Running Backs

 

The were 22 RBs selected in the 2022 draft, as follows:

 

Round 1 - 0

Round 2 - 3

Round 3 - 3

Round 4 - 5

Round 5 - 5

Round 6 - 4

Round 7 - 2

 

The 2022 RB draft class wasn't stellar, but did offer up very good depth in the early to middle rounds. No RBs were taken in Round 1, which was pretty much the expectation. Rounds 2 through 4 saw eleven backs taken, with most if not all of them to see meaningful carries as rookies. 

The 2023 RB draft should hold up just fine by comparison, as there might be as many as fifteen prospects that could tote the rock a good amount of time in the rookie campaigns. I could certainly see more than six RBs being selected across Day 1 and 2 of the draft. 

1) Bijan Robinson | 6'1 | 220 | RB | Texas

2021 - 1,127 yards rushing, 295 yards receiving

9/10 - Alabama- Robinson didn't get too much help up front, but he ran hard, churned his legs and showed good vision. He had 21 carries for 57 yards., 1 TD. He also did great catching then ball, doing so 3 times for 73 yards. 

10/8 - Oklahoma - Robinson was great today, carrying the ball 22 times for 130 yards, 2 TDs. he was a complete back, displaying vision, speed and power. He ran tough, didn't go down easily. He also looked adept catching 2 balls for 15 yards. 

2) Jahmyr Gibbs | 5'10 | 200 | RB | Alabama

2021 - 746 yards rushing, 470 yards receiving

9/10 - Texas - Gibbs had a great game. He had just 9 carries for 22 yards, but ran well given meh blocking at times. He was great as a receiver, catching 9 balls for 74 yards, 1 TD. His versatility was huge. 

10/1 - Arkansas - Gibbs had a great game, looked like a future Round-1 prospect, a franchise RB. He had 18 carries for 206 yards, 2 TDs. He also caught 2 balls for 20 yards. With Young knocked out of the game, he put the offense on his shoulders and carried out a win in a hostile environment. His footwork and long speed really popped off the screen, as did his ability to fight through tackles.

10/8 - Texas A&M - Gibbs was fantastic today, showed off great burst and long speed. He had 21 carries for 154 yards, also caught 3 balls for 13 yards. At times, he carried the offense on his back. 

3) Zach Charbonnet | 6'1 | 220 | RB | UCLA

2021 - 1,137 yards rushing, 197 yards receiving

9/30 - Washington - Charbonnet had a good game, showing why he's one of the best backs in the nation. He carried the ball 22 times for 122 yards, 1 TD. In doing so, he ran with a good blend of speed and strength, keeping his shoulders square to contend with tacklers. He showed good footwork in the hole, enabling him to get extra yards. He was versatile with 3 receptions for 56 yards, a sought after target out of the backfield. 

10/8 - Utah - Charbonnet had an excellent game, looked like a future NFL franchise back. He had 22 carries for 198 yards, 1 TD. He displayed long speed coupled with one-cut running. he looked for contact, was tough to take down. 

4) Tank Bigsby | 6'0 | 204 | RB | Auburn

2021 - 1,099 yards rushing, 184 yards receiving

9/17 - Penn State - Bigsby was mighty impressive in the match up. As a runner, he carried the ball 9 times for 39 yards. His O-line was of little help, but he still showed his chops. As a receiver, he had 2 receptions for 38 yards. In doing so, he showed off ankle-breaking cutting ability with long speed. 

9/24 - Missouri - Bigsby looked the part today. While his O-line started to falter due to heavy run looks, Bigbsy did all he could. He had 19 carries for 44 yards, 1 TD. He showed off good vision, speed and jump-cutting ability.

10/1 - LSU - Bigsby once again didn't get the complement of consistent blocking up front, but his hands were an issue in this game, one fumble and one drop. He did have 12 carries for 45 yards, showing some burst at times. However, he was average overall. 

5) Blake Corum | 5'8 | 200 | RB | Michigan

2021 - 952 yards rushing, 141 yards receiving

9/1 - Colorado State - Corum was one of the main focal points of the offense, carrying the ball 19 times for 76 yards, good for 1 TD. He ran with a nice blend of speed and power, showing patience in waiting for his blockers to pull and hit their landmarks. 

9/24 - Maryland - Corum was a workhorse today. He had 30 carries for 243 yards, 2 TDs. He displayed good patience and vision, was great at reading his blocks and bouncing plays out to open lanes. 

10/1 - Iowa - Corum continues to be a very fun watch, a guy with zero quit. He had 29 carries for 133 yards, tired the defense out. He ran hard and behind his pads, also showed some good one-cut running technique. He even caught 2 balls for 9 yards. 

