2018 NFL Draft Prospects: Running Backs



By Charlie Campbell.
Send Charlie an e-mail here: draftcampbell@gmail.com
Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell for updates.

The top 2018 running back prospects available for the 2018 NFL Draft. * - denotes 2019 prospect. ** - denotes 2020 prospect.

This page was last updated Nov. 4, 2017. Follow Walter @walterfootball for updates.
2017 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | NT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

2018 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | NT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

2019 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | NT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P


  1. Saquon Barkley*, RB, Penn State
    Height: 5-11. Weight: 223.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.49.
    Projected Round (2018): Top-10 Pick.

    11/4/17: Barkley has devastating quickness to hit the hole and accelerate downfield. Along with great speed, he has tremendous balance, vision, cutting ability, elusiveness, and power. Barkley looks like a better prospect than Ezekiel Elliott, and is proving that he is a prospect of similar caliber to players like Leonard Fournette and Todd Gurley. There is no doubt that Barkley is an elite prospect and currently is the top offensive skill-position prospect for the 2018 NFL Draft. He is in the running to be the top prospect at any position.

    On the year, Barkley is averaging 5.8 yards per carry for 801 yards with nine touchdowns. He has 36 receptions for 471 yards and three touchdowns as a receiver.

    Barkley had a dominant game against Iowa to carry his team to a tough road win and illustrate why he is a tremendous talent and a game changer. Versus the Hawkeyes, Barkley ran for 211 yards on 28 carries with one touchdown. He caught 12 passes for 94 yards to lead Penn State in receiving, too. The junior had 53 return yards on special teams as well. Between all of that, Barkley set a Penn State record for all-purpose yards. The Iowa tape illustrates why Barkley is worthy of being a top-five pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Earlier, Barkley had a superb game against Pittsburgh with 14 carries for 88 yards and a touchdown on the ground with four receptions for 45 yards and a touchdown as a receiver.

    7/17/17: Barkley was excellent in 2016, and NFL sources have already said they think he's a stud back for the next level. The sophomore averaged 5.5 yards per carry on the year for 1,496 yards and 18 touchdowns. He also made 28 catches for 402 yards and four touchdowns as a receiver.

    Barkley was very impressive as a freshman in 2015 when he averaged 5.9 yards per carry for 1,076 yards with seven touchdowns. He also caught 20 passes for 161 yards and a score. Barkley was very impressive running for 194 yards on 26 carries against an Ohio State defense loaded with NFL talent. Barkley is a tough runner with a burst.






  2. Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia
    Height: 5-10. Weight: 220.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.51.
    Projected Round (2018): 1-2.

    11/4/17: Chubb is averaging 6.4 yards per carry in 2017 for 765 yards with nine touchdowns. His production is suppressed by Georgia splitting the carries amongst a huge stable of backs. Scouting sources have liked what they've seen from Chubb this year, and he looks back to his old form. Chubb is faster, more physical, tougher to tackle, and more decisive than he was in 2016.

    7/17/17: In 2016, Chubb averaged 5.0 yards per carry for 1,130 yards with eight touchdowns. He had five receptions for 86 yards and a touchdown as well. Chubb didn't quite have the speed and explosion that he had before his 2015 knee injury. Considering it was only about a year since he was hurt, that is understandable.

    Prior to his season-ending knee injury in 2015, Chubb had picked up where he left off as a freshman. The sophomore averaged 8.1 yards per carry for 747 yards and seven touchdowns in his shortened 2015 season. In 2014 while splitting time with Todd Gurley, Chubb averaged 7.1 yards per carry for 1,547 yards with 14 touchdowns. He also caught 18 receptions for 213 yards and two scores.

    Chubb is akin to a human bowling ball, rolling over tacklers and and being a physical force in the SEC. He is a powerful runner who also has the quickness to rip off yards in chunks. He also is an explosive track competitor.


  3. Damien Harris*, RB, Alabama
    Height: 5-11. Weight: 214.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.53.
    Projected Round (2018): 2-3.

    11/4/17: Harris has run really well for the Crimson Tide in 2017, averaging 8.6 yards per carry for 697 yards with 10 touchdowns, plus has six receptions for 46 yards. In speaking with scouts, they like Harris and think he has turned himself into a well-rounded player through hard work and dedication. Some sources have compared Harris to Doug Martin as a prospect.

