Player, Pos, Team Height Weight Draft Grade
01 Carlos Hyde RB, Ohio State 6'0" 235 A 6.7 Full Scouting Report

Scouting Report:

Carlos Hyde – Ohio State

Hyde is a fourth-year senior from Naples, Florida. He has been used in a rotation the last three seasons and while he may not start the game, he always handles the bulk of the carries. This year, Hyde missed the first three games of the season after being suspended for an off-field issue. Despite missing those three contests, however, Hyde was still able to rush for over 1,500 yards, averaging 7.3 yards per carry, with 15 touchdowns. He also had 16 pass receptions.

Hyde has excellent size for an NFL running back. He is listed as being 6000 – 235. He has quickness and very good balance, but I wouldn’t call him a burner, as Hyde should run in the 4.58 – 4.60 range. Ohio State plays in a spread offense with the running back lined up either as a “pistol” or next to the quarterback. When in the pistol, Hyde shows good initial quickness with a good burst to the hole. When lined up next to the quarterback, the running game is slower to develop, as the back usually takes a lateral step before he moves forward. Personally, I don’t like that style, as the runner does not have a lot of momentum when he gets to the line of scrimmage.

When in the pistol, Hyde has good quickness to the hole and is patient enough to allow his blocks to set up, which permits for the OSU running back to make a cut in the hole and sprint to daylight. Hyde runs low and with power. He is not an overly elusive guy, but he can make a quick cut. He keeps his shoulders square to the line of scrimmage and he attacks tacklers. Hyde has the strength and power to move the pile and gets yards after contact. He’s not a speedster, but Hyde has some long runs on his tape. However, that’s mainly because the holes are there. Still, he runs with good instincts. He is best as a between-the-tackles inside runner, but he does have a burst to turn the corner. Once in the open field, Hyde has demonstrated that he can make one defender miss, but usually not more than that.

In the pass game, Hyde is reliable as a receiver. He is generally utilized on short routes or as a check-down receiver. He has good hands and gets up field quickly after the catch. As a pass blocker, he is willing, but not consistently effective (see Big 10 Championship game). He has to learn to keep better position and use his hands with more effectiveness.

Overall, Hyde has the talent to be a starter in the NFL, but he has some limitations. He would be best utilized in a rotation with a complementary back. His style is similar to Green Bay’s Eddie Lacy, but Hyde is not as violent a runner. He may go in the first round, but I see Hyde more as a solid second round selection.

02 Bishop Sankey RB, Washington 5'10" 200 A 6.7 Full Scouting Report

Scouting Report:

Size – 5094e – 200e – 4.50e

Strong Points – Very productive, play speed, overall athleticism, strength and explosion, initial quickness, instincts/vision, outside run, hands, durability

Weak Points – Average size, not a top after-contact runner, blocking

2013 stats: 327 carries for 1870 yards, 5.7 yards per carry, 20 TDs, 28 catches for 304 yards, one TD

Summation – Sankey is a third-year junior and a two-year starter. As a starter, he has been very productive running for over 3,300 yards and 36 touchdowns the last two seasons. During that period, he has also caught 61 passes.

Sankey is not a very big back at about 5094 – 200, but he is strong and very explosive. He has very good overall athleticism, with a quick burst, excellent change of direction, and balance. Washington plays from a spread formation, but there are many run plays that are run from the pistol. 

Sankey has very good initial quickness to go along with top run instincts and vision. He is a quick cutter, who can find an opening and burst. While he lacks ideal size, his strength and balance allow him to break arm tackles and get extra yardage. In saying that, he is not a power back who is going to move the pile and get the tough yards in short yardage situations. He is more of a creative space player and can make big plays.

Sankey gets a lot of long runs because of his quickness and vision, but he is really more quick than fast. I have seen get run down from behind on a few plays. His play speed is in the 4.50 range.

As a receiver, Sankey shows good hands and is dangerous if he gets the ball in space. He has the run skills to turn a short pass into a long gain. He isn’t asked to run many different types of routes, but he is effective getting open. As a pass blocker, he is willing but not consistently effective. He lacks the size and power to anchor big pass rushers.

Though Sankey is a very productive college player, I don’t see him as a “bell cow” type in the NFL. He will be best utilized as a rotation back who is complemented by a power back. He also has the skills to be a very good kickoff returner. If he can get 15-20 touches a game as a runner, receiver, and returner he can be a productive NFL player. Unless he runs really fast at the Combine, I don’t see him getting drafted before the third round.

