How To Draft an NFL Running Back: Part Four

Now we've looked at all of the factors and we come to the following rules:

A player must have at least one 1000+ yard season while in college.

A player should accomplish the 1000+ yard season at a 5.0+ yards/carry pace.

A player should run a sub 4.55s 40 Yard Dash if they're an above average player.

A player should run a sub 4.5s 40 Yard Dash if they're an elite player.

A player should jump at least a 9-8 Broad Jump to succeed.

If a prospect meets these requirements, they have a very high chance of success. Here's an explanation of each measurement:

The 1000+ yard season means that the player is able to reach 1000+ yards and could be able to reach that benchmark in the NFL. If the player cannot reach the mark in college, they most likely will not in the NFL.

The 5.0+ yards/carry means that the player was reaching the 1000+ yards on their abilities and not because the coach called 300 running plays for under 3.5 yards a play. It shows that the player can make plays.

The sub 4.5s 40 Yard Dash means that the player can break free in the open field, as well as turn the corner. A player can succeed without the speed, but they won't be an elite player.

The 9-8+ Broad Jump means that the player has the explosion and burst to hit the hole and get to the second level, where they can use their 40 Yard Dash speed.

Let's look at some prospects after the jump!

I based my numbers of the CBS Draft website which, unfortunately has some incorrect numbers for this year's prospects. They're not completely up to date with Pro Day numbers and Mark Ingram's broad jump was nearly half a foot short of what he actually performed. Please let me know if the numbers are incorrect, or if you know a prospect who meets these qualifications!

Players who meet the physical requirements of an NFL running back (not fully complete due to on-going Pro Days):

DeMarco Murray, Oklahoma, 4.37s, 10-10.

Jordan Todman, Connecticut, 4.40s, 10-6.

Derrick Locke, Kentucky, 4.37s, 9-10.

Roy Helu Jr., Nebraska, 4.40s, 9-11.

Ryan Williams, Virginia Tech, 4.45s, 10-3.

Kendall Hunter, Oklahoma State, 4.46s, 10-2.

Da'Rel Scott, Maryland, 4.40s, 9-9.

Jamie Harper, Clemson, 4.53s, 10-0.

Johnny White, North Carolina, 4.50s, 9-9.

Delone Carter, Syracuse, 4.54s, 10-0.

Mark Ingram, Alabama, 4.53s, 9-10.

This is a pretty solid list of top prospects, mid-round hopefuls and late-round dreamers. Let's take a look at which players meet the production requirements: The players are put into production tiers:

Ryan Grant: Early performance, followed by lack of production.

Chris Johnson: No production, followed by a season of tremendous production.

Adrian Peterson: Consistent production throughout college.

DeMarco Murray, Oklahoma, 4.37s, 10-10. Ryan Grant/Adrian Peterson Production (mid-career injury, successful post-injury season).

Jordan Todman, Connecticut, 4.40s, 10-6. Adrian Peterson Production.

Roy Helu Jr., Nebraska, 4.40s, 9-11. Adrian Peterson Production.

Ryan Williams, Virginia Tech, 4.45s, 10-3. Ryan Grant Production.

Kendall Hunter, Oklahoma State, 4.46s, 10-2. Ryan Grant/Adrian Peterson Production (mid-career injury, successful post-injury season).

Da'Rel Scott, Maryland, 4.40s, 9-9. Ryan Grant Production.

Delone Carter, Syracuse, 4.54s, 10-0. Adrian Peterson Production.

Mark Ingram, Alabama, 4.53s, 9-10. Ryan Grant Production.

Derrick Locke, Kentucky, 4.37s, 9-10. Barely meets the production requirement as a Danny Woodhead-esque type player in the NFL. Not a feature back. Consistent all through college.

Johnny White, North Carolina, 4.50s, 9-9. Barely meets the production requirement as a Danny Woodhead-esque type player in the NFL. Not a feature back. One solid final season.

Not surprisingly, most of the players who met the physical test matched it with on-field success. I will eliminate both Locke and White from the Patriots' conversation because they're both not every down backs. That leaves the following players as potential draft prospects:

First Round

Mark Ingram, Alabama, 4.53s, 9-10. Ryan Grant Production.

Second Round

Ryan Williams, Virginia Tech, 4.45s, 10-3. Ryan Grant Production.

Jordan Todman, Connecticut, 4.40s, 10-6. Adrian Peterson Production.

Kendall Hunter, Oklahoma State, 4.46s, 10-2. Ryan Grant/Adrian Peterson Production (mid-career injury, successful post-injury season).

DeMarco Murray, Oklahoma, 4.37s, 10-10. Ryan Grant/Adrian Peterson Production (mid-career injury, successful post-injury season).

Mid Rounds

Roy Helu Jr., Nebraska, 4.40s, 9-11. Adrian Peterson Production.

Delone Carter, Syracuse, 4.54s, 10-0. Adrian Peterson Production.

Late Rounds

Da'Rel Scott, Maryland, 4.40s, 9-9. Ryan Grant Production.

Do any of these players interest you?

We'll look at my forecasts of these players' NFL success tomorrow!

For now, which of these players would you be interested in drafting?

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