1. Tre Mason, Auburn
Auburn had the top ranked running team in the NCAA this past season. Mason has put together a great season statistically. I don’t want to take away from what Mason has accomplished this season but a lot of credit could go towards Auburns offensive line. He is still a very complete back but I think he may drop due to the questions of whether or not he is a product of the triple option system he played in.
2. Lache Seastrunk, Baylor
Seastrunk has everything you look for in a great running back: good speed, he is not afraid of contact, incredible balance, and a great football sense. The Baylor running back can run between the tackles and bounce it outside. I feel the only knock on Seastrunk is his size. He could also improve at catching out of the backfield but it isn’t a huge concern.
3. Bishop Sankey, Washington
Sankey is a very smart running back that reads his blocks well. Great combination of speed and power. He may not have top notch speed but he doesn't need it as he mostly runs north to south. Improvements could be made in pass protection and in the passing game. If he improves in these categories he could be a three down back in the NFL
4. Ka’deem Carey, Arizona
Carey has a great combination of speed and power. One thing that stuck out when watching Carey is his speed when running between the tackles. He makes one cut and continues up field. Many people have Carey as their top rated runner, and I think he could very well be the top back taken. I just like a couple guys more. Arizona has produced a very complete running back that has contributed tremendously to their recent success.
5. Carlos Hyde, Ohio State
Hyde is a big, strong back that still has the speed to get away from defenders. I feel Hyde has above average vision. Patience and vision are vital for a back of his stature as he thrives at running between the tackles. Hyde is a very solid back and coule be the most complete runner on my list. He has the ability to be a three down work-horse back, which seems to be rare nowadays.
6. Jeremy Hill, LSU
This LSU product is a downhill runner. He is one of the strongest backs entering this year’s draft. A good thing about Hill is that he made his way up LSU’s deep roster and was given plenty of carries. LSU also plays against very good defenses so there is good game film against him running over talented players. He is also a fairly good receiver out of the backfield which should help his stock.
7. De'Anthony Thomas, Oregon
Thomas seemed to have high end speed with a small frame but did not impress at the combine. Despite this he possesses the rare ability to go the distance on any given play. Since the recent success of players like Darren Sproles, teams have almost been looking for an undersized speedy scat back. This Oregon product can do many things in space, but may have trouble running between the tackles. He does not have the build to be an every down back, but could potentially be a playmaker.