football Edit

NFL Draft: Top five RBs heading into the Combine

CLASS OF 2019 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position | Team

CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position

The NFL Scouting Combine is about to get underway in Indianapolis. Here is a look at our rankings of players at each position heading into the event. We move on to running backs.

NFL COMBINE: Top 5 QBs | Breaking down the Power Five conferences

Josh Jacobs
Josh Jacobs (AP Images)

Recruiting: Jacobs ran for 2,704 yards with 31 touchdowns in his senior year but he had no offers in December leading up to National Signing Day. Wyoming and New Mexico State offered and then things picked up dramatically into the New Year with Alabama, Oklahoma and Missouri getting involved. He picked the Crimson Tide in early February.

Stats: Jacobs was second on the Crimson Tide with 120 rushing attempts, third on the team with 640 yards and he led Alabama with 11 rushing touchdowns this season. He also caught 20 passes for 247 yards and three scores.

Farrell’s take: Jacobs was the rare three-star signee in Alabama's Nick Saban era, and it’s kind of refreshing to see. Jacobs was a guy who slid under the radar for most of the process, mainly because of concerns he wasn’t sudden enough to be a feature back. It didn't help that he missed games as a junior, either. But his senior year, where he rushed for 2,704 yards and 31 scores, brought out some of the big dogs in recruiting. Alabama, as it often does, won the battle down the stretch. Now Jacobs is the No. 1 back for the NFL Draft, showing once again that Saban and his staff leave no stone unturned when it comes to recruiting talent.

Recruiting: In January of his senior year, the five-star running back committed to Alabama over a serious push from Kentucky and Ohio State. Harris had been committed to Michigan earlier in his recruitment.

Stats: Harris finished with 150 carries for 876 yards, both team-highs, and he also added nine touchdowns this season. In four seasons at Alabama, Harris had 477 carries for 3,070 yards and 23 scores.

Farrell’s take: I liked Harris on film quite a bit, but the level of competition worried me until I saw him at the Under Armour All-America Game. He was thicker and stronger than I expected, his jump cut was awesome and he had vision and power. He not only held his own against the best in the country, but was dominant at times. A thick, powerful back with the speed to bounce it outside, Harris was our No. 1 running back when all was said and done for 2015. Now that he’s dropped weight and added speed, he’s simply dynamic and should show that at the combine.

Benny Snell
Benny Snell (AP Images)

Recruiting: Snell committed to Kentucky in February of his junior year over Cincinnati, Toledo, Miami-Ohio and others. About a week before Snell’s pledge to the Wildcats, Iowa became his first Big Ten offer.

Stats: On 289 attempts this season, Snell finished with 1,449 yards with 16 touchdowns averaging five yards per carry. He rushed for 3,873 yards and 48 touchdowns in three seasons with the Wildcats.

Farrell’s take: Snell was a low three-star prospect who had good size, but we questioned his speed and footwork, as did many other programs that passed. But Kentucky saw something many didn’t, and it has turned out to be a home run evaluation for them. He’s added explosion, has shown great vision and runs with power consistently and was on a mission this season. He was clearly one of the best backs in the SEC and one of the best backs in the draft this year.

Devin Singletary
Devin Singletary (AP Images)

Recruiting: A two-star prospect out of Delray Beach (Fla.) American Heritage, Singletary flipped from Illinois to Florida Atlantic on National Signing Day.

Stats: Singletary carried the ball 261 times this past season for 1,348 yards with 22 touchdowns averaging 5.2 yards per carry. Over a three-year career at FAU, Singletary had 4,287 rushing yards with 66 TDs.

Farrell’s take: Singletary was a short but powerful running back who was a two-star out of high school because of a question regarding his speed. He’s had a very good career, added speed and has shown excellent vision, which makes him one of the top backs on the board for the draft.

David Montgomery
David Montgomery (AP Images)

Recruiting: Playing quarterback in his senior season of high school, Montgomery, who rushed for 2,707 yards and 41 touchdowns that year and was ranked as a two-star prospect, picked Iowa State over Illinois, Marshall, Ball State and Buffalo on National Signing Day.

Stats: On 257 carries this season, Montgomery totaled 1,216 rushing yards with 13 touchdowns for more than 101 yards per game. In three years at Iowa State, he rushed for 2,925 yards with 26 TDs and had two 1,000-plus yard seasons.

Farrell’s take: Montgomery was a two-star out of high school and a tough evaluation because he was playing out of position. However, he has shown excellent ball skills and the ability to be an every down back in the NFL and scouts are taking notice.


Miles Sanders
Miles Sanders (AP Images)

Recruiting: The top-ranked all-purpose back in the 2016 class, Sanders committed to Penn State over Michigan in the summer before his junior season. A late push by Michigan State made things interesting but Sanders decided to stick with the Nittany Lions.

Stats: Once Saquon Barkley left Penn State, Sanders took the lead in the backfield this season and rushed for 1,318 yards with nine touchdowns on 220 carries. Sanders mainly split the rushing duties with QB Trace McSorley, who had 170 attempts, 798 rushing yards and a team-high 12 rushing TDs.

Farrell’s take: We loved Sanders out of high school as he was just shy of a fifth star and was our No. 1 all-purpose back in the country. He has a powerful build, was very explosive and evasive, and he could catch the ball. Replacing Barkley was tough, but this kid has a ton of talent and will be one to watch at the combine.

Recruiting: In early September of his senior season, Holyfield announced his commitment to Georgia with two live bulldogs at the event. Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee and South Carolina were others involved. His father is former boxing champion Evander Holyfield.

Stats: Holyfield was second on the team in carries, rushing yards and rushing touchdowns this season for the Bulldogs with 1,018 yards and seven TDs on 159 attempts. It was by far his best year in three at Georgia.

Farrell’s take: Holyfield was highly regarded and just outside our Rivals100 coming out of high school. He had good size and power and was a one-cut, decisive back. His career at Georgia has been up and down and he’s been overshadowed, but NFL scouts are very interested to see how he tests.