The top prospects:
finalist in 2011, is the consensus top back in this year's draft. He has good size and speed for such a powerful runner and he has great patience and vision. He was also an excellent third-down back at Alabama. In his final college season in Tuscaloosa, Richardson rushed for 1,679 yards and 21 touchdowns. But after Richardson, there might not be another running back who is selected in the first round of April’s
, Virginia Tech’s
might be able to crack the first round with a strong showing in pre-draft workouts.
Other intriguing names:
The Ravens may be in the market for big-bodied change-of-pace back to replace
, who announced that he was retiring last week. Temple's
would fit the bill. The 5-foot-11, 216-pound bruiser finished second in
Div. I-FBS with 27 rushing touchdowns and he was 12th in rushing yards. San Diego State's Ronnie Hillman and Baylor's Terrance Ganaway are under-the-radar prospects who could garner some attention with strong workouts. Bryce Brown was a former five-star recruit who was a disappointment at Tennessee and Kansas State. Cincinnati’s
impressed scouts at the Senior Bowl and flashed potential as a returner, an area the Ravens are interested in addressing in the draft.
Grading the class:
Richardson appears to be a can’t-miss prospect (he has the skills to go in the top five picks), but there is a big drop-off after him in terms of top-end talent. The running back class isn’t very deep, but there could be steals later in the draft like
a year ago. I’ll give the running backs a C-plus.
Fitting the Ravens:
is one of the team’s top offseason priorities and they like the other young running backs on their roster.
could potentially fill the power back role for the Ravens, but Pierce and Washington’s