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With the 2019 Reese’s Senior Bowl less than two weeks away, the TDN staff is hard at work studying tape for the upcoming event. As a result, we’re able to compile our annual (we did it last year at NDT) Senior Bowl Superlatives pieces on every position group.

Today, we dive into the running back class, with each evaluator offering their take on which running back is their top guy coming into the week, who has the most to prove and who is the sleeper out of the group. Here’s the squad:

Myles Gaskin, Washington

Karan Higdon, Michigan

Dexter Williams, Notre Dame 

L.J. Scott, Michigan State

Ryquell Armstead, Temple

Bruce Anderson, North Dakota State

Jalin Moore, Appalachian State

Alec Ingold, Wisconsin (FB)


Quarterbacks Preview


Crabbs

Top Prospect: Ryquell Armstead, Temple

Armstead strikes me as an IZ runner who can put defenders on their heels with his complexity as a ball carrier. He’s not particularly polished in pass pro or as a receiver, but Armstead has impressive skills as a rusher and will surprise some folks for how well he can move at 215 lbs.

Most to Prove: Bruce Anderson, North Dakota State

Any time you have a smaller school player step into a showcase like the Senior Bowl, you get a great chance to see what he’s all about. Anderson has impressive film, but stepping onto the stage at Mobile and proving the moment isn’t too big for him will do wonders for his stock.

Sleeper: Alec Ingold, Wisconsin (FB)

Please refrain from casting your hatred of fullbacks in my direction. Ingold is a pretty strong athlete, he isn’t just a battering ram that Wisconsin used in lieu of another offensive lineman. No, Ingold can make some plays happen! He’s been responsible for 21 career touchdowns on 117 touches with the Badgers, plus some chunk plays in the passing game as a threat out of the backfield. The true fullback is a dying breed…but Ingold has something to offer.

Sikkema

Top Prospect: Myles Gaskin, Washington

I’ll start by saying this: this is not my favorite crop of running backs that I’ve ever seen roll through a Senior Bowl.

But, with that said, Gaskin had one heck of a career with Washington, and I think his versatility as a receiver and runner make him the best prospect to watch in Mobile that week. I’m excited to see how fast he looks against non-Pac-21 guys.

Most to Prove: L.J. Scott, Michigan State

I swear Scott has been at Michigan State for 10 years now. But, he hasn’t. It’s actually just been four, but it feels like it because Scott got action as a true freshman in 2015.

Scott has been the component of the Spartans’ run game for years, and yet he’s never eclipsed over 1,000 yards in a single season and he’s never averaged more than 5.5 yards per carry in a single year. In fact, he averaged just 3.3 yards per carry this season. When Scott was first playing I remember people talking about him as the next big deal.

He better have a big week in Mobile or he might not be any deal at all.

Sleeper: Karan Higdon, Michigan

Higdon isn’t really a sleeper, but I do think he’s under-appreciated, so that still counts in my book. Higdon is a hard runner, and as we’re seeing with the likes of Phillip Lindsay or Peyton Barber in the NFL right now, if you run your hardest every down, coaches will like you. That could be Higdon, and impressing NFL coaches will start in Mobile.

Marino

Top Prospect: Bruce Anderson, North Dakota State

I really like this guy. His contact balance, competitive toughness and receiving skill set all pop in a big way when studying his tape and I expect them to show up in Mobile. He blends those traits with impressive elusive ability in space and a surprising amount of power. Anderson checks a lot of boxes.

Most to Prove: Dexter Williams, Notre Dame 

Williams sees the field well and works off his blocks effectively. With that said, his ability to break tackles, pass block and catch the football are all underwhelming components of his game. He’ll also need to answer questions about his 2016 arrest and four-game suspension this season for a violation of team rules.

Sleeper: Myles Gaskin, Washington

It’s hard to call Washington’s all-time leading rusher a sleeper, but I do think he’s an under-appreciated prospect. He illustrates outstanding visions, elusive traits and contact balance that serve as a strong foundation. His competitive toughness really shines when watching him run and I think that will lead to a big week at the Senior Bowl, especially if his receiving skill set impresses.

Ledyard

Top Prospect: Myles Gaskin, Washington

Few running backs have been as productive as Gaskin over the past four years, as he’s run for over 1,200 yards every year he’s been at Washington. He’s probably peaked in terms of his potential, and he’s a smaller back that likely won’t see an every down workload, but his athleticism and receiving ability can help him stand out amidst a weak group. Can he make his mark in pass protection drills too?

Most to Prove: Dexter Williams, Notre Dame 

NFL teams are going to take one look at Williams and get excited, as his stacked build looks exactly how you would build a running back on Madden. Unfortunately Williams doesn’t really play to his appearance, rarely breaking tackles and not showing many dynamic traits in the open field. The most important thing for him to show in Mobile is receiving ability and pass protection, two areas that he was average at best in during his time at Notre Dame.

Sleeper: Ryquell Armstead, Temple

I don’t love any of the running backs that will be in Mobile, but Armstead will be one of the best of the seven currently on the roster. He’s not a great athlete, but he’s decisive as a runner, has a big frame and runs a good number of routes for Temple despite modest catch numbers. The flashes I’ve seen in pass protection as impressive, and most of the evaluation process for running backs at the Senior Bowl revolves around their third down abilities.