    7/17/17: On only 145 carries in 2016, Harris averaged 7.2 yards per carry for 1,040 yards with two touchdowns. He had 14 receptions for 99 yards, too. Harris actually was Alabama's leading rusher. He could have a hard time producing much more as the Crimson Tide are loaded in the backfield with Bo Scarbrough, Josh Jacobs, and quarterback Jalen Hurts all getting a lot of carries.


  4. Derrius Guice*, RB, LSU
    Height: 5-11. Weight: 212.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.52.
    Projected Round (2018): 2-3.

    11/4/17: Guice is averaging 5.7 yards per carry this year for 711 yards with six touchdowns. He has six receptions for 42 yards as well. Guice has been banged up and missed the Week 5 game against Troy with a knee injury. Of late, Guice is looking better and seems to be getting healthier.

    7/17/17: With Leonard Fournette in and out of the lineup with an ankle injury in 2016, Guice took advantage of a larger-than-expected workload to have a breakout sophomore season. He averaged 7.6 yards per carry for 1,387 yards with 15 touchdowns, plus took nine receptions for 106 yards. Guice had some massive games with 252 yards versus Arkansas and 285 yards rushing against Texas A&M. He is a tougher runner with quickness.




  5. Sony Michel, RB, Georgia
    Height: 5-11. Weight: 212.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.49.
    Projected Round (2018): 2-3.

    11/4/17: Michel is averaging 8.5 yards per carry in 2017 for 629 yards with eight touchdowns. He would be a three-down starter at most schools, but Georgia has a huge stable of backs who the coaches spread carries to. Team sources have told WalterFootball.com that Michel has a lot of fans in the scouting community and is receiving second-day grades. Some even prefer him over Nick Chubb because Michel has done more in the passing game as a receiver and blocker during his collegiate career.

    7/17/17: Michel played well in 2016 while serving as the backup to Nick Chubb. On the season, Michel took 152 carries for 840 yards - 5.3-yard average - and four touchdowns. He also had 22 receptions for 149 yards.

    At most schools, Michel would be a starter, but he has been Chubb's backup for the vast majority of his collegiate career. Still, Michel is a rushing threat with deceptive speed. He averaged 5.3 yards per carry in 2015 for 1,161 yards and eight touchdowns. He also had 26 receptions for 270 yards and three scores. Michel looks like he could be a mid-round steal for a NFL team.


  6. Akrum Wadley, RB, Iowa
    Height: 5-11. Weight: 191.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.50.
    Projected Round (2018): 2-3.

    11/4/17: This season, Wadley is averaging 4.0 yards per carry for 643 yards with five touchdowns. He also has 19 receptions for 268 yards and three touchdowns. Wadley had a huge performance to almost lead Iowa to an upset of Penn State. This season, he has been excellent as a receiver.

    7/17/17: Late in the 2016 season, team sources told WalterFootball.com that Wadley was really impressing them. The junior averaged 6.4 yards per carry in 2016 for 1,081 yards with 10 touchdowns. He also contributed as a receiver with 36 catches for 315 yards and three touchdowns. Wadley totaled 83 carries for 496 yards and seven touchdowns as a sophomore.


  7. L.J. Scott*, RB, Michigan State
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 230.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.56.
    Projected Round (2018): 2-3.

    11/4/17: Scott is averaging 4.5 yards per carry this season for 511 yards and four touchdowns. He has 11 receptions for 82 yards as well.

    Michigan State hasn't gotten a lot of attention in the national or draft media after a down season in 2016, but scouting sources who have been through the program have been impressed with Scott. They think that the 6-foot-1, 229-pounder Scott is more than just a power back. They like his surprising speed and athletic ability to be more than a North-South runner. He's patient and has feet that can make tacklers miss. Scouts think that Scott could be even more athletic and quicker if he drops some weight. They talk about how Le'Veon Bell was too heavy at Michigan State and became a different player after losing weight at the direction of the Steelers. Scott may not get a lot of notice, but teams are eyeing him as a value pick.

    7/17/17: Scott ran for 994 yards on 184 carries (5.4 average) with six touchdowns as a sophomore. Even though Michigan State had a down season, Scott ran hard, and that was evident late in 2016 when he rushed for 160 yards and caught two passes for 76 yards against an Ohio State defense loaded with NFL talent. He had 699 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns as a freshman in 2015. Scott is a big, physical runner who could be a pounding runner in the NFL.


  8. Ronald Jones II*, RB, USC
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 200.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.55.
    Projected Round (2018): 2-3.

    11/4/17: Jones has run really well for USC this year, showing more decisiveness and displaying more power after gaining weight in the offseason. On the season, Jones is averaging 6.7 yards per carry for 888 yards with 10 touchdowns. He also has eight receptions for 114 yards and a score.

