Summer Scouting: Top 5 Running Backs

The college football season is just around the corner. With that in mind Rory Daniels’ brings you his top 5 draft eligible prospects at each position ahead of kickoff. We also include an FCS prospect to watch courtesy of resident small school expert Rebecca Rennie.

1. Eric Gray

Placing Gray atop my running back rankings is pure projection at this point. As a Tennessee Volunteer, he failed to hit the heights his profile suggests he can reach. That should change when he teams up with Kennedy Brooks in Norman, Oklahoma. The lateral agility and ability to effortlessly change direction give Gray the elusiveness that means he doesn’t need track speed. A monster year may see him leapfrog some more productive backs in the pecking order.

Best Trait: Lateral Agility

2. Breece Hall

They say patience is a virtue. Breece Hall displays plenty of it. Hall can fit the bill for most things a college or pro offense will ask him to do. He has the vision and smarts to find gaps wide and up the gut. Some will, but don’t fall into the trap of misjudging his pauses as a lack of explosion. When needed, he has an extra gear. He led college football in rushing last year and gives off Jonathan Taylor vibes. Expect him to be the focal point of the Cyclones offense again in 2021.

Best Trait: Patience

3. Kyren Williams

Good things come in small packages. That is true of Notre Dame’s Kyren Williams. At 5’9lbs he will have his limitations at the next level, however he is thickly built and what he lacks in size he makes up for in effort. He’ll hit the hole at speed and lower his shoulder but is at his most electric when breaking it wide or finding some space. He has soft hands in the receiving game and plays from the slot at times. He’ll take his lumps blocking but certainly won’t shy away from it.

Best Trait: Fearless Nature

4. Isaiah Spiller

Spiller is somewhat of the steady-eddy of this group. While he lacks some of the initial burst at the point of hand-off, it is rarely the first tackler that brings him down. That consistency will be well regarded in NFL circles. Add to that a willingness to block and it’s clear why he was such an important piece in the Aggies offense. Well-versed in the option game and utilised on swing passes, he could be the most rounded back of the lot at this point.

Best Trait: Well-roundedness

5. Tyler Allgeier

Things will be different in 2021 for BYU’s Tyler Allgeier. Gone will be his QB Zach Wilson and the offensive line will be without standout Brady Christensen. That being said, Allgeier was responsible for a lot of his own success last year. When given space Allgeier gobbles it up and can be five yards down the field within a blink. He has the rare combination of physicality and true field-breaking speed. You are as likely to see him snap off a 50 yard gain as you are lowering his shoulder and running over an LB for a short gain.

Best Trait: Physicality

FCS Prospect to Watch: Jah-Maine Martin

Rebecca Rennie: For much of the early part of the 2021 draft process, Martin was discussed as an anticipated Day 3 prospect. There was some uncertainty of his plans, before it was confirmed that he would return to school. He’s an older prospect, which is not ideal for the position, but his playmaking warrants attention.
The Aggies back shows agility and shift with impressive instincts for evading contact. The quick feet and timing to his lateral shifts and upfield bursts results in frequent big gains and energizing moments. The production backs up the film, piling up 1,446 rush yards (7.7 YPC) and 23 TDs in 2019. Proving he can contribute more as a pass catcher and in pass pro in 2021 would greatly help his draft stock.
Best Trait: Short-area quickness
Mock Draft

Rory-Joe Daniels

Cfb contributor

formerly writing for the inside zone, rory will be breaking down college tape and keeping you up-to-date with all things CFB for the touchdown. an avid bengals fan, you can also find some of rory’s work at