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Early NFL Draft RB Rankings (Analytics)

by Hayden Winks
Updated On: February 18, 2020, 1:07 am ET
Ke'Shawn Vaughn

Predicted Overall Draft Pick: 132nd

 

Ke’Shawn Vaughn (5’10/205) is a small, committee back who can win in space, particularly as a pass-catcher. He can beat some defenders to the edge with quality straight-line speed and burst after cuts. These traits led to an above-average 3.7 yards after contact average in 2018 and 2019 per PFF, but his size and strength prevent him from working in short-yardage situations, as evidenced by his weak 44% first down conversion rate on third down carries last season. His quickness and natural hands made him a semi-productive pass-catcher (28 receptions) as a redshirt senior, but Vaughn needs a quality NFL Combine to somewhat make up for being an older prospect (age-23 rookie) who had to transfer from Illinois after his sophomore season. Vaughn profiles like a committee back similar to DeAndre Washington.

 

Situational Stats:

1st Down % on 1st Down: 19% (7th)

1st Down % on 3rd Down: 44% (21st)

 

Antonio Gibson

Predicted Overall Draft Pick: 250th

 

Antonio Gibson (6’2/221) was extremely underutilized at Memphis because of his other NFL-caliber offensive teammates, but he was arguably the most efficient player in the entire country. PFF credits him with 16 broken tackles on 33 carries and 17 broken tackles on 38 receptions, not to mention his elite 28.0-yard average on his 23 kickoff returns. Because of his lack of total production (77 career offensive touches), it’s impossible to have a firm grasp of his projection to the NFL. He did run with a lot of power and was elusive with the ball in his hands, but he is raw. His vision and top-end speed are potential concerns as a running back, and he didn’t look like a natural receiver when he lined up in the slot. To be a legit prospect, he’ll need to show well at the Combine, but there is some Day 3 sleeper appeal as a versatile weapon with special teams experience. As you can see by the bar chart, my model was broken by his crazy profile. 

 

Situational Stats:

1st Down % on 1st Down: 32% on just 22 carries (NA)

1st Down % on 3rd Down: 100% on just one carry (NA)

 

Lamical Perine

Predicted Overall Draft Pick: 144th

 

Lamical Perine (5’11"/211) is a powerful, physical inside runner with some experience as a pass-catcher, but his athletic limitations likely limit his overall upside in the NFL. Perine dropped weight last season, which allowed him to set career highs in receiving categories (40-262-5) and total touchdowns (11), but the weight loss did not appear to make him much faster or shiftier. His 0.17 broken tackles per carry rate was below-average for an FBS running back, particularly for an older player. His versatile role does give him some value, but I’ll be curious to see how he tests at the Combine.

 

Situational Stats:

1st Down % on 1st Down: 16% (13th)

1st Down % on 3rd Down: 25% (28th)

 

AJ Dillon

Predicted Overall Draft Pick: 160th

 

AJ Dillon (6’0/250) is a productive, but limited, power back with potentially rare weight-adjusted athleticism. Per Bruce Feldman’s “Freak’s List” column, he could have a 40-inch vertical with near 4.4 speed thanks to his sub-6% body fat despite weighing around 250 pounds. On tape, this athleticism was hit and miss. He would wear down opponents with his size and elite strength -- he led college football with 23 rushing first downs in the fourth quarter -- but rarely broke off big runs and was limited to just 21 receptions in three seasons. He profiles as a short-yardage bruiser with more straight-line athleticism than other power backs, although it’s strange that he only had a 45% first down rate on third down carries (20th out of 29 NFL Combine invitees). 

 

Situational Stats:

1st Down % on 1st Down: 12% (21st)

1st Down % on 3rd Down: 45% (20th)

 

 

Scottie Phillips

Predicted Overall Draft Pick: 144th but this seems too high

 

Scottie Phillips’ (5’8/207) profile will be posted after the NFL Combine if he generates more buzz.

 

Situational Stats:

1st Down % on 1st Down: 11% (24th)

1st Down % on 3rd Down: 30% (27th)

 

Anthony McFarland

Predicted Overall Draft Pick: 177th

 

Anthony McFarland’s (5’9/198) profile will be posted after the NFL Combine if he generates more buzz.

 

Situational Stats:

1st Down % on 1st Down: 19% (5th)

1st Down % on 3rd Down: 30% (26th)

 

Joshua Kelley

Predicted Overall Draft Pick: 150th

 

Joshua Kelley’s (5’11/214) profile will be posted after the NFL Combine if he generates more buzz.

 

Situational Stats:

1st Down % on 1st Down: 11% (25th)

1st Down % on 3rd Down: 54% (15th)

 

Darrynton Evans

Predicted Overall Draft Pick: 207th

 

Darrynton Evans’ (5’10/191) profile will be posted after the NFL Combine if he generates more buzz.

 

Situational Stats:

1st Down % on 1st Down: 15% (16th)

1st Down % on 3rd Down: 42% (23rd)

 

JJ Taylor

Predicted Overall Draft Pick: 197th

 

J.J. Taylor’s (5’6/184) profile will be posted after the NFL Combine if he generates more buzz.

 

Situational Stats:

1st Down % on 1st Down: 19% (4th)

1st Down % on 3rd Down: 47% (19th)

 

Michael Warren

Predicted Overall Draft Pick: 223rd

 

Michael Warren’s’ (5’10/218) profile will be posted after the NFL Combine if he generates more buzz.

