Josh Jacobs

After studying about 30 RB prospects, I have completed and finalized my RB Rankings for the 2019 NFL Draft. Overall, this is not a very strong class. Once you get past arguably the top 3 guys there really aren’t many prospects here that I’d say have a high chance of being a superstar or elite RB in the NFL. You’ll notice that there are only 5 players that I gave round 1, 2, or 3 grades on. After them, there are a ton of players that have round 4 or 5 grades. At the same time, that isn’t to say that none of these prospects will be able to find specific roles in the league though. As is with a lot of positions, a good amount of the success they will have will rely on the team they go to and how they’re used.

There are a few things to remember pertaining to my evaluations and grades. First, I factor in red flags such as durability and character concerns into my grades already, whereas some evaluators grade solely on a prospect’s talent. Secondly, just because I have them at a certain grade that doesn’t mean that’s where they’ll end up being selected. My board will undoubtedly look different than a team’s official board.


So, without further ado, here are my Top 25 RBs for the 2019 NFL Draft.

  1. Josh Jacobs, Alabama

Jacobs has been my RB1 from the get go, and that hasn’t changed. I just can’t find a glaring weakness or major holes in his game. He’s the toughest runner in the class and still has the agility and burst to make defenders miss. Oh, and he’s a great receiver too. And if you’re really going to ask, his 40-yard dash time at his Pro Day is not a concern. If you’re still putting a big emphasis on a RB’s 40-yard dash time, you need to change the way you view RB prospects.

Grade: Round 1

2. Miles Sanders, Penn St 

I said in my Post-Combine Rankings article that Sanders might be the most complete back in this draft class after Josh Jacobs, and I still stand by that. To me, most of the concerns about his game can be rectified with him just gaining more playing time and experience. The main thing he’s got to fix is his fumbling, but Sanders’ athleticism and receiving ability are just too good to ignore. In my eyes he has the highest ceiling out of any other RB in this draft class. He’s my personal favorite prospect this year.

Grade: Round 2

3. Darrell Henderson, Memphis

Henderson has remained in the top 3 of my RB rankings because he’s so explosive and is capable of being an every-down lead back at the pro level. He was never used extensively in the passing game (Tony Pollard filled that role) but he’s displayed enough skill in that area to project as a good receiving option at the next level. Offenses that run a lot of outside zone should be chomping at the bit to get Henderson.

Grade: Round 2

4. Justice Hill, Oklahoma St

Hill’s stock has risen the most out of anyone else in my rankings since the Combine. He possesses elite speed and is highly elusive. He’s also impressive in pass protection for someone of his size. He doesn’t have the best hands but they’re far from horrible, and he has the athleticism to separate as a route runner out of the backfield. Get him into space and he’ll be deadly.

Grade: Round 3

5. Damien Harris, Alabama

The last of my round 3 grades, you know what you’re getting with Harris. Good vision, good enough athleticism, great pass blocker, solid receiver. He may be the most sound and polished RB in this class, he just doesn’t have a high ceiling. He doesn’t project as being someone with elite talent, but he’ll be good and reliable for whatever team selects him.

Grade: Round 3

6. Devin Singletary, Florida Athletic

Singletary’s limited athleticism prevents him from being one of the premier runners in this draft class, and it’s a shame. At the same time though, his widescreen vision and agility are still so exceptional and will most likely grant him a spot as a key piece in a committee. One comparison I’ve seen lately is Jalen Richard, and I’m a big fan of that comparison. In a weak RB class, a prospect like Singletary gets all the way to #6 on my rankings.

Grade: Round 4

7. Bruce Anderson, North Dakota St

Anderson is one of the players I’m higher on than most. He isn’t getting a lot of attention, but he absolutely should. He has good overall athleticism and is a very good receiver. He’s right up there with the best receiving backs in this class. He probably won’t be drafted until much later than what I graded him out to be, but don’t be surprised if he ends up being one of the real steals in this draft class.

