2013 NFL Draft Rankings: Running Backs
5. Christine Michael (Texas A&M): Due to a spotty injury history and off-field concerns, it's risky to rank Michael this high, but his talent is undeniable. He racked up 844 yards and ten touchdowns as a freshman, showing tons of promise, but then broke his leg as a sophomore and tore his ACL as a junior. He wound up in head coach Kevin Sumlin's doghouse due to off-field issues as a senior, resulting in only 88 rushing attempts over 11 games, though he still managed 12 touchdowns and 4.7 yards per carry. Michael is extremely explosive, and is very powerful when engaged head on by a defender. He also maintains his balance very well, and is quicker than you would think by looking at him. He ran a solid 4.54 at the combine, and finished top-five among running backs in bench press, broad jump, vertical jump, three-cone drill, and twenty-yard shuttle. NFL Network's Mike Mayock considers him "at least" a second-round talent. Once again, injuries and off-field issues are the biggest concerns when it comes to this prospect.
6. Montee Ball (Wisconsin): Everyone knows Ball thanks to an absurd 39 touchdown campaign in 2011. He's a decisive runner who finds holes and hits them hard, then finishes his runs well. He has enough quickness to make defenders miss in the open field on occasion. His decisive, powerful running style keeps him from losing yards very often, even if a hole doesn't open. What concerns me is that he didn't stand out much when forced to squeeze through a tight hole or make a defender miss at the line of scrimmage. Most of his impressive plays came when massive holes were blown open and he had time to get a full head of steam. He won't see as many holes like that in the NFL, and will need to improve his burst to get through small holes quickly.