2022 RB Rankings; Every Prospect with a Draftable Grade

March 2, 2022

RB1 | Breece Hall

6’1″ 220 lbs | Iowa State

Pre-Testing, Hall seems to be the most complete RB prospect in the class. He checks most boxes with a great frame and speed combo, but also has some of the best vision in to go along with that. One of the top producers in the nation, Hall has compiled nearly 4,000 rushing yards and 50 rushing TDs in 3 years with the Cyclones. Hall was one of the most consistent players in college football and received back to back 1st Team All-American and Big12 POY honors.

He played the bell-cow role for a majority of his career, in which he excelled at chipping away and wearing down defenses before breaking off big plays. He moves with grace, but also runs through contact and gets the extra yards on every play and one of his greatest strengths is his ability to turn a broken play into a big gain. He displays exceptional balance while carrying the ball and always seems to stay up and pick up the extra yards. As a receiver, he is versatile and natural with soft hands that added up to 82 career receptions and 6 TDs. His greatest strength lies in in the open field, where he is most dynamic and elusive. It is also worth noting that he played behind weaker offensive lines while at Iowa State, but still always produced at an extremely high level and was typically the best player on the field.

Hall is far from a generational RB prospect and there are plenty of areas that he will be challenged to clean up. He is a willing pass blocker, but his technique and aggressiveness will call for improvement immediately. His burst is far from elite, but we’ve seen plenty of these type of prospects become very successful at the next level. I grade Hall as a top 50 prospect and is a great candidate for a late first sleeper pick by an RB-needy team.

RB2 | Kenneth Walker III

5’10” 210 lbs | Michigan State

Walker bursted onto the scene in 2021, after being a relatively unknown at Wake Forrest. The transfer put together a huge season with 1,600 yards and 18 TDs, which at its peak earned some serious Heisman hype in a wide open race. He is a powerful, downhill runner that patiently hits one cut, then goes hard attacking the second level. He is not super dynamic, but is a very steady runner that will hit a wall, bounce it outside and find room. He doesn’t look like a 4.3 guy, but he frequently makes defensive backs miss in the open field, which was extremely evident in his huge game against Michigan.

Walker does so many things right on film and can seemingly beat defenders in a million different ways. To go along with that, he really doesn’t do much wrong. That may sound like a broken record, but it is just an emphasis of how he is absolutely a high floor prospect, but how high is his ceiling? He lacks high end traits, but his intelligence and toughness are two intangibles that every NFL team craves in a RB. We’ve seen such a small sample size of Walker as a bell-cow, which is a blessing and a curse. Scouts will certainly love the fact that he has fewer than 500 career touches in college, but that leaves the door wide open in terms of potential.

The biggest question revolves around his ability as a receiver, as he had just 19 career receptions. He wasn’t featured in either of his offenses pass game, but Walker certainly will be able to display his hands, route running and receiving abilities at the (potential) combine and his pro day. Another area of weakness is his poor pass protection ability, which will be very obvious for every NFL Scout that watches his film. There’s plenty to love with Walker, but the many uncertainties and glaring weaknesses make him into a risky pick. However, if he is drafted into the perfect scheme then I think he could be in the ROY running next season. I’ve got Walker slated as a day 2 guy.

RB3 | Tyler Allgeier

5’11”, 220 lbs | BYU

Prospects, especially RBs, aren’t drafted for their statistical production, but it is worth noting that Allgeier absolutely shredded college football over the last two seasons. He took over the offense from Zach Wilson in 2021 and accounted for 1,800 yards and 23 TDs for the 10-2 BYU Cougars. Allgeier is a well built and powerful RB that will likely see his stock boosted even high following testing events, as he is one of the most athletic prospects in the class. It is hard to assign inter-positional comps, but I’ve heard Allgeier referred to as the DK Metcalf of RBs due to his insane combination of size, strength and speed. Also, like Metcalf, he is known more so for his straight line speed, rather than his burst or agility. This is a stigma that Allgeier could quickly erase. I’ve seen him knocked time after time for his speed, but he absolutely could erase all concerns with a strong performance at the combine.

The first thing that comes to mind when watching Allgeier is his incredible vision and IQ. Size, speed and strength are obviously all important, but he really checks the boxes for all of the intangibles. The second area that jumps off the film is his ability to pass protect. Not only was he one of the most willing, he was also one of the most dominant in the nation. As mentioned above, he has been knocked for his burst and acceleration, but when he gets a full head of steam, he usually will break one away. I don’t ever get the sense that he lacks breakaway speed, but he definitely is not the most agile in the class. However, Allgeier certainly has the makeup of a 3 down NFL back and will work well in a diverse role in a high powered offense.

