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2020 RB Prospect Reset: Stock watch, who needs big Senior Bowl & combine, plus more

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  • 2020 RB Prospect Reset: Stock watch, who needs big Senior Bowl & combine, plus more

    2020 NFL Draft RB prospect reset: Whose stock is up and down, who needs big Senior Bowl and combine, plus more
    The 2020 running back class is coming into focus
    Josh Edwards
    mugshotby Josh Edwards
    Jan 10, 2020 at 11:23 am ET • 4 min read

    NFL fans are familiar with the names that have sat atop the list of 2020 NFL Draft running back prospects: Georgia's D'Andre Swift, Wisconsin's Jonathan Taylor and Clemson's Travis Etienne. There is a lengthy list of talented backs behind them. New names will surface through the Reese's Senior Bowl, NFL combine and other pre-draft opportunities.

    The league values prospects capable of toting the rock and nabbing passes out of the backfield. Balance through contact is a desirable trait as well. CBS Sports has a list of prospects that have caught the attention of NFL talent evaluators -- good or bad -- during the 2019 season.

    Stock Up
    J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State

    Dobbins had a fantastic season proving all of his doubters wrong. He displays great balance through contact as well as an ability to make an impact in the passing game. The Texas native runs good routes and is able to regulate his speed. Ohio State loved utilizing him on stretch plays this season to create running lanes. There are a few concerns remaining: Dobbins is average in pass protection and has accumulated significant wear on his legs over the past three seasons.

    Najee Harris, Alabama

    Harris has been behind Damien Harris and Josh Jacobs over the past few years. He looked like a physical player with average to below average speed. In 2019, he received a larger workload and was productive. His athleticism was on display with countless hurdles and his involvement in the pass game was a huge bonus. The California native had a nose for the end zone this season, compiling 20 touchdowns. He has grown up from the comparison of a poor man's Derrick Henry.

    Kylin Hill, Mississippi State

    Hill is an overall good running back. He has good enough speed when he hits open turf but his patience, vision and agility allow him to get to those green spaces. The Mississippi native has good hands and plays with a mean spirit. He is tough. The junior has already declared for the 2020 NFL Draft. There is currently a third round grade on Hill.

    Stock Down
    Reggie Corbin, Illinois

    Corbin started the season averaging 104.7 rushing yards per game through the first three. His average dropped drastically to 40.1 rushing yards per game over the final nine. He is fast straight line but goes down on initial contact. His pass protection leaves a lot to be desired as well.

    Trey Sermon, Oklahoma

    Entering the season, Sermon was one of the more anticipated running back prospects. He was a dual-threat athlete capable of making a difference in the run and pass games. The Georgia native showed speed and agility. He suffered a season-ending injury that would require surgery late in the season but he was mysteriously receiving fewer and fewer carries as the season progressed. It made little sense unless he was bothered by an injury. There was never any public acknowledgement. He has not officially declared for the 2020 NFL Draft.

    Anthony McFarland Jr., Maryland

    McFarland was a bit like Vanderbilt's Ke'Shawn Vaughn this season in the sense that he was inconsistent. There are games when he cannot be stopped (i.e.: Ohio State 2018 and Michigan State 2019) and games where he is only able to manage a few yards per carry. He should test well at the NFL combine and that will help his stock. The Maryland native has been moderately effective catching passes as well. The junior has already declared for the 2020 NFL Draft.

    Notable Senior Bowl participants
    Darius Anderson, TCU

    Anderson began his senior season on a tear, recording 100 rushing yards in three of his first four games. His production quickly plummeted thereafter though. He averaged 42.5 rushing yards in the final eight games. Anderson is a physical back capable of breaking tackles. He is not a liability catching passes but he was not overly explosive in that arena either. The Texas native is patient and displays good vision.

    Eno Benjamin, Arizona State

    Benjamin is an explosive player that makes an impact on the ground and through the air. He displays good balance and body control. The Texas native is not great in pass protection but that has not been his biggest issue. NFL teams will have a larger problem with the number of fumbles (6) that he had this season. He accumulated a lot of wear on his legs by being a high volume carrying as well.

    Ke'Shawn Vaughn, Vanderbilt

    Vaughn is originally from Nashville but he transferred in from Illinois. He is the best example of a boom or bust prospect in this draft class. There are moments when he shows good lateral quickness and burst. Other times, he has been less consistent. The Tennessee native is physical and does an average job catching passes out of the backfield. The Commodores had a long season and that likely impacted his play.

