Dynasty Watch: Post-Combine RB Rankings
Dynasty Watch: Post-Combine RB Rankings

This article is part of our Dynasty Watch series.

Here are the players who rose or fell in my dynasty rankings as a result of the combine. J.K. Dobbins and Michael Warren did not run. The updated rankings are listed at the end of the article. You can see the updated wide receiver and tight end rankings in this article.


 

WINNERS

D'Andre Swift, Georgia (5-8, 212)

Swift's 4.48-second 40-yard dash, 35.5-inch vertical, and 121-inch broad jump all do the trick on a day where J.K. Dobbins (5-9, 209) didn't run due to an ankle issue. It's a checked box for Swift where Dobbins still has an incomplete grade. After ranking third for me among running backs, I'll move Swift to second ahead of Dobbins for now.

Projected round: 1-2


 

Anthony McFarland, Maryland (5-8, 208)

McFarland's 4.44-second 40-yard dash might have actually been a slight disappointment, but any concern dissolves after noting the fact that his weigh-in logged 10 pounds heavier than his listed weight at Maryland. Perhaps once regarded as fast but smallish, by now it'd be more accurate to just call him fast. I think he's a better prospect than fourth-round pick Justice Hill from last year, who ran a 4.40-second 40 at 198 pounds.

Projected round: 3-4


 

Eno Benjamin, Arizona State (5-9, 207)

Benjamin did better than I expected, posting promising workout numbers despite weighing in 12 pounds heavier than what he was listed for the Senior Bowl. His 4.57-second 40-yard dash does the trick for a back with his skill set, and his jumps were legitimately strong (39-inch vertical, 122-inch broad jump). I'm still inclined to think Benjamin is an Ito Smith type at best, but that's admittedly probably more than what I would have conceded before Friday. He might have a shot at Day 2.

Projected round: 4-5


Ke'Shawn Vaughn, Vanderbilt (5-10, 214)

Vaughn didn't exactly dominate the combine, but he solidified his stock all the same with a 4.51-second 40-yard dash. I was worried Vaughn might test poorly since he weighed in nine pounds heavier than what he did at the Senior Bowl, but a 4.51-second 40 is adequate. By eliminating the worst-case scenario, Vaughn stabilizes his stock for me as one of the draft's better Day 3 options among running backs, and I guess he could even slip into the third.

Projected round: 4-5

LOSERS

Javon Leake, Maryland (6-0, 215)

Leake looked more like 200 pounds at Maryland, and in 2019 he was listed at 206 pounds. It's possible he added some problematic weight quickly in anticipation of the combine, only to cost himself some speed in the process. His 4.65-second 40 isn't at all reflective of the speed he shows on tape, nor is it easily reconciled with his explosive production at Maryland (7.9 YPC, three touchdowns on 60 KR). Even if this charitable reading is right – that Leake lost speed because he added weight – then that would prove he can only be fast at a weight that limits his other utilities. I have to think he's at real risk of going undrafted for now.

Projected round: 7-UDFA


 

Zack Moss, Utah (5-9, 223)

It's arguably harsh to list Moss here, because his only sin was hurting his hamstring. His 'official' 40 time of 4.65 is acceptable for his build, but his initial unofficial time was 4.70. The unofficial time is almost more believable, because Moss' strides were visibly uneven, indicating one leg really was tighter than the other and more or less proving his excuse. But fair or not, the question mark in the meantime is probably sufficient reason to move him behind Clyde Edwards-Helaire, and maybe Cam Akers too. (A lot of people had both runners ranked ahead of Moss to begin with, but I disagree with that.) It also doesn't help that Moss had some knee trouble at Utah, and durability was arguably a concern for him heading into the combine.

Projected round: 2-3


 

NO MOVEMENT

Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin (5-11, 226)

Some might see Taylor's 4.39-second 40 time as a cause for a 'winner' designation, but his projected speed was a major reason why I ranked him in first all this time. Since I was basically giving him credit for it ahead of time, a combine showing like this is more like meeting a requirement than securing a boon. Still, he absolutely met that requirement and continues to strike me as the best running back in this class.

Projected round: 1


 

Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU (5-7, 207)

Some might call a 4.60-second 40 a disappointment for Edwards-Helaire, but it doesn't matter to me. It's adequate in general for his build, but that's especially so since CEH was never theoretically a big-play back. His projected functions stand out because of things he does underneath and in the intermediate, so that he posted a springy 39.5-inch vertical and 123-inch broad jump are reassuring on that front.

Projected round: 2-3


 

A.J. Dillon, Boston College (6-0, 247)

Dillon might be a winner to most, but he didn't add any actually new information to his prospect profile. Impressive as it was – and a 4.53-second 40, 41-inch vertical, and 131-inch broad jump are indeed very impressive for a person of this build – workout numbers like these were part of the calculus when I ranked Dillon sixth among running backs going into the combine. Derrick Henry ran a 4.54-second 40 at 247 pounds at his combine, and we've seen the effect that profoundly rare combination of mass and velocity can have on an NFL running game. Dillon's athleticism is even more functionally impressive, because his build is more dense at three inches shorter.

Projected round: 2-3


 

Cam Akers, Florida State (5-10, 217)

Akers ran a 4.47-second 40-yard dash to go with a 35.5-inch vertical and 122-inch broad jump, all totally good numbers for a runner of his build. His production and tape lag far behind a few other runners in this class, in my opinion, but Akers is at least adequate in most skill respects and he's definitely more toolsy than most running back prospects. One could argue that he's even a similar prospect to what Miles Sanders was a year ago, as Sanders (5-11, 211) ran a 4.49-second 40-yard dash with a 36-inch vertical and 124-inch broad jump.

Projected round: 2-3


 

UPDATED RANKINGS


 

  1. Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin
  2. D'Andre Swift, Georgia
  3. J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State
  4. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU
  5. Zack Moss, Utah
  6. A.J. Dillon, Boston College
  7. Cam Akers, Florida State
  8. Anthony McFarland, Maryland
  9. Ke'Shawn Vaughn, Vanderbilt
  10. Eno Benjamin, Arizona State
  11. Joshua Kelley, UCLA
  12. Darrynton Evans, Appalachian State
  13. Raymond Calais, Louisiana-Lafayette
  14. Lamical Perine, Florida
  15. James Robinson, Illinois State
  16. Michael Warren, Cincinnati
  17. Rico Dowdle, South Carolina
  18. Tavien Feaster, South Carolina
  19. Patrick Taylor, Memphis
  20. DeeJay Dallas, Miami (FL)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mario Puig
Mario is a Senior Writer at RotoWire who primarily writes and projects for the NFL and college football sections.
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