RB4 | Kyren Williams

5’9″ 200 lbs | Notre Dame

Williams has been a big name in college football for the last two seasons and was a prospect that I think could’ve been a Day 2 pick last year. He is a bit undersized, but is a pitbull on the field and the type of prospect that coaches will fall in love with. He is a do-it-all team-player. By that, I mean whatever the coach asks, Williams will do with 1000% effort. He carved out back to back 1,000 yard and 35+ reception seasons and made it into the end zone 31 times. His receiving ability is at par with most in the class and certainly will keep him in the Day 2 range.

He is a bit undersized, but you really can’t tell on tape, as he is one of the pound for pound strongest runners in the nation. He also excels with his willingness and ability to pass block, which further emphasizes his versatility and potential as a prospect and team player. Williams is a very steady prospect. He does so many things very well, but he is not incredibly talented at one particular trait. This makes him into one of the most well rounded prospects with a high floor, but the ceiling may be limited as well.

At the end of the day, Williams is one of the most versatile and NFL ready prospects in the draft. Teams will absolutely love his ability to be a receiver and pass protector. I absolutely believe that he will have a role carved out as soon as he arrives to the league, but the lack of an overly-elite skillset could raise some concerns over his overall potential. I truly believe that Williams could be one of the biggest steals in the class and a guy that produces at a very high level.

RB5 | Isaiah Spiller

6’1″ 215 lbs | Texas A&M

Spiller lacks the long speed and elite burst on tape, but other than that he is a rather complete prospect that plays sound football and gets the job done. In his three seasons at A&M he compiled 946, 1,036, and 1,011 yards respectively. Although he never posted any Heisman type numbers, three straight seasons on the 1k mark in the SEC West is impressive in its own right. Spiller fights for the extra yards and has shown excellent vision at times, despite his limited big play ability. He is also a natural receiver that frequently rolled out for passes. Another extremely strong aspect of Spiller is his body control, especially in the receiving phase. He tracks balls with ease and makes off target catches frequently, which further emphasizes his athletic ability and role playing potential.

Spiller’s biggest cause for concern is his burst and speed, which obviously is a pretty important trait for any position. At times, he also dances around rather than barreling through defenders like you would hope. However, he does possess one of the best cutting abilities and is excellent laterally and when changing directions. His footwork is truly impressive for a 215 lbs RB, but there have always been questions about his breakaway speed and big play ability. This class may lack top tier talent, but it is a deep class of Day 2 backs and Spiller very much belongs inside the top 5 for the position. He would be a great selection for a team that utilizes patient and gap-dependent bell cows. Spiller certainly has the build to make it as an every down back, but perhaps he could be paired with a smaller and quicker receiving back to help maximize his potentially and production.

RB6 | Tyler Badie

5’7″ 200 lbs | Missouri

Badie measured into the Senior Bowl at just 5’7″, but did tip the scale at 200 lbs. There were some worries heading into the draft that he would be extremely undersized, but it seems that his height and weight are manageable for the NFL. Size also certainly didn’t stop Badie from producing in the best conference in football, as he had 1,600 yards, 18 TDs and 54 receptions in the bellcow role for the Missouri Tigers in 2021. It is also worth noting that Badie excelled in the classroom and was an annual selection for the SEC Honor Roll throughout his career. Badie brings versatility to the table. He is pound-for-pound the hardest runner in the class and also has an incredible receiving skillset. He also plays with incredible vision and finds the correct lanes before attacking them.

The biggest detractor for Badie is obvious and you can probably guess from first glance. He is undersized, at just 5’7″ and 200 lbs. He isn’t the smallest in the world and guys at his size absolutely have found success, but it may worry teams into only considering Badie for capital of a niche role rather than an every down back. Pass protection will also be an issue at the next level, as he will almost always be the shortest player on the field.

Badie is an explosive and versatile playmaker that always has a home run in his back pocket. His receiving abilities and high football IQ will attract front offices to overpay for a player who could turn into a lot more than a role playing 3rd down back.

