2020 NFL Draft position rankings: Top 10 running backs

2020 NFL Draft rankings running backs

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Ranking the top 10 running backs in the 2020 NFL Draft. Will Jonathan Taylor, D’Andre Swift, J.K. Dobbins or Clyde Edwards-Helaire be the first back drafted?

Many agree you shouldn’t spend a first round pick on a running back who would then be eligible for a monster contract in four or five years. While the likes of Saquon Barkley, Ezekiel Elliott and Todd Gurley have had great talent coming out of college, it’s the second contract that leaves teams in trouble when they devote that much salary cap space to a position that can find contributors in the later rounds for a fraction of the draft capital and cap space.

For teams that have moved on from their bell cows this offseason, there will be a good amount to choose from in the 2020 NFL Draft.

The draft class took a bit of a hit when Clemson’s Travis Etienne announced he would return to school. Couple that with Najee Harris and Kylin Hill returning to Alabama and Mississippi State, respectively, and the depth thinned out.

Still, there are a number of good backs in this class. There’s a clear top-tier, and a solid mid-tier and always will be a few diamonds in the rough who are drafted in the later rounds or even undrafted but prove valuable on an NFL roster.

2020 NFL Draft rankings: Top 10 running backs

1. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU

The LSU Tigers have the top prospect at two positions in the 2020 NFL Draft, with arguments to be made elsewhere. Clyde Edwards-Helaire has quietly become a trendy player to put at the top of the class, but it’s for a good reason.

While he won’t threaten you with breakaway speed like other runners, Edwards-Helaire does everything else well. His vision and patience are excellent, as he can press the line to influence linebackers to creep up. He also is great at seeing things develop in front of him and is quick to choose the right gap.

Edwards-Helaire has excellent movement skills, especially laterally, where he constantly makes defenders miss on tape. His cuts are sharp and defined, and he stays compact and keeps his shoulders square when moving laterally. He also has some short-area burst and can pick up chunk yardage when he’s in space.

Edwards-Helaire is also one of the top receiving backs in the class. He has great hands and his quickness shines with angle routes and option routes, where he creates good separation. Don’t forget about his toughness either. He will run over defenders and pick up the tough yardage on key downs.

  • Grade: Second Round
  • Comparison: More athletic Maurice Jones-Drew

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