2009 Draft Countdown: Running Backs

With the 2009 NFL draft only a few weeks away, we offer our extensive position-by-position breakdown. Each report will include an analysis of the Dolphins' status at the position, the likelihood of a draft pick being spent at the position, a look at which prospects the Dolphins have worked out or visited with, a list of the top prospects, and the sleepers. We continue with the running backs.

Where the Dolphins stand: This clearly is one of the Dolphins' best and deepest positions. In addition to Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams, the Dolphins also have 2008 revelation Patrick Cobbs, who proved himself worthy of considerable playing time going forward. Also on the roster is Lex Hilliard, a sixth-round pick who spent last season on the practice squad. At fullback, the Dolphins have midseason acquisition Lousaka Polite, who became the team's short-yardage specialist, as well as 2008 practice squad member Chris Brown.

Likelihood of the Dolphins using a pick at the position: At halfback, the only way the Dolphins would consider using a draft pick is if they somehow decided to trade either Williams or Brown. Short of that, the Dolphins should start the season with the same group that ended last season. At fullback, maybe the Dolphins would consider an upgrade over Polite in the blocking department, but it's not considered much of a priority.

The top prospects: Halfbacks — 1. Knowshon Moreno, Georgia; 2. Chris "Beanie" Wells, Ohio State; 3. Shonn Greene, Iowa; 4. LeSean McCoy, Pittsburgh; 5. Donald Brown, UConn; 6. Andre Brown, N.C. State; 7. Rashad Jennings, Liberty; 8. Javon Ringer, Michigan State; 9. Cedric Peerman, Virginia; 10. Jeremiah Johnson, Oregon; Fullbacks — 1. Tony Fiammetta, Syracuse; 2. Quinn Johnson, LSU; 3. Brannan Southerland, Georgia

Summary: It's not a great year for halfbacks, and there's some debate as to whether the slick Moreno or the bruising Wells is the best prospect. Either way, there's no slam-dunk, can't-miss prospect at the position. There's some depth at the position, thanks to the two Browns, Greene and Ringer. At fullback, Fiammetta stands out, but there's no big-time prospect who's going to get himself drafted in the middle rounds.

Sleepers: HB Javarris Williams, Tennessee State; HB Gartrell Johnson, Colorado State; HB Ian Johnson, Boise State; FB Marcus Mailei, Weber State


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