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2010 NFL Draft Predictions – Running Back Rankings

2010 NFL Draft Coverage – Running Backs Preview

Hey folks — Looking for Online 2010 NFL draft prospects, positional analysis, draft order, sample 2010 NFL mock drafts and more? Keep checking out CappersPicks.com NFL draft pages as we’ll keep you posted on draft activity and the fantasy impact these rookies will have.

The NFL draft moves to primetime for the first time in 2010. The first round will be in PRIMETIME, and takes place on Thursday April 22nd at 7:30 p.m. ET. The NFL Draft second and third rounds are on Friday April 23 at 6 p.m. ET. Rounds Four thru Seven will be held on Saturday April 24th at 10 a.m. ET.

With all that said the 2010 NFL Draft is rapidly coming up on us and our College football handicapping expert James Hayes has begun analyzing player data from the Combine and PRO workout days. He’s begun writing his online NFL draft position by position scouting reports.

Onto the 2010 Running Backs – (RB) Rankings –

C.J. SPILLER, Clemson

Spiller is a home-run threat of the first order. He’s probably the most explosive offensive player in this draft. ACC fans didn’t see it for long, as Spiller spent a few years on the bench at Clemson behind James Davis, only getting mop-up carries. However, Spiller has versatility because he could return kicks and punts as well as run and catch the ball. Spiller is an instinctive back with speed and is surprisingly good at breaking tackles for his size of 5”11, 195. In a league that is evolving to demand a stable of two or three contributing backs, Spiller projects as an ideal change-of-pace No. 2 back. He should go in the mid-to-late first round.

RYAN MATHEWS, Fresno State

Mathews, who plays in the seldom-publicized WAC for the Bulldogs, has vaulted himself with a fantastic Combine. He has nice size at 6”0, 218 lbs, yet clocked an admirable 4.45 forty and showed off a 36-inch vertical. He could shoulder 20+ carries a game and does the little things well; blocking and catching the ball with effort. He’s a one-cut style of runner that won’t dance around in the backfield; in other words, he’s the anti-Reggie Bush. That will be refreshing for coaches to see and Mathews could be off the board in the late first round – he looks like a nice fit for San Diego with the 28th pick.

JAHVID BEST, California

Best is another dynamic runner in the mold of C.J. Spiller. He has elite athleticism and actually clocked the fastest forty-time at the Combine, with a blistering 4.35. He’s 5”10 and a hair under 200 lbs; his numbers dress him up nicely. However, Best has been described as a great ‘runner of the football,’ but not necessarily a great running back. Why? Though fast and explosive, he doesn’t run the ball with much aggression and is downright weak in pass protection. Coaches at Cal would take Best off the field on obvious passing downs because they didn’t trust him. Yet, his athleticism will lure some team likely in the second round.


Though Auburn’s Ben Tate might be a better prospect than Hardesty, I place the Tennessee product next because he is a perfect fit for Seattle’s zone-blocking scheme with the Seahawks’ 60th pick. Hardesty impressed at the Combine, running a sub-4.5 and leading the pack with an eye-popping 41-inch vertical. He also had the longest broad jump and put up a respectable 21 reps on the bench press. Hardesty is slippery and fast enough; more importantly, the Seahawks really need help at this position.

BEN TATE, Auburn

Tate and Hardesty might be swapped depending on who bites for Tate. Hardesty is a perfect pick for Seattle and should go there, but I see Tate’s draft positioning a little more variable. He may go to the Texans with the 51st pick or he may fall deeper into Round 2 or possibly into Round 3. For Tate’s very adequate size (5”11, 220) he scored well in the Combine; a 4.43 forty certainly didn’t hurt his stock. He’s a downhill runner and has no qualms hitting the hole hard. Tate underachieved at Auburn until this last season, when he atoned somewhat.

Honorable Mention: JONATHAN DWYER, Georgia Tech The former Jacket has great size at 5”11, 235, but there are worries about his conditioning which has made his stock fall.

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About James Hayes

James has been naming every player on the EA Sports video game rosters for half a decade now, he’s finally putting his knowledge to better use writing for us here at CappersPicks.com. Your comments are welcome below…Give Us Your Take!