Ranking of the 5 best running backs

The 2022 NFL Draft is just weeks away and NFL teams are starting to put the finishing touches on their big draws. Hundreds of college football‘s brightest stars had the opportunity to show off their skills throughout the process, from the Senior Bowl to the Scouting Combine to the pro days.

Now is the critical moment, as the league’s front offices compile their draft strategy. Several teams will be in the market for a running back this time around. Although the life of the position is not as long as the others, it is undoubtedly one of the most important on the football field.

The upcoming class includes several top talents that can contribute from day one. These players are the crème de la crème of the 2022 NFL Draft.

NFL Draft Honorable Mention: Rachaad White, Arizona State

Rachaad White is one of the hottest players in the 2022 NFL Draft. The former three-star recruit had a breakout senior season at Arizona State. He rushed for 1,000 yards and 15 touchdowns on 182 carries. He also caught 43 passes for 456 receiving yards and another score.

The Sun Devils star is one of the most versatile backs in the class. His ability to catch passes could make him a fullback every time to the next level. However, he’s not good at pass protection and his size might limit him in the ground power play. Still, a team with a savvy offensive coordinator could turn him into a star on the road.

Texas A&M running back Isaiah Spiller before the game against New Mexico | Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images; Iowa State running back Breece Hall celebrates a touchdown against Oklahoma State | David K. Purdy/Getty Images

5. Brian Robinson Jr., Alabama

Brian Robinson Jr. doesn’t get enough credit, but what’s up? People overlooked him throughout his career. He played behind several talented running backs in Alabama before finally getting his chance to shine.

Robinson played the workhorse role during the 2021 season. He had 1,343 yards and 14 touchdowns on 14 attempts. The Crimson Tide standout weathered a 14-game season while getting a massive workload. It’s promising for a team looking for a starter.

Given his size, Robinson projects himself better into a powerful attacking scheme. He’s a downhill runner who forces defenders to make trade decisions often. On the other hand, he doesn’t offer as many advantages in the passing game. Although he caught 35 passes in 2021, it’s not his game. He will need to develop more as a receiver, but he could be an immediate contributor as a short-range defender.

4. Dameon Pierce, Florida

Dameon Pierce is a player who has the potential to be the top running back in the 2022 NFL Draft class when all is said and done. He didn’t have the most productive college career, but some things started to kick in during his senior year in Florida. He rushed for 574 yards and 13 touchdowns on 100 carries. Pierce added 19 receptions for 216 yards and three scores.

Pierce hasn’t received the heavy workload that some of the other guys on this list have. However, it was not for lack of talent. At 5-foot-10 and 218 pounds, the Gators tailback has a compact build that gets him through initial contact.

One of Pierce’s most redeeming qualities is the way he drives the ball with a sense of urgency. There is no hesitation in his game, but he also shows good vision when finding traffic lanes. He’s not too fast, but he’s a solid combination of size and speed. He could be a great NFL running back from short range with room to grow.

3. Isaiah Spiller, Texas A&M

Some NFL Draft analysts are torn over Isaiah Spiller’s ceiling, but the kid is a football player. The Texas A&M product made an impact from the moment it set foot in College Station. He had 2,993 rushing yards and 25 touchdowns in three seasons. He posted a career average of 5.5 yards per carry.

Spiller is another player who handled a heavy workload in college, which will translate well to the NFL. It has a well-built and sturdy frame, lending itself perfectly to his physical racing style.

The junior running back wasn’t very productive as a passer, so the lack of intrigue as a passer might drag him down a bit. However, he has soft hands, so it’s not like he isn’t capable of becoming a receiving threat. Spiller doesn’t have elite quickness, but he should excel as a next-level powerhouse.

2. Kenneth Walker III, Michigan State

Kenneth Walker III was one of the best players in college football during the 2021 season, regardless of position. The Michigan State running back has been chipping away at opposing defenses all year long. He finished with 1,636 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns in 12 games.

Walker arguably should have been a Heisman Trophy runner-up due to his dominance over the Power 5 competition. The Spartans star is a powerful runner at heart, but he also shows breakaway speed to escape defenders in the open.

Walker shone at the Scouting Combine, running a 4.38 dash for 40 yards. His explosiveness and talent for finding the end zone make him one of the most sought-after running backs in the 2022 NFL Draft. He didn’t offer much in the passing game in college, but it’s something he could potentially add to his package.

1. Breece Hall, Iowa State

Iowa State’s Breece Hall is the most complete running back in the 2022 NFL Draft. Many NFL teams are looking for versatility, and that’s exactly what he delivers. Hall had a very productive college career at Iowa State. He finished with 3,941 rushing yards, 734 receiving yards and 56 combined touchdowns in three seasons.

The Cyclones star has the ideal combination of size, speed and power. He has excellent instincts and vision as a ball carrier. Hall is also an explosive runner who can beat defense at all three levels. He’s a solid receiver out in the backfield, so he’s more than capable of being an NFL three-try running back.

The name of the game is to outplay the opponent, and Hall knows a thing or two about hitting the pay dirt. He was a central part of the Iowa State offense, so volume won’t be an issue. His biggest area of ​​opportunity is pass protection. If he can improve in that department, he can be the best running back to come out of the NFL draft class.

All statistics courtesy of College Football Reference

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