2018 NFL Draft Preview: Top RB Prospects In Each Conference

We are halfway through the college football season and there have been plenty of risers, to go along with surprises, popping up on the NFL radar. NFL Draft Bible Founder Ric Serritella lists the top running back prospect and top senior player in each of the Power Five conferences. In addition, he names the top Independent, Mid-Major and FCS ball-carriers that you need to know for the NFL Draft! To view the top 50 running back prospects in the nation, regardless of draft class, click here.

ACC 

Top Prospect: Mark Walton, Miami (FL) – One of the more underrated prospects in college football, Walton displays tremendous lateral quickness and elusiveness in the open field.

Top Senior: Jon Hilliman, Boston College – Injuries have prevented Hilliman from fulfilling his potential but he has shown flashes throughout his collegiate career and possesses great size and instincts. He has the makeup to develop into an even better pro.

B1G

Top Prospect: Saquon Barkley, Penn State – Arguably the top NFL prospect in the world right now, there isn’t a flaw in his game and he has a chance to be the best running back the NFL has seen this decade!

Top Senior: Justin Jackson, Northwestern – A tough, durable runner, Jackson gets stronger as the game carries on. A team leader and four-year starter, he has been praised by coaches for his leadership on and off the field.

BIG 12

Top Prospect: Khalil Herbert, Kansas – Lost on a losing team, Herbert was ripping off chunks of yardage on big plays until a hamstring injury slowed him down this past week. He blends a power running style, with just enough dip in his hip to make defenders miss.

Top Senior: Justin Craword, West Virginia – A JUCO transfer from Northwest Mississippi CC, Crawford is an excellent cutback runner who would thrive in a zone blocking scheme due to his one cut and up running style, to go along with his acceleration and agility.

PAC-12

Top Prospect: Bryce Love, Stanford – No one has burst onto the NFL radar in a bigger way than Love this season. After waiting patiently behind Christian McCaffrey for two seasons, he has taken full advantage with a remarkable 1,240 rushing total through his first six games, while demonstrating speed, vision, quickness and home run ability.

Top Senior: Kalen Ballage, Arizona State – While his college production doesn’t jump off the stat page, Ballage has 4.4-speed at 230 pounds and is expected to test very well. He’s going to make some believers out of NFL scouts in Indy.

SEC

Top Prospect: Derrius Guice, LSU – A physical runner who gains plenty of yards after contact, Guice has developed into a complete back with his pass catching ability and currently ranks as the No.15 overall prospect on the NFL Draft Bible big board.

Top Senior: Ralph Webb, Vanderbilt – He has struggled significantly this season but Webb is the SEC all-time leading rusher and has an extensive body of work as a four-year starter, which showcases his ability to hit the hole, break tackles and finish runs.

INDEPENDENT

Josh Adams, Notre Dame – While the mainstream media has been slow to shine the spotlight on Adams, he is heavily on the NFL radar. His size, speed and ability to take it the distance, makes him one of the more valuable backs in the nation.

MID-MAJORS

Top Prospect: Rashaad Penny, San Diego State – The Aztecs have had some great backs and Penny is the next in line. His compact build and ability to run between the tackles or bounce it outside could make him a top 100 selection. Defenders be sure to hold on because he will deliver the boom!

FCS

Top Prospect: Chase Edmonds, Fordham – A stout, short back who runs low to the ground and blows through arm tackles. Despite his slow start in ’17, Edmonds could become just the second Rams player drafted in the past 50 years (John Skelton).

 

(photo: ESPN)

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