Top-Five RBs In The 2016 NFL Draft

 

 


Ezekiel Elliot
Elliot has long been thought to be the leader in the clubhouse at the running back position and rightfully so. Elliot has a size-speed combination that many teams covet, but he’s also the ultimate competitor. He has outstanding change of direction and he catches the ball well out of the backfield. He has been praised by scouts for his unselfish nature on the field as he was asked to lead block on occasion while at Ohio State. He also takes pride in stonewalling pass rushers in pass protection. Elliot must improve upon his route running, but he has very good hands out of the backfield.

 

 


Derrick Henry
Henry has versatility that isn’t commonly associated with backs his size. While he is thought of as a bruiser, he has soft hands out of the backfield and has the athleticism necessary to separate from linebackers on vertical routes. Like Elliot, Henry plays well without the football and excels as a blocker in the run game as well as the passing game. Henry ran the ball well on power and trap plays while at Alabama and he could do the same in the NFL. While he runs high, he does lower his shoulder upon contact. He also protects himself by keeping opponents at bay with his patented stiff-arm.

 

 


Alex Collins
At 5-foot-11, 218 pounds, Collins has very good size for the running back position, but what’s surprising about his game is his quickness in the hole. Collins makes subtle moves inside the hole that allows him to get on the edge of tacklers. His strength and pad level allows him to consistently break arm tackles. Collins also has better than average vision as he realizes that running to daylight takes precedence over following the initial play design. As a result he has proven that he is capable of exploiting backside rushing lanes.

 

 


Kenyan Drake
Drake is a player that every team should be interested in. He made plays as running back, wide receiver and kick returner during his time at Alabama and he’s proven that he doesn’t need many plays to get in a rhythm. Whenever Drake touches the football it is possible he could make a big play. While many envision him playing a complimentary role at the next level, Drake has all the tools necessary to be a feature running back in the NFL. Drake’s versatility, change of direction and vision will allow him to consistently make plays in the NFL.

 

Tyler Ervin
Ervin is another running back who is considered “undersized” but all he did during his time at San Jose State is run the ball effectively between the tackles. Ervin does a good job of getting his shoulders parallel to the line of scrimmage and heading downhill forcing defenders to commit. Once he sees the linebackers filling their respective gaps, he’s able to make subtle moves to make defenders miss in the hole. Ervin also spent some time as a slot wide receiver during his time at San Jose State. Ervin catches the ball well downfield and runs routes like a wide receiver. The New England Patriots are a team that is very interested in Ervin. If he becomes a Patriot, he’ll be a household name in the near future.

Brandon Howard joined the Sports Talk Florida team to cover the Miami Dolphins in April 2017 and will work diligently to provide daily Dolphins content and give accurate analysis of the roster, coaching and front office. Last season, Howard was the curator of content for Miami Dolphins Wire/ USA Today while aggregating high school sports results in Broward and Palm Beach counties for the Sun Sentinel. Prior to moving to South Florida Howard developed NFL content for Pro Player Insiders while covering the Cleveland Browns from 2014-2015. Howard, a Columbus, Ohio native graduated from West Virginia in 2004 in Athletic Coaching and Education. He also was a scholarship track and field athlete and walk-on football player. Howard was the 2003 Big East Long and IC4A long jump Champion and was a provisional national qualifier in the event. He also maintained his status as a member of the Athletic Director Academic Honor Roll during his time as a Mountaineer.