B 6.5

03 Tre Mason RB, Auburn 5'10" 207 A 6.6 Full Scouting Report

Scouting Report:

Tre Mason – Auburn

Mason is a third-year junior who is entering the Draft early. He has been a starter since midway through the 2012 season. Mason had a breakout campaign in 2013, winning the SEC Championship and getting an opportunity to play in the National Championship game. In 2013, Mason ran for over 1,800 yards with a 5.7 yards per carry average while catching 12 passes for 163 yards.

Mason is not a big guy. He is listed at 5100 – 205 and may not even be that big. What he is, however, is a very athletic and fast runner who has very good instincts and the ability to make people miss in the open field. Auburn plays in a multiple formation spread offense. Mason is very quick to the hole and has very good vision/run instincts. While he is quick, he is patient enough to set up blocks and can make a cut in the hole to an opening. However, even though Mason has demonstrated quick cutting ability, I wouldn’t call him a cutback- type runner. He runs low and has good, but not great, strength. He shows he can lower his shoulder into his opponent and get a few extra yards, but he is not a tackle breaker, nor is he a top after-contact runner. Mason is more of a creative, elusive type who can get to an open seam. Once in the open field, he has the speed to take it the distance. I would estimate he will run in the 4.48 range.

Mason is effective as both an inside and outside runner because of his vision. He is reliable as a receiver, but is not used that often in the passing game. In the games I viewed, Mason was used mainly as a check-down receiver. As a pass blocker, he is willing but not very effective. His technique is poor and he doesn’t use his hands well.

Overall, I see Mason as a rotational back who would be an excellent complement to a big power runner. While he is a dangerous open field runner with breakaway skills, he needs work as a pass blocker and a receiver. Mason is going to have to be trusted as a pass blocker before he gets a lot of playing time at the next level. While he is talented, I don’t see him going in the first round. He could get drafted in the second, but is more than likely taken in the third. A strong showing at the Combine or at Auburn’s Pro Day as a receiver could make him more valuable.

04 Jeremy Hill RB, LSU 6'2" 235 B 6.6c Full Scouting Report

Scouting Report:

Jeremy Hill – Running Back

Hill is a second-year sophomore but because he finished high school in 2011, he can make himself eligible for the draft. He didn’t enroll at LSU until January 2012 because of some off field issues that needed to be cleaned up. In 2012, Hill played as a rotational back and ran for over 750 yards. This year, he is the starter but still plays in a rotation. To date, he has run for 1185 yards and 14 TDs. He has caught 18 passes for 181 yards. He has very good size for a running back at about 6’1 – 235.

Hill is athletic, with quickness and great balance. He has adequate speed that I would estimate at being in the 4.6 area. He shows good initial quickness and has very good vision/instincts. He is a patient runner who makes good decisions. He is a good cutback runner who finds an opening and bursts through it. With his size and strength, he can run with power and is very good at getting additional yards after contact. He runs low and under his pads and keeps his feet moving. While I would not say he is the most elusive guy, he can make the first man miss.

Collins has some long runs, but he is not what I would call a breakaway threat. He is best as a between-the-tackles, inside runner who can nickel and dime a defense to death. He is also very reliable as a receiver, used mainly on checkdowns and screens. As a pass blocker, I have seen inconsistency. While he is willing, he does not consistently get and keep good positioning, and he needs to use his hands better.

From a physical standpoint, Hill is ready to play in the NFL. He has starter talent and will be a good between-the-tackles power guy. He needs to improve his pass-blocking skills. The question most teams will have is his off field character. He had an arrest in high school and another earlier this summer. These are issues clubs don’t want to deal with. With the running back position already being devalued in the draft, and with his legal issues, I can’t see Collins being drafted before the third round and I might be high there.

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05 De'Anthony Thomas RB, Oregon 5'9" 176 B 6.6 Full Scouting Report

Scouting Report:

De'Anthony Thomas - Running back

Thomas is a third year junior. While he has started many games, he plays in a rotation. He is a former 5-star recruit who was offered by many of the top programs in the country. He is not a very big guy. He stands about 5'9 - 173, but he is very fast (4.38 est) with great cutting ability, body control, and run instincts. He lines up as a running back, a slot receiver, and used to return kicks.

