2020 NFL Draft RB Watch: Chuba Hubbard joins a deep class of running back prospects
The running back order is starting to solidify for the 2020 NFL Draft
NFL teams searching for running back talent will be able to find value into Day Three of the 2020 NFL Draft. It is a deep group with many possessing skill as pass protectors and pass catchers in addition to running the football. Oklahoma State's Chuba Hubbard finally joins the mix after an oversight from this writer.
There is a lot of confidence in the ability that each of these prospects brings to the table. CBS Sports compiled the results from the weekend.
1. D'Andre Swift, Georgia: Stock Steady
Stats: 7 games -- 135 carries for 838 yards, seven touchdowns; 14 receptions for 172 yards, a touchdown
Swift had a few big chunk plays in Georgia's win over Florida. In Georgia's final drive before halftime, the top running back prospect contributed 44 yards, including a 30-yard scramble; his longest of the day. He added a 24-yard reception on a screen where he was out ahead of his blockers. The Philadelphia native had a touchdown in the third quarter as well but it was called back because of a hold.
Quarterback Jake Fromm threw to Swift on an out route in the first half but the running back was unable to make the catch. Otherwise, Swift finished with 86 yards on 25 carries (3.4 yards per carry) and nearly half of that came on that chunk play in the first half.
2. Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin: Stock Steady
Stats: 8 games -- 177 carries for 1,009 yards, 15 touchdowns; 17 receptions for 143 yards, four touchdowns
Taylor got the week off after his least productive game of the season last week against Ohio State. The Badgers needed some time to re-focus on their goals and expectations for this season. The running back averaged 2.7 yards per touch in the loss to the Buckeyes.
3. Travis Etienne, Clemson: Stock Steady
Stats: 9 games -- 123 carries for 1,102 yards, 11 touchdowns; 19 receptions for 184 yards, a touchdown
There is not much to read into a 59-14 win over Wofford. Etienne contributed nine carries for 212 yards and two touchdowns as well as a reception for 23 yards. His longest carry went for 86 yards. The Clemson offensive line was opening up big holes for him and he was making the most of it.
4. Zack Moss, Utah: Stock Steady
Stats: 8 games -- 137 carries for 828 yards, 11 touchdowns; 13 receptions for 215 yards, a touchdown
Moss had to fight for every inch in a 33-28 win over Washington. On his first receiving touchdown of the season, he stiff-armed a defender then delivered a hit to cross the goal line. On his rushing touchdown, he gained leverage, stood up the defender and plunged into the end zone. He finished with 27 carries for 100 yards and a touchdown as well as five receptions for 41 yards and a touchdown.
Since returning from injury, Moss has been very impressive in the pass game. Over his last three games, he has recorded 11 receptions for 208 yards and a touchdown. In his previous five games, he had two receptions for seven yards.
5. Cam Akers, Florida State: Stock Down
Stats: 8 games -- 196 carries for 983 yards, 12 touchdowns; 24 receptions for 174 yards, four touchdowns
Akers recorded his first 100-yard game two years earlier against the Hurricanes but a similar fate did not await him this weekend. The Seminoles' offensive line allowed a lot of pressure and the team often found themselves behind the sticks, which forced a lot of passing moments on third down. Akers was actually more productive as a pass protector than a running back. His 16-yard run up the middle out of the Wildcat formation was his longest of the day. He also had a double-digit carry off of left tackle in the first half. The junior caught a swing pass out of the backfield and took it 18-yards for a touchdown.
Akers has a strong base and explosive traits but has a tendency to fumble the football. The Mississippi native is roughly averaging a fumble for every 73 touches this season.
6. J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State: Stock Steady
Stats: 8 games -- 154 carries for 1,110 yards, nine touchdowns; 13 receptions for 132 yards, two touchdowns
Dobbins is having one of the best seasons by a running back this season. After recording his sixth 100-yard rushing game in eight opportunities against Wisconsin, the Texas native and the Buckeyes were off this week.
7. Chuba Hubbard, Oklahoma State: Stock Up
Stats: 9 games -- 236 carries for 1,604 yards, 18 touchdowns; 9 receptions for 40 yards
When I saw that a sophomore was being so productive, I assumed that he was a true sophomore. I was wrong and that was the only reason for Hubbard's exclusion on this list. As a redshirt sophomore, he is eligible for the 2020 NFL Draft. Hubbard is an explosive player with great vision. The Canada born rusher is averaging 178.2 rushing yards per game this season. His lone sub-100 yard rushing game came against McNeese; he only had eight carries that day.
In his latest performance, Hubbard had 20 carries for 223 yards and two touchdowns as well as a reception for five yards in a 34-27 win over TCU. It was the fourth time this season that he has rushed for over 200 yards.
8. Ke'Shawn Vaughn, Vanderbilt: Stock Steady
Stats: 7 games -- 151 carries for 790 yards, six touchdowns; 23 receptions for 234 yards, a touchdown
Vaughn is a home run threat by nature but his longest of 20 carries went for just 12 yards in a 24-7 loss to South Carolina. He finished with 87 rushing yards and two receptions for 11 yards. It should give fans an idea of how he was held in check by the Gamecocks. The hometown product has eclipsed 100 rushing yards three times this season but he is showing his versatility by averaging about three receptions per game.
9. Trey Sermon, Oklahoma: Stock Steady
Stats: 7 games -- 53 carries for 371 yards, four touchdowns; 8 receptions for 71 yards, a touchdown
Oklahoma had a bye this weekend, which may come at a good time for Sermon. He has been trending down in recent weeks because of his lack of production. The running back shows some tantalizing traits when he is given the chance but his lack of involvement in the offense has been thought-provoking. Will the Sooners make more of an emphasis to get him the ball or is this just where the season is headed for the Georgia native?
10. Eno Benjamin, Arizona State: Stock Steady
Stats: 8 games -- 153 carries for 679 yards, seven touchdowns; 22 receptions for 204 yards, two touchdowns
Arizona State entered their Bye week coming off a loss to UCLA. Benjamin had a long day in the defeat. The junior rushed for 46 yards on 13 carries. He also lost his second fumble of the season. Benjamin and the Sun Devils return to action this coming weekend against USC.
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