    Likely to be forgotten until the combine
    Cam Akers, Florida State

    Akers has been one of my favorite running backs to study in this class. He is explosive and patient. He is solid in pass protection and capable of catching passes downfield. Despite his compact build, he can improve his lower body strength. His production was hindered a bit by Florida State's offensive line play. The Mississippi native should test well at the NFL combine. Fumbles have been an issue with him.

    DeeJay Dallas, Miami

    Dallas is a bit smaller in stature compared to his peers but he is very explosive. Fans were able to see that in their matchup against Florida. He averaged six yards per carry this season but was not a huge contributor through the air. The NFL combine is right up his alley after competing in sprints and the long jump in high school.

Related Topics


  • Nick
    Dane Brugler’s Top-60 Draft Board: Seven quarterbacks crack updated list
    by Nick
    Dane Brugler’s Top-60 Draft Board: Seven quarterbacks crack updated list
    Dane Brugler
    1h ago 15

    Four quarterbacks made my preseason draft board. Over a month into the season, the same four quarterbacks remain, but now they are joined by three more passers – one expected, two not as expected.

    Washington’s Jacob Eason is expected. A 6-5, 230-pound passer with elite arm talent, it hasn’t been surprising to see him performing well. The impressive skill set was obvious when he took the field as a true freshman at Georgia, but after missing the last two seasons, the sample size wasn’t there. Now that he has put five games on film for the Huskies, it is impossible to keep him off this list.

    The two other quarterback additions to the draft board are much more unexpected: LSU’s Joe Burrow and Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts. In fact, I extended this list from my top-50 to my top-60 to include both of them.

    It’s important to note that Burrow didn’t come out of nowhere. He was highly recruited out of high school and narrowly lost the quarterback battle with Dwayne Haskins at Ohio State. Last year in his first season at LSU, Burrow was solid and received mid-round draft grades from myself and others around the league. But so far in 2019, he looks like a much more confident and seasoned passer, flashing NFL starting traits.

    Facing Houston, South Dakota, UCLA and Texas Tech this season, Hurts has yet to be truly tested by a defense with a pulse, which clouds the evaluation. But that doesn’t mean you ignore what Hurts has put on tape, showing tremendous development as a passer, especially within the pocket. He benefits from an elite supporting cast with terrific protection, dynamic skill players and an offensive system that caters to his strengths. However, the execution and production are the responsibility of the quarterback and Hurts has been stellar. Five weeks into the college football season, I’m glad I don’t have to put a final grade on him yet, but NFL scouts are starting to believe in Hurts’ next level potential.

    It is still early in the process and this list will continue to fluctuate as we gain more information and learn about these prospects. But if the 2020 NFL Draft was tomorrow…

    *Indicates draft-eligible underclassman

    1. *Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State (6-5, 266, 4.76)

    Once the 2019 NFL Draft ended, Young was the clear No. 1 draft-eligible prospect for the 2020 draft class. Over a month into the 2019 season, he has only improved and widened that gap between him and the next-best nonquarterback in April’s draft.

    2. *Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama (6-0, 232, 4.78)

    No, I don’t think Tagovailoa will be the consensus top quarterback for next year’s class. He won’t be for everyone due to his size and average arm...
    -09-30-2019, 08:04 AM
  • Nick
    East-West Shrine Game: 2020 NFL Draft prospects to watch
    by Nick
    East-West Shrine Game: 2020 NFL Draft prospects to watch include sleeper at running back
    These are the draft prospects you need to watch in the Shrine Game on Saturday
    Chris Trapasso
    20 hrs ago • 4 min read

    The East-West Shrine Game is the first big all-star game of the pre-draft process, and while not featuring as many high-profile prospects as the Senior Bowl, it's undoubtedly a worthwhile event in which a handful of participants will eventually make plays in the NFL. Some will become stars.

    Recent alumni include Jimmy Garoppolo, Za'Darius Smith, Justin Simmons, Terron Armstead and Shaq Barrett.

    Here are the five prospects from each team to keep a close eye on during this year's game.

    East Team

    Michael Onwenu, G, Michigan
    Onwenu is a large, heavy guard who carries his 350-plus pounds well. His frame is very unusual in that he has shorter arms and isn't imposingly tall. Because of his size, he's rarely pushed back into the quarterback and plays with high-level awareness of stunts and blitzes with just enough lateral movement to get to a secondary block when needed. Most offensive line prospects aren't "NFL strong" as rookies. It looks like Onwenu is.

    Kendall Coleman, EDGE, Syracuse
    Coleman is a technician with his hands, rarely letting offensive tackles to get into his frame, and when they do, his arsenal of pass-rushing moves allows him to counter. While not overly twitchy, Coleman is decently smooth once his momentum starts moving forward, an attribute which gives way to an effective inside move. Coleman needs to get stronger, because at times he can get manhandled. But the senior was productive thanks to his fundamentally sound hand usage during his time with the Orange.

