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2012 RB's


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I am not looking at RB's before the 4th. They don't need to sink big money into a backup at that position.


Bernard Pierce*, RB, Temple

Height: 6-0. Weight: 217.

Projected 40 Time: 4.51.

Projected Round (2012): 4-5.

1/16/12: Pierce was putting together a massive junior season before injuries slowed him down in November. He still ran for 1,481 yards and 27 touchdowns this year. Pierce averaged 5.6 yards per carry and beat up on some weaker competition. It was disappointing for his draft stock to see him produce only 50 yards against his best opponent, Penn State. He also had a concussion and that can be a scary injury for talent evaluators. Pierce is not very fast, but he can pound the ball between the tackles.



Vick Ballard, RB, Mississippi State

Height: 5-10. Weight: 2157

Projected 40 Time: 4.60.

Arm: 31 1/8. Hand: 9 1/2.

Projected Round (2012): 4-5.

1/16/12: Ballard started out the season very strong, but he ended up with only two 100-yard rushing games against a conference opponent. This year, Ballard totaled 1,189 yards and 10 touchdowns for an average of 6.1 yards per carry. To end 2011, he ran for 180 yards against Wake Forest after totaling 144 yards against Ole Miss.


Teams sold out to stop Ballard and make Mississippi State beat them through the air. He has a nice combination of size and speed. Ballard could be a good sleeper running back on the third day of the draft.



Cyrus Gray, RB, Texas A&M

Height: 5-10. Weight: 198.

Projected 40 Time: 4.47.

Arm: 29 3/8. Hand: 9.

Projected Round (2012): 4-5.

1/16/12: For the majority of the season, Gray split carries with teammate Christine Micheal. After he went down with an injury, Gray became the lead back. He ran for 1,045 yards (5.3 average) and 12 touchdowns this year. Gray has also caught 31 passes for 239 yards and three scores. He has a nice skill set but may not have the size to be a lead back in the NFL. Gray could be an interesting back as part of a running back-by-committee approach.



Daniel Herron, RB, Ohio State

Height: 5-9. Weight: 212.

Projected 40 Time: 4.59.

Arm: 31 5/8. Hand: 9.

Projected Round (2012): 4-5.

1/16/12: Herron was suspended for six games for his part in the Ohio State scandal. He played well in his first three outings before trailing off late in the season. In seven contests, Herron ran for 678 yards with three touchdowns.



Robert Turbin, RB, Utah State

Height: 5-9. Weight: 216.

Projected 40 Time: 4.62.

Projected Round (2012): 4-6.

1/16/12: In 2011, Turbin averaged 6.1 yards per carry with 1,517 yards rushing and 19 touchdowns. He caught 17 passes for 171 yards and four scores as well. In 2009, Turbin broke out with 1,296 yards and 13 touchdowns. He missed the 2010 season because of an injury. Turbin is put together well and is an elusive runner.



Ronnie Hillman*, RB, San Diego State

Height: 5-10. Weight: 190.

Projected 40 Time: 4.48.

Projected Round (2012): 5-6.

1/16/12: Hillman ran for 1,711 yards (5.5 average) with 19 touchdowns this season. He also caught 24 receptions for 270 yards and a score. In the NFL, Hillman projects to be a smaller, quick scat back. As a redshirt freshman in 2010, he ran for 1,532 yards and 17 touchdowns.



Bobby Rainey, RB, Western Kentucky

Height: 5-8. Weight: 205.

Projected 40 Time: 4.55.

Projected Round (2012): 5-6.

1/16/12: Rainey ran for 1,695 yards (4.6 average) with 13 touchdowns this season. He was bottled up by Kentucky and LSU, the top two opponents on the Wildcats' schedule. Rainey saw a lot heavy fronts. In 2010, he ran for 1,649 yards (4.9 average) and 15 touchdowns. Rainey has some power and bulk for a smaller back, and has the potential to be a quality backup in the NFL.



Marc Tyler, RB, USC

Height: 5-11. Weight: 230.

Projected 40 Time: 4.58.

Projected Round (2012): 5-6.

1/16/12: Tyler was suspended for the first game of the season, and wasn't the focal point of the Trojans' ground offense as running back Curtis McNeal received more carries throughout 2011. Tyler totaled 568 yards and four touchdowns this year. He dislocated his shoulder against California, and that knocked him out for basically two games. Helping Tyler's draft stock is that he is one of the few big backs available in the draft.

