Chris Wells (Michael Conroy/AP)
Although this year’s running backs were less than impressive at the NFL Combine, they’ve managed to rebound with outstanding Pro Days. LeSean McCoy bounced back after not working out due to an illness while Chris Wells and Shonn Greene drastically improved their 40-yard dash times. Donald Brown will also have an opportunity to continue building momentum later this week.
While many experts pegged Georgia RB Knowshon Moreno as the top running back in the draft, Chris Wells of Ohio St may have dethroned the former SEC star with his recent Pro Day performance. Wells was clocked in the low 4.4 range during his 40-yard dash, improving off a lackluster 4.59 time recorded at the NFL Combine.
Wells has now jumped into Top 10 consideration and seems to have planted himself as this year’s top running back. The Cincinnati Bengals and Denver Broncos are rumored to be interested in Wells and currently hold the No. 6 and 12 draft choices.
Meanwhile, Pittsburgh RB LeSean McCoy had an uninspiring workout at his Pro Day but it wasn’t a complete disaster. His 40-yard dash time was clocked in the 4.5-range and his vertical jump of only 29 inches is well below his competition.
McCoy was unable to workout in Indianapolis due to an illness and this was the first times NFL coaches and scouts saw him perform in a workout setting. Like Moreno, McCoy was a logical candidate late in Round 1 but could drop into the second round due to the other surging running backs.
Outside of Wells, Iowa RB Shonn Greene may have helped himself the most following his Pro Day performance. Greene ran in the low 4.6-range at the Combine, but improved into the low 4.5’s during his workout in Iowa City. Additionally, he improved his bench press numbers from 19 reps to 23 as well as his broad jump and long jump.
Greene came into the draft season as a solid Round 2 prospect but some believed he may slip into the third round following the Combine. Greene is back in the mix as a likely selection in Round 2.
Like the majority of the running backs, Moreno was timed slower than expected at the Combine. However, while his other backfield mates improved their times at their Pro Day, Moreno was unable and confirmed his rather average speed. Moreno was timed in the 4.6-range in Indianapolis and followed that up with similar 40-yard dash times in Athens.
Due to his versatility, Moreno will still garner heavy consideration starting in the middle of Round 1 but could be in store for a substantial drop.
Connecticut’s Donald Brown will be the final top running back to workout at his Pro Day and will attempt to continue his streak of impressive draft workouts. Brown will need an exceptional outing in order to stay afloat with the rest of the top prospects at the position.
Brown has been mentioned as a late first-round pick or could be selected early in Round 2. He can confirm his draft status with an adequate showing later this week.
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