Bijan Robinson, Jahmyr Gibbs reign supreme


Will we see the return of the first-round operating again within the 2023 NFL Draft? That is still to be seen, however the expertise is there to crack the highest 32 picks. And within the rounds past, there ought to be loads of worth as properly. Listed here are the early high 10 operating backs within the 2023 NFL Draft, from the center rounds to the very high.

Prime 10 RBs within the 2023 NFL Draft

The 2023 NFL Draft operating again class appears to be like extremely deep in early viewings. There have been many extra prospects who have been in competition to earn a spot within the high 10. However in the long run, these are the ten we got here away with as our early favorites.

10. Deuce Vaughn, Kansas State

Listed at 5’6″, 176 kilos, Deuce Vaughn shall be one of the crucial polarizing prospects within the 2023 NFL Draft. Some could love him, whereas others could have him off their boards fully. It takes a uncommon form of athleticism and dynamic means to succeed at Vaughn’s measurement. Fortunately, Vaughn appears to own that form of expertise. It’s what’s led him to already area comparisons to fellow KSU product Darren Sproles.

Vaughn is a particularly explosive and twitchy runner. He can gear up immediately and erupt via tight seams, giving the digital camera crew a exercise simply to comply with him upfield. That explosiveness makes Vaughn harmful, however he’s additionally a low-centered runner with slippery agility. Furthermore, he’s a really pure receiver with high-level versatility, and he’s a feisty blocker for his measurement. Along with his body, he won’t typically face up to contact behind the road. However his fashion dictates that he can decrease contact with proficiency.

9. Camerun Peoples, Appalachian State

Over the previous two seasons, Appalachian State’s Camerun Peoples has quietly amassed 2,050 yards and 26 touchdowns on 334 carries. He’s constantly averaged round six yards per carry and is a continuing menace to place factors on the board. Camerun can run. However all of the whereas, he nonetheless falls beneath the radar at instances. He could not wind up an early-round again, however he’s a positive guess to be an amazing worth deal within the 2023 NFL Draft.

Peoples has a definite body and operating fashion at 6’2″, 225 kilos. He runs a bit upright, and he’s extra of a north-south again. However inside his mould, he has superb cylindrical twitch and foot pace, and he carries nice burst upfield when he sees a lane. Not solely that, however Peoples additionally has surprisingly unfastened hips, which he can use to redirect and make fast cuts. And when he has a full head of steam, he carries nice pressure into contact.

8. Blake Corum, Michigan

The Michigan Wolverines gained on account of their operating sport and protection in 2021. That operating sport was led by eventual fourth-round decide Hassan Haskins. However one other very important a part of that dashing assault was Blake Corum. Corum now enters his first 12 months of eligibility, and there’s an opportunity he may find yourself being the next choice than the aforementioned Haskins.

Corum is in a completely contrasting mould to Haskins, however his mould is constructed for the fashionable NFL. Corum stands round 5’8″, however he has a really dense, compact body at 200 kilos. And with that body, Corum brings electrical short-area athleticism and twitch. Corum can levy ruthless one-cuts within the open area, and as soon as he has a runway, he surges into area. A surefire spark plug with receiving means, Corum generally is a core playmaker within the NFL.

7. Zach Evans, Ole Miss

Transferring from TCU to Ole Miss, Zach Evans shall be one of the crucial intriguing newcomers throughout the offensive panorama in faculty soccer. A former five-star recruit who’s lengthy been anointed a future NFL standout, Evans’ potential is evident. He flashed a lot at TCU over the previous two seasons, and he has the upside to be a reliable top-three again within the 2023 NFL Draft.

Evans might want to develop into extra constant along with his imaginative and prescient and proceed to hone his dashing effectivity. However the bodily means is evident. He sports activities a powerful, lean 6’0″, 215-pound body and employs a tantalizing mixture of explosiveness, fleet-footedness, agility, and top-end pace. The general finesse that Evans brings is top-tier, however along with his body, he may also end ahead on runs and churn via contact. All of the instruments are there.

6. Israel Abanikanda, Pittsburgh

This may increasingly appear stunning, as Israel Abanikanda hasn’t fairly reached the mainstream but as a 2023 NFL Draft prospect. However Abanikanda has a bevy of pure expertise and is current because the Pitt offense undergoes a dramatic transition after dropping Kenny Pickett and Jordan Addison. With uncertainty on the passing aspect, the Panthers could depend on their floor sport extra typically. And in that setting, Abanikanda may legitimately explode in 2022.

Abanikanda has nice measurement at 5’11”, 215 kilos, carrying a ton of mass upfield. However what really stands out on his tape is the pure athleticism that he runs with. Abanikanda has a visual second gear but additionally has fluid hips and crisp lateral agility when cruising via lanes. He can nonetheless be extra environment friendly along with his footwork and assault angles, however one other 12 months of improvement may unlock his full potential.

