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2011 NFL Draft - Ranking The RBs No. 11 to 25
Wisconsin RB John Clay
Wisconsin RB John Clay
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Apr 11, 2011


From a college football perspective, here's the ranking of all the top running back prospects. ... No. 11 to 25

2011 NFL Draft Position Rankings

Running Backs - No. 11-25


By Pete Fiutak

- 2011 NFL Running Back Rankings - Top Ten

11. John Clay, Wisconsin 6-1, 230 (Jr.)
While he got in better shape to up his stock, he’s a hamburger away from ballooning up again with way too much bad weight. However, even though he played with a spare tire, he brought peerless power and stunning breakaway speed for a player of his size as one of the nation’s most productive backs over the last few years. With his style, though, he was beaten on and always seems to have issues with his ankles and knees. Fumbles were a problem for a time, and if he can’t hang on to the ball as a short-yardage back, he won’t last long. He’s worth drafting for his power, but he’ll only work if he keeps his weight down to under 250.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round

12. Anthony Allen, Georgia Tech 6-1, 228
With a terrific blend of size, speed, and quickness, he’s an intriguing prospect on his measureables alone. While it’s always tough to figure out what a back in a Paul Johnson option offense can do at the next level, he has the ability and the potential to be a stud when he gets the ball in space. Forget about him as a receiver and he doesn’t use his size for any power, but in a zone-blocking scheme he could be ultra-productive in an Arian Foster kind of way.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round

13. Dion Lewis, Pitt 5-7, 193 (Soph.)
It’ll be easy to try to compare him to LeSean McCoy, but he’s not the same runner and he’s not quite as big. Even so, he’s so quick when he gets a little bit of room to move and he zips and cuts on a dime. While he might not be an every down back and he’s going to be a bit of a specialist, especially on third downs, he’ll be effective when he gets his chances. Always dinged up, he can’t be counted on for a full season and he’ll disappear for stretches, but some offensive coordinator will be really, really happy with a new toy to play with.
CFN Projection: Third Round

14. Stevan Ridley, LSU 5-11, 225 (Junior)
A strong, powerful back who provides a thump, he managed to be the only thing that consistently worked for the painful LSU offense. Always working and always coming up with positive yards, he’s a physical producer who’ll come up with a few extra inches after getting stopped. While he’s not speedy and he’s not going to hit any home runs, he’ll be a good complimentary back if there are other fast options to play around with. While he doesn’t do anything at a high level, he’ll be strong enough a runner to get a long look in a backfield.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round

15. Jamie Harper, Clemson 6-0, 233 (Junior)
A big back who moves surprisingly well and can be used as a receiver and a blocker as well as a between-the-tackles runner. While he was a good back for Clemson, he wasn’t necessarily great and he wasn’t a featured back for all that long. If he can keep in shape and if he’s willing to do all the little things, he could carve out a nice career for himself. He’ll never be a No. 1 and he’ll never be a star, but he could be great if he’s okay with becoming a jack-of-all-trades.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round

16. Derrick Locke, Kentucky 5-8, 188
He’s always going to have an injury problem in one way or another, and he’s not going to get any bigger and he’s not going to hit anyone, but if given the chance he’ll be the difference in at least two wins a year. A case could be made that he was the best all-around back in the SEC over the last few years with great hands for the receiving game, terrific kick return skills, and excellent speed and quickness. He’ll never be a featured back, but he’ll be around for a long time as a returner and a third down back.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round

17. Evan Royster, Penn State 6-0, 212
Penn State’s all-time leading rusher, he’s more of a tough, plodding producer than a flashy home run hitter. He didn’t exactly get a whole bunch of help from some mediocre lines, and he didn’t do anything too memorable, but he’s smart, tough, coachable, and can catch the ball. There’s nothing there to suggest he can be special or a No. 1 back, but he’ll be a decent enough No. 2 to count on for 7-to-10 key touches per game.
CFN Projection: Sixth Round

