The middle to backend of this year’s running back class should remain highly intriguing to teams in need of pop in the backfield. While we may have to wait until Day 2 to see the first ball-carrier come off the board, here are a few Day 3 targets I have my eye on as potential impact weapons this fall.
Pierre Strong Jr., South Dakota State
The fastest RB at the combine, he could be the steal of this year’s class. Strong is a violent runner with the necessary burst to slip out of tackles and escape around the edge to paydirt. His film consistently popped at the FCS level and Strong should present teams with a heck of a value towards the backend of the selection process.
Tyler Badie, RB, Missouri
Badie is a ‘waterbug in space’ and has the build to withstand the physicality of the NFL. A quick-twitch athlete with electric footwork and outstanding value on passing downs, teams in need of fresh legs and a talent to push the top of the depth chart should look no further than the former Missouri Tiger.
Keaontay Ingram, USC
Ingram is explosive from the moment his foot hits the dirt and remains highly intriguing as someone that could come off the board much higher than expected. A physical presence at a tick over 210 pounds, his shiftiness and flexibility allow him to slide and wiggle through the second level. With over 20 catches in three of his four seasons at USC, he touts reliable hands through the air as well.
ZaQuandre White, South Carolina
Holy tools. Very limited production at South Carolina will shy teams away on Days 1 and 2, but moving into the backend of Day 3, there’s no reason to not take a flier on a talent that checks a ton of boxes from the running back spot. At 6-foot-1, White looks the part of someone that could surprise in training camp and challenge for carries come the fall.
Abram Smith, Baylor
A linebacker turned running back, Smith will run through your face to reach paydirt. While he hangs his hat on his violent temperament as a runner, getting live eyes on him at the Senior Bowl showcased a well-rounded back that will do anything an offense asks of him. By no means will he blow you away with speed, agility or the game-breaking talent to handle an offensive workload, but he can flat out tote the rock. Plus, he showcased well during the game portion of Senior Bowl week rushing for 48 yards with a touchdown reception.