NFL Draft: Ranking The Top 5 Running Backs

4 of 6

3.) Joe Mixon, Oklahoma

*Note: this is a strictly on the field evaluation. I don’t pretend to have the information necessary to make character calls on these guys*

An ideally sized runner who moves like a sandwich wrapper caught in the wind. Possesses better vision than any back in this class. He’s very patient and has a great understanding of how to set up and follow his blocks at the line and in the open field.

He pitter-patters his way through the open field. Once he does make a decision, his acceleration is excellent. He’s exceptionally sudden and explosive in his change of directions. Gets in and out of his cuts without losing much speed.

He’s at his best on draws and delays when he has the chance to take a beat to survey the field. His speed is average. Runs exclusively out of the gun. You’d like to see a little better power out of someone his size.

He goes down easily from contact and doesn’t run through arm tackles. Below average in pass protection. Out of the backfield, he tracks the ball well on wheel routes. Overall, this is a day one starter who would be best suited for a zone running scheme.

Comparison: Le’Veon Bell without the receiving skills, blocking, or power.

Value: Late First to Early Second Round