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Wolf's Big Board:     Monday, May 29, 2017     Tier One - The Big Three   1 ) David Johnson (ARI) RB1   2 ) Le'Veon Bell (PIT) RB2   3 ) Ezekiel Elliott (DAL) RB3   Tier Two - High-end WR1 and RB1s   4 ) Antonio Brown (PIT) WR1   5 ) Julio Jones (ATL) WR2   6 ) Mike Evans (TB) WR3   7 ) Odell Beckham JR. (NYG) WR4   8 ) DeMarco Murray (TEN) RB4   9 ) Melvin Gordon (LAC) RB5   10 ) LeSean McCoy (BUF) RB6   11 ) Jay Ajayi (MIA) RB7   12 ) AJ Green (CIN) WR5   13 ) Jordy Nelson (GB) WR6   14 ) Michael Thomas (NO) WR7   15 ) Dez Bryant (DAL) WR8   16 ) Devonta Freeman (ATL) RB8   Tier 3 - Lower-end RB1 and WR1s, elite second options   17 ) Lamar Miller (HOU) RB9   18 ) DeAndre Hopkins (HOU) WR9   19 ) TY Hilton (IND) WR10   20 ) Leonard Fournette (JAX) RB10   21 ) Rob Gronkowski (NE) TE1   22 ) Brandin Cooks (NE) WR11   23 ) Demaryius Thomas. (DEN) WR12   24 ) Jordan Reed (WAS) TE2   25 ) Doug Baldwin (SEA) WR13   26 ) Amari Cooper (OAK) WR14   Tier 3.5   27 ) Todd Gurley (LAR) RB11   28 ) Carlos Hyde (SF) RB12   29 ) Christian McCaffrey (CAR) RB13   30 ) Jordan Howard (CHI) RB14   31 ) Marshawn Lynch (OAK) RB15   32 ) Davante Adams (GB) WR15   33 ) Alshon Jeffery (PHI) WR16   34 ) Isaiah Crowell (CLE) RB16   35 ) Tyreek Hill (KC) WR17   36 ) Keenan Allen (LAC) WR18   37 ) Spencer Ware (KC) RB17   Tier 4 - Elite QBs, Solid #2 RBs + WRs, side TE1s   38 ) Bilal Powell (NYJ) RB18   39 ) Tom Brady (NE) QB1   40 ) Sammy Watkins WR19   41 ) Aaron Rodgers (GB) QB2   42 ) Travis Kielce (KC) TE3   43 ) Terrelle Pryor (WAS) WR20   44 ) Allen Robinson (JAC) WR21   44 ) Mike Gillislee (NE) RB19   45 ) Mark Ingram (NO) RB20   46 ) Golden Tate (DET) WR22   47 ) Jamison Crowder (WAS) WR23   48 ) Greg Olsen (CAR) TE4   48 ) Tevin Coleman (ATL) RB21   49 ) Willie Snead (NO) WR24   50 ) Doug Martin (TB) RB22   51 ) Michael Crabtree (OAK) WR25   52 ) Brandon Marshal (NYG) WR26   53 ) Julian Edelman (NE) WR27   54 ) Donte Moncrief (IND) WR28   55 ) Drew Brees (NO) QB3   56 ) Ameer Abdullah (DET) RB23   57 ) Jimmy Graham (SEA) TE5   58 ) Tyler Eifert (CIN) TE6   59 ) Martavis Bryant (PIT) WR29   Tier 5 - Last Startable WRs and RBs + TE1 Candidates   60 ) Pierre Garcon (SF) WR30   61 ) Eric Decker (NYJ) WR31   62 ) Jarvis Landry (MIA) WR32   63 ) Larry Fitzgerald (ARI) WR33   64 ) Samaje Perine (WAS) RB24   65 ) Joe Mixon (CIN) RB25   66 ) CJ Anderson (DEN) RB26   67 ) Matt Ryan (ATL) QB4   68 ) Stefon Diggs (MIN) WR33   69 ) Emmanuel Sanders (DEN) WR34   70 ) Ty Montgomery (GB) RB27   71 ) Hunter Henry (LAC) TE7   72 ) Corey Davis (TEN) WR35   73 ) Adrian Peterson (NO) RB28   74 ) Kelvin Benjamin (CAR) WR36   75 ) Delanie Walker TE8   76 ) Paul Perkins (NYG) RB29   77 ) CJ Prosise (SEA) RB30   78 ) Eddie Lacy (SEA) RB31   79 ) Dalvin Cook (MIN) RB32   80 ) Theo Riddick (DET) RB33   81 ) Frank Gore (IND) RB34   82 ) Cameron Meredith (CHI) WR38   83 ) Mike Wallace (BAL) WR39   84 ) DeSean Jackson (TB) WR40   85 ) Martellus Bennett (GB) TE9   TIer 7 - side QB1s and Top WR and RB Lottery Tickets   86 ) Andrew Luck (IND) QB5   87 ) Derek Carr (OAK) QB6   88 ) Kirk Cousins (WAS) QB7   89 ) Marcus Mariota (TEN) QB8   90 ) Philip Rivers (LAC) QB9   91 ) Ben Roethlisberger QB10   92 ) Dak Prescott (DAL) QB11   93 ) Jameis Winston (TB) QB12   94 ) Joe Williams (SF) RB35   95 ) Derrick Henry (TEN) RB36   96 ) Kareem Hunt (KC) RB37   97 ) Jamaal Williams (GB) RB38   98 ) Davante Parker (MIA) WR41   99 ) Josh Doctson (WAS) WR42   100 ) Ted Ginn (NO) WR43  
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2016 Rookie RB Rankings (Pre-draft part 2)