A heavy back could be needed to get those short yardage and goal line situations done instead of what they do now.




Brandon Bolden, RB, Ole Miss

Height: 5-11. Weight: 220.

Projected 40 Time: 4.57.

Projected Round (2012): 7-FA.

1/16/12: Bolden injured his ankle in the Rebels' season-opening loss to BYU. He had four carries for 21 yards in that contest. Bolden missed a game because of that injury, plus had other injuries throughout year. He ran for a total of 472 yards on 96 carries and four touchdowns this season.

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Good stuff papa. Keep it up.


I have watched a lot of USC games so I know Tyler. He absolutely can be that inside runner teams need. He is one of the only true big backs in the draft this year so that alone will see him drafted a round ahead of where he should be. My guess is he should be a 6th round pick that goes in the 5th.

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The RB that interests me now is Doug Martin. He was an important part of the Boise State offense. Runs with power and has a few moves to go along with it.


He is 5'9" and 223lbs so very compact. Here is his combine profile:




I don't know that we would select him in the 2nd but if he is BPA then maybe. If we could get him in the 3rd it would be a steal.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Bernard Pierce*, RB, Temple

03/06/2012 - SCOUTS IDENTIFY 5 UNDERRATED COMBINE PERFORMERS: RB Bernard Pierce, Temple: Pierce is one of the more interesting backs in the 2012 draft class because he's more of a finesse, zone-read back than the power option that his 6-0, 220 pound frame and school record 53 rushing touchdowns would indicate. The junior helped prove his unique athleticism with an underrated all-around performance at the Combine in which he measured in faster (4.49), quicker (7.07 seconds in the three-cone) and more explosive (123" broad jump) than some of the more highly regarded backs of this class. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com


Temple Owls running back Bernard Pierce is a good-sized back with explosion and quickness. Ultimately, his combine is going to dictate where he lands in the 2012 NFL Draft after running all over the competition in the Mid-American Conference. Pierce ran for 1,381 yards and 25 TDs in only 10 games this year.

Pierce loves to cut back and explode through holes. He always runs like he is one step ahead of defenders with good vision. He's a former track star who could surprise scouts with a sub 4.5 40-yard dash time. In all likelihood, it'll be a bit slower than that but even still, Pierce's decisive running style will appeal to running back coaches across the league.

He needs to improve his ability to fight through crowds and keep his balance. Scouts will definitely be weary of the competition he faced playing in the MAC. Pierce was simply more athletic than many of his opponents and when he did face BCS-caliber opponents, his play didn't carry over as well.


fftoolbox has him 4th round

NFL draft blitz as a 3rd round


It is looking like he is a 3-4 round guy. I don't like that he doesn't live up to his size if that is what the Ravens would be looking for. I think they need some power to compliment RR.

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Robert Turbin, RB, Utah State





Turbin is very athletic. Has the size to be a thumper inside, but moves more like a shifty, quick back. Has very quick feet that he employs to stop and start instantaneously out of the backfield. Has a big frame that gets to full speed fast. A classic downhill runner who can run through linebackers and carry the pile. Was a threat throughout his career in the pass game. Has the speed, athleticism, and durability to wear down an NFL defense for an entire game.



The only thing that could keep Turbin off the field for an NFL offense early is his pass blocking. At Utah State, Turbin would whiff on blockers at times. The problem is his technique; he tends to get off balance and blown back into the passer. Cut blocks were an issue for him as well.


NFL draft scout has in at 3rd round.

nfl draft blitz 4th round.

fftoolbox as a 3rd round


I like the power and nifty moves.

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Vick Ballard, RB, Mississippi State



Ballard tore up junior college for two years then took his talents to Starkville for a pair of successful seasons. The bruising running back rushed 186 yards for 968 yards and an amazing 19 touchdowns as a junior in 2010. As a senior he had 193 carries for 1189 yards and 10 scores. Ballard is also a decent pass-catcher out of the backfield. In his two seasons with the Mississippi State Bulldogs, he made a total of 30 receptions for 193 yards and two touchdowns.

