NFL Draft 2018: Running Back Rankings, Analysis

It’s clear that Saquon Barkley is the top running back in the 2018 NFL draft, but how do the rankings pan out below him?
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The MMQB is teaming up with Pro Football Focus for The MMQB Draft Preview Show With PFF, exclusively airing on SI TV. In the weeks leading up to the 2018 NFL draft in Dallas, these guys are going to be breaking down every position in this talented draft class.

On the first episode, Pro Football Focus’s Steve Palazzolo, Sam Monson and Mike Renner are talking all about the running backs.

The PFF analysts agree on one thing—Penn State’s Saquon Barkley is the best running back in this NFL draft. Not only is Barkley incredibly athletic with the explosiveness needed on the run, but he’s a true difference-maker in the passing game. NFL teams are looking for a running back to create that dynamic mismatch with linebackers and safeties, and Barkley can get the job done.

Another top running back is Georgia’s Nick Chubb. Chubb will get dinged in the draft process for injury concerns, coming off a knee injury that kept him out in 2015 and hampered his game in ’16. But in the right system, Chubb has the potential and talent to end up as the Rookie of the Year. Don’t forget that Chubb split carries with another top prospect Sony Michel for much of his college career, so he has a small amount of wear and tear on his legs, which could lead to a lengthy NFL career.

But what about in the later rounds? The PFF analysts explain why San Diego State’s Rashaad Penny could be the steal of the 2018 NFL Draft. Penny has impressive moves for his size (5' 11", 220 pounds) but what sets Penny apart is his vision of the play unfolding on the field. Penny brings a lot to the field as a receiver as well, something that is necessary for running backs in today’s NFL. 

Finally, the PFF guys give their top-five rankings at the position. Click here to watch the entire episode on Amazon.

And don’t miss the second episode, which is all about the offensive line. Which players have the versatility that NFL teams crave and who might require some coaching up in order to succeed at the next level? Learn all about that and more.

MMQB Draft Preview Show with Pro Football Focus