 

Situational Stats:

1st Down % on 1st Down: 12% (19th)

1st Down % on 3rd Down: 62% (7th)

 

Benny LeMay

Predicted Overall Draft Pick: 232nd

 

Benny LeMay’s (5’8/222) profile will be posted after the NFL Combine if he generates more buzz.

 

Situational Stats:

1st Down % on 1st Down: 12% (17th)

1st Down % on 3rd Down: 53% (16th)

 

DeeJay Dallas

Predicted Overall Draft Pick: UDFA

 

DeeJay Dallas’ (5’10/220) profile will be posted after the NFL Combine if he generates more buzz.

 

Situational Stats:

1st Down % on 1st Down: 16% (12th)

1st Down % on 3rd Down: 20% (29th, last)

 

Rico Dowdle

Predicted Overall Draft Pick: UDFA

 

Rico Dowdle’s (5’11/214) profile will be posted after the NFL Combine if he generates more buzz.

 

Situational Stats:

1st Down % on 1st Down: 20% (3rd)

1st Down % on 3rd Down: 36% (25th)

 

LeVante Bellamy

Predicted Overall Draft Pick: 219th

 

LeVante Bellamy (5’8/191) is an undersized speedster who profiles as a late-round committee back and special teamer in the NFL. Bruce Feldman notes in his “Freak’s List” column that the redshirt senior has recorded a laser-timed 4.28 forty with a 41.5-inch vertical jump, making him a contender for fastest back in the class. That elite speed and explosiveness was evident on tape once he found open space. His major concern is his size and play strength, which will likely be magnified against much better, more physical defenders. Even against non-Power 5 competition, he was breaking tackles at an FBS average rate. He also will be well into his age-23 season when his rookie year kicks off. If not for his speed and his 23 rushing touchdowns (tied for the most in 2019), Bellamy would be completely off the Day 3 radar.

 

Situational Stats:

1st Down % on 1st Down: 12% (20th)

1st Down % on 3rd Down: 58% (12th)

 

Salvon Ahmed

Predicted Overall Draft Pick: UDFA

 

Salvon Ahmed’s (5’11/193) profile will be posted after the NFL Combine if he generates more buzz.

 

Situational Stats:

1st Down % on 1st Down: 10% (27th)

1st Down % on 3rd Down: 58% (12th)

 

Javon Leake

Predicted Overall Draft Pick: UDFA

 

Javon Leake’s (6’0/206) profile will be posted after the NFL Combine if he generates more buzz.

 

Situational Stats:

1st Down % on 1st Down: 10% (26th)

1st Down % on 3rd Down: 70% (2nd)

 

Raymond Calais

Predicted Overall Draft Pick: UDFA

 

Raymond Calais’ (5’8/182) profile will be posted after the NFL Combine if he generates more buzz.

 

Situational Stats:

1st Down % on 1st Down: 18% (8th)

1st Down % on 3rd Down: 64% (6th)

 

Darius Anderson

Predicted Overall Draft Pick: UDFA

 

Darius Anderson’s (5’10/195) profile will be posted after the NFL Combine if he generates more buzz.

 

Situational Stats:

1st Down % on 1st Down: 12% (18th)

1st Down % on 3rd Down: 88% (1st but small sample)

 

Patrick Taylor

Predicted Overall Draft Pick: UDFA

 

Patrick Taylor’s (6’2/223) profile will be posted after the NFL Combine if he generates more buzz.

 

Situational Stats:

1st Down % on 1st Down: 16% (14th)

1st Down % on 3rd Down: 60% (10th)

 

Brian Herrien

Predicted Overall Draft Pick: UDFA

 

Brian Herrien’s (5’11/201) profile will be posted after the NFL Combine if he generates more buzz.

 

Situational Stats:

1st Down % on 1st Down: 11% (23rd)

1st Down % on 3rd Down: 43% (22nd)

 

Tony Jones

Predicted Overall Draft Pick: UDFA

 

Tony Jones’ (5’11/222) profile will be posted after the NFL Combine if he generates more buzz.

 

Situational Stats:

1st Down % on 1st Down: 18% (9th)

1st Down % on 3rd Down: 57% (11th)

 

Sewo Olonilua

Predicted Overall Draft Pick: UDFA

 

Sewo Olonilua’s (6’3/232) profile will be posted after the NFL Combine if he generates more buzz.

 

Situational Stats:

1st Down % on 1st Down: 5% (29th, last)

1st Down % on 3rd Down: 67% (5th)

 

JaMycal Hasty

Predicted Overall Draft Pick: UDFA

 

JaMycal Hasty’s (5’8/203) profile will be posted after the NFL Combine if he generates more buzz.

 

Situational Stats:

1st Down % on 1st Down: 8% (28th)

1st Down % on 3rd Down: 67% (4th but small sample size)

 

James Robinson

Predicted Overall Draft Pick: UDFA

 

James Robinson’s (5’9/222) profile will be posted after the NFL Combine if he generates more buzz.

 

Situational Stats:

1st Down % on 1st Down: NA

1st Down % on 3rd Down: NA

 

 

What's Next?

1. Position-Adjusted SPARQ

2. Early QB Rankings (Analytics)

3. Early TE Rankings (Analytics)

4. Early RB Rankings (Analytics)

5. Early WR Rankings (Analytics)

6. 2020 Adjusted SPARQ Rankings

7. Analytics Top 300

8. Winks Top 300

9. Mock Draft

10. Analytics Draft Grades