Jordan Howard, Indiana (6’0 | 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 145 yards in every game he finished. Howard runs with power, good pad level, fights for extra yards, and has surprising burst through the hole and a bit extra in the open field when needed.
He might not be able to run away from NFL defensive backs, but Howard had no problem running over them in college. Howard was shifty enough to avoid direct hits when needed, but didn’t shy away for head on contact either and showed a knack for punishing defensive backs. He has good patience, the vision to read blocks and pick the right hole, then the burst to get through them and pick up positive yards.
He’s not going to break many long runs at the next level but he’s the closest thing to C.J. Anderson in this draft, a player the Bears tried to sign this off-season. Howard could be an effective power complement to Jeremy Langford and a short-yardage weapon for the Bears next season.
He’s had multiple minor injuries through both high school and college, which may drop him to day three, and it’s rumored Howard struggled with the interview portion of the combine, but he’s a top-five talent at running back in this year’s draft.
Next: C.J. Prosise