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Article:NFL Draft Positional Breakdown: Running backs

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Yes, that’s right, it’s yet another NFL Draft article from yours truly. But since we’re less than a week away from the actual thing and with the AGM Mock Draft going on as we speak, I figured it would be okay.

Like last time, the following rankings are not the order I think that they players will be drafted, but rather how successful an NFL career they will have and how talented they are. Up today, it’s everyone’s favorite skill position: Running backs!

1. Darren McFadden

No surprises here, McFadden is number one and rightfully so. He’s one of the most hyped backs to come out of college since Reggie Bush and he’s been compared multiple times to Adrian Peterson because of his strong running style that is complimented by speed. Can we just completely stop comparing players coming out of college to pro players? They are each their own person with their own skill sets -- and comparing them to people before they’ve even played on the pro level has never made much sense to me. After they’ve played a couple of pro games? Fine, but until then, let’s just say Darren McFadden is the most similar to Darren McFadden.

2007 stats: 304 rushes for 1,725 yards, 15 TD’s, 21 receptions for 164 yards, 1 TD

2. Jonathan Stewart

There are some people who have been saying that Jonathan Stewart is going to be better than Darren McFadden. While this may be true, I think these people are just trying to create controversy. Unlike the differing opinions on the Brohm/Ryan duo, there really isn’t much solid evidence to back up that Stewart will be better than McFadden other than the fact that he had similar stats last year. But then again, Stewart ran for Oregon -- McFadden for Arkansas in the uber-competitive SEC.

2007 stats: 280 rushes for 1,722 yards, 11 TD’s, 22 receptions for 145 yards, 2 TD’s

3. Rashard Mendenhall

With all the McFadden/Peterson comparisons, I’m surprised than more people are not comparing Rashard Mendenhall to Adrian Peterson as well. He has the same combo of power and speed that makes people salivate over him and he has great hands out of the backfield. As with everything, we will have to wait and see.

2007 stats: 262 rushes for 1,681 yards, 17 TD’s, 34 receptions for 318 yards, 2 TD’s

4. Ray Rice

Breaking 2,000 yards in a season is no small feat -- but having almost 400 rushes certainly helps. Ray Rice was the focal point of the Rutgers offense last year and it shows in his statistics. Rice could have been a great pick last year if he came out and he only improved his game this year. The one thing all of those carries does tell us about Rice is that he can be the workhouse starting running back many current teams so desperately need.

2007 stats: 380 attempts for 2,012 yards, 24 TD’s, 25 receptions for 239 yards, 1 TD

5. Felix Jones

Had Jones not started behind Darren McFadden the whole season and instead was the starter for a different team, he very well could have been the second or even first running back taken. A lot of people are excited about Jones’ potential and with good reason -- with barely 130 carries he made every carry worthwhile, averaging 8.7 yards per rush.

2007 stats: 133 rushes for 1,162 yards, 11 TD’s, 16 receptions for 176 yards

Honorable mentions: Steve Slaton, Chris Johnson, Kevin Smith, Mike Hart

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