    Parnell Motley, CB, Oklahoma
    On mostly average-at-best Oklahoma defenses, Motley stood out as a play-making cornerback. His pass breakup figures improved from nine to 11 to 13 in his final three seasons with the Sooners, and he hauled in six interceptions in that span. Listed at 6-feet and 180 pounds, Motley isn't super strong and his hips can be a little tight, but his feet are lightning quick, and he obviously plays with high-end awareness at the catch point.

    Alex Highsmith, EDGE, Charlotte
    Highsmith went into the season with a fair amount of draft hype after 18.5 tackles for loss in 2018. Then, the 6-foot-3, 240-ish pound edge rusher amassed 21.5 tackles for loss and 15 sacks in 2019. He held his own against Clemson early in the year and flashed a nice blend of quickness, power, and hand use around the corner as a senior. There will definitely be Day 3 appeal with Highsmith in April.

    Garrett Marino, DT, UAB
    A strong penetrator on the inside, the 6-foot-2, 290-pound Marino tallied 6.5 sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss for UAB in 2019. And he reached those figures in many ways....
    2 days ago
  • Nick
    2019 Senior Bowl: Offensive prospects who'll have great value later in 2019 NFL Draft
    by Nick
    2019 Senior Bowl: Offensive prospects who'll have great value later in 2019 NFL Draft
    These offensive prospects likely won't go early in the draft but will have great value when they're picked
    By Chris Trapasso
    Jan 17, 2019 • 3 min read

    The 2019 NFL Draft will feature a defensive-heavy class of prospects, and many of the top offensive players are underclassmen.

    That means this year's Senior Bowl isn't oozing with first-round picks on the offensive side of the ball. So what? How about zeroing in on some prospects who'll ultimately come with outstanding value later in the draft? Those are always fun to identify.

    Keelan Doss, WR, UC Davis
    After emerging as a budding star in 2016 with 10 receiving scores, Doss put back-to-back 110-plus catch seasons on his collegiate resume, and he topped 1,300 yards in each of the last two years.

    At 6-foot-3 and around 210 pounds, he has an athletic frame that allows him to explode off the line, quickly gain then sustain speed downfield, contort his body to make receptions on inaccurate passes, and morph into a tall running back after the ball is in his hands.

    It'll be interesting to monitor how much difficulty Doss' combination of length and athleticism gives the Senior Bowl cornerbacks next week.

    Ryquell Armstead, RB, Temple
    Armstead plays with a lot of controlled power. What I mean by that is he doesn't simply look for contact and lower his head every time he carries the football. When defenders get to him, they bounce off because he runs so hard. Armstead is a north-south back with light feet capable of delivering a quick spin move or efficient jump cut at the second level to make linebackers miss.

    He's quicker than fast but sneaks through crevasses in the line between the tackles. Armstead won't hit many 50-yard home runs, but he's a blue-collar runner with deceptive athleticism who can be a quality No. 2 ball-carrier in the NFL because of his vision, wherewithal, and twitchiness.

    Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State
    Dillard needs to get stronger. There's no doubt about that. But he probably got more pass-protection reps than any other left tackle in the country over the past three seasons playing at Washington State, and his amazing athletic gifts allow him to stay under control and extraordinarily balanced essentially every time he's asked to block on a pass play.

    He'll likely be tested the most against bull rushes, but if Dillard shows improved anchoring skills in Mobile, the Washington State star will prove his worth as a high-quality value pick in the 2019 class.

    Myles Gaskin, RB, Washington
    All Gaskin did in his four-year career with the Huskies was piece together four-straight 1,200-plus yard seasons with 57 rushing scores at a hefty 5.6 yards per pop.

    He may not hit the 200-pound threshold,...
    -01-22-2019, 03:22 PM
  • Nick
    2019 NFL draft: Small-school sleeper prospects to watch
    by Nick
    2019 NFL draft: Small-school sleeper prospects to watch
    By: Luke Easterling
    June 3, 2018 1:57 pm ET

    Every year, the NFL draft is loaded with big names from college football’s most historic programs, but many of the biggest contributors of any rookie class can come from more unexpected places.

    Here are a handful of talented prospects who don’t hail from traditional powerhouses, but will still warrant plenty of attention throughout this season and heading into the 2019 NFL draft.

    Disclaimer: When we say “small school,” we’re not talking about enrollment here. This just refers to college football programs that aren’t typically considered to be pro prospect factories.