Grade: Round 4

8. Devine Ozigbo, Nebraska

Ozigbo is a big, thickly built RB, but he moves so well that you can’t tell he weighs about 230 pounds. He’s agile, explosive, and powerful. He can be used in either gap or zone schemes, but his skillset could be maximized in zone. He’s got enough receiving skills to be a reliable checkdown option, and with a little bit of coaching he’ll be an exceptional pass blocker.

Grade: Round 4

9. David Montgomery, Iowa St

Montgomery is one of the most fun RB prospects to watch. His contact balance is elite, almost rare even. He drops his hips and runs with a low center of gravity. And I like his footwork and knowledge of how to attack angles. What holds him back is his lack of burst and his struggles in pass protection. He can be a reliable checkdown receiver but don’t expect him to run complex routes.

Grade: Round 4

10. Rodney Anderson, Oklahoma

Anderson is a round 2 grade based on talent alone. He’s not only a really good runner but he’s also one of the better receivers in the class. His extensive injury history though is very worrisome. One has to wonder if he’ll be able to hold up at the pro level without breaking down, but if he can he’ll produce at a high level. I’m willing to take the risk on him somewhere late in round 4 or early in round 5.

Grade: Round 4

11. Myles Gaskin, Washington

Gaskin’s lack of top-end speed and elite athleticism gives him a lower grade than another highly ranked “scat-back” on my board, Justice Hill, but not by a whole lot. He still has good burst, elusiveness, and route running ability as a receiver. The one area he does beat out Hill in though is vision. He’s great at setting up his blockers and finding running lanes.

Grade: Round 4

12. Alexander Mattison, Boise St

Mattison was one of the RB prospects I studied last, but I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw. I find it a funny coincidence, but he reminds me a lot of another Boise St RB: Jay Ajayi. He is an extremely tough runner with good footwork and agility for his size. His burst is impressive, and even though he won’t “wow” you as a receiver or pass blocker he offers enough in those departments to not be a liability. He’s another late round guy that I’d keep a close eye on as a sleeper.

Grade: Round 4

13. Bryce Love, Stanford

Love’s stock was getting pretty low on my board a month ago as I started to see more and more flaws in his game that I hadn’t noticed in his 2017 tape. But in the end I couldn’t ignore his elite-level big-play ability. He’s a gamebreaker. And if he’s healthy and truly back to his 2017 form, he’ll be a dangerous weapon for any offense.

Grade: Round 4

14. Ryquell Armstead, Temple

Armstead is a powerful RB that has speed and some wiggle to him. And he sure does love using the spin move. He’s physical and athletic. So what’s the problem? Well, he’s not someone you can use in the passing game as a receiver or pass blocker, at least not right now. His skillset as strictly a runner is intriguing though. Eagles fans will go bonkers if the team drafts another local kid.

Grade: Round 4

15. Elijah Holyfield, Georgia

Yes, Holyfield had a historically bad 40-yard dash time at the Combine, and did equally bad at his Pro Day. Is it a concern? Of course. But does it take away all the other things he does well on tape? Absolutely not. Holyfield is still a bruising runner with good footwork. Plug him in as an early-down runner in a gap run scheme and he’ll do well.

Grade: Round 4

16. Mike Weber, Ohio St

Jack of all trades, master of none. Weber can be a solid contributor to any committee.

Grade: Round 5

17. James Williams, Washington St

I try not to put too much stock into comparisons, but there are a few every year that I like a lot. The comparison of Williams to New England Patriots RB James White tops them all for this draft class.

Grade: Round 5

18. Trayveon Williams, Texas A&M

Trayveon is fast but not overly elusive, which is surprising of someone with his athletic profile. Some evaluators are really high on him, but I don’t see what they see.

Grade: Round 5

19. Benny Snell, Kentucky

Snell is one of the fan favorites in this RB class, especially amongst Eagles fans. I’m sure they won’t be happy to see him this low in my rankings.

Grade: Round 5

20. Darwin Thompson, Utah St

Thompson’s another solid scat-back prospect, especially in the receiving game. Analytics show that he’s one of the better RBs in space too.

Grade: Round 6

21. Jalin Moore, Appalachian St
22. Darrin Hall, Pittsburgh
23. Karan Higdon, Michigan
24. Qadree Ollison, Pittsburgh
25. Alex Barnes, Kansas St