here at Southern Pigskin -- the ACC, SEC, Sun Belt, and SoCon.

These pre-combine rankings include a basic rundown of strengths and weaknesses, however, after the combine, they will be updated with round projections, player comparisons, and a more in-depth summation of my personal opinion on each respective player.

Starting with the quarterbacks, they will be released one day at a time until all of the position groups are up. After that, they will be easily found in a comprehensive database from a homepage that includes a first round mock draft.

QB | RB | WR | TE | OT | IOL (OG/C) | EDGE (DE/3-4 OLB) | DL | LB | CB

​RUNNING BACKS

1. Derrius Guice, LSU: 5’11, 218

Strengths: The total package as a ball carrier, when healthy. Strong, fast, and elusive. Prototypical size. Rarely brought down by the first defender. Showed improvement as a pass blocker from 2016 to 2017.

Weaknesses: Could serve to improve as a receiver out of the backfield.

2. Sony Michel, Georgia: 5’11, 216

Strengths: Makes a lot of guys miss. A weapon in the passing game. Smooth, fast runner that can also earn the hard yards. Solid in pass pro.

Weaknesses: Never had to be the feature back at Georgia. Yet to be seen if he has what it takes to do so.

3. Kerryon Johnson, Auburn: 6’0, 212

Strengths: Decisive downhill runner with good change of direction ability. Tough, played hurt against some of the most talented defenses in the country down the stretch. Much improved as a pass blocker in 2017.

Weaknesses: Not especially elusive. Bore a heavy brunt of the carry load and took a lot of hits at Auburn.

4. Nick Chubb, Georgia: 5’10, 228

Strengths: Faster and more elusive than people think. Forces a ton of missed tackles. Picks up extra yards through contact. Extremely consistent.

Weaknesses: A non-threat as a pass catcher. Does a lot of things well, but no one aspect of his game jumps off the tape.

5. Mark Walton, Miami: 5’9, 205

Strengths: Receiving threat out of the backfield. Can bounce it outside and pick up yards in chunks. Above average pass blocker.

Weaknesses: Forces fewer missed tackles than one would expect, given his quickness. Indecisive between the tackles. Coming off of season ending ankle surgery.

6. Nyheim Hines, NC State: 5’9, 196

Strengths: Converted receiver with speed to burn. Extremely elusive both as a ball carrier and after the catch.

Weaknesses: Ball security -- fumbled four times as a rusher last year, and thrice on punt returns.

7. Bo Scarbrough, Alabama: 6’2, 236

Strengths: Broke more tackles in 2016 than last year, but having the first man bring him down is still like winning the lottery. Punisher that hasn’t taken too much punishment himself, thanks to Alabama’s running back depth. Smooth, explosive, and especially effective on zone runs.

Weaknesses: A non-threat as a pass catcher. Durability concerns dating back to high school. Minus acceleration.

8. Detrez Newsome, Western Carolina: 5’10, 210

Strengths: All-purpose dynamo. Has consistently outperformed his supporting cast against FBS opposition. Extremely well-rounded.

Weaknesses: Missed some time due to injury last year. Top end speed won’t blow anyone away.

9. Jordan Chunn, Troy: 6’0, 227

Strengths: Can be a bulldozer if necessary but is more fleet of foot than he gets credit for. Does a good job picking up blitzes.

Weaknesses: Occasionally gets too cute on interior rushes as opposed to just hitting the hole. Prone to running off balance.

10. Darrell Williams, LSU: 6’1, 229

Strengths: Decisive downhill runner. Capable pass catcher. A physical specimen that has been preserved thanks to the shadows of Leonard Fournette and Derrius Guice.

Weaknesses: Does not possess great feel or pick up as many yards after contact as teams would like, given his size.

11. John Kelly, Tennessee: 5’9, 205

Strengths: Hard-nosed runner. Tough, was an absolute workhorse for Tennessee in 2016. Reliable pass catcher.

Weaknesses: Not a great pass blocker. No single part of his game really standouts relative to the other prospects.

12. Ralph Webb, Vanderbilt: 5’10, 190

Strengths: The model of consistency. Possible contributor in the passing game. Highly durable.

Weaknesses: Has taken a ton of hits as Vanderbilt’s workhorse over the years. Not particularly athletic.

Jim Johnson - Editor of Southern Pigskin, Producer of "Three & Out", and host of "Explosive Recruiting" on the Southern Pigskin Radio Network. E-mail: jim@espncoastal.com Twitter: @JimJohnsonSP