Few positions look as strong in the 2012 NFL Draft as running back. The class got even deeper today when Bernard Pierce of Temple and David Wilson of Virginia Tech both announced they were entering the draft.
The join Mike Ball (ex-Nevada), Ronnie Hillman (San Diego State), LaMichael James (Oregon), Lamar Miller (Miami), Chris Polk (Washington) and Robert Turbin (Utah State) as underclassmen running backs who turned pro.
One running back not joining them is Montee Ball. The Wisconsin running back is returning for his senior year after the NFL Draft advisory committee told him he'd be a middle second-round pick, at best.
Pierce and Wilson should each get selected in the first 100 picks of the draft with the speedy Wilson possibly going in the first round. The advisory committee, which is often tough in its grading, told Wilson he'd be a second-round pick.
Pierce set school records at Temple, leaving with 3,570 rushing yards and 52 touchdowns in his career. Unlike the agile Wilson, Pierce is more of a straight forward runner with nice vision and quickness to hit the hole.
The running back everyone is waiting on now is Alabama's Trent Richardson, who is playing in the BCS National Championship Game Monday night. Richardson is expected to enter the draft and could be a top five pick.