2017 Draft RB Ratings

      The top 5 contains 2 guys that align with the “experts”, but 3 that do not…hint: they’re all from the mountain time zone (I think).  Again, thanks to @draftbreakdown for the game films, you should check them out for more appropriate game selections, for whatever reason I was only able to include certain tapes in this post, but for the evaluations I would always look at how the player performed vs. the top 2 defense units I had access to.  NR = Newmanomics Rating
1.      Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU, NR 7.25


  • Falls forward
  • 1 dimensional
  • Elite balance
  • Elite power and leg strength, likely comes into the league and immediately is one of the toughest backs to bring down
  • True retro bell cow
  • Does he need a FB?, rarely runs out of a one back set
  • Only  jumped 28.5? not sure how that’s possible with his power
  • Great burst, enough speed to turn corner in NCAA

2.      Joe Williams, RB, Utah, NR 6.25


  • Can find his way through the garbage
  • Has vision to find the most effective hole
  • Tested extremely well, reminds me of a young Marshall Faulk
  • A little small, can NOT pass block, needs a lot of work there
  • Can turn a corner and burst…has legit acceleration through the hole and home run speed to go the distance
  • Can run tough at contact, but still lacks elite leg strength
  • Can climb the ladder, and run past 2nd and 3rdlevel, doesn’t have much in terms of moves though

3.      Jamaal Williams, RB, BYU, NR 5.75


  • Very quick, can put foot in the ground and accelerate, even though he tested below average
  • Tough runner, Pounds through the hole, shakes off ankle biters
  • Uses other hand as aweapon
  • Willing, but not great blocker…weak base
  • Lacks elite burst to get through tight hole
  • Doesn’t go down easy
  • Ideal RB body type, maybe can put on 5-8 pounds
  • Selfless blocker downfield when he gets the chance


4.      Brian Hill, RB, Wyoming, NR 5.5


  • Runs low and efficiently, ready to give a blow when needed
  • Shifty through the hole, but lacks elite cutback ability
  • Mediocre route runner
  • Has some moves, will use arm as a weapon
  • Doesn’t have power to move the pile, but can squirm and churn his way through on goaline situations
  • Not the best vision, will miss running lanes at times
  • Willing. Aggressive and capable pass blocker


5.      Dalvin Cook, RB, FSU, NR 5.0


  • Team guy
  • Low knee runner
  • Has some power when needed
  • Good ball skills, but doesn’t catch everything
  • Good when he can make one cut and work down hill, but dances too much in backfield
  • Good balance, shows burst
  • Seems all his big runs are when there is a massive hole created by O-line
  • High and tight runner

6.      Marcus Cox, RB, Appalachian State, NR 4.75
  • Squatty runner
  • Can find the hole, and decent speed to get through it
  • Concrete in feet type cutter, curious what his pro agility would have been
  • Runs with low knees, will lower shoulder, adequate power
  • Shows patience at times, and squirms through holes
  • Can make big time catches when needed
  • Will lower shoulder in open field and max yardage
  • Has some nasty to his runs, runs angry at times (esp. in open field)
  • Didn’t see a lot of pass pro, but adequate when I did
  • Misses running lanes at times
  • Gets better with each carry
  • Very productive back

7.      Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford, NR 4.5 (6.75 as WR)
  • Elite pass catcher, and could start in the NFL as a slot WR
  • Disciplined behind LOS, very patient runner and finesses his way through holes
  • Lets the play develop and shows great vision
  • Catches the ball naturally with his hands (reminds me a Edelman on the outside, where he can split out)
  • Uses hand as a weapon
  • Not elite speed
  • Finds and squares up in pass pro but lacks lower body base strength
  • Will fight for yards, but not a power guy

