2013 NFL Draft running back rankings

Grant Halverson

Unlike previous years, the strength of the running back class in the 2013 NFL Draft won't be solely dependent on which juniors go pro. Instead, there may not be a first-round running back pick this year unless North Carolina redshirt sophomore Giovani Bernard goes pro.

Bernard is the type of all-around running back who can be a featured runner in the NFL. He's strong, but shifty and quick. Most impressive was the 262 yards he put up against a solid Virginia Tech defense in October. Bernard can also make plays in the pass game, both receiving and blocking.

The other backs in this year's class aren't quite as complete. Alabama's Eddie Lacy really came on to close the year and could be a fringe first-round pick with his size and uncanny spin move. UCLA senior Johnathan Franklin had the quietest 1,700-yard season of recent memory, but should get some looks as a second-round pick. He could impress at the Senior Bowl.

The big gamble, of course, is South Carolina junior Marcus Lattimore. Despite multiple knee injuries, Lattimore remains one of the top running back prospects this year. Without the injuries, he's a possible top 10 pick. With them, he'll have to show leading up to the draft that he can still run well. If not, he could tumble into the last day of the draft.

1. Giovani Bernard | 5'10, 205 pounds | Running back | North Carolina **
2. Eddie Lacy | 6'0, 220 pounds | Running back | Alabama *
3. Marcus Lattimore | 6'0, 218 pounds | Running back | South Carolina *
4. Johnathan Franklin | 5'10, 205 pounds | Running back | UCLA
5. Jawan Jamison | 5'8, 200 pounds | Running back | Rutgers **
6. Andre Ellington | 5'10, 190 pounds | Running back | Clemson
7. Kenjon Barner | 5'11, 195 pounds | Running back | Oregon
8. Stepfan Taylor | 5'11, 208 pounds | Running back | Stanford
9. Montee Ball | 5'11, 212 pounds | Running back | Wisconsin
10. Mike Gillislee | 5'11, 209 pounds | Running back | Florida
11. Joseph Randle | 6'1, 200 pounds | Running back | Oklahoma State *
12. Le'Veon Bell | 6'2, 244 pounds | Running back | Michigan State *
13. Christine Michael | 5'11, 213 pounds | Running back | Texas A&M
14. Damien Williams | 6'0, 208 pounds | Running back | Oklahoma *
15. Cierre Wood | 6'0, 215 pounds | Running back | Notre Dame *
16. Robbie Rouse | 5'7, 190 pounds | Running back | Fresno State
17. Dennis Johnson | 5'9, 213 pounds | Running back | Arkansas
18. Ray Graham | 5'9, 195 pounds | Running back | Pittsburgh
19. Silas Redd | 5'10, 200 pounds | Running back | Southern California *
20. LaDarius Perkins | 5'10, 190 pounds | Running back | Mississippi State *
21. Montel Harris | 5'10, 207 pounds | Running back | Temple
22. Theo Riddick | 5'11, 200 pounds | Running back | Notre Dame
23. Rex Burkhead | 5'11, 210 pounds | Running back | Nebraska
24. Knile Davis | 6'0, 228 pounds | Running back | Arkansas
25. Onterio McCalebb | 5'11, 173 pounds | Running back | Auburn
26. D.J. Harper | 5'9, 205 pounds | Running back | Boise State

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