10/8 - Indiana - Corum was very good, as per usual. He had 25 carries for 124 yards, showed a great blend of everything. He looks like NFL starting material right now. 

6) Sean Tucker | 6'0 | 209 | RB | Syracuse

2021 - 1,496 yards rushing, 255 yards receiving

9/3 - Louisville - Tucker had a great game, really looked good as both a runner and receiver. He had 21 carries for 98 yards and 1 TD, also paced his team as a receiver with 6 receptions for 85 yards, 1 TD. He showed off his track speed a number of times, while running with a smooth style, weaving through the fray of defenders. 

9/17 - Purdue - Tucker had some struggles this game. He had 18 carries for just 42 yards, didn't get much help up front, nor could he press the perimeter. He caught 2 balls for 23 yards, but also had a couple drops. He also dropped a pitch.

9/23 - Virginia - Tucker had another solid to good night statistically, as he amassed 60 yards as a ball carrier, and another 45 as a receiver. However, he put the ball on the turf for the second straight game, and simply looked out of sorts at times. 

7) Devon Achane | 5'8 | 185 | RB | Texas A&M

2021 - 910 yards rushing, 261 yards receiving

9/10 - Appalachian State - Achane had a solid game. While his O-line was inconsistent up front, he still managed to get 66 yards on 10 carries. His most impressive action came in the return game, as he sprang a 95-yard TD, showing off great long speed. 

9/17 - Miami - After watching this game, it's really a challenge to not be enamored with Achane. While his long speed was certainly on display, he showed off very good vision coupled with great cutting ability. He was quite versatile, rushing 88 times for 88 yards, and catching 4 balls for 42 yards, 1 TD. While small, he played bigger than his frame would seemingly allow. 

10/8 - Alabama - Achane had a decent game, but wasn't great. He had 16 carries for 62 yards, and did show speed. However, he didn't show much elusive running, was bottled up a lot. While the blocking wasn't consistently there, he just didn't flash to me. 

8) Zach Evans | 5'10 | 195 | RB | Ole Miss

2021 - 648 yards rushing, 130 yards receiving

10/1 - Kentucky - Evans didn't have a real productive day. He had just 9 carries for 24 yards, 1 TD. Outside of one carry for 7 yards, he didn't flash. Blocking up front wasn't great, but he manufactured little. 

9) Chase Brown | 5'11 | 205 | RB | Illinois

2021 - 1,005 yards rushing, 142 yards receiving

9/3 - Indiana - Brown had a very good game. He operated like a true workhorse, carrying the ball 36 times for 199 yards. He read his blocks very well, while displaying quick feet in and out of the hole, along with good play speed. 

11/12 - Purdue - Brown had an  impressive game. He had 23 carries for 98 yards, displaying good leg drive with the ability to work off tacklers.

10) Chris Rodriguez | 5'11 | 224 | RB | Kentucky

2021 - 1,379 yards rushing, 61 yards receiving

10/1 - Ole Miss - In his first game back after serving a suspension, Rodriguez showed no rust. He had 19 carries for 72 yards, 1 TD. He also caught 3 balls for 40 yards. He ran with a good balance of speed and power, wasn't an easy guy to take down. 

10/8 - South Carolina - With Will Levis sidelined, Kentucky opted to go heavy with the run game. Rodriguez had 22 carries for 126 yards, operated in workmanlike fashion. He ran with power and balance, refused to go down at first contact. 

11) Israel Abanikanda | 5'11 | 215 | RB | Pittsburgh

2021 - 651 yards rushing, 197 yards receiving

12) Tiyon Evans | 5'11 | 210 | RB | Louisville

2021 - 525 yards rushing, 74 yards receiving

9/3 - Syracuse - Evans had a great game, was very impressive. He had 13 carries for 89 yards. He read his blocks well at the LOS, and wasted no time hitting the hole hard and then pulling away in stride. His play speed and ability to put his foot in the ground and go stood out. He ran with toughness as well, didn't make tackling him an easy task. 

9/16 - Florida State - DNP

13) Tavion Thomas | 6'2 | 230 | RB | Utah

2021 - 1,108 yards rushing, 3 yards receiving

9/3 - Florida - Aside from the goal line mishap, Thomas was impressive. He operated in true workmanlike fashion , carrying the ball 23 times for 105 yards. He ran with great power and good speed, showing that he can get chunk yards. 

10/8 - UCLA - Thomas had a solid game. He toted the rock 18 times for 91 yards, 1 TD. Despite being a big dude, he ran with some good speed at times. He still looked a bit stiff, may not be a 3-down guy, but played his part well. 

