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Green Zone League Articles

2014 GZL Draft - Position by Position RB Ranks
By John Stanley
Special to gzl-football.com

2014 GZL Draft - Position by Position RB Ranks

90-100 - Rare Prospect
80-89 - Outstanding Prospect
70-79 - Solid Prospect
60-69 - Good Prospect
50-59 - Adequate Prospect
21-49 - Borderline Draft Prospect

RB Position

1. Bull Griggs - UCLA :: Grade - 87 :: Griggs is your classic power back. He has got awesome size (6’1” 242lbs) to go along with a real solid SPD/STR/ACC at that size. He breaks tackles real well, and even can catch a few balls out of the backfield. He is still pretty young, and doesn’t have a ton of tread on his tires, because of his backfield mate from UCLA, La’vonte Bell who along with Griggs are the consensus #1 and #2 backs in this draft.

2. La’vonte Bell - UCLA :: Grade - 87 :: Here is the aforementioned Bell. Bell is the dash to Griggs’ smash from UCLA. Bell is quite the opposite of Griggs but equally effective. He is your speed back. He has a great SPD (94) / ACC (95) combo to go along with solid STR (66), and good size. He can catch the ball real well out of the backfield, and is proficient at making tacklers miss. He even has the ability to return kicks as an added bonus. He and Griggs should both go Top 15-20.

3. Montee Ball - Wisconsin :: Grade - 83 :: Next up, Montee Ball. One of the better statistical RB not only in Wisconsin school history, but NCAA history. He holds the FBS Rushing TD record and was a real workhouse at Wisconsin. He figures to factor into the late 1st / early 2nd round discussion. He is more of a combo back, with a solid SPD (91) and solid STR (75). He can make some guys miss and should be a very good starting back in the league.

4. Eddie Lacy - Alabama :: Grade - 78 :: Lacy is another power back type. He put up some good numbers at Alabama in his college career. He is a bigger back at 220lbs, and has decent SPD (86) and great STR (79). If his SPD could be worked on, he could become a real force at the next level. Even without more SPD, Lacy will still be a solid HB who can be real effective in short yardage situations, if nothing else.

5. Ray Graham - Pittsburgh :: Grade - 77 :: Ray Graham from Pittsburgh has had injury issues while in college that have held him back at various points. Most notably, a torn ACL, a few years back. Graham is another combo back. He doesn’t do anything exceptionally well, but is a real solid all around player who will find a home with some team. I think he can be a real solid starter in the league with a little work. If you are lucky, he could be a real good backup and 3rd down type while you groom him to be your starter, but if not, he can still be real solid as a rookie.

6. Kenjon Barner - Oregon :: Grade - 75 :: Kenjon Barner, the electric RB from the University of Oregon. He had a highlight reel of great runs while at Oregon, consistently breaking off huge runs in Chip Kelly’s offense. He may not have quite the same success in the pros, but he will be a game changer for somebody. He has electric SPD (96) and good ACC (94), and while he isn’t the strongest or biggest back, he can do damage in open space. He also adds value on 3rd downs and as a KR/PR. He will be a good player in the league.

7. Stepfan Taylor – Stanford :: Grade - 75 :: Stanford is a do-it-all type back from Stanford. While at Stanford, Taylor showed the ability to run the ball effectively, but also was great in pass protection and catching the ball out of the backfield, making him a value on all downs. Physically, he is a bit limited, but with work, he can become a player that has starter potential in the league. At worst, he will be a great backup for someone.

8. Andre Ellington - Clemson :: Grade - 73 :: Another speed back in Ellington. He is someone teams will look to grab if they miss out on a player earlier in the draft like a Kenjon Barner. Ellington can do many of the same things mentioned with Barner, like catching the ball out of the backfield, being an effective 3rd down back, contributing as a KR/PR, and overall just be an electric player in space. Ellington will find a place in the league for sure.

9. Ronnie Lewis - UTEP :: Grade - 73 :: It’s tough to know when to include a player like Lewis in rankings. His main and likely only value are as a KR/PR and 3rd down back, as he is very unlikely to ever be a lead back. But that being said, his value in the return games especially is too much to ignore. He has game-changing ability, and is probably the best athlete in space in the entire draft. It’s tough to ignore the value of field position, and the quick scores that Lewis can provide, which is why he is here.

10. Lucious Dufree - Oklahoma :: Grade - 71 :: Dufree is another back that leans towards a speed style. He is a space player, and thrived on swing passes and any opportunity that got him the ball in open space in college. He will likely be a change of pace/3rd down back in the league at most, but can be a pretty solid mid-late round find for someone in need of a player like that.

11. Rex Burkhead - Nebraska :: Grade - 70 :: Burkhead was an absolute workhorse while at Nebraska. While his skillset and size don’t really translate particulary well to the pro game, he will provide some nice depth for a team in the late rounds, and with some work can become a real solid #2 back, that can start when needed.

12. Dan Dugan – Ohio :: Grade – 65 :: Dugan is a very large man packed into a small frame (5’9” 238lbs). If he had a real skillset for the league he could potentially be a beast, but unfortunately, he doesn’t have a ton of talent. He will be a 3rd or 4th runningback for a team, that can maybe play FB as well. He will likely be a late-round to UDFA pick.

13. Jackie Bradford – Western Michigan :: Grade – 65 :: Bradford much like Dugan doesn’t have much of a skillset to be a real factor in the league. He also, will be a later round pick or UDFA, and will merely provide depth for a team on the backend of a roster. He could surprise me and be more then that, but that is what he projects to at the moment.
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