We have worked hard at Rookie Blitz headquarters to compile information and game tape for the 2010 NFL Draft class.
We are now ready to release our initial rookie fantasy rankings after reviewing college production, scouting reports, all-star games, and the scouting combine. We have already reviewed the top tight ends and wide receivers available.
Top-12 Tight Ends
Top-30 Wide Receivers
There are two clear-cut tiers of rookie running backs available for the 2010 draft class.
C.J. Spiller, Jahvid Best, Ryan Mathews, Jonathan Dwyer, Montario Hardesty, and Toby Gerhart make up tier one. Each of these players should be considered in the first round of rookie drafts.
C.J. Spiller would fit in any offensive scheme and is the top running back available. Spiller should be taken first overall over Dez Bryant in non-ppr scoring formats.
Ryan Mathews has generated plenty of buzz since the conclusion of the college season and now deserves first round consideration in the NFL Draft. Mathews had a stellar combine workout that backed up what scouts have seen of his Fresno State tape. Jahvid Best rivals Spiller as a playmaker and could develop into a special player despite his small stature.
There are many similarities between Jonathan Dwyer and Shonn Greene of the Jets. Both were considered first round locks prior to the draft process and were downgraded because of their lack of top-end speed. Dwyer will not win a foot race with Spiller or Best, however, he may be the best power back in this draft. Dwyer could be a steal in the mid-first round of rookie drafts like Greene was in 2009.
Montario Hardesty had a solid combine performance and has made everyone take a second look at his college game tape. Toby Gerhart is not a fullback and he will be a solid starter at tailback for many years. We have concerns about his college workload at Stanford, but it will not prevent him from having a successful career.
Ben Tate leads off the second tier, which concludes with LeGarrette Blount as our 15th ranked prospect . The running backs in this tier could have value in the right situation. Tate opened some eyes with his combine performance, although, we do not feel he plays as fast as his 40 yard dash time would indicate. Tate looked very average during the Senior Bowl.
Joe McKnight has not become the second coming of Reggie Bush like his press clipping had suggested. Deji Karim from Southern Illinois is a late round player to keep an eye on as a small-school prospect.
If James Starks can prove he is healthy, he could move up several spots in our rankings. He was considered a first round player going into his senior season, but a shoulder injury sidelined him for the entire year. LeGarrette Blount has begun to repair his reputation after being suspended for most of his senior season.
The remainder of the running backs are worth nothing more than a late round flier in your draft.
1. C.J. Spiller – Clemson
2. Jahvid Best – California
3. Ryan Mathews – Fresno State
4. Jonathan Dwyer – Georgia Tech
5. Montario Hardesty – Tennessee
6. Toby Gerhart – Stanford
7. Ben Tate – Auburn
8. Dimitri Nance – Arizona State
9. Charles Scott – LSU
10. Joe McKnight – USC
11. Deji Karim – Southern Illinois
12. Lonyae Miller – Fresno State
13. Anthony Dixon – Mississippi State
14. James Starks – Buffalo
15. LeGarrette Blount – Oregon
16. Javarris James – Miami (FL)
17. Joique Bell – Wayne State
18. Shawnbrey McNeal – Southern Methodist
19. Darius Marshall – Marshall
20. Stafon Johnson – USC
21. Keiland Williams – LSU
22. Andre Anderson – Tulane
23. Roy Upchurch – Alabama
24. Chris Brown – Oklahoma
25. Keith Toston – Oklahoma State
26. Andre Dixon – Connecticut
27. Patrick Paschall – North Dakota State
28. Brandon Minor – Michigan
29. Michael Smith – Arkansas
30. Lamarcus Coker – Hampton