    Keelan Doss | WR | UC-Davis
    My early favorite among this group, Doss has been a dominant pass-catcher against his level of competition, looking like a ready-made No. 1 receiver. Regardless of who he’s lined up against, Doss’ combination of size, physicality and athleticism give him the kind of complete skill set NFL teams are willing to pay a high price for on draft weekend.

    The 6-3, 206-pounder broke out as a junior after a solid sophomore campaign that included double-digit touchdown catches, racking up 1,499 yards on 115 receptions. Overlooked as a high-school recruit, Doss have overcome multiple injuries to become a a legit NFL prospect who won’t be under the radar much longer. If he can stay healthy, he could come off the board early next April.

    Jaylon Ferguson | EDGE | Louisiana Tech
    If injuries hadn’t slowed him down, Ferguson could have considered making the way-early jump to the pros after just two seasons. Instead, he’s headed back to school for a prove-it year, where he’ll get the chance to refine his impressive physical tools and prove to scouts he can be a difference-maker on the edge.

    As a redshirt sophomore, Ferguson set a new school record with 14.5 sacks, and racked up 31 tackles for loss over his first two seasons on the field. Back at full strength for 2018, the 6-5, 269-pounder should be primed for another big season, which could plant him firmly in the conversation among the top edge defenders in the 2019 draft class.

    Tyree Jackson | QB | Buffalo
    If you enjoyed Josh Allen, you should love Jackson just as much. Another big, athletic but raw passer with a cannon for an arm, Jackson has flashed incredible potential in limited work so far. Having one of the best receiver prospects in the country (Anthony Johnson) should continue to help his on-field success and his draft stock.

    Listed at 6-7, 245 pounds, Jackson is an impressive athlete for his size, and has the arm talent to challenge opposing defenses at every level of the field. He’s still got plenty of rough edges to smooth out in his game, but if he shows a continued upward arc in his development this season, he could be a hot name in a quarterback class begging for a true...
    -06-11-2018, 12:56 PM
  • Nick
    The Official 2018 NFL Combine Thread
    by Nick
    2018 NFL Combine: Prospects with the most on the line in Indianapolis
    The draft stocks of these prospects will change the most based on their performances at the combine
    by Chris Trapasso Feb 21, 2018 • 7 min read

    Yes, film trumps all ... but the NFL Combine matters. It's the only time when prospects can be easily compared -- both to other prospects in their class and those who came before them -- on a level playing field.

    If an NFL evaluator has two nearly identical grades on a receiver but wideout A runs a 4.46 and wideout B runs a 4.52 ... well, you probably can guess which player tends to move up the board.

    And as always, there are a plethora of prospects who will make or break their draft stock at this year's combine.

    These 10 prospects have the most riding on the athletic exhibition in Indianapolis.

    Joshua Jackson, CB, Iowa
    Jackson's 2017 film is ridiculous. I mean, the guy had 18 pass breakups and eight interceptions, so he must have been doing more than a few things right. He played zone coverage amazingly well, flashed man-to-man ability, and has good size. Jackson looks like a No. 1 perimeter corner. But he'll likely have to run fast to be one of the first defensive backs selected.

    Last year, Marshon Lattimore was the first cornerback taken. He ran 4.36. The year before that ... Jalen Ramsey, 4.41. In 2015, Trae Waynes was the first corner picked. His 40 time was a blistering 4.31. Even the second cornerback picked in the last two drafts -- Marlon Humphrey, 4.41 and Eli Apple, 4.40 -- were all sub-4.45 guys.

    If Jackson can run under 4.45, he'll scoot up boards and -- depending on how his combine compares to Minkah Fitzpatrick -- be in contention to be the first cornerback picked in the 2018 draft.

    James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State
    Washington was an electric downfield weapon his entire collegiate career. He's the only FCS wideout to accumulate 200 receptions and average at least 19.0 yards per catch in his collegiate career among all receivers dating back to 2000.

    But he's not quite 5'11", so he'll want to validate his film speed with timed speed at the combine. If he does that -- anything under 4.50 would be fine -- he'll essentially lock in being a first-round pick.

    If Washington runs slower than 4.50, he could fall into the top 10 picks of the second round.

    Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
    Ridley was listed at 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds this past season at Alabama, and he looks slender on film. Despite being held back by the Crimson Tide quarterback situation during his career in Tuscaloosa, Ridley has been billed as a downfield threat. And he certainly created some explosive plays in college.

    So the weigh-in will be important for Ridley, as will the 40-yard dash (including the 10-yard split) and the jumps. He needs...
    -02-28-2018, 06:05 AM