Updated Sept. 2, 2016
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.
Entering the 2016 college football season, two of the consensus top prospects for the 2017 NFL Draft are true junior running backs Leonard Fournette and Dalvin Cook. LSU's Fournette is considered by most to be rated higher than Florida State's Cook, but WalterFootball.com surveyed teams to gauge how close they are. The results provided some surprising information from NFL evaluators.
A general manager of an AFC team said that he didn't think Cook could end up passing Fournette with teams, but he said that Cook's draft grade won't be far behind for Fournette. An NFC general manager said he thought that Cook could surpass Fournette as Cook is a phenomenal runner.
Three teams said that they could see Cook passing Fournette on some team's draft boards, but they thought the majority of the league would have Fournette as the top-rated running back. One team source said that Fournette's high ankle sprain could hold him back some, and that might cause Cook to end up with more production. That source felt that the ankle sprain could be worse than LSU has been letting on, and it could linger throughout the season.
Both players have proven to be dominant running backs, but the higher-rated of the two might come down to who is able to stay healthy during the 2016 season and during the lead up to the 2017 NFL Draft.