RB7 | Abram Smith

5’11” 211 lbs | Baylor

Abram Smith is a major late bloomer, but his stock could be peaking at just the right time. He so far has only elevated his stock throughout the process and enjoyed a wonderful week at the Senior Bowl where he really elevated himself as one of the top players amongst the group. Despite only having 12 career caries entering the year, he had 270 touches in 2021 and averaged over 6 ypc.

The first detractor that comes to mind with Smith is that he is 23 and will turn 24 in September. The silver lining of his age is that he was such a late bloomer that he only 280 career touches. He also was limited as a receiver, but was in an offense with a talented receiving back that took that element out of his role. Smith is a powerful runner who likely will be drafted to fill in as a rotational back in his early career, but has all the elements that could allow him to develop into an every down back in the right scheme.

RB8 | Dameon Pierce

5’9″ 220 lbs | Florida

Pierce is an intriguing prospect for all of the right reasons. Although he is a top RB prospect that has been invited to the premier events like the Senior Bowl and the Combine, Pierce never tallied more than 106 rushes in a season in his career at Florida. Despite just 119 touches in 2021, Pierce scored 16 touchdowns with roughly 800 total yards. Despite being criminally under-utilized, it is due to Florida’s high volume of QB carries (194) that led to the low touches, which is not always the worst situation for a RB prospect. Just a few years ago we saw a similar situation with Josh Jacobs at Alabama, which turned out to not be an issue for the former 1st round RB1.

Pierce may be the strongest RB in the entire class and is nearly pure muscle. He is a great power runner with impressive footwork and agility for a back of his size. He has also flashed incredible pass protecting ability with his extremely low center of gravity. He runs through contact with excellent pad-level, but at times it is evident that he lacks that elite level of burst and breakaway speed. He is a mysterious prospect with more questions than answers regarding his potential role, but his impressive hard-hat mentality will certainly lead teams to believe that he has bell-cow ability.

RB9 | Rachaad White

6’0″ 210 lbs | Arizona State

White is one of the most dynamic running backs in the class. He had only 42 career attempts heading into the season, but had an average of 10 yards a carry and 5 TDs. In 2021, he upped the ante and put together a 1,000 yard & 15 TD season on just 182 attempts, and also added 450 yards through the air with 43 receptions. This certainly pushes the envelope for his ability to play in a versatile role or even starting as a receiving back role.

He is a big and physical back that runs through contact, but that same ability is not always evident as a pass blocker. It is also a tad bit concerning because the physicality also is lacking on his between the tackle runs. He seems to almost always bust the play to the outside when the opportunity remotely presents itself, which will be a red flag on film. However, his versatile skillset and great size-speed combo will keep his name in play as a early career role playing back with major potential to breakout.

RB10 | James Cook

5’11” 190 lbs | Georgia

The younger brother of Dalvin has yet to come close to his older brother’s production or potential, but the relation surely has us scratching our heads and thinking “what if?”. James Cook has shown serious flashes of NFL potential, especially through the air where he has made plays as a natural receiver. He has been apart of a crowded backfield that utilizes a true committee approach, but has averaged 6.1 YPC on his limited touches on the ground. He is small, at 190 lbs, which certainly will limit his role at the next level, but the pure athleticism is enough to keep Cook in a draftable grade. He is one of the most electric movers in the class and has true speed that translates well all over the field.

Cook is a true scat back due to his size and he has a frame closer to a WR than a RB. He is a natural receiving, so that does open the possibilities for his potential and versatility. Lastly, he rarely was ever used to pass protect, which just adds to the concerns surrounding the possibility of ever turning into an every down back. There is a lot to love with Cook, especially the pedigree of being the younger brother of one of the most successful RBs in the last decade. A team will find use for James Cook in a receiving role, but his draft capital should be aligned with that being his likely career role.

RB11 | Jerome Ford

5’10” 209 lbs | Cincinnati

Ford put together a fantastic senior season at Cincinnati and was an integral part of the Bearcat’s fantastic run. He pieced together 1,500+ yards and 20 TDs after having just 600 yards in his first three seasons. It is also worth noting that Ford was a transfer from Alabama, which has a pretty great track record amongst its RBs transferring to the NFL. Ford is a bit undersized and light at just 210, but has the frame that will easily add on weight at the next level. His true strength lies in his speed and burst, which could boost his stock following a great combine week.