    7/17/17: Jones has been a tough runner for the Trojans since his first season, when he averaged 6.5 yards per carry for 987 yards with eight touchdowns. Jones improved slightly in 2016 with an average of 6.1 yards per carry for 1,082 yards and 12 touchdowns. Over two seasons, he has a total of 18 receptions. With Sam Darnold carving up defenses, Jones should have plenty of good running looks in 2017.


  9. Bryce Love*, RB, Stanford
    Height: 5-10. Weight: 196.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.50.
    Projected Round (2018): 2-4.

    11/4/17: Love has been rolling defenses as the replacement for Christian McCaffrey this season. Love is averaging a staggering 10.3 yards per carry for 1,387 yards with 11 touchdowns. He ran for 263 yards on UCLA and 301 yards on Arizona State. Love isn't the biggest of backs, but he has some real quickness.




  10. Royce Freeman, RB, Oregon
    Height: 5-11. Weight: 230.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.56.
    Projected Round (2018): 2-4.

    11/4/17: Freeman has run well this year, averaging 6.0 yards per carry for 1,096 yards with 10 touchdowns. He also has 11 receptions for 144 yards.

    7/17/17: Freeman was banged up in 2016 and didn't look like the same player as the year before. He barely played against Nebraska and missed the game against Colorado with a leg injury. Freeman returned to the field afterward, but he wasn't the same as evidenced by his games against Washington (11-50), California (15-10) and Arizona State (17-38). Freeman averaged 5.6 yards per carry in 2016 for 945 yards with nine touchdowns. He had 23 catches for 144 yards as well.

    Freeman was the bell-cow back for the Ducks the previous two seasons. He impressed as a freshman by averaging 5.4 yards per carry for 1,365 yards with 18 touchdowns while also picking up 16 receptions for 158 yards and a score. Freeman was even better as a sophomore, averaging 6.5 yards per carry for 1,836 yards with 17 touchdowns. He added 26 receptions for 348 yards and two scores as well.


  11. Josh Adams*, RB, Notre Dame
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 225.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.57.
    Projected Round (2018): 3-5.

    11/4/17: Adams has run well real this year as the Fighting Irish have one of the best ground attacks in the nation. Behind a tremendous offensive line, Adams has been a tough runner, using his size to be a downhill power back while still possessing enough quickness to break off long runs. Adams is averaging 8.9 yards per carry for 1,169 yards with nine touchdowns. He has 10 receptions for 82 yards as well. Adams ran for 933 yards as a sophomore after putting up 835 yards as a freshman.


  12. Martez Carter, RB, Grambling State
    Height: 5-9. Weight: 205.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.51.
    Projected Round (2018): 3-5.

    11/4/17: In late September, team sources told me that Carter was a player who had really impressed scouts this fall. One area scout said that Carter is a bigger Tarik Cohen and is arguably as good as Cohen was last year in college. They also say that Carter impressed them in 2016, when he averaged 7.7 yards per carry for 906 yards with 11 touchdowns. Carter added 28 receptions for 351 yards and three scores last season, too.

    The senior is averaging 5.6 yards per carry in 2017 for 590 yards and six touchdowns with 21 receptions for 327 yards. If Carter impresses at an all-star game, he could really help rise up draft boards as Cohen's success will also help him.


  13. Bo Scarborough*, RB, Alabama
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 228.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.54.
    Projected Round (2018): 3-5.

    11/4/17: Scarbrough is averaging 4.7 yards per carry in 2017 for 377 yards with six touchdowns. He has 11 receptions for 86 yards as well. Scarborough has the upside to produce more, but Damien Harris is serving Alabama's feature back while others are splitting backup reps with Scarbrough.

    7/17/17: Scarbrough emerged as a potentially devastating workhorse running back at the end of the 2016 season. He averaged 6.5 yards per carry on the year for 812 yards with 11 touchdowns. He is similar to Derrick Henry with the size to run over defenders and a surprising burst to break off long runs for a big back. Scarborough could be a workhorse back for the NFL.


  14. Mike Weber**, RB, Ohio State
    Height: 5-10. Weight: 212.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.55.
    Projected Round (2018): 3-5.

    11/4/17: Weber missed a few games with a hamstring injury and was limited in others. That led to Ohio State going to freshman running back J.K. Dobbins as the starter. This year, Webb has 55 carries for 248 yards with five touchdowns.

