The RBs and FBs are up next. Many of us will hear of Trent Richardson, Lamar Miller, and David Wilson as the cream of the RB class and are possible 1st rounders. Some will talk of Chris Polk, Doug Martin, and David Wilson that have 2nd round grades.
To start I actually prefer David Wilson to most of those first rounder guys. I personally believe a RB wears down to much to be a 1st round pick. David Wilson is from Virginia Tech and though his ball handling skills are barely average he is solid on blitz pick ups and runs hard always plus when wrapped up he falls forward and gets even more positive yardage.
Many of us notice that year after year there are 3rd round or lower RBs that seem to jump out, occasionally an UDFA does the same, Arian Foster and Pierre Thomas both come to mind.
So who do I like that is not the “big” name but worth watching on the draft board.
I mentioned David Wilson but he is projected as a 2nd rounder. Two RBs that have my attention and are reasonable picks in the 3rd or later rounds are Ronnie Hillman and Chris Raney. Some of you have maybe heard of Rainey as he was one of the few bright spots on a very average Gator team but might be going “Who?” on Hillman.
Ronnie Hillman was lightly recruited and went to San Diego State and got minimal press however he just broke all the Freshman rushing records at the school. So what you say? They were held by Marshall Faulk. So how does a freshman enter the draft? He is three years removed from his High School graduation class. He is a hair small at 5’10 but weighs 195lbs and has that NFL pop you look for. A solid 3rd round pick the might fall to the 4th .
Chris Raney I mentioned was on a very average Florida team last year. However if you run the Vanderbilt game film and you will see why I like him. He was like Mighty Mouse dragging his team to victory even with 8 or 9 in the box to stop him. He was just plain fast and ran angry. He is small at 5’08” and 175lbs. However he has times under 4.3 and catches great out of the back field and can run slot receiver. He also has acknowledged that he is not an every down back and will play ST like a stud. In fact he blocked a punt that was returned for a TD against the Ohio State Buckeyes in his last game. Think of a Percy Harvin, Darren Sproles, or Dexter Mclusky type player. Also a solid 3rd or 4th round pick.
In the late round or UDFA territory I like Adonis Thomas from Toledo. He is a fast scatback that cuts as hard and fast as Reggie Bush did in college. He played against lower competition at Toledo but made NIU in their season finale look silly and NIU is the best of the rest.
A possible UDFA that can also make a team look smart is Darrell Scott from USF. He was a transfer and dominated all but the top FBS schools Southern Florida played. He is 6’1” and 240lbs and runs in 4.4s. He was a top RB High School recruit in 07 and went to Colorado. It was not a good fit with Colorado’s issues so he sat out and went to the Bulls. He has run great but is hiding in the cracks so to speak.
This year Harry Hyponski (FB Giants) award goes to……
The top FB is Chad Diehl from Clemson. He is a great traditional Blocker FB. He plays well on ST as well but has not shown much offensive plays because of his lead blocking skills. At best a 5th rounder more likely a 6th.
About the only other draftable FB I have interest in is FB/TE hybrid Evan Rodriguez from West Virginia. He is a great tweener at 6’2” 242 and runs mid 4.6s. He was used as an Aaron Hernadez option at West Virginia and did well at it. 6th or 7th rounder.
Next up the WRs.