The Pascagoula, MS native stands at 5'11'' and 220 pounds. He generally runs in the 4.5s of the 40-yard dash and he has been clocked as fast as 4.47 from that distance. Ballard can break tackles simply by running through defenders, but he struggles to change direction and elude tacklers. He isn't overly explosive off the ball, so it takes him a decent amount of time to reach top speed. Ballard probably won't ever be a featured running back at the next level, but he will provide valuable depth and could be a serious factor in red-zone situations. Look for him to go off the board in the fifth round of the 2012 NFL Draft.


fftoolbox 5th round

nfl draft scout 4-5

nfl draft blitz 4th.

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Doug Martin Boise St

Inside: Bowling-ball runner between the tackles. Flashes a burst into and out of the hole. Lowers his pads and delivers a blow into the chest of defenders. Falls forward on nearly every run due to lean. Finds creases with jump-steps and bounces into open on some plays, but buries his head too soon at times. Short build makes it difficult for defenders to find among lineman. Does not always read blocks correctly from pulling guards. Holds ball high and tight when inside. May not be big enough to move piles at the next level, but gets low and gives great effort to pick up short-yardage plays.

Outside: Good acceleration and straight-line speed to break off long runs. Cuts hard to his left and right equally well to avoid hard-charging safeties. Flashes setting up straight-on defender with inside-out cut which freezes them. Strong stiff-arm denies oncoming tacklers. Shows patience on stretch runs, plants foot and accelerates to avoid penetrating defenders or once finding a hole. Does not always move ball to outside hand. Ball gets away from his body when running at full speed; fumbled three times in 2010, twice in 2009 in limited carries. May not break away from NFL defenders as regularly as he did against non-BCS conference competition.

Breaking tackles: Low center of gravity, strong lean, and powerful legs let him bull through arm and shoulder tackles. Good balance to spin off a hit, maintain balance and continue downfield. Lowers pads on contact and churns through cut tackles in space. Cuts quickly and even jump-cuts through traffic and past second-level tacklers. Plays through the whistle.

Blocking: Does not offer much in terms of pass protection. Often subbed out in obvious passing situations, best help for the quarterback is as an outlet receiver. Does not anchor against oncoming blitzers. Poor cut tackler, defenders easily elude him. Lacks height but possesses strength, build and attitude to improve with more coaching.

Receiving: Solid receiver in the flat, capable of running through tackles on the edge to move the chains. Flexible enough to catch passes thrown behind him. Effective on center screens, makes first man miss to get into space. Rarely goes out of bounds (unless time requires), cuts inside tacklers to get extra yardage.

Intangibles: Offensive weapon with defensive mindset. NFL body comes from excellent weight room work ethic. Teammate Matt Slater referred to Martin as a "muscle hamster" due to his compact build.


NFL draft scout 2nd

fftoolbox 3rd round

nfl draft blitz 2nd



Gotta love the power and moves. I don't seee them going this early though.

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Terrance Ganaway, Baylor: At 5-11 and 241 pounds

Strengths: Thickly-put-together throughout his frame and runs with power, showing the leg drive to push the pile. Runs balanced and close to the ground with the natural strength to stay on his feet through contact as defenders slip off of him ? load to tackle and easily runs through arm tackles. Has good vision to find the hole and get north/south. Gets good initial push and always seems to be falling forward for a positive gain. A hard runner with a workhorse-type back mentality. Does a nice job picking up the blitz and using his frame to impede rushers. Earned the starting running back job as a senior and made the most of his opportunity, leading the Big 12 in rushing and finishing third in the NCAA with 21 rush scores ? finished the season with six 100+ yard and three 200+ yard performances. Has good bloodlines as the nephew of former NFL defensive lineman Jeremiah Trotter.

Weaknesses: Poor acceleration and takes too long to get up to full speed ? a slow starter with little burst to his game. Too hesitant when the hole isn?t there and wastes time running laterally. Tight-hipped and doesn?t show much wiggle or open-field shiftiness. Stops his feet too quickly and needs to consistently keep his legs moving through contact. Not overly physical for his size and won?t run over defenders ? doesn?t break enough tackles. Will run with inconsistent pad level at times and struggle to get through the line of scrimmage at the next level. Needs to watch his weight and stay conditioned. Has limited experience catching the ball out of the backfield and needs to improve his technique in pass protection.


Walters 3-5th

NFl draft blitz 6th.

NFL draft scout 5th.


He is Jamalish in his power. Not as nifty with the moves but has lots of power.

