As the college season comes barreling to a close, April 27th will be here before we know it! I wanted to get my list of top running backs out for you now, so you can keep an eye on these talented backs. There are more than ten running backs that could be in consideration but we know the league de-values this group. I still expect 1 back to go in round 1 because there is an elite option this year.
Top 10 Running Backs for the 2023 NFL Draft
Bijan Robinson – Texas
Everyone’s got articles about how amazing Bijan is, he really can do it all and be an immediate three-down player for whoever drafts him in the upcoming draft. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him go anywhere from pick 20 on, like Najee Harris when Pittsburgh drafted him (though I like Bijan more).
Chase Brown – Illinois
If you want a more in-depth look, I dropped an article a few weeks back! Chase has continued to produce strong stats but more so than that, looks the part of an NFL starter.
Blake Corum – Michigan
Already over 1,000 yards and double-digit touchdowns, people wondered if he could handle the workload (we have our answer). Every week, people turn in to see how Corum will score, he is such a playmaker that you can use him in the passing game as well!
Sean Tucker – Syracuse
All ten of these backs on my list are potentially featured backs but most won’t leave their school with as many records as Tucker. I’d say he’s put the concerns to bed about his pass-catching chops, he’s done a good job in the passing game. I’d expect him to go to a zone running team but he can do it all!
Zach Evans – Mississippi
Evans should be an early-down back from day one, I won’t say he’s got bell-cow potential though. Nowadays, all teams use multiple backs, even teams with elite runners have a couple of backs involved weekly. Evans hasn’t shown a ton in the passing game but that’s not what either team needed him for. I will say, the passes thrown his way he did fine catching, so he could be good in that area.
Zach Charbonnet – UCLA
I am a Michigan fan, so I’ve watched Charbonnet for a while now. I will say, he’s looked MUCH better in UCLA’s offense than he ever did at Michigan. Since transferring to UCLA, he’s answered any questions I had in terms of if he could handle passing down work. He has a great size-speed combination that could easily land him on day two in the Draft.
Tank Bigsby – Auburn
Bigsby is another big bruising running back that any team with power-running concepts will love. When I watch him, I see a fluid runner with good hands in the passing game and a willingness to do whatever is needed. He’s a good north-south runner that will need to be taken down at the legs, as his upper body is STRONG!
Jahmyr Gibbs – Alabama
Is there anything Gibbs can’t do? Gibbs wasn’t used a ton at Georgia Tech but he looked good with his opportunities. He transfers to Alabama and immediately puts the other backs on this list on notice. Whatever team drafts him will get a back capable of playing on any down. If you bring him in as your pass-catching back he’s a cheat code. If you use him as your workhorse, you get a back with more tread on the tires than most on this list.
Devon Achane – Texas A&M
Achane will probably be pegged as some team’s third down specialist, as he is very good out in space. He’s got another level when he turns on the jets, he’s hard to catch. His athletic profile and ability to make defenders miss will benefit any team that utilizes a back similar to him (see Philadelphia).
Deuce Vaughn – Kansas St.
One of the smallest running backs on my list, you’d expect me to say Vaughn’s projected as a third-down pass catcher. You’d be wrong, he really hasn’t seen many passes in his career. He has carried the ball over 500 times in three college seasons though. Vaughn may have the best vision of any back on this list and at his size, he needs something to stand out. He does an amazing job of identifying the hole and exploding through it. Unfortunately, his size will probably cause a lot of teams to push him down their boards, that’ll be a mistake in my opinion.
Any questions or just want to keep the conversation going, hit me up on Twitter Feel free to @ me or DM me and we can talk more about them and the rest of the 2023 NFL Draft, and don’t forget to check out our Mock Draft’s here on Draft Countdown!