by Nick Ercolano
March 02, 2019
Today's video is going to cover the top rookie running backs in the 2019 NFL Draft. We're gonna give in-depth breakdowns of each guy, their draft spot projections, the best potential landing spot for them and what their 2019 fantasy football ceiling will be is they land there. We're going to break down their college production, some film, their combine performance and how it affected their draft stock, etc. And we've got some dope announcements about halfway through the video, so get freeking pumped, but stop yelling, tuck ya shirts in and lets get it.
The last few years have spoiled fantasy footballers like milk when it comes to running backs. If you had a first round dynasty pick in the top half of your rookie draft, there's a decent chance your team is rostering a top-15 fantasy back right now. If your teams needs a running back THIS year, you're in for it fam. This ain't the year to stream running backs. There's literally never a year for that, but you know what I'm saying. There are very few backs in this class that project to be a workhorse in the NFL. However, there are a bunch of teams that do have a need at running back, I have a list of nearly a third of the NFL that does: NYJ, OAK, TB, BUF, BAL, PHI, KC, MIA, CHI.
Of course, there'll be some guys that make an impact, but projecting them isn't easy, based on the lack of size, speed and overall workhorse production this year, but nonethemore, we must analyze the top rookie running backs for the 2019 NFL Draft Class:
Player Comp: Kareem Hunt/LeSean McCoy
Draft Spot Projection: 3rd-4th Round
Best Landing Spot: Kansas City Chiefs
Player Comp: Doug Martin (at best)
Draft Spot Projection:
Best Landing Spot:
Player Comp: Gio Bernard/Devonta Freeman
Good all-around athlete, burst, explosion, pass-catching ability. Runs more violent than his size suggests, like Freeman, less powerful though. Has more fluidity than Freeman does, better hips. 59% college target share. I don't think he's as elusive or really has that X factor like Freeman had, however. He looks good at times, but I don't see enough plays where I'm like, hmm, legit NFL back going to have success. His fantasy success is going to be highly dependent on his landing spot. I would actually love him on the Eagles. I don't think I want him somewhere that they try to use him as a horse, somewhere he can get 13-15 touches.
Player Comp: Mark Ingram
Draft Spot Projection: 1st-2nd Round
Best Landing Spot: NO, PHI
Player Comp: Marlon Mack
Justice Hill is the running back that benefited MOST from the NFL Combine, it's not close. Everyone else looked like they were moving in slow-mo on the 40-yard dash. When I started watching film on Hill, the first thing I wrote on my paper was FAST... yuhh in all caps, and he didn't disappoint on the turf, running a 4.40 40-yard dash, putting him in the 80th percentile for WASS.
Justice Hill was the only RB to fit this criterion on Sunday. It's wild that we're discussing guys like Justice Hill in the 2nd round when we had Nick Chubb and Derrius Guice go in the 2nd round last year, but nonethmore.
So, we've established that Justice Hill is fast.
Unlike David Montgomery, Hill has great burst and think of what that means, it would be great for him to be on a team that runs from under center. Give him a few steps to get going, let him hit a hole and he's outty. This was to the detriment of Ronald Jones, however, last year. It was my exact analysis. He's a one-cut back with great burst, put him in an offense that doesn't open up big holes and he's going to struggle. Hill is better than Jones, and actually contributes in the passing game, so I'm not comparing the two, just helping paint the picture like mf Van Gogh.
Draft Spot Projection: 2nd-3rd Round
Best Landing Spot: OAK, CHI
Sanders, like Hill, is another guy that greatly benefited from the combine. Like all these Penn State skill players, they all go off at the combine. I'll be honest, it was hard for me to get excited about Sanders when I watched the film. There were times he looked like JAG, other times he looked like a solid, complete back. We didn't get to see much of him since Sagawd Barkley was the guy there for the prior two years.
Barkley caught 54 passes in 2017 at Penn State, Sanders dropped to 24 as the starting back in that offense. He's not big enough to be a fully featured back, so he needs to be a good pass-catcher, something to keep a very close eye on. Could have just been a weird year, Saquon only had 28 and 20 catches the two years prior to his final season, so. Sanders gets a little jumpy sometimes and looks to break it outside too quickly, but again, I don't really look too much into that when I'm looking at fantasy stuff. It could be a problem at the next level, only to the point that coaches might not want to keep stuffing him up the middle for 3 yards. Mike McCoy would probably be furious.
Sanders tested as a good running back all-around though, a 4.49 40 putting him in the 75th % for WASS, 75th % for burst score too.
Best Landing Spot: PHI,
Darrell Henderson - Memphis5'8-208average over 8 ypc career, over 6 vs power 5 conferences still1st team All-American 2018 over 12 yprDamien Harris - AlabamaRodney Anderson - Oklahoma
March 02, 2019
This is a really good write-up man. One of my favorites of yours. Thought it was interesting how you picked up on Montgomery’s success out of the shotgun. Just spot fucking on, FAM. Watch his high school highlights and I’m telling you, NICK WE NEED D-MONT in the WILDCAT. I NEED THIS IN MY LIFE. PLEASE. I’ve begged his trainer to tell coaches—WILDKITTY! His high school tape doesn’t lie—this guy would be a fucking disgusting Wildcat RB. Big. Facts. Only.
Rodney Anderson will be a fucking GOD in the NFL if he can stay healthy. That’s BIG. FACTS. ONLY.
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