As a RB, he has excellent initial quickness but is also patient. He does a very good job setting up blocks and cutting off those blocks. He has very good vision and can make the quick cut in the hole. He has a great burst and top end speed to turn the corner on outside plays, and once in the open field, it often becomes a foot race that he easily wins. As an inside runner, he can make the quick cut to daylight and produce a big run, but he is not a good after-contact runner. While he runs hard and is strong, he lacks the bulk and power to break tackles inside. As a receiver, he has good hands, can get open, and again, once the ball is in his hands, he becomes a nightmare for the defense. He is extremely dangerous as a return man. His open field run skills are rare.

Thomas will never be a full-time player at the next level. He will be used as a rotational RB and used some as a slot receiver. When you add his ability to return kicks, he can probably touch the ball 15 - 18 times a game and have a direct influence on the outcome of the game. When we see players like Tavon Austin go in the first round, it's easy to see that Thomas will get drafted that high. Whenever he is on the field, he has to be accounted for.  He is a difference maker with the ball in his hands. The problem he will have is durability. With his lack of size, he may be prone to injury. He has already missed three games and most of a fourth this year. Still, a team will gamble on his big play ability.

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06 Charles Sims RB, WVU 6'0" 205 B 6.6 Full Scouting Report

Scouting Report:

Charles Sims – Running Back – West Virginia

Size – 5117v – 214v – 4.50est

Strong Points – Size, athlete, speed, outside run, instincts, cutback skills, hands

Weak Points – Not a top yards-after-contact type, pass blocking, run blocking

Summation – Sims began his career at Houston and was a two-year starter there. He enrolled in 2009 and played in a rotation. He redshirted in 2010 and was the starter in 2011 and 2012. He graduated in the spring of 2012 and transferred to West Virginia for his final year of eligibility.

Sims has good size for the position. At the Senior Bowl, he measured 5117 – 214 but also had small 8.25” hands. He is an athletic back with good play speed (4.50 est.). He has been a productive back, gaining 1,095 yards and averaging 5.3 yards per carry and 11 TDs. He also caught 45 passes for 401 yards and three TDs. In his three years at Houston, he ran for over 2,300 yards and had 158 receptions.

At West Virginia, Sims plays from a spread formation. They usually line up with one RB, but there are times when they have to RBs in the backfield. Sims has good initial quickness and is quick to the hole. He has good vision and instincts and does a good job seeing/finding cutback lanes. While he has good size, he is not a power runner. His production is because of his speed and instincts. He is not a tackle breaker, and his yards-after-contact is just above average. Sims is best outside. He has a burst to turn the corner and the speed to break long runs. He has the quick feet and loose hips to be elusive and make people miss in the open. 

As a receiver, though his hands are small, he is very reliable. In the tapes viewed, I did not see him used much as a route runner. He was more a screen guy and checkdown receiver. Still, he catches the ball well and is a good runner after the catch. His career production as a receiver tells us that he is good. Sims is used to both run and pass block and is average at both. He is not an aggressive blocker, nor does he get and keep good position.

Though talented, I do not see Sims as a full-time back at the next level. He needs to improve his blocking and run-after-contact skills. He can be a valuable player in a rotation and may eventually start when he develops his overall game. Right now I see him as a “B” level player who has a chance to contribute as a rookie.

Grade – B 6.5

07 Ka'Deem Carey RB, Arizona 5'10" 196 B 6.5c Full Scouting Report

Scouting Report:

Ka’Deem Cary – Running Back – Arizona

Size – 5010e – 202e – 4.50e

Strong Points – Very productive, good athlete with good play speed, body control, inside and outside run, elusive. 

Weak Points – Average size for the position, pass blocking, not used a lot in the pass game.

Summation – Cary is a third-year junior who is entering the Draft. As a true freshman, he played as a backup, but still got significant play time. In his second year, he was a starter and led the team in rushing with over 1900 yards and 23 touchdowns. In 2013, he again started and rushed for 1885 yards and 19 touchdowns. For his career, he has averaged 5.7 yards per carry. He also had 77 career receptions for 679 yards and four touchdowns.

Cary is not a big back. He is about 5010 – 202. He has speed and quickness to go along with very good body control. His estimated speed is in the 4.50 area. He plays from a spread formation and is very quick to the hole. He runs with good lean and while he is explosive, he has only average power. He is an instinctive back with good vision and he is a good decision maker. He can see the cut-back lanes and is a very good cut-back runner. He also can make a cut in the hole to find a seam. Despite his lack of top size, Cary runs hard. He can break arm tackles and can get some yards after contact, but he does not have the power to move the pile. He is effective both as an inside and outside runner, and he has the burst to go the distance if he has an opening. He shows the quick-cutting ability to make a man miss both in tight and in the open field. He is not used that often as a receiver. His role is mainly as a check down receiver, and he is used on some screens. You seldom see him used as a route runner. He has good hands, but I have not seen him have to adjust to a difficult throw. He is willing as a pass blocker but not very effective. I have seen him run over by a blitzing linebacker. He does a better job when he tries to cut block. He lacks the size and power to anchor and needs to use his hands better.