8.      Elijah McGuire, RB, UL-Lafayette, NR 4.3
  • Good size/speed combo
  • Decent power
  • Can split out and make WR caliber catches
  • Natural ball catcher, can make exceptional grabs
  • Below average vision, will miss cutback lanes
  • Can put shoulder down
  • Aggressive pass blocker, even saw a couple pancakes on the edge
  • Truly elite pass catching ability, could be legit 3rddown back right away (would thrive in New England)

9.      Alvin Kamara, RB, Tennessee, 4.2 NR
  • Runs uprights
  • Tall back, splits out of the formation into the slot a lot, kinda loos like a WR when he does
  • Not a lot of patience, fast to the hole kinda guy (not slow to/fast through) but will put his head down and make space when the hole isn’t there, at the same time does not have the size to be that kind of runner.
  • Not very able as a pass blocker, very soft, and like to play paddy cake instead of blocking aggressively, but willing, and could get a lot better with proper coaching
  • Natural hand catcher, could come on right away as a 3rddown back.  Halfway decent route runner, can see him moving the chains with texas and flat routes.
  • Can not turn the corner consistently vs. top competition.
  • Can stick his foot in the ground and accelerate through the hole on zones.

10.   Joe Mixon, RB, Oklahoma, 4.1 NR
  • Tall back with good vision, above average speed (didn’t run the 40, but based on 2-step test, i.e. 2 steps when full speed over 5 yards = 4.5 forty, probably runs a 4.52 /4.54
  • Performs better after a few runs/needs confidence to get going
  • Has some shimmy, and can make the first guy miss in the backfield
  • Easy to take down
  • Doesn’t create much without line help
  • Has KR?/PR cabability
  • Natural runner, just a look to him
  • Shows a lot more patience than Perine
  • Can catch out of the backfield/split out and run WR routes (poorly, but can catch the ball)

11.   Kareem Hunt, RB Toledo, NR 4.0
  • Small, quick scat back with excellent balance, who ran way too slow (4.62) for that size
  • Tougher than his size would dictate.
  • Great burst through the hole
  • True fighter, “heart type guy” that you root for, if he can do some stuff on special teams, he could see some action first year.
  • I really like this guy, really a scrapper, and plays way faster than his testing numbers, doesn’t have the body type, but hes very productive
  • Can pass block, but needs to keep his head up
  • Can stick his foot in the ground and accelerate.
  • Again much tougher than he looks
  • Very good vision, and can break a tackle
  • Can make things happen in space, wish he’d switch the ball to his left hand

12.   Corey Clement, RB, Wisconsin, NR 3.5
  • Has the look of an RB for what whats worth, lots of reps in the uber run heavy Wisco offense
  • Decent tactician when it comes to pass pro
  • Quintessential Wisconsin RB, give him big blockers in front of him and hell be ok                    
  • Has some quick to him, in the open field
  • Can run through arm tackles, and can put his foot in the ground and cut on zones

13.   Tarean Folston, RB, Notre Dame, NR 3.3
  • Big, aggressive back gets nasty at pass pro, not a tactician but likes to hit
  • Will split out, doesn’t seem to belong with body type
  • Can catch the ball naturally, lots of screen and 0 routes
  • Enough power to move pile
  • Has some burst, but runs too tall which doesn’t optimize his power
  • A little tough to eval, ND used him in some unusual ways

14.   Donnel Pumphrey, RB, San Diego State, NR 3.0
  • Highly productive runner
  • Tiny, very little power
  • Does have a burst through the hole
  • He’ll split out and run WR routes
  • Homerun threat speed, enough to turn the corner around contain
  • One hand ball carrier
  • Liability in pass protection, just lacks any kind of base strength to take on a rusher
  • Not a natural pass catcher, but gets the job done well enough
  • Will put his shoulder down, but not much behind it

15.   Matthew Dayes, RB, North Carolina State, NR 2.8
  • A little choppy and robotic when approaching the LOS
  • Tries to be shifty without the athletic ability to do so
  • Can be patient on zone, with running fast through the hole
  • He’s a poor man’s Terrell Davis…he would need a seriously good zone blocking O-Line, otherwise he’ll fail