    7/17/17: In a group of a highly recruited and talented running backs, Weber won the starting job to replace Ezekiel Elliott, and Weber had an impressive debut in 2016, averaging six yards per carry for 1,096 yards and nine touchdowns. He had 23 receptions for 91 yards as well. Weber could be even better in 2017 now that he has a year of experience. There has been some buzz about the redshirt sophomore in the scouting community.




  15. Kyle Hicks, RB, TCU
    Height: 5-10. Weight: 210.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.53.
    Projected Round (2018): 4-6.

    11/4/17: Hicks has some fans in the scouting community as a rotational back. He is averaging 5.5 yards per carry on the year for 394 yards with one touchdown while being part of a rotation at the position. Hicks showed serious receiving ability with 47 catches for 417 yards and two touchdowns in 2016. That season, he also averaged 5.1 yards per carry for 1,042 yards and 12 touchdowns.


  16. Ralph Webb, RB, Vanderbilt
    Height: 5-10. Weight: 202.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.48.
    Projected Round (2018): 4-6.

    11/4/17: This season, Webb is averaging 4.8 yards per carry for 439 yards and five touchdowns. He has seven receptions for 135 yards and a touchdown as a receiver. Webb has played better than the numbers illustrate, as he has gone against much more talented defenses that have sold out to stop him.

    7/17/17: Webb goes under the radar at Vanderbilt, but he has been one of the more steady backs in the SEC the past few seasons. Webb averaged 5.1 yards per carry in 2016 for 1,283 yards with 13 touchdowns. He caught 21 passes for 166 yards. The previous year, he averaged 4.2 yards per carry for 1,152 yards and five scores. Webb chipped in 24 receptions for 188 yards and two scores, too. As a freshman, he ran for 907 yards. Webb is a smaller back who might not be a starter in the NFL, but he could be a solid rotational back who also contributes in the passing game.


  17. Kerryon Johnson*, RB, Auburn
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 212.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.54.
    Projected Round (2018): 4-6.

    11/4/17: Johnson has taken over as Auburn's starting running back and is running well in 2017. He is averaging 5.3 yards per carry for 723 yards with 14 touchdowns. Johnson ran for 895 yards and 11 scores in 2016.




  18. Roc Thomas, RB, Jacksonville State
    Height: 5-11. Weight: 193.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.55.
    Projected Round (2018): 4-6.

    11/4/17: Team sources told me that Thomas has impressed him this fall. The senior is averaging 6.0 yards per carry for 696 yards with seven touchdowns. He also has 13 receptions for 229 yards. As a junior, Thomas averaged 6.2 yards per carry for 782 yards and seven touchdowns, plus had 16 receptions for 173 yards and a touchdown. Thomas started out his collegiate career at Auburn before transferring to Jacksonville State.


  19. Myles Gaskin*, RB, Washington
    Height: 5-10. Weight: 193.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.52.
    Projected Round (2018): 4-6.

    11/4/17: This year, Gaskin is averaging 6.1 yards per carry for 795 yards and nine touchdowns. He has made some great catches and has flashed as a receiver out of the backfield. Gaskin has 12 catches for 114 yards and two scores through the air.

    7/17/17: Gaskin was a steady runner and contributor for the Huskies in 2016. He averaged 5.8 yards per carry for 1,373 yards with 10 touchdowns. He caught 19 passes for 137 yards. Gaskin ran for 1,302 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2015. If he were bigger, Gaskin could be ranked higher.


  20. Justin Jackson, RB, Northwestern
    Height: 5-11. Weight: 193.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.55.
    Projected Round (2018): 4-6.

    11/4/17: Jackson is averaging 4.3 yards per carry in 2017 for 644 yards with seven touchdowns. He has 33 catches for 218 yards as well. The senior hasn't played as well this year and looks banged up. Additionally, Northwestern's offensive line is terrible and struggles to open holes. The Wildcats also lack receivers who can keep teams from stacking the box.

    7/17/17: Jackson is an impressive runner who has been extremely productive the past three seasons. As a junior, he averaged 5.1 yards per carry for 1,524 yards with 15 touchdowns. He also caught 35 passes for 219 yards. Jackson ran for 1,418 yards as a sophomore and 1,187 yards as a freshman with 43 combined receptions. Jackson lacks size for the NFL, but he could be a change-of-pace and receiving back.


  21. Rashaad Penny, RB, San Diego State
    Height: 5-11. Weight: 220.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.61.
    Projected Round (2018): 5-7.

