This is an excellent class of running backs. There are several guys who will likely be starting in he NFL next year and even more who will have a big role in a rotation. It’s a fun group to make comparisons with because with so many talented backs it’s fun to see how they stack up to some of the best runners in recent memory. So here are my NFL Draft Running Back Player Comparisons for this years top running backs.
NFL Draft Running Back Player Comparisons
Saquon Barkley = Matt Forte
Much like Forte, Barkley is a three down back who can do it all. While not the physical between the tackles runner he is more than capable of being the featured back. Of course Barkley is dangerous as a ball carrier, but perhaps even more so as a pass catcher. The main difference between them is that Forte wasn’t nearly the athlete that Barkley is. Expect this comparison to be Barkley’s floor with his ceiling being significantly higher.
Derrius Guice = Steven Jackson
While not as big as Jackson was, Guice runs with the same physicality and power. Neither has the top end break away speed, but both have the quick feet to make sharpe cuts in traffic. Although not a very productive pass catcher in college, Guice isn’t a liability in this area either. Like Jackson, he should have a long productive career which I’m sure we will all enjoy watching.
Ronald Jones = LeSean McCoy
Smooth, elusive and fast. Jones can thrive at the next level in a similar role to that of Shady McCoy. Not a violent runner, but more of a guy to slip tackles a gash a defense for a big gain. You probably won’t use him a ton at the goal line or short yardage situation, but Jones projects to be a playmaking three down back at the next level.
Sony Michel – Jay Ajayi
A very well rounded runner, Michel can do just about everything. Good speed and ability to break tackles; has the potential for a big play every time he touches the ball. Not above getting his nose dirty and picking up the tough gritty yards. Probably the best pass blocker in this RB group (better than Ajayi was). Not sure he’s elite in any one area, but very good across the board.
Nick Chubb = Marion Barber
Lacks the burst to really hit the hole, Chubb depends on his vision and strength more than anything. Has build up speed once he gets going, but he’s more a guy to grind it out and ware a defense down. I don’t see a lot of star potential here; just a tough quality back who can carry the load and play his role in the offense.