NFL Draft RB breakdown: Alabama’s Josh Jacobs likely 1st-rounder, but who’s next? |

NFL Draft RB breakdown: Alabama’s Josh Jacobs likely 1st-rounder, but who’s next?

Joe Rutter
Penn State running back Miles Sanders runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Friday, March 1, 2019.

The NFL Draft will be conducted April 25-27 in Nashville, Tenn. Each day leading up to the first round, the Tribune-Review is compiling a positional preview of the top draft prospects.

Today: Running backs


1. Josh Jacobs

Alabama, 5-10, 220

Because of Alabama’s deep crop of running backs, Jacobs never was a workhorse for the Crimson Tide. His junior season in 2018 included 640 yards rushing on 120 carries and 11 touchdowns. He also had three receiving touchdowns and one as a kickoff returner. He could be the only running back taken in the first round.

2. Miles Sanders

Penn State, 5-11, 211

Another runner to exit after his junior season, Sanders (Woodland Hills) is hoping his one season as the primary running back at Penn State was enough to impress scouts. With Saquon Barkley gone to the NFL, Sanders rushed for 1,274 yards and nine touchdowns while averaging 5.8 yards per carry. He was voted Penn State’s offensive MVP.

3. Damien Harris

Alabama, 5-10, 216

His best season occurred as a sophomore when Harris rushed for 1,037 yards. As a senior, while splitting carries with Jacobs, Harris rushed for 876 yards and nine touchdowns while averaging 5.8 yards per carry.

4. David Montgomery

Iowa State, 5-10, 222

Montgomery posted back-to-back 1,000-yard season as a sophomore and junior at Iowa State before declaring for the draft. He had 1,216 yards rushing (4.7 average) last season with 13 touchdowns in 12 games.

5. Devin Singletary

Florida Atlantic, 5-7, 203

Despite his height, Singletary carries a mid-round grade. At Florida Atlantic, he had a nose for the end zone, scoring 32 rushing touchdowns in 2017 and 22 last season. He rushed for 1,920 yards as a sophomore and gained 1,348 as a junior before he opted out of his final season.

6. Darrell Henderson

Memphis, 5-8, 208

Henderson finished second in the nation with 1,909 rushing yards last season as a junior, which prompted his decision to declare for the draft. A first-team All-American, Henderson averaged 8.9 yards per carry and scored 22 touchdowns. Henderson also rushed for 1,154 yards as a sophomore.

7. Justice Hill

Oklahoma State, 5-10, 198

After back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons and leading the Big 12 with 1,467 yards as a sophomore, Hill’s numbers dipped in his junior year in 2018. He finished with 930 yards (5.9 average) and nine touchdowns while missing two games to a rib injury.

8. Rodney Anderson

Oklahoma, 6-0, 224

Anderson was slowed by injuries during his time at Oklahoma, including his redshirt senior season when he played in just two games before injuring his right knee. His only full season came in 2017 when he rushed for 1,161 yards and 13 touchdowns while averaging 6.2 yards per carry.

9. Trayveon Williams

Texas A&M, 5-8, 206

Williams exceeded 1,000 yards in his freshman and junior seasons, and he declared for the draft after gaining 1,524 yards last season. He scored 15 touchdowns last year while averaging 6.1 yards per carry. He also returned kicks for the Aggies.

10. Benny Snell

Kentucky, 5-10, 224

Snell is the great nephew of Matt Snell, who helped Joe Namath and the New York Jets to the upset of the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III. He created his own niche at Kentucky by exceeding 1,000 yards rushing in all three of his seasons. As a junior, he rushed for 1,449 yards and 16 touchdowns.


Qadree Ollison & Darrin Hall

Pitt, 6-1, 228 & 5-11, 225

They shared carries last season for the Panthers, but only Ollison was invited to the NFL Combine. Ollison rushed for 1,213 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2018. Hall was right behind with 1,144 yards and 10 scores. Both players are considered late-round prospects.

Best fit for Steelers

Mike Weber

Ohio State, 5-10, 211

Weber is considered a third-day prospect, and that’s about the time the Steelers might target a running back, if they do at all. Weber was one of several running backs the Steelers brought in for a predraft visit. He had 954 yards and five touchdowns as a junior before declaring for the draft.

Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Sports | Steelers
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