The 2014 wide receiver class was an outlier as Odell Beckham Jr., Kelvin Benjamin, Mike Evans, Jordan Matthews, Sammy Watkins, Jarvis Landry and Brandin Cooks were among the rookies who earned week-to-week viability on DraftKings. But the reality is that first-year wideouts typically struggle – only Amari Cooper was a consistent performer in 2015, Keenan Allen stood alone in 2013 and no rookie WR even cracked 900 yards or 65 catches in 2012.

Furthermore, rookie quarterbacks are rarely viable given the depth at the position, and tight ends are notoriously useless as rookies. The easiest transition into the NFL is at running back, where playbooks are relatively simpler and young legs are rewarded. Here are the top-10 running back prospects with some of their measureables.

Player NameHeight (Inches)Weight (PoundsForty (Seconds)Vertical (Inches)Broad (Inches)Bench (Reps)
Ezekiel Elliott6'0"2254.4732.5118N/A
Derrick Henry6'3"2474.543713022
Kenneth Dixon5'10"2154.5837.512118
Devontae Booker5'11"219N/AN/AN/A22
C.J. Prosise6'0"2204.4835.5121N/A
Paul Perkins5'10"2084.543212419
Jordan Howard6'0"230N/A3412216
Daniel Lasco6'0"2094.4641.513523
Alex Collins5'10"2174.5928.511318
Kenyan Drake6'1"2104.4534.512310

So with the draft finally upon us, I wanted to look at teams with holes at the running back positions. Perhaps they’re looking at one of the above players to garner a significant role in their 2016 backfield. The teams are ordered by most RB-needy to least.


Significant losses: None
Significant additions: Robert Turbin
In-house candidate: Frank Gore
Notes: It’s tough to blame Gore for last year’s 3.72 YPC given how horrific the Colts’ offensive line and quarterback play was. But as he enters his age-33 season, it’s also tough to be confident in Gore as a plus running back in the league. The Colts are likely OK with him as a starter given that he remains strong in pass protection, and with Andrew Luck healthy, they’ll be throwing a ton. All that said, running back should be a priority as the depth behind Gore is downright bad.

Where Do These RBs Fit in the Top 10 Skill Position Prospects? Find Out HERE


Significant losses: Lamar Miller
Significant additions: None
In-house candidate: Jay Ajayi
Notes: The Dolphins criminally underused Lamar Miller again in 2015, giving him just 12.1 carries per game even though he averaged 4.49 yards per carry. Perhaps talent maximizing Adam Gase will change the commitment to the running game in his first year with the Dolphins, but he’s unlikely to put the entire load on Ajayi, who slipped to the fifth round of the 2015 draft amid long-term injury concerns. The Dolphins are certainly a candidate to go after Ezekiel Elliott at No. 13 overall.


Significant losses: Matt Forte
Significant additions: None
In-house candidate: Jeremy Langford
Notes: There’s a lot of debate regarding whether Langford is #good. He averaged a pathetic 3.36 YPC last season, a mark that included a league-worst 2.7 YPC against base defenses (via PFF). He also was pathetic at breaking tackles and dropped a bunch of passes. However, Langford used a lot of volume and red-zone opportunities to finish with 150.6 DK points on just 392 snaps. The question is how high of a pick the Bears and RBBC proponent John Fox will use on Langford’s competition.


Significant losses: None
Significant additions: None
In-house candidate: Rashad Jennings
Notes: Perhaps the Giants can get away with Jennings, Shane Vereen and Andre Williams for another year. They have to be encouraged with Jennings’ ability to finally stay healthy for a full season in 2015, but he’s 31 years old, Vereen is a passing back and Williams simply isn’t good. A mid-to-late-round pick at the position makes sense for the G-Men.


Significant losses: Alfred Morris
Significant additions: None
In-house candidate: Matt Jones
Notes: Jones fumbled five times on 163 rookie-year touches and sputtered badly down the stretch en route to just 2.2 yards after contact per attempt and 3.40 yards per carry overall. He still flashed both big-play ability and three-down upside, leaving the Redskins to allow Alf Morris to walk in free agency. Even if the franchise is high on Jones, they must add depth to a backfield that only has injury-prone passing back Chris Thompson and 2015 UDFA Mack Brown as backups.


Significant losses: None
Significant additions: None
In-house candidate: Latavius Murray
Notes: The Raiders were active in the free agency running back market, poking around at the likes of DeMarco Murray while outwardly stating they want to add talent to the position. It’s not a great sign for Latavius, who touched the ball 307 times last year but finished 42nd among 68 qualifiers in PFF’s halfback ranks. Only Roy Helu (coming off hip surgery) and special teamer Taiwan Jones are behind Murray on the current depth chart.

Adam Levitan Compares Elite NFL WRs to This Year’s Draft Class HERE


Significant losses: DeMarco Murray
Significant additions: None
In-house candidate: Ryan Mathews
Notes: The Eagles don’t appear to be very high on Mathews, as his name was bandied about in trade discussions both before and after the DeMarco Murray deal. I suspect that’s due more to a lack of durability than talent, as Mathews was awesome when given opportunities in 2015 (5.08 YPC, six TDs on 106 carries). They also still have passing back Darren Sproles in the fold. The Eagles fell out of the Ezekiel Elliott sweepstakes when they traded up to No. 2 overall, but they are still a candidate to use a mid-round pick on the position.


Significant losses: None
Significant additions: Alfred Morris
In-house candidate: Darren McFadden
Notes: McFadden (28 years old) and Alf (27) should not stop the Cowboys from adding talent to their backfield. In fact, they’ve been linked to Elliott all the way up at No. 4 overall. It’s a spot to watch as the Cowboys still have one of the league’s best offensive lines – they were PFF’s No. 1 run-blocking unit in both 2015 and 2014.