As we continue to break down the rookie running backs pre-draft, you can circle back to the opening post of RBs 1-5 and then RBs 6-15 to get a little more background on the top of the position and some of the methodology that goes into the ranks. You can also find the rest of the rookie rankings and all other 2020 rankings for seasonal and dynasty formats as they arrive in our 2020 rankings hub as they arrive and are updated throughout the offseason. With that teed up, we’re into the final leg(s) of the position that project to be late-round options and on the lower-range of expected outcomes. With that in mind, we’ll attack this group in a more condensed fashion than the front half of the position.
2020 Pre-NFL Draft Rookie Running Back Rankings
- Patrick Taylor Jr., Memphis, Final Year Age: 21.7 (Model Rank RB21): Taylor had back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in 2017-2018 with 32 touchdowns playing with Darrell Henderson. He averaged 5.7 yards per touch prior to an injury-filled 2019 season had him total 402 yards and 86 touches in just six games. Taylor was limited as a receiver, catching 36 passes in 44 career games.
- J.J. Taylor, Arizona, FY Age: 23.1 (MR RB14): Handled 158, 271, and 180 touches the previous three seasons despite one of the smallest profiles (5’5”, 185). That height is the shortest among backs at the combine over the past 20 seasons. If you’re going to be that small at running back, you better be fast and Taylor ran a 4.39 at the combine. You also better have pass catching chops, and Taylor’s 32 catches (9.0 Y/R) this past season were fourth among this class. Older and undersized, his best outlook is being used in a Tarik Cohen-like role. Taylor also handled 41 career kickoff returns for 24.1 yards per return over the past two seasons.
- Deejay Dallas, Miami, FY Age: 21.3 (MR RB17): Three-year back that never eclipsed 129 touches in any season at Miami. Deserved more touches in the running game as he accounted for 42.9% of team non-QB rushing yards on just 34.4% of the carries.
- Lamical Perine, Florida, FY Age: 22.0 (MR RB18): 5’11” and 216 pounds, but was never a workhorse in four years at Florida, but averaged 6.8 and 5.5 yards per touch over his final two seasons. Had 40 receptions in 2019, but turned them into just 6.6 yards per catch. 30th percentile physical profile.
- Rico Dowdle, South Carolina, FY Age: 21.6 (MR RB19): Dowdle is a bit younger and has a positive physical profile (54th percentile), but never reached 150 touches or 850 total yards in any of his four seasons.
- Salvon Ahmed, Washington, FY Age: 22.9 (MR RB26): After averaging over 6.0 yards per touch over his first two seasons, Washington upped Ahmed’s workload to 204 touches in 2019, which he turned into 1,104 yards and 11 touchdowns. A bit of a tweener (5’11”, 197) and just an eighth percentile physical score don’t give Ahmed the greatest outlook. He did catch 50 passes over his career, but managed just 6.6 yards per catch.
- Javon Leake, Maryland, FY Age: 21.4 (MR RB25): Leake was an early declare after accruing a limited resume at Maryland. He totaled just 155 career touches over three seasons, but scored a touchdown on 17 of those touches. After scoring nine times on 44 touches while averaging 9.4 yards per touch during his first two seasons Leake, got an extended role in 2019 (111 touches) which he turned into 791 yards (7.1 YPT) and eight scores. His career yards per touch and straight-line plays don’t align with his anemic athletic testing (15th percentile) at 6’0” and 215 pounds. Leake will likely start his career off as a special teamer. He has the second-most career kickoff return yards in this class, averaging 24.5 yards with three touchdowns on 59 kickoff returns.
- JaMycal Hasty, Baylor, FY Age: 23.4 (MR RB20): The oldest back in this combine grouping, Hasty was used as a complementary player in each of the past four seasons at Baylor. He had over 100 touches in all four seasons (with a high of 134) while averaging 5.3 yards per touch. His 1.8 receptions per game rank third among backs in this class. He also tested out positively with a 52nd percentile physical score. Likely to maintain being a combo back (5’8”, 205) at the next level.
- Raymond Calais, Louisiana-Lafayette, FY Age: 21.8 (MR RB27): Calais is a smaller back (5’8”, 188) with limited production on offense. He had a season-high of 127 touches over four seasons with just 17 receptions in 49 games. Where he did shine was in the return game, amassing a class-high 2,493 kickoff return yards (25.2 average) with two returns for scores.
- Benny LeMay, Charlotte, FY Age: 22.3 (MR RB22): LeMay put up some production at Charlotte, totaling 465 touches, 2,849 yards (6.1 YPT) and 24 touchdowns. He also caught 54 passes for 11.9 yards per catch over his career. That’s the very good. The bad is it came against subpar competition. That production could have been propped up a bit by that competition as LeMay (5’8” and 221 pounds) measured in the 24th percentile in terms of physical score after a 4.75 40.
- Darius Anderson, TCU, FY Age: 22.4 (MR RB23): Part one of the TCU tandem, Anderson (5’8”, 208) handled a career-high 173 touches for 951 yards (5.5 YPT). He averaged just 5.2 yards per reception for his career while showing out in the 29th percentile in physical profile.
- Sewo Olonilua, TCU, FY Age: 22.2 (MR RB24): Part two of the TCU tandem, Olonilua was the big back (6’3”, 232) of Horned Frogs backfield. Olonilua caught 60 passes (6.4 YPC) and averaged fewer than 5.0 yards per touch over the past two seasons. For his size, Sewo Olonilua turned in a productive physical profile (64th percentile) and even handled nine kickoff returns (19.7 YPR) over his career.
- Scottie Phillips, Mississippi, FY Age: 22.2 (MR RB29): After a productive 2018 season in which he gained 1,033 yards on 163 touches (6.3 YPT) with 14 touchdowns, Phillips played through a plethora injuries this past season that limited his output. In 2019, he managed just 619 yards on 133 touches (4.7 YPT) and six scores over nine games. Whether his injuries played a role or not, Phillips then posted a seventh percentile physical score at the combine.
- Tony Jones Jr., Notre Dame, FY Age:22.2 (MR RB28): After 139 touches through three years, Jones got an extended role in 2019, handling 159 touches for 961 yards (6.0 YPT) and seven touchdowns. Ideal size at 5’10”, 220 pounds, but a limited resume paired with a 28th percentile physical profile do him no favors.
- Brian Herrien, Georgia, FY Age: 21.9 (MR RB30): Georgia’s mop-up man, Herrien was just always overshadowed by another NFL-caliber back over his four seasons. Herrien (5’11, 209) has a sprinkling of return use (10 kickoff returns for 21.3 yards per opportunity) but projects to be a backup at best pairing his production with a 23rd percentile physical score.