Fantasy football is a running back driven league. It always has been and it always will be. The top running backs are scooped up early and they are scooped up fast in all fantasy drafts. Your best bet is going to be to to use your first two picks on running backs no matter what and lock those two positions up early. But if you want to snag a guy like Peyton Manning or a dominate receiver like Calvin Johnson and draft a running back later, rookie running backs are great options. They generally come into the league fresh, full of talent and wanting to prove themselves. Below is a list of the top running backs available in the 2014 NFL Draft.
* Player analysis and comparisons were compiled through film work.
1)Tre Mason (Auburn)
Height: 5’9 Weight: 207
Player analysis: Knows how to run, stays low, keeps legs moving, and pushes the pile consistently. High motor player who won’t be brought down with arm tackles. Elite talent and rare physical abilities at the running back position. Will be a game changer at the NFL level.
NFL Comparison- Ray Rice
2) Carlos Hyde (Ohio State)
Height: 6’0 Weight: 235
Player analysis: Physical specimen. Sees the field well and finds running lanes quickly. Very decisive with his decisions. Very strong, great size. Very quick in space. Will wear opposing defenses down with his punishing running style making a him a perfect fit in any offense.
NFL Comparison- Legarrette Blunt
3) Jeremy Hill (Louisiana State)
Height: 6’1 Weight: 233
Player analysis: Big, physical running back that can break tackles with power or finesse. Great hand-eye coordination in the passing game, great after the catch skills. Very good at picking up blitzes in the passing game which makes him the rare 3 down back NFL teams and fantasy owners covet.
NFL Comparison- Steven Jackson
4) Bishop Sankey (Washington)
Height: 5’10 Weight: 209
Player analysis: Excellent vision that allows his speed and burst to play up in game situations. Knows how to find holes and get the most out of his carries. Very durable, very good athlete with elite lateral ability who also catches the ball well and can make plays in the passing game.
NFL Comparison- Knowshon Moreno
5) Ka’Deem Carey (Arizona)
Height: 5’9 Weight: 207
Player analysis: Best blend of power, vision and elusiveness in the draft. Not elite in any category but above average in every phase of the game. Great burst to and through the running lanes. Very tough and determined runner. Can also catch the ball out of the backfield making him a complete back.
NFL Comparison- Arian Foster
6) Charles Sims (West Virginia)
Height: 6’0 Weight: 214
Player analysis: Great hands, great route runner. Elite quickness/acceleration. Creates separation after contact with his speed and also uses it to his advantage in the passing game with big time YAC potential. Surprisingly powerful runner in between the tackles gives him a nice combo of skills for the NFL.
NFL Comparison- Matt Forte
7) Lache Seastrunk (Baylor)
Height: 5’10 Weight: 203
Player analysis: Excellent speed makes this player the rare home run hitter from the RB position. Can score any time he touches the ball. Rare quick-twitch player that is a nightmare in the open field with his terrific balance and stop-start abilities. Very high ceiling if placed in the right system.
NFL Comparison- LeSean McCoy
8) Devonta Freeman (Florida State)
Height: 5’8 Weight: 207
Player analysis: Elite burst and acceleration. Stays low to the ground and runs with great balance. Bounces off would-be tackles and keeps going with his powerful lower body strength. Very fast, very elusive and shows the great vision/instincts that all NFL running backs must possess.
NFL Comparison- Ben Tate
9) Marion Grice (Arizona State)
Height: 6’0 Weight: 209
Player analysis: Mega-talented running back with great stop-start abilities. Knows how to press the line of scrimmage and attack running lanes. Excellent receiver out of the backfield that catches everything thrown to him and is a big play waiting to happen once the ball is in his hands.
NFL Comparison- Shane Vereen
10) Andre Williams (Boston College)
Height: 5’11 Weight: 230
Player analysis: Thick running back with great balance, power and drive. Is more quick than fast but knows how to follow his blockers and get the most out of each carry. A classic powerful downhill runner who is a load to tackle and always fights for the extra yard.
NFL Comparison- Toby Gerhart
"Wildcard" - De’Anthony Thomas (Oregon)
Height: 5’9 Weight: 174
Player analysis: Most dynamic player in the draft. Is he a WR? Is he a RB? He probably splits time at both. Insane elusiveness and change of direction abilities. Not the fastest player in this year’s draft class but his game speed is much, much better. A true game changer/dynamic weapon
NFL Comparison- Dexter McCluster
"Big Time Sleeper" – Isaiah Crowell (Alabama State)
Height: 5’11 Weight: 224
Player analysis: Most talented RB in the draft but has battled injuries and has major character questions. Elite athlete, explosive feet and raw change of direction ability. Very shifty, great balance and even stronger than his 224lb frame suggests. A true nightmare for defenders to try to bring down.
NFL Comparison- Marshawn Lynch