Overall, Cary is talented, but he has limitations. I see him more as a rotational back in the NFL. He doesn’t have the size or power to be a consistently effective number one back. If used correctly, he can be very effective as a change-of-pace back who gets 15 touches a game. He needs to develop his pass route running and pass blocking skills. At present, he can’t be trusted as a blocker. Because of his speed and big play ability, he could easily be taken in the third or fourth round.

Grade – B 6.5


08 Devonta Freeman RB, Florida State 5'9" 209 B 6.5 Full Scouting Report

Scouting Report:

Devonta Freeman – Running Back – Florida State

Size – 5082 – 206 – 4.58

Strong Points – Competitive and productive, consistent, vision and instincts, hands, adequate blocker, quicker than fast, durability

Weak Points – Size, short arms, timed speed, not a top after-contact runner.

2014 Stats – 173 carries – 1016 yards – 5.9 avg. per carry - 14 Touchdowns - 22 receptions – 278 yards – one touchdown

Summation – A third-year junior and a one-year fulltime starter, Freeman started some games the last half of the 2012 season. He played in a rotation with two other backs in 2013.

He does not have great size at 5082 – 206. He also has very short arms, measuring only 29 3/8” at the combine. Still, he is a tough competitor who gets the most out of every carry. He is a quick starter, but in the Florida State scheme, there are a lot of runs that start off with lateral movement and then a cut upfield. You don’t see that much in the NFL. He is better when he runs right to the hole. He has good vision and instincts and runs with good lean. He can make a cut in the hole and get to an opening. While he runs hard, he is not a really powerful guy. He can get some yards after contact, but he is not a move-the-pile type. He has shown effectiveness both inside and out.

As a receiver, he is reliable, running good routes and showing good hands. While he is not a home run threat, he consistently gets yards after the catch. He is most effective on screens and checkdowns. He is a willing blocker, but because he lacks size, he isn’t consistently effective.

I see Freeman as a good role player at the next level. He can be used in a rotation as a change-of-pace back. I don’t see him ever being a number one back, but he can be effective if he is given 10 -12 touches per game.

Grade B 6.4

09 Andre Williams RB, Boston College 5'11" 220 B 6.5 Full Scouting Report

Scouting Report:

Andre Williams – Running Back
Williams is fourth-year senior and a three-year starter. In his first three years, he played mostly as a rotational back and never ran for more than 600 yards in a season. In 2013, Williams has run for more yards than he did in his first three years combined and looks like he will be a Heisman trophy finalist. To date he has run for 2109 yards with a 6.4 yards per carry average and 17 touchdowns. The odd stat is he hasn’t caught a pass all year. He has only 10 receptions in his collegiate career. This season, it’s safe to say that Williams IS the Boston College offense. The BC passing game has been good for only 1800 yards.

Williams has very good running back size at about 6’0- 228. He is more quick than fast, with his speed being in the 4.63 area. He is best as a downhill between-the-tackles runner. He has good initial quickness and stays low out of his stance. He plays with good vision and instincts and makes good decisions. He shows some cutback skills and can make a cut in the hole, but he is not a top elusive-type runner. Williams is a consistently hard runner and has the lower body power to get yards after contact. While he has a burst to turn the corner, he is much better inside than he is outside.

Williams is a pounder who can nickel and dime a team to death. While he has some long runs, he is not the breakaway type. I noticed on tape that teams will often play eight or nine in the box to stop him. If a play is blocked well and he clears the line of scrimmage, he has free sailing. At least three of his longer runs were of this variety. While not used in the passing game, Williams is willing as a pass blocker and flashes as a face-up blocker.

The fact that no running backs were taken in the first round is not an anomaly. The running back position has been devalued as it pertains to the draft. Unless a back has something really special, they won't be going that high much more. Because Williams has never been part of the BC passing game, scouts and coaches will questions his skills in that area. At this time, I can’t see Williams getting drafted before the third round. He will be in the NFL what he is in college, a good between-the-tackles power back.

10 Kendall James RB, Maine 6'0" 175 B 6.5 Stats
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