An outstanding group of junior running back decided to forego their senior year of eligibility to enter the NFL 2008 draft a year ago last January, thus greatly changing both the talent level and depth at this critical game changing position.
Chris "Beanie" Wells of Ohio State, Knowshon Moreno of the Georgia Bulldogs, Iowa Hawkeye Shonn Green, Donald Brown of the U of Connecticut, LeSean McCoy of the Pittsburgh Panthers and Mike Goodson, all juniors have decided to forego their senior years and not surprisingly make up six of the top seven backs in this year's draft!
Wells, who was banged up early in the season (ankle), is without question the class of this year's running back class. He is a big strong back with excellent vision, quickness, feet and the ability to consistently break secured tackles inside. Once he broke the line of scrimmage, Beanie a one shift power runner tended to straighten out even further, but he also showed the ability to run away from people at the second level and third level.
Moreno, a Dalton Hilliard a former LSU and Saints clone, is a tough inside runner with excellent quickness, balance and vision. I loved his run toughness and ability to break secured tackles. He can catch and adjust to the football in the flat, screen or arrow routes and only needs to improve his blocking skills (pass or run), to become a top back in the National Football Leagues.
Greene did some incredible things during the regular season, but I was disappointed by his lack of speed and or finishing burst. My big problem is the fact that I never saw him caught from behind and on wide plays, he had no problem getting the corner consistently.
Brown is not a particularly man physically came out of nowhere to have an unbelievable 2008 season. His style is reminiscent to former West Virginia and Houston Texans rookie sensation Steve Slaton. He's is a bit of a straight liner, but once he gets a step on a defender, he is awfully tough to run down. As is the case with all college back, he is going to have to improve greatly in his blitz pick up and develop a better sense and timing when running routes.
McCoy is another little man by today's standards who really impressed me with his running and receiving skills in 2007, but his numbers were to say the least rather pedestrian in 08. He did show unusual playing skills, so unless there is a physical ailment that has robbed him of his skills, one has to believe he can once again show the skills that made him special.
Speaking of a special player, keep an eye on Abilene Christian College running back Bernard Scott. He's not particularly big nor does he have home run speed, but he is quick as a hiccup, smooth as silk, has excellent vision, receiving skills and instincts.
He twenty-five years old, has attended four Universities and there are some off the field, concerns, but he has put together two straight two-thousand and has run for an amazing 7,239 yards in his college football career! It wouldn't surprise in the least if this player end up the absolute steal of the 2009 draft!
|1||Wells, Chris||Ohio St||6010v||235v||4.41v||1.15|
|5||Brown, Andre||No Carolina St||6001v||228v||4.46v||1.31|
|7||Goodson, Mike||Texas A&M||5107v||211v||4.47v||1.36|
|8||Scott, Bernard||Abilene Christian||5102v||200v||4.47v||1.38|
|14||Johnson, Ian||Boise St||5112v||212v||4.44v||1.55|
|15||Smith, Antone||Florida St||5077v||191v||4.34v||1.62|
|19||Johnson, Gartrell||Colorado St||5102v||219v||4.74v||1.75|
|20||Ringer, Javon||Michigan St||5081v||205v||4.57v||1.76|
|Lewis, Corey||Northern Iowa||5113v||197v||4.57v||1.80|
|Herring, Keegan||Arizona St||5092v||203v||4.47v||1.90|
|Wells, Maurice||Ohio St||5091v||192v||4.51v||1.90|
|Mason, Brandon||Stony Brook||6011v||231v||4.73v||1.90|
|Williams, Javarris||Tennessee St||5094v||223v||4.52v||1.90|
|Ore, Branden||W Liberty St||5107v||214v||4.66v||1.90|