NFL Draft – Running Back Rankings

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20.) De’Anthony Thomas, Oregon (5’9, 174): Change-of-pace speed back and a dangerous return man. Thomas was very disappointing at the combine (4.50 40-time, 8 bench reps), but kept his draft hopes alive with a solid pro day (4.34). Draft Projection: 5th-6th round

21.) Damien Williams, Oklahoma (5’11, 222): Had the best “Speed Score” at the combine and that should be enough to get Williams drafted since their has been some positive correlation between the Football Outsiders stat and NFL success. Williams doesn’t have the vision to be a between the tackles runner, but he is dangerous outside and has flashy moves in space. He’s also a good receiver out of the backfield and could be an explosive 3rd down back. Williams was kicked off the team at Oklahoma last year, so teams will have to do some digging into Williams off-field activities and commitment to football. Draft Projection: 7th round – UFA

22.) Lorenzo Taliaferro, Coastal Carolina (6’0, 229): One of the best pass blocking RBs in the draft, so he’s probably on Phil Emery’s radar. Taliaferro has good size and the vision, toughness, and short-area quickness to be a good short yardage back. He’s not flashy but he’s a well-rounded back that can contribute in a lot of different areas. Draft Projection: 7th round – UFA

23.) Antonio Andrews, Western Kentucky (5’10, 225): Andrews has led the NCAA in all-purpose yards two seasons in a row so there is no question about productivity. He’s had some issues holding on to the ball and his 4.81 40-time is the reason Andrews is this far down the list. On film he is a hammer and will make a good short-yardage back if he can fix his fumbling issues. Draft Projection: 7th round – UFA

24.) Tim Flanders, Sam Houston St  (5’9, 212): His build and running style remind me of ex-Bear Thomas Jones. Flanders has great vision and is a tough inside runner and reliable receiver out of the backfield. For his career Flanders put up 5,406 rushing yards and scored 63 touchdowns. Draft Projection: UFA

25.) David Fluellen, Toledo (5’11, 226): Stocky back with good vision and good power between the tackles. The Bears could be looking for a short yardage replacement if they release Michael Bush and Fluellen could fill that role. He’s an excellent receiver out of the backfield and a reliable pass blocker as well. Fluellen helped his stock at the Senior Bowl rushing for 44 yards on 8 carries and breaking a few tackles. Draft Projection: UFA

* Jerick McKinnon (Georgia Southern) is listed in my cornerback rankings, since that is the position I think he will end up at in the pros.

Just missed: Kapri Bipps (CSU), Brandon Bigelow (CAL) , Henry Josey (MIZ)

Twitter: @MikeFlannery_