2016 NFL Draft Rankings: Running Back

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /
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Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports /

2.) Derrick Henry, Alabama (6’2 | 242 | 4.54) 

Henry is a beast and could be a between-the-tackles workhorse at the next level.  He has surprising speed and agility for his size, gets through the hole quickly, and will be tough to bring down in the open field for even NFL defensive backs. The struggles of Alabama RBs in the league may concern some teams, but I’d be surprised if Henry makes it past the middle of the 2nd round.

3.) Kenneth Dixon, Louisiana Tech (5’10 | 215 | 4.54)

Powerful runner with great balance, a quick jump cut, and a surprising second gear in the open field. Dixon was the only FBS back with 5 plays of 80 yards or more last season. He has some fumbling issues that could hurt his draft stock, but there is a lot to like and Dixon shouldn’t make it past day 2 of the draft.

Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports
Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports /

4.) Jordan Howard, Indiana (6’1 | 230 | 4.57)

Only played one year in the Big Ten, but was one the most productive backs in the conference averaging 6.2 yards per carry and over 130 yards per game. Howard runs with power, a good pad level, fights for extra yards, and has a second gear in the open field. He might not be able to run away from NFL defensive backs, but Howard had no problem running over them in college. Howard came out of nowhere in 2015 so is lower on some prospect lists, but he looks like a legit NFL back who should get consideration on day 2.

5.) Alex Collins, Arkansas (5’11 | 218 | 4.52)

Physical runner with good vision and acceleration through the hole. Collins finishes strong and rarely loses yards. He’s not that explosive or shifty in space, but Collins has quick feet and makes sharp cuts without losing direction. He had some fumbling issues throughout his career, but Collins could be a solid between the tackles chain-mover and should be selected before the end of day 2.

6.) Devontae Booker, Utah (5’11 | 212 | 4.56)

Savvy, violent runner who gets low to the ground and plows through traffic for positive yards. Booker is also a good receiver out of the backfield with 80 catches over the last two seasons. His running style has led to some injury concerns, but Booker could be an effective NFL back. At 24 next season Booker will be an old rookie, but also is polished enough that he should be able to contribute right away.

7.) C.J. Prosise, Notre Dame (6’1 | 220 | 4.50)

In his first year at any level as a running back Prosise averaged 6.6 yards per carry, scored 11 TDs, and rushed for 1,032 yards despite missing the last few games of the season. He has ideal size for the position,  showed surprisingly good patience and vision as a first year back, was able to change direction in traffic without losing speed, fight through contact to gain extra yards, and flash an extra gear in the open field to out-run defensive backs. As a former wide receiver, Prosise has good hands out of the backfield and can line up in the slot which both boost his draft stock.