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2020 NFL Draft Preview: Running Backs

NCAA Football: UCLA at Arizona State The Arizona Republic-USA TODAY N

So much of today’s NFL talk is about passing the ball, but we cannot overlook the value of having a dangerous runningback. I have been vocal about my opinion of Kenyan Drake - I think he’s an underrated back and given the chance, could be a top RB in this league. I also think Ballage has potential to be a valuable asset as well. Throw newly draft Myles Gaskin and Mark Walton in the mix and the Dolphins seem pretty well set on the running back position. However, I’ll be covering all the positions in preparing for the 2020 NFL Draft and I am also I firm believer in doing your homework on every position regardless of need. So, moving in this upcoming class, there are some guys that immediately stand out as really talented, high level type players. In my mind, D’Andre Swift from Georgia and Eno Benjamin from Arizona St. are my favorites. Both are similar type backs that remind me of Sony Michel and our very own Kenyan Drake. Lets start with Swift...

D’Andre Swift, Georgia (Jr)

Another year and another highly talented RB coming out of Georgia. Georgia has been producing RBs like a well-oiled machine and Swift does not disappoint. There’s major hype on Swift coming into this season and rightfully so. I think he’s everything today’s NFL runningback needs to be. He’s insanely quicker than fast, but still has dangerous speed. Elite footwork and the ability to makes cuts that are frankly insane to watch. Tremendous change of direction speed and a good receiver out of the backfield. Swift is my number 1 back and I cannot wait to watch him this fall.

NCAA Football: Georgia Spring Game Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Eno Benjamin, Arizona St. (Jr)

I think Swift has the best change of direction speed in this class, but Benjamin is a close second. So much of Benjamin’s game is his vision, cutting ability and the speed that he is able to maintain while changing direction – it really is something to watch. Like Swift, I think Benjamin is the perfect mold that today’s NFL runningback needs to be. He’s shifty, has good patience, terrific vision, is a good receiver, and can take it to the house every time he touches the ball. He’s a dangerous runningback that in my mind looks like a high draft pick.

NCAA Football: Arizona State at Arizona Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin (Jr)

Taylor made a name for himself back in 2017. I love watching his film; I think he’s got tremendous vision, good patience, elite instincts, good speed, great toughness – I am a big fan of Taylor (like many others). He doesn’t catch a ton of balls, mainly because that’s really not what his offense does. I think he’s NFL ready and with another good year should be a first round pick.

NCAA Football: Pinstripe Bowl-Wisconsin vs Miami Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Kylin Hill, Mississippi St. (Jr)

Kylin Hill jumps out in his 2018 film. He’s got good size and is very athletic. First off, I really like his motor – that was the first thing I noticed about him. There was one play I can’t remember who it was against, but he stayed back in pass protection and made a great block, however the pass was intercepted and he sprinted down and made the tackle. It was just such a hustle play – I loved it. I don’t think he’s overly fast and he doesn’t have the quickness that Swift has (not many do) but he’s a very good back that can run hard, make good decisions, can catch the ball and block. He’s got potential to be one of the top backs in this draft.

NCAA Football: Outback Bowl-Mississippi State vs Iowa Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Najee Harris, Alabama (Jr)

Harris is a guy that should be the top back for Alabama this season. I didn’t get a ton of tape on him last season because he really didn’t get the ball that much but he’s got NFL size, shows good potential. Harris could come out of this season as one of the better backs in the 2020 NFL Draft.

NCAA Football: College Football Playoff National Championship-Clemson vs Alabama Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Lamical Perine, Florida (Sr)

Perine is a fun tape to watch - he is tough runner with good size and strength. I think he’s a good receiving threat and does not give up on plays. I also see a guy who isn’t the fastest on the field, but he does possess the threat to take it to the house. I think he does a good job of making a decision then immediately hitting the hole hard. He also makes pretty good cuts and like a said earlier he can be a hard runner. Overall, I like Perine a lot and am excited to see him in the fall.

NCAA Football: Florida Spring Game Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

J.K. Dobbines, Ohio St. (Jr)

Dobbins helped contribute last season with Mike Weber slowed down by injuries and really made most of this opportunity. Dobbins has an elite burst, great change of direction speed and is a pretty well rounded back. This season Dobbins will be a focal point on the Buckeyes offense and has potential to prove himself one of best backs in the country.

NCAA Football: Tulane at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Other notable RB prospects:

Travis Eteinne, Clemson (Jr)
Cam Akers, Florida St. (Jr)
Larry Roundtree, Missouri (Sr)
Zack Moss, Utah (Sr)
Scottie Phillips, Ole Miss (Sr)
Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Vanderbilt (Sr)
Joshua Kelley, UCLA (Sr)
A.J. Dillion, Boston College, (Sr)
Raymond Calais, La. Lafayette (Sr)