This year’s RB class is as diverse - and as good - as any in recent memory. NFL teams in need of ground help are salivating at the upcoming class, with evaluators eagerly anticipating the declarations of star underclassmen. Long story short, it’s a unique - and sweet - group of ball-carriers.
Organizations will have a grand choice of options come draft day, and selections will come down to which style of back they prefer. Simply put, it’s a “pick your flavor” type of class.
Scouts better start taste-testing some ice cream, because their preferences will go a long way in sorting this incredible group of prospects.
Let’s take a look at some 2020 RB prospects and their ice cream counterparts:
Jonathan Taylor Wisconsin - Vanilla
No, it’s not the “flashiest” choice. It’s not the most exciting or tantalizing flavor. However, vanilla simply gets it done. The most popular type of ice cream for a reason, it’s an elite choice and one that you can’t go wrong with no matter the situation. Able to play at an absurd level on all 3 downs, Jonathan Taylor is a dependable back who fits that vanilla mould by combining superb traits with Heisman-level production. He may find himself on a boring and bland Wisconsin offense, but Taylor - just like vanilla - always finds success.
D'Andre Swift Georgia - Neapolitan
Combining strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla all into one flavor, Neopolitan is unquestionably the most versatile type of ice cream, and you could easily argue that D’Andre Swift has that same “jack of all trades” style. An explosive, quick-twitch back with home-run ability, Swift combines effortless juke moves with a tough and physical mentality, making him a well-rounded prospect and one that could slide into any scheme at the next level.
Eno Benjamin Arizona State - Rocky Road
Eno Benjamin is a difficult player to peg. Based on physical traits he seemingly has everything you want. However, he's also a stiff-hipped athlete who relies far too heavily on his jump-cutting ability. His evaluation is a rocky one, and Benjamin is likely going to have a difficult road to professional success. He’s a good player with insane leg drive, but in such a deep class the Arizona State runner might not be able to stack up.
Chuba Hubbard Oklahoma State - Coffee
With his incredible track speed and electric burst, Chuba Hubbard is can’t miss television. You simply need to stay awake to see him in action, and his FBS leading 1094 rush yards provide Oklahoma State with a much-needed jolt of energy. Coffee ice cream has that same lively composition, and it’s caffeine - much like Hubbard - can provide you with enough of a spark to get through difficult spots and tricky situations.
Zack Moss Utah - Cookie Dough
Cookie dough is one of those flavors of ice cream that can leave you satisfied no matter the amount. Packing a strong punch in a thick build, it’s rich frame is a decadent treat. Utah’s Zack Moss has that same type of compact physique, currently standing at a sturdy 5’10, 222 pounds. Blessed with insane contact balance and fantastic tackle-breaking ability, he might not be a back you can use in all situations, but Moss serves a clear and distinct role.
Travis Etienne Clemson - Tiger Tail
Orange with a black licorice swirl, Tiger Tail is a bright and colorful type of ice cream that immediately demands your attention. Clemson Tiger RB Travis Etienne seeks that same sort of spotlight, possessing the home-run ability to take it to the house on any snap. Look, he might not be everyone’s cup of tea. However, that elite burst is just too good to ignore, and it’ll be why Etienne is a top draft pick come April.
Kylin Hill Miss. State - Mint Chocolate Chip
An extremely underrated ice cream, mint chocolate chip essentially serves two purposes - satisfaction and refreshment. Pulling off those dueling ideologies is difficult, yet the flavor finds a way to get it done. Playing with a (chocolate) chip on his shoulder, Kylin Hill finds that same sort of balance in his play, and his combination of talent and toughness is a refreshing change of pace. He needs more recognition, and hopefully, Hill will start to receive it.
J.K. Dobbins Ohio State - Peanut Butter
When I was a kid (okay, when I was a younger kid), peanut butter was always a flavor I despised. My taste buds have matured since, however, and I’ve finally started to understand peanut butter for what it is - a rich and flavorful ice cream that gets better with age. J.K. Dobbins is similar in the fact that he’s had a wildly improved 3rd season with the Buckeyes, which has forced me to throw out my misguided pre-season evaluation of his game. The star back may not have the highest upside or the most athleticism, but he’s a polished and sophisticated runner who can contribute right away. That’s pretty darn valuable.
Najee Harris Alabama - Cherry
Now look, cherry ice cream isn’t bad. However, it’s overhyped, and the same can be said for Najee Harris. The #1 recruit of the 2017 high school class, Harris hasn’t achieved the same lofty aspirations that came with his recruiting title. Ultimately, the Alabama runner is a powerful back with a huge frame and some surprising quickness, but his lack of explosion seriously damages his NFL projection. It makes him a worse prospect than many are perceiving, and if he declares this season he could be in for some trouble come draft day.
Cam Akers Florida State - Mango
You might not have ever tried mango ice cream, but let me tell you - it’s good. It also turns out, Cam Akers is not too dissimilar to the fruit flavor. A fantastic runner stuck on a horrid Florida State squad, Akers was brilliant as a freshman but has gone under the radar ever since the Seminoles turned into an organizational dumpster fire. He’s still shouldering a strong load, however, and just like mango ice cream, he can’t be forgotten about. Watch Akers or try some mango ice cream and trust me - you won’t be disappointed.
Ke’Shawn Vaughn Vanderbilt - Pistachio
For those who want the sense of a healthy food choice while guzzling down milk and sugar, pistachio is the ice cream flavor for you. Providing just a hint of nut, it’s a smart and sophisticated choice and one that the majority of children would cringe at. The resident senior in this RB class, Ke’Shawn Vaughn doesn’t have that same problem. A sturdy and dependable back, Vaughn checks every production and academic box available - providing teams with not necessarily the most talented back - but a healthy and balanced one.