Mid And Late Round Running Back Options For The 2020 Draft

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The running back class has been the talk of the town for the 2020 draft. Here I will cover some of the late round options worth taking a look at.


The 2020 draft class is loaded with talented running backs. Because of this some very talented players will drop to the mid rounds in the draft. Everybody is talking about Jonathan Taylor of Wisconsin, Travis Etienne of Clemson, D’Andre Swift of Georgia, J.K. Dobbins of Ohio St., Chuba Hubbard of Oklahoma St. Here we will cover some of the former top prospects who have been slighlty forgotten about as well as some of the late round running back options that teams should target.

Eno Benjamin – Arizona St.

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NCAA Career Stats: 34 games, 576 carries for 2,867 yards at 5.0 yards per carry and 27 rushing touchdowns to go with 82 receptions for 625 yards and four touchdowns.

Eno Benjamin was once considered possibly the top back in all of college football. If it wasn’t for the likes of the aforementioned running backs Benjamin would be slated for a first or second round selection. Unfortunately for him, unless a team reaches for him, he is more likely to be a 3rd or fourth round pick.

With that said Benjamin could be this year’s Devin Singletary. Singletary fell in the draft a bit due to his lack of explosiveness. Benjamin falls in that same line in straight line burst having recorded a best 4.63 40 yard dash. This does not mean that Benjamin is unathletic, watch here as here hurdles the linebacker:

Eno Benjamin is incredibly strong and arm tackles will never take him down. Watch here as he breaks numerous tackles en route to the touchdown:

Benjamin is not only a great running prospect but showed great hands as a receiver in college. Over his final two seasons he had 77 receptions for 610 yards and four toucdowns. This should keep Benjamin in the mid round talks even though he has shown lower level speed, in the same way Devin Singletary did.

The Tooth’s Grade: 4th Round

Darrynton Evans – Appalachian St.

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NCAA Career Stats: 38 games, 463 carries for 2,727 yards at 5.9 yards per carry and 24 touchdowns to go with 36 receptions for 314 yards and six touchdowns.

Darrynton Evans is a nice prospect from small school Appalachian St. He is coming off of two consecutive 1,000 yard rushing seasons and a monster of a Junior season. This past season he posted 1,323 rushing yards and 17 rushing touchdowns with 18 receptions for 193 yards and another five touchdowns. It is that scoring prowess and a career 5.9 yards per carry that is giving him NFL consideration. Evans has great lateral agility as you see he makes a nice side step here to beat two defenders and pick up the first down:

 

Evans has solid breakaway speed as well. Here he shows you what he can do in the passign game as he takes the screen, follows and couple blocks and absolutely smokes the rest of the defense en route to the touchdown:

Another part of his game that garners NFL attention is his special teams play. Evans is an excellent punt and kick returner having scored at least one touchdown in each season as a returnman for Appalachian St. He could be a nice special teamer that carves out an offensive role like Raheem Mostert has been able to do in San Francisco.

The Tooth’s Grade: 6th Round

Michael Warren II – Cincinnati

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NCAA Career Stats: 37 games, 538 carries for 2,813 yards at 5.2 yards per carry and 34 rushing touchdowns to go with 49 receptions for 446 yards and three touchdowns.

Michael Warren II is one of the bigger backs in the class. He weighs in at 5’11 and 222 Lbs. and runs the 40 yard dash in the 4.50 second range. He hit NFL radars after a stellar 2018 Sophomore campaign where he set aschool record for rushing touchdowns (18) and total touchdowns (20) while putting up the third best rushing yards total in school history. Warren II then followed that up with another 1,317 total yards and 16 total touchdowns.

Warren II has shown good agility throughout his career. He keeps his shoulders square and has good side to side movement with solid burst as you can see in this clip:

He also has very good vision and hits the hole hard. Watch here as he sees his lane and blast through for the score:

Michael Warren II is not a world beater by any means but has shown in consecutive seasons that he is more than capable to be an NFL back. He could form a nice tandem with another back, likely as the backup or change of pace, and could have a decent career.

The Tooth’s Grade: 5th Round

Kylin Hill – Mississippi St.

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NCAA Career Stats: 36 games, 430 carries for 2,474 yards at 5.8 yards per carry and 16 rushing touchdowns to go with 43 receptions for 388 yards and five touchdowns.

Kylin Hill is a solid running back, one that carries many traits in becoming a bell cow back. He is 5’11 and 215 Lbs. and runs about a 4.52 second 40 yard dash. His lower body strength is exceptional and blasts through arm tackles with ease. That lower leg strength also keeps his legs moving when he hits a pile for extra yardage. He has a career 5.8 yards per carry and has been able to maintain a 5.7 yard per carry average in 2019 while receiving 235 rushing attempts. This allowed him to turn out 1,347 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns. He has shown enough with his hands as a receiver as well to stay on the field every down.

One thing Kylin Hill is know for is his power and furosity. His strength may not be matched by any other running back in this class. Watch here as this Georgia defender gets the stiff arm of the century from Hill:

Then you see it here again his strength and pure hatred for defenders. You think the play is dead and he jsut pushes the defender straight to the ground:

This clip here is what has sold me on Kylin Hill. He literally shows you everything you want in a running back in one play. He starts by showing the vision of finding the hole, then the burst to get to the second level, then the strength to breka a couple tackles followed but elite athleticism with the hurdle. Watch here:

Hill is one of my favorite running back prospects in this draft and I am very excited to see where he ends up.

The Tooth’s Grade: 2nd-3rd round

Clyde Edwards-Helaire – LSU

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NCAA Career Stats: 36 games, 352 carries for 1,979 yards at 5.6 yards per carry and 23 rushing touchdowns to go with 64 receptions for 541 yards and one touchdown.

Clyde Edward-Helaire may be the most overlooked 1,200 yard rusher in collegiate history. This is not because he has not been simply amazing, because he has, but because he is playing on a team where Joe Burrow blast onto the scene with a surpising Heismann esche season. Edwards-Helaire has shown everything this season you want in a bell cow back. He has 1,290 rushing yards and 16 rushing touchdowns in addition to 50 receptions for 399 yards and another score.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire has great patience and vision and makes himself small in tight spaces. Watch here in a huge game against Alabama where he lets the play develop and then hits the hole hard. Then once he gets to the second level he seems to kick it into another gear and just shreds the rest of the defense with great breakaway speed:

In this clip you see his quick switch lateral agility and side to side movement:

Edwards-Helaire needs to work on his strength and pass blocking but overall is a very intriguing prospect. He showed out agaisnt some of the stingiest defenses in all of college football and showed that he is an NFL player.

The Tooth’s Grade: 3rd Round

Conclusion

Everybody is talking about how top heavy this draft is in running back talent but there is talent throughout the entire draft. Here you can see guys throughtout every round who all make a case to have a spot on an NFL roster. Some not only a spot but in a position to compete for carries. There are a couple of these backs who are capable of carrying the load and are guys to keep your eyes on leading up to the draft.

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