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Lennon Creer, RB, Louisiana Tech

Height: 5-11. Weight: 219.

Strengths: A quick, smooth athlete with the footwork to make sharp cuts and redirect his momentum in a flash. Shows good vision and patience with natural running instincts. Has good straight-line speed with quick acceleration and a second gear downfield. Has a good-sized frame to add some bulk and get stronger. Has reliable hands out of the backfield with a combined 43 receptions the past two years. Shows very good effort in pass protection, giving up his body and taking on blocks. Has some experience as a return man on kickoffs.

Weaknesses: An upright runner with a lean torso and not a lot of bulk on his frame. A one-speed runner and lacks any explosive qualities with tight hips. Has poor balance and has the bad habit of losing coordination when changing directions ? his feet and upper body look to be on two different pages. Goes down too easily upon contact and needs to do a better job staying on his feet and anticipating hits. Needs to be more of a finisher and run with more purpose and determination. Has battled several injuries the past two seasons, including an ankle issue that plagued him through his senior year and caused him to miss the final two games of the 2011 regular season (didn?t even practice). Has had maturity and coachability issues at both Tennessee and Louisiana Tech ? questionable passion and work ethic to make it as a pro. Allowed himself to be academically ineligible for the 2011 bowl game and his final game in college.



NFL draft scout 6-7

Walters 5-7

draft 101 UDFA



Brandon Bolden, RB, Ole Miss

Height: 5-11. Weight: 222.

Inside: Good size and strength as an interior runner. A bit indecisive. Will attack the hole when he sees it, but too often bounces it outside, looking for the 40 yard run when sometimes he should be satisfied with getting the four. Runs low with good knee bend through the hole, but stands up as gets to the second level, exposing himself (and the ball) to hits. Willing to lower his shoulder and shows good leg drive to get the tough yards, but doesn't always play with the physicality you're looking for. Has good vision and shows some lateral agility to elude, though he isn't a nifty back capable of making defenders miss in tight quarters.

Outside: Doesn't wow you with his speed to the edge, but has sneaky speed to and around the corner, consistently beating linebackers to the spot. Can plant his foot in the ground and accelerate quickly. Capitalizes on lanes when they're there and shows more burst and the straight-line speed to pull away than you'd expect for a back of his size (LSU).

Breaking tackles: Runs hot and cold in this area. Is a powerfully built back (especially in his upper body) who can lower his shoulder and bring the boom to run through would-be tacklers. Also has a stiff-arm and a spin move to slip past defenders. At his best when near the goal-line, as he seems to be a more determined runner and keeps his legs churning upon contact. Doesn't always seem to play with the same intensity, however, and appears to have only average balance, overall.

Blocking: Does a serviceable job as a pass blocker. Was often asked to stay in and provide a chip block with a running threat in Jeremiah Masoli at quarterback last year. Recognizes the blitz and steps up to it, though rather than physically taking on and controlling the pass rusher, Bolden often will drive low, taking out the legs. His blocks are usually effective, but high-effort pass rushers can beat him with quick hands or simply by picking themselves up after the initial block to get back into the play.

Receiving: Among his better skills. Shows soft hands out of the backfield and the flexibility to turn his body, receive the swing/screen pass and accelerate with no wasted motion. Shows some versatility as a route-runner, including the ability to challenge down the sideline on the wheel route.

Intangibles: Received the Jeff Hamm Award for Most Outstanding Offensive Player during spring (2011) drills. Served as a gunner on punt coverage in 2010. Bolden requested a grade from the NFL Advisory Committee after his junior season but elected to return for his senior season after receiving a Day Three grade.


Walters 6-7th

fftoolbox 5th

draft blitz 4th

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Ryan Houston UNC RB/FB

Strengths: Is a big powerful runner who really started to look the part before injury. Has a nose for the end zone. Accelerates and turns well for a back his size. Good at pass blocking/blitz pick-up.

Weaknesses: Runs high and upright. Not fast. Never played FB. Not natural catching the ball. High hipped frame may not be well suited for NFL FB position. Was always below an average of 4 yards per carry in every season at UNC.


draft scout 7th-UDFA

football mockery 5th - UDFA

draft 101 UDFA


I like the compliment of what he can do.



