Running Back Rankings
1. Saquon Barkley, Penn State
2. Derrius Guice, LSU
3. Ronald Jones III, USC
4. Sony Michel, Georgia
5. Nick Chubb, Georgia
6. Kerryon Johnson, Auburn
7. Royce Freeman, Oregon
8. Kalen Ballage, Arizona State
9. Rashaad Penny, San Diego State
10. Mark Walton, Miami
Other: Nyheim Hines (NC State), John Kelly (Tennessee), Bo Scarbrough (Alabama), Josh Adams (Notre Dame), Akrum Wadley (Iowa), Darrell Williams (LSU), Justin Jackson (Northwestern)
Overview: For the second year in a row, the running back class is loaded with early-round talent. The mid-round talent might not be quite as deep as last year’s, but Barkley, Guice, and Jones are special players who should make immediate impacts in the NFL.
Barkley is the highest rated player in the class and shouldn’t make it out of the top-ten, while Guice is also a very dynamic runner with big-ability. They can both be a focal point in an NFL offense.
Jones’ game resembles a young LeSean McCoy. He possesses breakaway speed and is shifty in space. He’s also a tremendous receiver in the passing game. He’d be tempting for the Packers in the second round if he falls that far.
Michel and Chubb grade out very closely, despite their games being so different. Michel is an explosive athlete with home run ability, while Chubb is a very effective every-down back with excellent backfield patience and vision.
Johnson, Freeman, and Ballage are also solid Day 2 options at the position, while Penny, Walton, Hines, and Kelly could be great finds in the middle rounds.
Given how frequent running backs get hurt in the NFL, it wouldn’t be a bad idea for the Packers to consider one in the middle rounds despite the promise Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones showed last year.