Oct 16, 2021; Seattle, Washington, USA; UCLA Bruins operating again Zach Charbonnet (24) rushes towards the Washington Huskies throughout the fourth quarter at Alaska Airways Subject at Husky Stadium. Credit score: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports activities

5. Zach Charbonnet, UCLA

Many thought Zach Charbonnet would possibly declare for the 2022 NFL Draft and forgo the remainder of his faculty eligibility. After a standout 2021 marketing campaign, such a call was anticipated. However in a stunning flip, Charbonnet determined to return for a fourth season. He’s now top-of-the-line backs within the 2023 NFL Draft class and the top overall running back in the Shrine Bowl 1000.

Now eligible as a senior, Charbonnet is anticipated to be a coveted prospect on the all-star sport circuit. And all of it derives from the trademark physicality that makes his sport so alluring. The 6’1″, 220-pound again is relentless heading upfield. Not solely does he continually preserve his legs churning, however he can soak up direct blows with stellar contact steadiness. Past that, Charbonnet additionally flashes good preliminary burst and footwork and is a constantly lively runner.

4. Sean Tucker, Syracuse

One of the vital prolific playmakers on the bottom within the Energy 5 ranks was Sean Tucker in 2021. Tucker was the engine of the Syracuse offense, placing up 1,496 yards and 12 touchdowns on 246 carries. On high of that, he added 20 catches for 255 yards and two further scores — all as a redshirt freshman. The early manufacturing alone makes Tucker extraordinarily intriguing, and already, he’s climbing up the 2023 NFL Draft board at RB.

Lots of what Tucker has seems translatable to the NFL in some capability. Tucker is somewhat on the small aspect at 5’10”, 210 kilos. However he’s a compact, well-leveraged again who showcases high-end acceleration capability and might lower at impressively acute angles in area. He wants to enhance his cross blocking to make sure a three-down function, however he has the requisite burst, density, and imaginative and prescient to be an thrilling participant.

3. Tank Bigsby, Auburn

Anybody named Tank Bigsby is born to be a operating again. Not solely does Cartavious “Tank” Bigsby have the beauty enchantment, however he’s additionally a really sturdy RB prospect with early-round upside within the 2023 NFL Draft. Bigsby put up 1,099 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2021, and he could possibly be due for a good greater 12 months in 2022.

At 6’0″, 213 kilos, Bigsby brings good measurement. Together with that body, he exhibits off quick, snappy ft and fluid hips. Moreover, he can use spry cuts within the backfield to create area for himself. Within the open area, he shows nice burst. And whereas the Auburn offense hasn’t all the time showcased it successfully, Bigsby is a superb receiver. He can run routes, in addition to make extremely fast changes on the catch level.

2. Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama

We’re nonetheless studying extra concerning the 2023 NFL Draft class. However already, it appears to be like flush with all types of molds and archetypes on the operating again place. Not each prospect is a real workhorse, and that’s okay. Within the trendy NFL, selection and flexibility carry exceedingly excessive worth. That’s what makes a prospect like Jahmyr Gibbs so thrilling. At his most projection, he may have an effect akin to Jamaal Charles.

Gibbs already has an identical body to Charles, standing round 5’11”, 200 kilos. Gibbs can be explosive and agile, with uncommon throttle management and twitch in congested areas. However Gibbs doesn’t succeed on his athleticism alone. Although not fairly to the diploma of Robinson, he’s a stellar processor with nice imaginative and prescient and inventive instincts, and he makes use of the area he has with notable effectivity. To not point out, he’s a powerful receiving menace as properly.

1. Bijan Robinson, Texas

As if there was ever any doubt, Texas’ Bijan Robinson is the highest operating again within the 2023 NFL Draft class at this time limit. It’s nonetheless very early within the cycle, however there’s an excellent probability Robinson holds this spot via the complete eight-month outing. That’s simply the form of prospect Robinson is. The Longhorns star, who amassed 1,127 yards and 11 scores in 2021, developments excitingly near the generational label.

Curiously, it’s not Robinson’s bodily ability set that’s generational — though he does have nice measurement and athleticism at 6’0″, 220 kilos. What’s generational about Robinson’s sport is his uncanny artistic instincts in tight areas and his ludicrous imaginative and prescient and processing pace. He’s a again with a whole pallet of traits who’s continually in command of the sector forward. Backs like this are value greater than the typical ball provider.

Honorable mentions

Tavion Thomas, Utah
DeWayne McBride, UAB
Devon Achane, Texas A&M
Lew Nichols III, Central Michigan
Roschon Johnson, Texas
Kendre Miller, TCU
Mohamed Ibrahim, Minnesota
Kenny McIntosh, Georgia
Christopher Brooks, BYU
Chris Rodriguez, Kentucky

Ian Cummings is a Draft Analyst for Professional Soccer Community. You will discover his writing here and comply with him on Twitter: @IC_Draft.

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