The best running backs in the upcoming 2020 NFL draft include D’Andre Swift (Georgia), JK Dobbins (Ohio State), Zack Moss (Utah), Jonathan Taylor (Wisconsin), and Clyde Edwards-Helaire (LSU).
This year’s draft is top-loaded with wide receivers and quarterbacks. It seems unlikely that anyone will select a running back, aside from Swift or Taylor, in the first round of the NFL Draft. Dobbins, Moss, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire are all worthy of a second-round pick, but don’t be surprised if they slide to early in the third round with so many premier WRs and QBs available.
Georgia continues to churn out some of the best running backs in America with Swift. You know his stats are legit because he tallied 1,000-plus rushing yards in consecutive seasons against monstrous SEC defenses.
2020 NFL DRAFT TOP RB PROSPECTS
D’Andre Swift (Georgia)
JK Dobbins (Ohio State)
Zack Moss (Utah)
Jonathan Taylor (Wisconsin)
Clyde Edwards-Helaire (LSU)
A ridiculously fast Jonathan Taylor dazzled Badgers’ fans in Madison as the Wisconsin speed demon destroyed Big Ten defenses with more than 6,100 rushing yards in his first three seasons.
AJ Dillion (Boston College) and Cam Akers (Florida State) just bubbled the top-5 running backs list. But either Dillon or Akers could go late in the third round if any of the top 5 backs are snatched up earlier than anticipated.
Another Awesome Athens RB
In the modern NFL, running backs with catching/blocking abilities are at a premium because they can become great three-down backs. Swift can easily step into that role in the NFL, which is why he’s a top 25 prospect who’s likely to be picked late in the first round.
In his last two seasons with Georgia, Swift passed the 1K rushing yard mark in back-to-back years against some of the toughest defenses in college football. In 2018, Swift found the end zone 13 times with 10 rushing scores and three touchdown receptions.
In 2019, Swift rushed for 1,216 yards, seven touchdowns, and averaged 6.2 yards per carry. He also added 24 receptions and a receiving touchdown.
With a 4.48 time in the 40-yard dash, scouts like his speed and think he’s faster than ex-Georgia back, Nick Chubb. Coaches at Georgia loved Swift’s dedication to improving his game, which included solo workouts at Midnight.
Other amazing Georgia RBs currently thriving in the NFL include Sony Michel, Todd Gurley, and Chubb.
Big Ten Grinders: JK and JT
Jonathan Taylor put up the fastest 40-time at the NFL Combine with a 4.39. At Wisconsin, you never knew when Taylor would break a tackle and snap off a huge touchdown run.
Taylor couldn’t be stopped last season. He tallied 2,003 rushing yards and scored 21 touchdowns. He added 26 catches and five receiving touchdowns, which showed scouts his abilities to evolve into a three-down back at the pro level.
Taylor rushed for 2,000 yards in back-to-back seasons, with a career-high 2,194 yards in 2018. He missed the 2K-mark by 23 yards when he rushed for 1,977 yards during his freshman season in 2017.
His big drawback has been issues with ball security. Sure, he scored 50 touchdowns in three seasons, but he also fumbled 17 times at Wisconsin. Nothing gets you benched faster in the NFL than fumblitis.
JK Dobbins (Ohio State) also passed the 2K rushing mark in 2019 with 2,003 yards. He scored 23 touchdowns, including 21 rushing scores. Dobbins averaged 6.7 yards per carry for the Buckeyes. The quick Dobbins ran a 4.50 40-time at the NFL Combine. Scouts love Dobbins’ speed, but he also has stellar field vision.
“JK always seems to make the proper cut and follow the correct blocker,” read one of his scouting reports.
Lightning and Thunder, Zack and Clyde
Zack Moss ended his storied career in Utah as the school’s all-time leading rusher. Moss scored 38 touchdowns in his career, and tallied 4,067 rushing yards to set new records at Utah.
Utah isn’t exactly the same powerhouse for running backs that Georgia or Wisconsin are, but you don’t meet too many players who can say they’re the best running back in the history of football at their school.
Zack Moss averaged 6.1 yards per carry in his last two seasons. His junior season ended prematurely after nine games due to an injury, but he bounced back his senior season.
Moss rushed for 1,416 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2019. He also added 28 catches and two receiving touchdowns in his senior season.
If any NFL teams pass on Moss in the draft, it’s because they’re concerned with his knee. But he’s worthy of a flier in the third round.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire had an outstanding junior season with LSU. As the starting running back on the National Championship squad, he rushed for 1,414 yards and averaged 6.6 yards per carry. Edwards-Helaire scored 14 rushing touchdowns in 2019. He only scored one receiving touchdown, but added 55 receptions from Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow.
Edwards-Helaire is on the short side at 5-foot-8, but played like a miniature Beastmode against SEC defenses. Scouts like Edwards-Helaire’s ability to play all three downs. He’s also projected as a late second-round or early third-round pick.
For more of OG’s coverage of the 2020 NFL Draft, check out…
- Top 5 QB prospects with four first rounders?
- Which prospects saw their draft stock go up, or down?
- WR passing QBs in-depth this NFL Draft
- QB sleepers: Nathan ‘Air Canada’ Rourke, Anthony Gordon
The NFL Draft begins at 8pm on Thursday, April 23 and will run through Saturday.