2014 NFL Draft: Scouting the top five running backs

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports
1. Ka'Deem Carey, RB, Arizona

Size: 5'9", 207 lbs

Analysts are forgetting his production on the field after a bad combine and pro day. How a prospect can drop from number one to number five after a bad 40-yard dash amazes me. Last time I checked, players play on a field, not a track. Look at the film and Carey's play speaks for itself. He has excellent vision and runs hard. Carey doesn't dance in the backfield, he makes one cut and then is running downfield. He plays faster than his 40-yard dash indicates.

2. Jeremy Hill, RB, LSU

Size: 6'1", 233 lbs

Jeremy Hill runs harder than any runningback in the draft. He is not afraid to lower his shoulder and run defenders over. He has great size which should help keep him durable at the next level. Hill has great hands coming out of the backfield. Hill has exceptional ball security and rarely fumbles. He is basically a tie with Ka'Deem Carey for the number one spot.

3. Bishop Sankey, RB, Washington

Size: 5'10", 209 lbs

In terms of production and stats, Bishop Sankey would have been number two on this list with consecutive 1,400 + yard seasons. He has never missed a game and has proven very durable. Sankey is also an impressive blocker. He hits the holes quickly. Sankey has very reliable hands and can pose a threat in the passing game.

4. Tre Mason, RB, Auburn

Size: 5'9", 207 lbs

Tre Mason is another one of those tough runners that hits the hole quickly. He has good vision and lets hit blockers set up. Mason had tremendous success at Auburn playing against tough competition. But part of that success has to be credited to Gus Malzahn's offense which tends to inflate stats. Mason is right up there with Jeremy Hill and Ka'Deem Carey and Bishop Sankey.

5. Carlos Hyde, RB, Ohio State

Size: 6'0", 230 lbs

Hyde has great size, but needs to display better elusiveness. He plays smaller than he is and could run harder. He had a lot of success in 2013 rushing for over 1,500 yards. He is a very good blocker and has soft hands making him a three-dimensional back.

A lot of analysts agree that Carlos Hyde is the best runningback in the draft. But I don't see it and here is why. Powerback's are not as effective as they used to be in the NFL. While Hyde has great size, is not quick and runs into players instead of around them. Hyde is 6'0" and 230 lbs, but linebackers are often 6'4" and 270 lbs. If Hyde had better was better at cutting or juking, he would be higher. Jeremy Hill for example is a big back, but he is fast and has moves. He does not purely rely on his size. Hyde does and while it worked in college against smaller players, it won't in the NFL.

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