Top Running Back Prospects for Fantasy Football


5) Jordan Howard, Indiana

This Hoosier running back is a big, hard-nosed runner and the second highly regarded NFL prospect out of Indiana in two years, after Tevin Coleman in 2015.  The 6-foot, 230 lb Howard runs under his pads, consistently breaking first contact and pushing the pile forward.  I knocked Jordan’s former teammate Tevin Coleman further down on my board than most, due to his inability to break tackles and his upright running style. Howard showed himself to be much better at breaking tackles, even though he lacks the breakaway speed that Coleman possesses.

I am higher on Howard than most because I see a running back that has the game to adapt quickly to the physical style of running required in the pros.  When a running back transitions to the NFL, he must be able to break tackles because he will not be able to beat defenders his speed.  Based on talent alone, Howard is a second round pick, but injuries in college will likely knock him down on most draft boards.

Before Indiana, Howard started his college career at UAB until they dropped their football program. He transferred to Indiana and luckily, he was eligible to play right away. After waiting behind Coleman, Howard exploded in 2015, averaging 181 yards per game in the six games he received at least 20 carries.  He put up a personal best 238 rushing yards against Michigan’s top-five nationally ranked defense.

Similar to Devontae Booker, there are some concerns among scouts about Howard’s breakaway speed (unofficial 4.59 second 40 yard dash time from Indiana’s Pro Day).  Also, the scouting community thinks Howard needs to become better in pass protection, which would get him on the field earlier.

Jordan Howard’s physicality and one-cut running style is comparable to Frank Gore.

Talent: 8

Risk Level: 4

Overall (so far): 12



6) Alex Collins, Arkansas

The next running back on our list, Alex Collins, comes from another power running SEC school with an outstanding offensive line. Similar to Alabama with Derrick Henry, the Arkansas line regularly created space for Collins to get rolling downhill before making first contact.

When Collins’ partner in crime in the backfield, Jonathan Williams, went down with a knee injury prior to the season, it was up to Collins to carry the load.  And carry the load he did; finishing his first season as a full-time running back with 1,577 yards rushing and 20 touchdowns.

Alex has the size, 5-foot-10, 217 lbs, and the power to break tackles in the NFL.  He also possesses quick feet and solid wiggle for a back of his size.  Scouts in the NFL are concerned about Collins’s capability to play with a line that does not constantly create lanes for the runner.  Similar to Henry, Collins is most effective when he has a few steps to get his large body rolling.  Also, Collins does not have the breakaway speed (4.59 second 40- yard dash) to bust long runs at the professional level.

In high school, Alex Collins was one of the most highly recruited running backs in the country, coming out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The Razorback starred early in the SEC as a freshman, recording 100 yards in his first three games, while splitting carries with Jonathan Williams. Collins and Williams continued to share the backfield in 2014, forming one of the best running back duos in the country.

Going forward, Collins must work on protecting the football, with seventeen career fumbles (nine of which were lost). Collins did not contribute much as a pass catcher in the Arkansas offense and must improve as a pass catcher, because right now he can only fill a two-down role in the NFL.

Alex Collins can provide the NFL with a downhill running style and the ability to break tackles with a big frame, similar to Chris Ivory.

Talent: 7

Risk Level: 4

Overall (so far): 11



7) Paul Perkins, UCLA

Heralded as the top quarterback recruit in the country out of high school, Josh Rosen arrived at UCLA and instantly made an impact on the football field.  One thing he must have known when he committed to UCLA is that he could lean on one of the best running backs in the Pac-12, if things got difficult on the field.

Paul Perkins combines his superior vision with good wiggle to create yards after contact and bust long runs.  Paul has NFL bloodlines through his father, Bruce, who played in the NFL for two seasons and his uncle, Don, who played eight seasons for the Dallas Cowboys.  The Chandler, Arizona product was only a two-star recruit and chose UCLA over offers from Northwestern and Air Force.  After redshirting his freshman year and starting half the games his second year, Perkins really came into his own in 2014 and 2015, rushing for 1,575 and 1,343 yards respectively.

I am worried about his transition to the NFL because of his slight lower body.  At the professional level, Perkins might not be able to get the job done in short yardage and goal line situations. Paul is not a burner, putting up a 40-yard dash time of 4.54 seconds and will struggle to generate long runs in the NFL.  Another concern is his lack of stature in pass protection and his limited exposure in the receiving department. Perkins was limited to screens, swings and wheel routes at UCLA.

Paul Perkins was a force in college football and consistently produced, reminding me of former Alabama running back TJ Yeldon, currently of the Jaguars.

Talent: 8

Risk Level: 3

Overall (so far): 11


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