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Draft Preview Scouting Report: Running backs

Day One


Todd Gurley*Georgia6-1222

Melvin Gordon*Wisconsin6-1215

Day Two

Tevin Coleman*Indiana5-11206

Jay Ajayi*Boise State6-0221

Ameer AbdullahNebraska5-9205

Duke Johnson*Miami (Fla.)5-9207

David JohnsonNorthern Iowa6-1224

T.J. Yeldon*Alabama6-1226

Jeremy LangfordMichigan St.6-0208

Day Three

Javorius Allen*USC6-0221

Mike Davis*South Carolina5-9217

Matt Jones*Florida6-2231

Sleeper: John Crockett, North Dakota St., 6-0, 217

Gurley’s 2014 season ended prematurely because of a torn ACL. A medical re-check of the knee alleviated concerns about his recovery and ability to be ready to play by the start of the season. He still ran for 911 yards in six games last season and finished his Bulldogs career with 3,285 rushing yards. He has excellent receiving skills. Were it not for the injury, Gurley would be a lock as a top-10 pick. … Gordon is considered every bit as good a runner as Gurley. Some analysts think he has better vision when it comes to finding holes and eluding tacklers. He ran for a career-best 2,587 yards last season. Gordon has had some ball-security issues, with seven of his 12 career fumbles coming in 2014. He also doesn’t catch the ball particularly well, nor is much of an asset in pass protection.

Coleman is an excellent prospect, and the only reason he isn’t widely viewed as a first-rounder is because he is a little bit smaller than Gurley and Gordon. But he is a tremendous athlete who is a physical runner while also possessing exceptional change-of-direction ability and solid receiving skills. Coleman ran for 3,219 yards at Indiana, and many scouts think the total would have been greater had he worked behind a better line. … Ajayi is a highly instinctive runner with a knack for creating yards on his own. He offers an impressive combination of good size, power and speed to go along with superb receiving ability. … Although he isn’t as large as some of the other members of the running back class, Abdullah runs as well inside as he does outside.

–Vic Carucci

Class grade


Good draft if you’re looking for a running back. Gurley and Gordon should break a two-year streak of no running backs selected in the first round.

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