2023 NFL Draft Running Back Rankings
ALL of the running back 2023 NFL Draft profiles have been completed! That means it’s time to set our rankings heading into 2023 NFL Draft. I’m quite fond of this running back class with plenty of sleeper options throughout the middle and later rounds. Let’s get right into it. Make sure to comment if you agree or disagree with the rankings!
20: Hunter Luepke (North Dakota State)
Travis Dye, DeWayne McBride, Chase Brown, and Roschon Johnson are notable running backs who don’t make the list. That’s because I think they all stink and would rather just take the fullback at that point in the draft. Some will disagree but every year we have flops. Those four will not make it, in my opinion.
Luepke makes the list as the best fullback in the draft. For more read his draft profile here!
19: Chris Rodriguez (Kentucky)
I think Chris Rodriguez stinks too but at least he’s an SEC starting caliber running back. It’s good enough to make the list? Long story short, I just don’t see how you’re looking at anything more than the next Benn Snell.
For more on Rodriguez, you can read his full profile here!
18: Mohamed Ibrahim (Minnesota)
I don’t view Mohamed Ibrahim as much different than Rodriguez. He’s just more productive but less available. Same sort of style as a bigger back that wants to get uphill and do damage. Just not sure how sustainable it is for the next level.
For more on Ibrahim, you can read his full draft profile here!
17: Xazavian Valladay (Arizona State)
Since we last checked in on Xazavian Valladay, we have some testing numbers since he wasn’t a combine invite. The East-West performance was impressive regardless. Valladay rocked his Pro Day ripping out 22 reps on the bench, running a 4.43, and jumping 40 inches out of the gym. There feels like some hidden rocket fuel on Valladay that may have been hidden on a bad Arizona State team in 2022. Could be intriguing at the next level as a rotational piece.
16: Evan Hull (Northwestern)
Not sure there is much of a ceiling here but you can see Evan Hull making it at some capacity at the NFL level. The guy is a grinder and you simply can’t get what he did at the Combine out of your head. Dude ran to the end zone on every rep. Is it a positive or does it mean nothing?
Hull can do a lot of different things which helps his value. For more, make sure to read his full profile here!
15: Tiyon Evans (Louisville)
Sample size. It sucks we don’t have more to go on but it is what it is. Tiyon Evans had just 164 career carries in college between two schools (Tennessee & Louisville). The talent is there. The recruiting profile is there. Still, Evans has red flags that go beyond the production.
For more on Evans, check out his full profile!
14: Deuce Vaughn (Kansas State)
I think there is a big difference between short and small at the running back position. The problem is Deuce Vaughn is both. Garrett did Vaughn’s profile.
I just don’t know what more you’re getting here outside of the next possible Boston Scott. Sugar Bowl performance against Bama should have been a big indicator. Hit one run but otherwise looked lost against SEC caliber athletes. Not totally worthless but you better have a plan and you better realize the limitations.
13: Kendre Miller (TCU)
I did not expect a TCU running back to be on this list after Zach Evans transferred out. You have to give Kendre Miller credit. He did his part last year and runs hard. I’m not sure how high the pure ceiling is but if you want someone to take the open running lanes and make the most of it while being a load to tackle, this might be your guy.
For the full profile on Miller, click here!
12: Sean Tucker (Syracuse)
This is another guy that Garrett did the profile for. In the case of ceiling, Tucker actually has one. Good testing numbers and has that lower half juice. Has a promising receiver background too. For me, I have Tucker lower on the list than some simply because he wasn’t always an efficient runner at Syracuse on a team that’s going to have a high draft pick as his left tackle. His 2021 season was more impressive. Is this someone that’s ever going to be more than a rich man version of Justice Hill?
11: Isreal Abanikanda (Pittsburgh)
Isreal Abanikanda is the bowling ball of hell in this draft. When Abanikanda goes into rampage mode it’s fun to watch. Definitely one of my favorite later round running backs to target. Has the necessary size and can break big runs. Looks scary doing it too.
For the full write up on Abanikanda, read it here!
10: Keaton Mitchell (East Carolina)
It’s rare to find pure burners like Mitchell at the running back position. By far the best home run threat in the draft and that should matter. Chris Johnson lite?
For more on Mitchell check his profile here!
9: Eric Gray (Oklahoma)
Bad circumstances have prevented Gray from being higher on everyone’s board. For me, we’re in the quality range all day here. The team that drafts Gray won’t be disappointed. Can do everything and really found his stride in 2022 on a down Oklahoma team. I’m a fan and I think people are really overlooking him.
Check out the full Eric Gray profile here!
8: Zach Charbonnet (UCLA)
Had Chabonnet just stayed at Michigan, I’m not sure I would be as high on him. You have to give Charbonnet credit for consistently improving during his time at UCLA. He’s a tackle breaker and comes with great size for the position. Runs better than most for his size too. This is the territory I’m fine turning the card in during the 4th round range. Someone that can come in and contribute right away.
For the full Charbonnet write up, click here!
7: Kenny McIntosh (Georgia)
I have a feeling I’m higher on Kenny McIntosh than most. I just feel like receiving ability matters and he’s by far the best in the class. Awesome receiving but weirdly tall for a running back. I think there is real Matt Forte potential here but won’t go nearly as high.
Check out the full 2023 NFL Draft Profile on the Georgia RB here!
6: Zach Evans (Ole Miss)
This one is going to take a bit of projection but I’m still a believer. The talent here is stupid in a good way. Was a monster recruit and we know the special is in the tank. We just haven’t always seen it and frankly Quinshon Judkins was better last year as a freshman. What do you do here? For me, Evans has a really good chance to turn into a special back and the cost won’t be exorbitant.
Check out the full profile on Evans here!
5: Tyjae Spears (Tulane)
I’ve said it once and will say it 100 times. The knee bend is ridiculous. How does the guy fail baring injury? Good speed and elusiveness. By far the most impressive back at the Senior Bowl. Checked a lot of boxes during the pre-draft process.
We have the full write up on Spears here!
4: Tank Bigsby (Auburn)
Tackle breaking machine. Made the most of a garbage offensive line at Auburn. Speed won’t blow you away but it’s a plus for his size. Truck stick maniac. His name is Tank for a reason. I’m way higher on most and you should be too. Had he transferred out of Auburn we’re talking about him a lot differently. He didn’t get that transfer bump that Jahmyr Gibbs did. Has a chance to be a complete workhorse back. I just don’t think we’re talking Derrick Henry level good.
Of course, we have a full profile on Tank. Check it out here!
3: Devon Achane (Texas A&M)
Next level speed that won’t be found elsewhere in the draft. Comes with the top kick and punt return ability out of the group. Just a little lightning rod you want on your side. I think he’s Tony Pollard but faster. Third round I’ll pull the trigger no problem.
For more read the Devon Achane profile here!
2: Jahmyr Gibbs (Alabama)
It was almost like Alvin Kamara never left Bama. Maybe his spirit was just Gibbs years later. It’s just exactly what he looked like at Bama. The guy we never got to really see at Bama with Kamara leaving early for Tennessee. Will be gone by the time I’m ready to pick him but a back that should have that Kamara role at the next level.
The profile for Gibbs can be found here!
1: Bijan Robinson (Texas)
I have a round two grade on Robinson which is pretty much as high as it gets in the modern NFL. The only first round guy moving forward needs to be McCaffrey or Chris Johnson level good. I don’t think Robinson is that but he kinda comes in the mold of an improved Najee Harris. Catches the ball really well too which is an underrated trait of his. Robinson is the best back in the class but we knew that already when he walked on the field as a freshman for Texas.
Check out the Robinson draft profile here!
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