I’m not Matthew Freedman but I hope you will still enjoy this running back companion piece to the almost too timely updates from the RotoViz Scouting Index scouting index. While I’m a different writer the intent will be the same – excluding references to any running back’s junk-in-the-trunk.
This article will respond to the February 10th RSI update which was written prior to combine invitations being made public.
TYLER ERVIN MOVING UP
The new RSI is getting closer to where I’ve had Tyler Ervin ranked so my thoughts are somewhat confirmed. Ervin is one of the undersized backs in this class at 5 – 10 and 177 pounds, but his 0.79 market share of rushing yards demonstrates that he can carry the load. While we don’t have much written about Ervin just yet, Jon Moore recently discussed him on Rotoviz Radio. Jon likes the same thing that I do: Ervin’s been extremely productive in the running game but what stands out is his excellent special teams resume as a kickoff and punt returner. Ervin averaged 188 all-purpose yards per game, second in the FBS to Christian McCaffrey. Special teams success can be important for identifying undervalued running backs. For the smaller built players like Ervin, a key skill such as special teams will keep him on a roster until a coach can identify a role for them within the offense.
Ervin’s Special Teams Statistics from sports-reference.com:
Another thing that I like about Ervin is that he has an excellent resume as a receiving back. In 2015 he had three games with six or more receptions, and six games with more than four receptions. Having said all that he’s someone that I could see my position changing on drastically in the coming months, but for now I like where he’s headed.
JORDAN HOWARD TICKS UPWARD
Like Matthew Freedman, I’m a Jordan Howard believer. He finally moved up thanks to CJ Prosisie’s continued free-fall in the RSI. You have to be impressed with his performance in the Big Ten this season and his size is ideal. I’ve got him ranked right under Devontae Booker at the moment. I really don’t understand why he’s not getting more attention as he looks to be a better prospect than Tevin Coleman. So in other words I consider Jordan Howard to be massively undervalued. But that’s cool with me if he remains in that value territory in the draft.
PAUL PERKINS A CHANGE OF PACE RB?
I’ve taken a liking to Perkins primarily due to his versatility and was ready to cozy up to him. However it caught my attention that DraftTek has Perkins ranked as their number one change of pace RB. Keep in mind last season that Ameer Abdullah finished ranked in the same spot which may end up being accurate. However, they ranked David Johnson second for change of pace and he appears to be an excellent three down player. Still it’s worth noting a little caution on Perkins.
DANIEL LASCO HOLDING ON
My esteemed colleague Mr. Freedman mentioned Daniel Lasco in his recent update and I’m going to do the same. It’s worth noting that Lasco received an invitation to the combine. Lasco also improved his stock by averaging more than 10 yards per carry in the East-West Shrine Bowl. The publicly available Pro Football Focus grades from that game gave Lasco a +2.4 grade. Considering he is coming off an injury spoiled season he’s bouncing back at the right time. If his 2014 numbers were his 2015 numbers he would probably be in the discussion around 10 spots higher. His age is not ideal as he’s already 23 years old so that’s something to consider.
THE STORM WILL BE DOWNGRADED
Now that we know that Storm Barrs-Woods failed to receive a combine invite he should drop from the next RSI. Aaron Green is another notable Combine snub which should cause some shuffling around the middle of the next RSI.
Since Storm will likely be gone and Green should drop like a ton of bricks I’ll guess the next running back to appear on the RSI big board. If it was my choice it would be DeAndre Washington but I’ll guess that Keith Marshall bubbles up and makes the next list.
As we all do at RotoViz, I’ll be looking forward to the next RSI and jump right in again. I’ve got plans to dig a little deeper into some of the running backs who are missing from the current RSI.
At this moment here is where I rank the top ten running backs based on the known information. This is where I would draft them in a PPR dynasty league if I were drafting right now.