Pre-Draft Rookie Running Back Rankings

Pre-Draft Rookie Running Back Rankings

This is a timestamped receipt of where my head is at on these rookie running backs at a moment in time. Before we learn what the NFL is willing to invest in them and where they will play their professional ball.

2022 Prospect Profile: Tyler Allgeier

2022 Prospect Profile: Tyler Allgeier

Tyler Allgeier is part of the Zack Moss-David Montgomery family tree: a big, efficient, tackle-breaking machine with some semblance of three-down ability. It wouldn’t shock me to see him never quite put it together, or to see him give us a year or two of quality production as a short-term lead back.

2022 Prospect Profile: ZaQuandre White

2022 Prospect Profile: ZaQuandre White

ZaQuandre White is probably the weirdest running back in this class. If everything shakes out right, he’s a good athlete with good size and a history of both high-end production and efficient play. There are much worse bets to make in rookie drafts, even if his floor is lower than most.

2022 Devy Rushing Efficiency: Braelon Allen

2022 Devy Rushing Efficiency: Braelon Allen

Braelon Allen could be headed for NFL success. But I think I need to see it one more time before I’m all in. If he can follow up a great freshman campaign with another year of efficient play, I will be fully bought in on him as an elite devy running back.

2022 Devy Rushing Efficiency: Zach Evans

2022 Devy Rushing Efficiency: Zach Evans

As it stands, Zach Evans is the guy at the top of the 2023 running back class who offers the best blend of workhorse size, pass-catching utility, and efficiency on the ground. It’s a small sample so far, but early returns on Evans living up to the hype are very good.

2022 Prospect Profile: Keaontay Ingram

2022 Prospect Profile: Keaontay Ingram

Keaontay Ingram exists somewhere adjacent to the Kareem Hunt-David Montgomery family tree of running backs. He should be at least be an Alexander Mattison-level NFL player. He’s a full skillset guy who’s available in the late-second and even third rounds of rookie drafts. I’m smashing at that price.

2022 Prospect Profile: James Cook

2022 Prospect Profile: James Cook

James Cook’s range of outcomes is wide. But he has the ability to be one of the more productive pass-catching backs in the league early on in his career. That could give him Nyheim Hines-like fantasy utility; which is unfortunately much less valuable than it is in real life.

2022 Devy Rushing Efficiency: Jahmyr Gibbs

2022 Devy Rushing Efficiency: Jahmyr Gibbs

Overall, Jahmyr Gibbs is one of the best receiving weapons we’ve seen at running back in recent memory. He’s also been a precocious producer. Though currently, his numbers as a pure runner do not match the hype he’s getting in devy and forward-looking dynasty circles.

2022 Prospect Profile: Dameon Pierce

2022 Prospect Profile: Dameon Pierce

Despite a low-volume role at Florida, Dameon Pierce is one of the best running backs in this class. He has workhorse size, offers three-down utility, and was one of the most effective pure runners in the class. This despite an athletic profile that doesn’t offer much big-play juice.

2022 Prospect Profile: Isaiah Spiller

2022 Prospect Profile: Isaiah Spiller

Isaiah Spiller is falling like a rock after faceplanting in athletic testing. But he shouldn’t have been highly regarded even prior to that. Don’t let the allure of opportunity tempt you into saving a bad player from that free-fall in rookie drafts after he goes in the third round later this month.