    11/4/17: Penny has run well as a senior, using his size to roll over a lot of weak opponents. He is averaging 6.5 yards per carry for 1,368 yards with 12 touchdowns, plus has 17 receptions for 136 yards and two scores. As a junior, Penny averaged 7.4 yards per carry for 1,005 yards with 11 touchdowns. He made 15 catches for 224 yards and three scores that season as well.

    For the NFL, Penny is a one-cut downhill runner. He has a nice build, but runs upright and could stand to improve his knee bend to run behind his pads. Penny may not have special speed or power in order to be a starter in the NFL. He could still be a rotational backup, but he will need to improve his pass protection.


  22. Lavon Coleman, RB, Washington
    Height: 5-11. Weight: 228.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.59.
    Projected Round (2018): 6-FA.

    11/4/17: This year, Coleman is averaging 5.3 yards per carry for 294 yards with four touchdowns. He may be the power back backup to Myles Gaskin, but Coleman is a solid player.

    7/17/17: Coleman is a thick back who combined with Myles Gaskin to form a tough rushing duo for Washington. In 2016, Coleman averaged 7.5 yards per carry for 852 yards and seven touchdowns. That was big increase over rushing totals of 176 and 565 in the previous two seasons. Coleman isn't much of a receiver, totaling just 18 receptions over three years.


  23. Kamryn Pettway*, RB, Auburn
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 235.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.58.
    Projected Round (2018): 6-FA.

    11/4/17: Pettway was suspended for the season opener. Since then, he is averaging 4.0 yards per carry for 305 yards with six touchdowns. He also has three catches for 32 yards. Pettway lost the starting job to Kerryon Johnson.

    7/17/17: The power back Pettway was a rotational fullback in 2015 before becoming Auburn's feature runner in 2016. During a breakout season, Pettway was one of the top backs in the SEC as he averaged 5.9 yards per carry for 1,224 yards with seven touchdowns. Unsurprisingly with Auburn's offense, he didn't get thrown the ball as he had only two receptions on the season.


  24. Travon McMillan*, RB, Virginia Tech
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 200.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.57.
    Projected Round (2018): 6-FA.

    11/4/17: McMillan is averaging 4.6 yards per carry this season for 353 yards with two touchdowns.

    7/17/17: McMillan impressed in 2015 in his debut season for Virginia Tech, running for 1,042 yards with seven touchdowns. His production dipped to 671 yards and seven touchdowns (4.6 average) in 2016. Under a new coaching staff, quarterback Jerod Evans was the Hokies' leading rusher.


  25. Kalen Ballage, RB, Arizona State
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 230.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.53.
    Projected Round (2018): 6-FA.

    11/4/17: Ballage is a backup power back candidate for the NFL as a late-rounder or, more than likely, an undrafted free agent. He might be better off moving to fullback. In 2017, the senior is averaging 4.1 yards per carry for 378 yards and five touchdowns. As a junior, Ballage had 536 yards with 14 touchdowns on the ground. He made 44 catches for 469 yards and a touchdown as well that season.


  26. Jordan Scarlett*, RB, Florida
    Height: 5-10. Weight: 213.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.55.
    Projected Round (2018): 6-FA.

    11/4/17: Scarlett hasn't played this year as he was suspended indefinitely. He is reportedly facing felony fraud charges for allegedly transferring money from a stolen credit card.

    7/17/17: Scarlett enjoyed a breakout sophomore season as he averaged 5.0 yards per carry for 889 yards with six touchdowns. He is a physical, downhill back who has nice quickness. Scarlett could have had more production, but Florida's offense was held back by quarterback play that led to a weak passing offense and many drives ending in punts. If the Gators can pass enough to keep defenses honest, Scarlett could have a big season because he is a talented runner.


  27. Nick Wilson, RB, Arizona
    Height: 5-10. Weight: 199.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.53.
    Projected Round (2018): 7-FA.

    11/4/17: Wilson is averaging 6.2 yards per carry this season for 353 yards and three touchdowns. He's missed time with an ankle injury.

    7/17/17: Wilson averaged 5.8 yards per carry in 2016 for 320 yards with three touchdowns. He also made two receptions for 11 yards. Wilson missed seven games because of injury in 2016.

    Wilson had an impressive debut in 2014 with an average of 5.8 yards per carry for 1,375 yards and 16 touchdowns. As a sophomore, he missed four games and saw his total dip to 725 yards with an average of 5.5 per carry and eight touchdowns. He has to stay healthy in 2017 to help his draft stock.


2017 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | NT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

2018 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | NT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

2019 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | NT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P




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