The 2013 draft has been ripped a little for a lack of big name talent, but I think the skill at running back will be what proves this classes future worth. There is no Trent Richardson, but I see at least eight backs that I believe could be a starter at the next level. Wideout is more of a mystery, yet undoubtedly a few of these receivers will contribute.
1. Giovani Bernard (North Carolina) - Excellent top end speed and can be used as a returner. Reminds me a little of David Wilson last year. Bernard can break a game open and would fit perfectly with a team that already has a big back for short yardage. He could be a workhorse in the mold of MJD in the future. First rounder.
2. Montee Ball (Wisconsin) - While Bernard is more of the flashy and unproven, Ball is the opposite. Montee was a sure thing in college and set the record for most touchdowns during his time in Madison. He has the size and build to be a feature back at the next level and has thus far flown under the radar in draft discussions. Second-third round.
3. Kenjon Barner (Oregon) - Kenjon is a burner with fantastic speed and good hands that hit put on display in Oregon’s spread offense. He will have a transition into the NFL and need to prove he run through tackles, but as they say, you can’t coach speed. Second-third round.
4. Le’Veon Bell (Michigan State) – Bell is big 6’2″ and an asset in the passing game. He could be a super-sized Dexter McCluster in his rookie year. However, his tough running style and ability to tote the rock a number of times will make him in line to be a starter at some point. Third Round.
5. Marcus Lattimore (South Carolina) - A horrific injury kept Lattimore from being the top back on this list and a lock for the first round. He still has the talent and the success of Willis MacGahee helps his case. Third Round.
6. Eddie Lacy (Alabama) - Lacy runs hard and packs a punch. His speed is somewhat a question and you have to wonder how good he would have been if not for his NFL caliber offensive line. His production can’t be denied and is a proven winner. Third Round.
7. Stepfan Taylor (Stanford) - An excellent pass blocker and good between the tackles runner. He has a high football IQ and will likely impress a team in the interview. Look for him to move up this list as the draft approaches. Third-fourth round.
Next…Andre Ellington (Clemson), Mike Gillislee (Florida), Jonathan Franklin (UCLA), Joseph Randle (Oklahoma State)