18. Noel Devine, West Virginia 5-7, 179
It was a bit of a stunner that he came back for his senior year, and then he struggled and went from being an intriguing NFL role player type to being an afterthought. Insanely strong for his size, he should be able bring a little bit of power and he’s quicker than his workouts show. Size is a big issue, even after putting on close to 20 pounds in a hurry over the last few months, and he times slowwwwwww. He fumbles too much, has a hard time staying healthy, and doesn’t have the raw skills. However, he should have some worth as a versatile backup and a kick returner.
CFN Projection: Sixth Round

19. Darren Evans, Virginia Tech 6-0, 227 (Junior)
He had the look of a rising superstar with a tremendous 2008, and then he tore up his knee before the 2009 season and he wasn’t quite the same in 2010. He’s a big back with good shiftiness and nice straight-line speed, but he’s not going to bust off any big runs and he’s not creative enough to come up with anything that’s not blocked for him. While he has good size, he also gets chopped down way too easily and doesn’t do a good enough job of getting small when needed. He’s not going to do anything special in the NFL, but he’ll be a part of a rotation and will be productive in spurts.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round

20. Delone Carter, Syracuse, 5-9, 222
Short and squatty, he shocked the Combine with a phenomenal workout that should move him up the charts. Great in between the tackles and extremely tough for his size, he’ll be a pinball bouncing off of tackles for positive yards. He’s not a receiver and won’t be a third down back, and he’s more of a strong, quick back than a fast home run hitter, but he’ll bring power and good energy.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round

21. Roy Helu, Jr., Nebraska 5-11, 219
There’s something missing. He’s a big back with blazing speed, and he’s one of the few true home run hitting backs in the draft. With great moves, nice wiggle, and with a one cut and gone burst, the measurables are all there. However, what he isn’t is powerful and runs way too softly for a player of his size. He’ll come up with a big game – like he did against Missouri in 2010 – and then he’ll disappear. There’s a great chance he could be far better as a pro, but he has to show he can be consistent.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

22. Da’Rel Scott, Maryland 5-11, 211
Decent-sized and very, very fast, Scott has the measurables to deserve a long look as both a back and a kick returner. Give him a little bit of room and he’s gone, and he’s quick enough to be an extremely productive one-cut NFL runner in the right system. While he might have a hard time staying healthy and he’s a better workout warrior than a football player, he could be a part of a rotation on raw speed alone.
CFN Projection: Free Agent

23. Damien Berry, Miami 5-11, 212
While not fast and with an array of leg injuries throughout his career going back to high school, Berry isn’t going to be expected to be a workhorse of a No. 1 back. However, he’s a decent, physical runner and he’s not afraid to do the little things needed to help a team. He’ll block, he’ll work on special teams, and he’ll get a team the hard yards. Not a gifted runner and without much in the way of outside speed, he doesn’t have the athleticism to be a back to work around. He’ll be a tough cut.
CFN Projection: Free Agent

24. Vai Taua, Nevada 5-10, 213
Great in space and with the ball on the move, he was ultra-productive in the Nevada Pistol attack finds ways to gain the extra yards after contact. Physical, he’ll block and he’ll run between the tackles and will take shots. He doesn’t punish defenders, though, and he absorbs shots more than he runs over people. He doesn’t have the hands to be a reliable receiver, and he might get booted out of a camp instantly is he’s struggling with fumbling problems, but he was too good for the Wolf Pack and has enough pure running skills to not get an honest look as a No. 2 back.
CFN Projection: Free Agent

25. Johnny White, North Carolina 5-10, 209
With a nice base and cut-on-a-dime quickness, he’s a natural runner who gets around the cones in a hurry. He flew under the ACC radar and was never considered a star, but always did a nice job and he always gave a good effort. Not necessarily a special runner and without the raw speed to work on the outside on a regular basis, but he could turn into a sneaky-good pro with his great attitude and tough style. Every time he gets the ball he’ll make positive yards, but he’ll be nothing more than a cog.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round

- 2011 NFL Running Back Rankings - Top Ten