While the RB class has depth this year, there is no special player at the top, and following the combine workout Friday, we might not see a back drafted in the opening round.
Many analysts' top back is Alabama’s Josh Jacobs, who didn’t work out because of a groin injury. We'll find out what he can do at the Alabama pro day March 19, but because he was not a starter for the Tide, I just don’t see anyone pulling the trigger on him in the opening round.
My highest-rated back is Penn State’s Miles Sanders, who had the best overall workout of the RB group. He ran a 4.49 and jumped 36” in the vertical and 10’4” in the standing long jump. On top of that, he timed 6.89 in the 3-cone, which is outstanding. During the skills portion of the workout he was very smooth and caught the ball cleanly. Regardless of what Jacobs does, I think Sanders will be the first back selected. Though he could go late in the first, it is more likely he goes at the top of the second.
Memphis RB Darrell Henderson ran very well (4.49) and was better than adequate in the jumps (33.5”, 10’1”) but did nothing else. We will have to wait for his pro day on March 27 to see how he times in the agility and position-specific drills.
If there was a disappointment Friday, it was from Florida Atlantic's Devin Singletary. Many thought he would run in the 4.5s, but he didn’t come close at 4.66. He was also a bit inconsistent catching the ball. Some thought he was a solid second-round type (not me), but he now looks more like a fourth-rounder — unless he puts up some great numbers at his March 26 pro day.
Texas A&M’s Trayveon Williams had a strong workout, running 4.51, jumping 33” and 10’1” as well as posting 7.44 (three-cone) and 4.44 (20-yard shuttle) in the agilities. In the skills drills, he looked quick and explosive and showed good hands.
I was hoping for more from Iowa State’s David Montgomery, who ran only 4.63 and jumped 28.5”. His long jump was 10’1,” so the two don’t correlate. He did not do the agilities, so we will have to wait until his pro day (March 26). He looked fine doing skill work. Needless to say, Montgomery needs a big showing at his pro day or he could end up being a Day-3 pick
A prospect who helped himself was Ohio State’s Mike Weber. He wasn't a full-time player at OSU, but when he is on the field he can make things happen. He ran a fast 4.47 and looked good in drills. He didn’t do any of the other measurable drills, so we will get those times on March 20.
The other player who really helped himself was Oklahoma State’s Justice Hill. He isn’t the biggest guy (5096, 198), but he has big hands (9.5”) and ran in the 4.4s, as well as jumping out of the building with a 40” vertical. I need to do more work on Hill, who wasn’t that impressive in my initial viewing.
The last player I’ll mention is Georgia’s Elijah Holyfield, another player in whom many analysts had hopes. His workout was a total disappointment: He ran a slow 4.78 and his vertical jump was only 29.5”. At Georgia, Holyfield only had seven career receptions, so he needed to catch the ball well during the workout. He didn’t. Holyfield now has to hope his tape gets him drafted because the workout numbers say free agent.