16.   Marlon Mack, RB, South Florida, 2.75 (4.75 as WR) NR
  • Body that can put some weight on
  • Catches the ball with hands, CAN catch, not the best at it
  • Has a burst, not elite, ran a lot of 0 route and swing screens behind the LOS
  • Did not play at a power 5 team
  • Will setup blocks
  • I like him better as a WR, but that wont happen
  • Tends to bounce outside too much (especially for a 4.5 guy)
  • Willing to put his shoulder down, but not a lot of leg power
  • Kinda a waist bender at impact…usually not a big deal outside of lineman, but just seems odd

17.   Elijah Hood, RB, North Carolina, NR 2.7
  • Big back, can move a pile, powerful tree trunk legs
  • Good vision to find the hole, just lacks burst to get through it at times
  • For as big as he is, doesn’t put his shoulder down and bowl anyone over
  • Lacks balance
  • Weak pass blocker, looks clueless at times
  • Because of his imposing size, everyone goes low on him, and he seems to have no counter move (hurdle/something)

18.   Wayne Gallman, RB, Clemson, 2.5 5NR
  • Tall, big back, but runs soft.
  • Will put his shoulder down, but not elite power.
  • If there is a “tweener” for RBs, he’s it…He’s not strong enough to be considered a power back, and not fast enough to be considered a speed guy.
  • Agile enough to push off the outside foot and find space, but seems rigid, and sometimes robotic with his approach to the line of scrimmage.
  • Able to pass block, and has some aggression, but needs a lot of technique work/will miss blocks pathetically.
  • At times will dance in the backfield, when he has no business doing so.
  • All in all, doesn’t stand out too much for me either negatively or positively…not sure if that’s good or bad.
  • Lacks elite speed and burst (40 confirmed this)

19.   Samaje Perine, RB, Oklahoma, 2.25 NR
  • Little butter ball looking back (never good), loves to put his shoulder down on contact, and consistently mves the pile.
  • Willing blocker and aggressive blocker, with little technique
  • Can shed hand/upper body tackles
  • Old school power back, keeps his legs churning regardless, uses his other hand as a weapon.  Very powerful lower body,
  • Tries to power his way through all messes instead of being patient
  • Well below average speed (even for NCAA, 40 confirmed)
  • Very little shimmy, not enough speed in anyway you look at that to be an effective NFL back
  • Kinda looks like a fullback, run blocks a lot on wildcat type plays

20.   Jeremy McNichols, RB, Boise State, NR 1.75
  • I know it doesn’t mean much, but he runs like a moron (arms flailing at his side)
  • Inconsistent in the blocking game, but can light someone up at times
  • Not the best balance
  • Good pass catcher, but NOT natural catcher, takes it off chest/stomach
  • The system he was in, didn’t utilize his talents best
  • Runs fast to the hole, not slow to the hole, fast through the hole
  • Has some burst, above average, but not elite
  • Will lower his shoulder
  • His pass blocking is poor…to the point the QB may be afraid when he’s in the protection
  • Not a lot of wiggle

21.   Justin Davis, RB, USC, NR 1.5
  • Tall back, a little gangly
  • Lacks agility needed to make most cuts
  • One hand runner
  • Decent burst and speed through the hole, enough speed to turn corner
  • Will put shoulder down, lacks elite power
  • Poor running form, flails arms like one of those blow up car dealership things
  • Catches the ball naturally, needs some pass pro work
  • Misses cutback lanes, lacks vision (again former WR?)
  • Looks and runs like a former WR (not sure if was, but likely)
  • *PS got to see #14 the QB, wow, stud, going to be a 1 overall

*No GameFilm Available:
De’Veon Smith, RB, Michigan
Jordan Johnson, RB, Buffalo
D’Onta Foreman, RB, Texas – need to find some, impressive in highlight film
James Conner, RB Pitt
Khalid Abdullah, RB, James Madison

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