By Cory Mageors | @inthemageors
105.3 THE FAN — Still looking at running backs, as I want to see what the Cowboys decide to do with DeMarco Murray and what they decide to do with Joseph Randle.
If they decide to keep Murray and let Randle go, they are probably more likely looking to add depth at running back, and I would not expect the Cowboys to make a pick for a running back in the first round.
If they decide that Murray is no longer a Cowboy, I would anticipate a strong move at RB early. However, the pass protection ready running backs are not at a surplus, and that’s a very important thing considering the health of Tony Romo.
Also considering legal or league actions regarding Randle’s off-field issues, the Cowboys could add depth in order to avoid a surprise mid-season or during camp. If that’s the case, a running back in the second, third or fourth round would be serviceable, and there are a few guys that could be steals there.
Tevin Coleman RB — Indiana — Height: 6-0 Weight: 210
Some attributes remind me of DeMarco Murray. Runs hard. Runs upright. Loose hips and doesn’t absorb a lot of big hits, always seems to get glanced or turns shoulder or hips at last second to avoid solid contact. Great burst and acceleration. Has really good downfield vision and uses speed to force safeties to take terrible angles. Looks like a sprinter. Better speed than Murray but not quite as patient. Murray doesn’t get caught at the line as often because he waits to the edge and finds a cutback in the running lane. Often times Coleman looks like, if the hole isn’t there, he’s going to try to force it. Love his feet.
David Cobb RB — Minnesota — Height: 5-11 Weight: 220
Love his pad level and lower body strength. Shifty hips, runs with lots of power and low center gravity, really good balance. Not a burner, but that allows him to be patient for the running lane to open. That being said, has the acceleration to buzz through the hole. Great runner on the cutback because of how smooth he moves back and forth — reminds me of Emmitt Smith with his balance and movements, not quite as punishing as Smith though. Doesn’t have great burst, just very fluid runner. Has a good nose for the end zone, but lacks pass protection skills to start immediately.
Jeremy Langford RB — Michigan State — Height: 6-0 Weight: 211
Good runner, looks like a lot of legs. Not afraid to lower shoulder out on the edge. Finds running lane easily and slippery between tackles. Patient runner behind lead blocker, gets to next level quickly when needed. Dips shoulders when running through the line to get pad level lower. Could use a little work on his feet when he makes contact, doesn’t do much after the point of contact. Played wide receiver as well, but doesn’t look like the type of grinding running back the Cowboys would like to have due to rawness and style of running that is not very physical.
Mike Davis RB — South Carolina — Height: 5-9 Weight: 223
Little bowling ball of a running back. Tight hips and looks like he’s running on his heels a lot. Sometimes looks like he is off balance. Great hands out of the backfield. When he finds the edge, he makes space for himself to cutback or keep moving out and make decisions. Not great blow you away speed, but enough to get you a first down in space. Great lower body strength to pull through a hip tackle. Loves screens and great safety net on check downs. Strong upper body with a powerful stiff arm, looks like he has more balance when contacted than when he is in open field. Sharp plant on cutback, powerful near the end zone. Reminds me more of Lynch than most backs in the draft. Ran against some of the best defenses in the country, so experience and true strength should be a bonus.
Ameer Abdullah RB — Nebraska — Height: 5-9 Weight: 195
Solid upper body strength. Good lower body strength. Low to the ground frame with tremendous balance. Quick to burst through line and break away in an open space. Can be brought down/swallowed by one defensive lineman. If you don’t wrap him up, you will have problems. Lowers pad level through defensive line but keeps head up to see down field for next move. Shifty feet with great stop start and change of direction while in full stride. When he is on the edge, moves into upfield direction on a dime. Need to see stronger pass protection from him.
Here are my top 10 running backs
1. Melvin Gordon
2. Todd Gurley
3. Tevin Coleman
4. Jay Ajayi
5. TJ Yeldon
6. Ameer Abdullah
7. Duke Johnson
8. David Cobb
9. Mike Davis
10. Cameron Artis-Payne
I’m not a scout or personnel by any means, I leave that to the greatness of guys like Will McClay and Bryan Broaddus.
I do, however, want to exercise my scouting brain. I’ll watch as many players as I can and use my basic understanding of football to tell you who I like after seeing the players with my own eyes.
I feel like when I watch something, then I can truly give an opinion on a guy based on otherwise I’m going off speculation and what I read. I’d rather not just give you somebody else’s opinion though.
Also, reserve the right to readjust based on combine structure where you find out if a guy is actually as strong or fast as he looks on film.
Cory Mageors is Co-Host of the K&C Masterpiece 7-11 weeknights on 105.3 The Fan.