Chris Polk, RB, Washington




Inside: Strong interior runner. Quickly presses the line of scrimmage and has the burst to get through the line of scrimmage and into the second level quickly. A classic North/South runner who doesn't waste time moving laterally. Good vision to set up cutback lanes as he gets to the open field. Doesn't possess elite breakaway speed, but is fast enough to gain yardage in chunks when he finds a seam. Fights for extra yardage and is a reliable short-yardage runner. Good forward lean. Keeps his legs churning on contact. Protects the ball with both hands.

Outside: Not truly explosive, but possesses enough speed to beat the linebacker to the edge. Looks to get upfield. Won't rely on his speed to run around defenders. Looks for the hole and can stick his foot in the ground and cut upfield quickly. Does not possess top breakaway speed, though he's rarely caught from behind.

Breaking tackles: Unquestionably his best attribute. Very physical runner who keeps his legs churning on contact. Rarely goes down with the first hit. Lowers his shoulder into defenders and shows a variety of natural running skills to break free, including a stiff-arm, spin move and pure determination. Runs low to the ground and with good forward lean to generate the tough yards. Keeps his arms wrapped securely around the ball.

Blocking: An underrated component of his game. Cognizant pass defender who is willing to take on the hard-charging linebacker head on. Keeps his shoulders square and brings his hips to jolt the defender. Will resort to cut-blocks, on occasion, and could use some technical work, as he'll lunge low. NFL pass rushers may be able to leap over him … Willing to help teammates downfield.

Receiving: Became more of a weapon out of the backfield in 2011 for the Huskies, catching passes out of the backfield on simple swing passes, as well as more complicated wheel routes and even occasionally lining up outside. Possesses the athleticism and soft hands to contribute to an NFL passing attack. Reliable hands out of the backfield, demonstrating the ability to quickly secure the pass and turn upfield. Demonstrated the ability to track the ball over his shoulder. Good flexibility, balance to adjust to the poorly thrown pass. Good vision and patience for screens.

Intangibles: Doubled as a kick returner as a redshirt freshman, averaging 19.8 yards a return on 12 attempts … Final pro grade may not be determined until the Combine as team doctors will want to check out his medical … Has already undergone two shoulder surgeries and a knee scope, a concern considering Polk's highly physical running style … Signed with Washington largely due to the fact that it was where his mother wanted him to go … Graduated in June, 2011.


Draft scout 3rd

mocking the draft 3rd

walters 3rd


Nice power. Can drag defenders.

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Cody Johnson Texas RB/FB

Ht: 5-11 Wt: 255

Strengths: Thickly-bodied athlete with solid girth on his frame ? natural size and carries his weight well. A physical runner and tough finisher with very good leg drive to push the pile. Looks for contact, running with power and low pad level ? bulldozing runner and looks to run over defenders. Seeks contact as a lead blocker and exhibits very good toughness. Was the team?s leading rusher in 2010 and tallied 345 rushes over his career, seeing time as the team?s primary running back at times ? ran a lot of wildcat and racked up 36 career touchdowns. He is a vocal leader, uplifting his teammates on and off the field.

Weaknesses: Poor top-end speed and won?t be able to run away from defenders at the next level ? lacks the long speed to be anything but a short-yardage guy. Not overly explosive and is straight-linish, showing stiffness in his hips with limited change of direction ability as a runner and blocker ? won?t make defenders miss. Needs to improve his technique as both a run blocker and pass protector ? unrefined and relies on his natural size. Tends to lunge and leave his feet when attempting to block moving targets. Doesn?t have a lot of experience catching the ball out of the backfield (only 12 career catches). Scored two-thirds on his career TD total in his first two seasons and set career-lows in rushing as a senior despite nine starts (only one game with double-digit carries in 2011) ? didn?t fully capture opportunities to be the bell-cow runner for the Longhorns and watched his production decline.


Nfl draft scout 7th-UDFA

Walters 5-7

nfl mocks 5th



Alfred Morris

Florida Atlantic Owls Ht / Wt: 5'11" / 222


• Strong lower body

• Brings value as an inside runner

• Lowers shoulder, churns through contact

• Willing, physical blocker

• Special-teams ability

• Tough and smart


• Lacks ideal bulk

• Below-average speed for a running back

• Tight-hipped and straight-linish

• Limited foot quickness, elusiveness

• Lacks lead-blocking experience



Draft Scout UDFA

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