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2020 NFL Draft: Dave Archer scouts the top running backs

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Editor's note:This is part of a series in which Falcons analyst and former NFL quarterback Dave Archer shares his insights after scouting some of the top players at each position in the 2020 NFL Draft.

The 2020 NFL Draft has some very productive college running backs. We are seeing more and more of the backs coming out of college who possess the ability not only to run but to be a productive receiver as well. I think a lot of these guys could have that effect for whichever team takes them. If the Falcons were to add a running back, I'd look for it in the mid rounds. Falcons general managers Thomas Dimitroff has had good success finding backs there, Tevin Coleman (3rd), Devonta Freeman (4th), Ito Smith (4th), Brian Hill (5th), and Qadree Ollison (5th).

Swift_AP_19314071270521

D'Andre Swift

School: Georgia

Grade: Junior

Height: 5'8"

Weight: 212 lbs

Measurables: 4.48 (40-yard dash), 35 1/2 " vertical jump, 7 career fumbles lost (440 carries)

Strengths

  • Excellent one-cut-and-go runner, good receiver (73 receptions)
  • Very good balance and acceleration
  • Shows good patience on front-side runs and vision for cutbacks

Weaknesses

  • Not very good in pass protection
  • Doesn't run with power in short-yardage situations
Taylor_AP_19250774841274

Jonathan Taylor

School: Wisconsin

Grade: Junior

Height: 5'10"

Weight: 226 lbs

Measurables: 4.39 (40-yard dash, 36" vertical jump, 18 career fumbles lost (926 carries)

Strengths

  • Tremendous blend of power and speed
  • Runs with excellent pad level and balance, decent receiver (46 career receptions)
  • Workhorse (320 carries in 2019), very durable

Weaknesses

  • Not asked to pass protect much, kind of unknown here
  • Heavy college work load (926 carries), how much is left?
Dobbins_AP_19364003613719

J.K. Dobbins

School: Ohio St.

Grade: Junior

Height: 5'9"

Weight: 209 lbs

Measurables: 4.39 (40-yard dash), 5 career fumbles lost (725 carries)

Strengths

  • Compact back with excellent power and burst, very durable (never missed a game)
  • Has good balance, especially on interior runs, breaks a ton of tackles
  • Good receiver and a tough, willing pass blocker

Weaknesses

  • Not a great route runner
  • Average start-and-stop ability
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Clyde Edwards-Helaire

School: LSU

Grade: Junior

Height: 5'7"

Weight: 207 lbs

Measurables: 4.60 (40-yard dash), 39 1/2" vertical jump, 2 career fumbles lost (370 carries)

Strengths

  • Very compact runner with uncanny start-and-stop ability
  • Not fast but has big-play capabilities with some serious make-you-miss moves
  • Excellent receiver, can displace to slot or outside, runs excellent routes (55 receptions in 2019)

Weaknesses

  • Wasn't asked to pass protect
  • Doesn't have home-run speed, but…makes plays
Akers_AP_19244619941815

Cam Akers

School: Florida St.

Grade: Junior

Height: 5'10"

Weight: 217 lbs

Measurables: 4.47 (40-yard dash), 35 1/2" vertical jump, 10 career fumbles lost (586 carries)

Strengths

  • Thick, quick back (powerful leg drive)
  • Big-play speed and has open-field elusiveness
  • Good athlete (dual-threat QB in high school, threw for 8,000 yards and ran for 5,000 yards)

Weaknesses

  • Not a natural pass catcher, struggled with balls outside body frame
  • Showed some indecisiveness in the hole (too much dancing)

A couple of sleepers potentially available in the middle rounds:

Darrynton Evans - Appalachian St. (RS Jr.)

  • 5'10", 203 lbs
  • Zone scheme fit, runs with good pad level and patience, returned kicks (4.41-second 40-yard dash)

AJ Dillion - Boston College (Jr)

  • 6'0", 247 lbs
  • Excellent lower body power with good speed (4.53-second 40-yard dash and 41" vertical)

DeeJay Dallas - Miami (Jr.)

  • 5'10", 217 lbs
  • Versatile, played wide receiver, running back and returned kicks at Miami

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