14) Deuce Vaughn | 5'6 | 176 | RB | Kansas State

2021 - 1,404 yards rushing, 468 yards receiving

9/24 - Oklahoma - Vaughn ran big today, despite not being that in stature. He had 25 carries for 116 yards, showing off good vision, patience, quick feet and speed. OU couldn't consistently bottle him up. He also showed some pass-  catching ability. 

15) Eric Gray | 5'10 | 209 | RB | Oklahoma

2021 - 412 yards rushing, 229 yards receiving

9/17 - Nebraska - Gray had a solid outing, carrying the ball 11 times for 113 yards, scored 2 TDs. He showed solid cutting ability and some speed beyond the LOS.

9/24 - Kansas State - Gray looked like  complete back tonight. He had 16 carries for 114 yards, showing off good balance, size and speed. He was also very adequate catching the b all, doing so 7 times for 45 yards. He was a reliable go-to on offense. 

10/8 - Texas - Gray had limited opportunities in a lopsided game, had 11 carries for 59 yards, did show some good vision and overall running skills. 

16) Travis Dye | 5'9 | 190 | RB | USC

2021 - 1,271 yards rushing, 402 yards receiving

9/10 - Stanford - Dye had a very solid night, carried the ball 14 times for 105 yards. He wasn't flashy, but reliable. 

9/17 - Fresno State - Dye had a good night, was a fun watch. He had 11 carries for 102 yards, 1 TD. He also caught 3 balls for 36 yards, showing versatility. He didn't show great wiggle, but ran hard. 

10/1 - Arizona State - Dye was very functional again, carried the ball 13 times for 64 yards, 2 TDs. He offered little flashiness, but was consistently tough in his runs. 

10/8 - Washington State - Another solid game for Dye, as he read blocks well and ran downhill throughout the contest. He had 28 carries for 149, 1 TD. He also caught 3 balls for 18 yards. At times, he was the offense. 

17) Montrell Johnson | 5'10 | 210 | RB | Florida

2021 - 838 yards rushing, 53 yards receiving

9/3 - Utah - Johnson had an eye-opening performance. He had 12 carried for 75 yards. He ran with great speed, showed good  cutting ability as well. He also showed power, as he wasn't easy to take down. 

9/10 - Kentucky - Johnson continued to intrigue with his play. He had just 7 carries, but went 62 yards. He displayed good vision and cutback abilities. 

9/24 - Tennessee - Johnson was quiet, had 8 carries for just 18 yards. 

10/8 - Missouri - Johnson had to split carries, only had 8 carries. However, he dashed for 86 yards, 1 TD, creating the question as to why he wasn't used car more. He showed, speed, burst, and hard one-cut running. 

18) Isaiah Davis | 6'1 | 220 | RB | South Dakota State

2021 - 701 yards rushing, 8 yards receiving

9/3 - Iowa - Davis had little opportunity to shine against a stout Iowa defense, but he looked the part as a runner and receiver regardless. He had 18 carries for 50 yards, and 5 receptions for 32 yards, pacing his team in both regards. He showed off good speed and vision, and was smooth when running routes. 

19) Xazavian Valladay | 6'0 | 198 | RB | Arizona State

2021 - 1,070 yards rushing, 233 yards receiving

9/10 - Oklahoma State - Valladay had a very good night. He ran the ball 21 times for 118 yards, looked like a very reliable back. He ran with good functional speed, showed some nice cutting ability. 

10/1 - USC - Valladay didn't blow up the stat sheet, but he did flash a few times, showing speed and the overall capability to be dangerous. He had 13 carries for 64 yards, 1 TD,  also caught 2 balls for 29 yards, 1 TD. In a game of little offensive sparks for ASU, he was the main guy. 

20) Mohamed Ibrahim | 5'9 | 210 | RB | Minnesota

2021 - 163 yards rushing, 0 yards receiving

21) Rasheen Ali | 6'0 | 200 | RB | Marshall

2021 - 1,401 yards rushing, 342 yards receiving

22) Lew Nichols | 5'9 | 200 | RB | Central Michigan

2021 - 1,848 yards rushing, 338 yards receiving

9/1 - Oklahoma State - Nichols had a solid game, running with his patented hard-nose style. He carried the ball 26 times for 72 yards. He also showed his receiving skills, catching 6 balls on that front. He didn't always get the best play from those around him, but he fought hard during this contest, showed a lot of toughness a capability. 

23) Ulysses Bentley | 5'11 | 200 | RB | Ole Miss

2021 - 610 yards rushing, 90 yards receiving