Draft Sleepers- Running Backs

Everybody knows the big names in the draft. The Vince Young's, the Reggie Bush's, the Matt Leinart's. Raise your hand though if you know who Paul McQuistan, Brett Elliott, Delaine Walker, and Drouzon Quillen are. The draft doesn't really even begin till day 2 kicks off. A position by position breakdown and the top 5 sleepers.



Running Backs:

1) Leon Washington 5'7 210lbs 40yd dash-4.5 FSU Projection-5th Rd
Positive:
Washington is one of the hardest runners you will ever see play the game of football. He anticipates where the holes are going to be uses his amazing burst to get through them. He has soft hands out of the backfield and is a smart player. You will never see him take a big hit. He is very versatile and can return both punts and kicks for special teams.

Negative:
With anybody of his size he is going to have some durability concerns. He has never carried a full load and there are questions about how much he can handle. He lacks ideal height and size for the position, and because of that he is not a very good blocker. Also he lacks the top gear that the elite backs have.

2) Gerald Riggs Jr. 6'0 215lbs 40yd dash-4.55 Tennessee Projection-5th Rd
Positive:
Is a very powerful back who will run over players. He has explosive cuts and his cutback ability is hard to rival in this class. When he gets going he is like a 18-wheeler headed down a hill. He has great vision to see the field and know when and where to try and cut back. With his size he is a good blocker. He is very hard to bring down with just arm tackles once he gets going down hill.

Negative:
He is not a very good outside runner, he does not turn the corner well and he is not an east west type of guy. His receiving skills leave a lot to be desired. He is not a good route runner and will struggle with catching ball out of the backfield. While Riggs has the size to be a good blocker what he lacks is the ability to both recognize and pickup the blitz.

3) Selvin Young 6'0 210lbs 40yd dash-4.52 Texas Projection-7th Rd
Positive:
Young has good size at 6'0 and has the frame to bulk up a little bit more. He is a slashing type runner who uses his good vision to his advantage. Makes great cuts to find the holes and get through them. Has the frame to develop into a good blocker.

Negative:
Has very limited experience as a starting back. He is also a very impatient runner who will need to learn to wait and let his blocks develop in front of him to make the big gains. He has had two major injuries, and that obviously raises some durability concerns. As of right now he is not a good blocker because of his poor technique

4) Lonta Hobbs 5'10 220lbs 40yd dash-4.51 TCU Projection-7th Rd
Positive:
Hobbs is a big power back who runs like a freight train. A lot of upside here who performs best when he gets running downhill. He has good speed for his size and great vision and patience to allow blocks to develop and find the holes. He has a low pad level when he runs and really lays a lick on would be tacklers. A real goal line back.

Negative:
He has some durability issues with injuries in both 2004 and 2005. He doesn't have a lot of elusiveness in the open field. His receiving skills on not on par with those in the upper part of the class. He has to improve his awareness especially when it comes to recognition of blitzes and protection packages.

5) Mike Imoh 5'6 195lbs 40yd dash-4.5 Virginia Tech Projection; FA
Positive:
Imoh is a very shifty back, he has great agility and fit's the mold of a change of pace back. He shows quickness and burst through the hole. He runs with good leverage and balance. He will drag tacklers along for extra yards and never stop his legs from moving.

Negative:
He is small, only 5'6 and many wonder if he'll even make it as a change of pace back at that size. He has huge character issues and was suspended for three games in 2004 because of it. He has durability issues and most of all consistency issues. Seems lazy at time and will take plays off.

Others to watch:
RB Kejuan Jones-5'8, 189lbs, 40-4.5, Oklahoma-FA
RB Antoine Bagwell-5'10, 180lbs, 40-4.55, California-Pa. (DIII)-FA

(Billszone.com )


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