Draft breakdown, Day 1: RBs
If you read our newspaper, you might already have seen this list this morning. But for those who missed it, I'm planning on posting our position-by-position draft rankings here over the next week. Today's position list, compiled by Rick Stroud, looks at running backs. Feel free to concur or disagree. I'll post my defensive-line rankings tomorrow (Monday).
1, Darren McFadden, 6-1, 211, Arkansas: No player could have a bigger impact as a rookie this fall than Run DMC. McFadden is being compared with Adrian Peterson.
2, Rashard Mendenhall, 5-10, 225, Illinois: Most complete back in the draft was the Big Ten player of the year.
3, Jonathan Stewart, 5-10, 235, Oregon: Led Pac-10 with 1, 722 yards and will thrive in a pro-style offense.
4, Felix Jones, 5-10, 207, Arkansas: Played Robin to McFadden's Batman but led the nation at more than 8 yards per carry.
5, Ray Rice, 5-9, 205, Rutgers: Workhorse back with nearly 5, 000 career yards is short, not small, and a very powerful runner.
6, Jamaal Charles, 5-11, 200, Texas: Rushed for 1, 600 yards and 18 touchdowns; some fumbling problems with the dual-sport star who ran track.
7, Matthew Forte, 6-1, 221, Tulane: Finished career with eight straight 100-yard games and 2, 127 overall in 12 games.
8, Chris Johnson, 5-11, 197, East Carolina: Dazzling speed; his stock rose at the Senior Bowl.
9, Kevin Smith, 6-1, 217, Central Florida: He finished with 2, 567 yards and nearly broke Barry Sanders' season record (2, 628 yards) — though he played in three more games than Sanders.
10, Jalen Parmele, 5-11, 224, Toledo: Level of competition will be a factor; good kick returner.