RB12 | Sincere McCormick

5’9″ 205 lbs | UTSA

McCormick has been one of the most productive players in college football and was a huge reason why the Roadrunners finished with a 12-1 record. He is short, but compact and plays much bigger than his size suggests. He is a handful to bring down and breaks many tackles at the second and third level, but his biggest strength lies when he gets around the edge and utilizes his top-end speed. He is an extremely well-rounded prospect, but will be downgraded due to size and experience at a lesser level of competition (although he did win back-to-back C-USA OPOY). However, I love the potential he possesses and believe he could be a steal in the mid-to-late round.

RB13 | Pierre Strong Jr.

5’11” 202 lbs | South Dakota State

Strong is a small school prospect, but has been one of the most productive and consistent backs in all of football throughout his career. The Jackrabbit RB is light at just 205, but plays up to his size and is an absolute bruiser on the field. Through 4 seasons at the FCS level, he has accumulated 4,500 yards on the ground, 600 through the air and 43 TDs. Strong is a spark-plug that actually weighed in at his true playing weight at the Shrine Bowl and is one of the best RBs in pass protection in the entire class. He likely won’t be drafted early, but listen for his name in the late rounds and expect for him to 100% be in the running to make a 53 man roster.

RB14 | D’vonte Price

6’1″ 198lbs | FIU

Price is a 5th year senior from FIU that never eclipsed the 700 yard mark in his career, but the tape alone is intriguing enough to mention him here. FIU has been a bit of a punching bag in the C-USA and had just 1 win over the past two seasons, which likely attributes to Price’s limited workload (in 2021, he had just 1 game with over 18 carries). He’s tall and skinny for a RB and also runs a bit too upright, but he does play with aggressiveness and is harder to take down than most with his build. He is a bit untested through the air, but that also could be due to his scheme fit rather than true abilities. Price is likely a late round project.

RB15 | Mataeo Durant

6’1″ 195 lbs | Duke

The Senior Blue Devil pieced together an incredible season that led him to breaking several records, as well as becoming a 1st Team All-ACC RB. I was a bit surprised to see Durant left off the Senior Bowl roster, but it is a strong class of seniors at the position. He plays with great versatility and also hauled in 27 receptions, which will only help his NFL potential. He is a bit of a jack of all trades as a prospect, but really doesn’t do anything exceptionally better than anyone else in the class. I think Durant could be a mid-to-late round steal that could develop into a role playing RB at the next level.

RB16 | Hassan Haskins

6‘1″ 220 lbs | Michigan

Hassan Haskins has had an up and down career, but put together a great senior season that has transformed himself back into a draftable prospect. He took over as the bellcow in 2021, put together a 1,200 yard/20 TD season, and was an integral part of the Wolverine’s offense in their first ever playoff appearance. Haskins has a solid NFL frame and a physical and patient run style that bulldozed through the Big10. He dominated in the last 3 games of the season, where he ran for a combined 303 yards and 9 TDs on the ground, with 5 of those TDs against #2 Ohio State. He is not the most versatile back and has rarely been used through the air, but his old school style of play will attract NFL scouts into utilizing Haskins in a committee approach. He also lacks elite burst and speed, but his power and vision is intriguing enough to be drafted in the mid rounds.

RB17 | Brian Robinson

6’1″ 225 lbs | Alabama

You have to admire Robinson, who stuck around a crowded backfield at Alabama. Robinson could have transferred many times during his career, but, like Mac Jones, stuck around and trusted Nick Saban to develop him into being one of the top players in college football. In his first triple digit touch season, Robinson crossed the 1,000 yard mark and added 16 TDs for the Crimson Tide. He’s not the fastest or most athletic prospect in this class, but he is an experienced player coming from a great football background with a proven pipeline to the NFL. I don’t see Robinson anywhere close to the realm of Najee or King Henry, but he absolutely should be drafted into a committee where he can help out right away. The issue? He is slow and likely won’t test well, which could continue to drag his stock down.

RB18 | Max Borghi

5’10” 205 lbs | Washington State

You may have heard of Borghi referred to Christian McCaffrey-Lite, which is just an unfair comparison, but Borghi has some of the best pass catching ability in the class. The hype began following the 2019 season, where Borghi hauled in 86 receptions in the pass heavy, Mike Leach Air Raid. However, the train came to a stop in the following season where he played just one game due to injury. He returned in 2021 and pieced together a strong campaign with 880 yards, but was limited in the new offense to just 16 receptions. There are questions throughout Borghi’s game, but we have seen how dynamic he can be through the air, so there is certainly a level of intrigue heading into the draft season. Someone will likely take a shot on the versatile playmaker, but don’t expect it to be before the 4th or 5th round.

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