There isn't an elite running back prospect that's worthy of a top 10 pick in this draft. No Trent Richardson, Darren McFadden, Adrian Peterson or LaDainian Tomlinson. There probably isn't even a Knowshon Moreno, Ryan Matthews, C.J. Spiller or Marshawn Lynch as a top-20 pick.
What the 2013 RB class consists of is that next tier; that tier where talent meets draft slot and creates value. This is a very deep class; Comparable to the 2008 RB class that produced McFadden, Chris Johnson, Ray Rice, Jamaal Charles, Matt Forte and even Jonathan Stewart, Rashard Mendenhall and Peyton Hillis.
I didn't know how talented this class was until I finished my evaluations on over 30 prospects and started ranking them. Having watched games of every player on this list totaling over 45 hours, I feel very confident in my rankings. With that said, Draft season is more fun with respectful debate.
|1.||Giovani Bernard||5'9" 205 lbs||North Carolina||Late 1st-Early 2nd||6.76|
|2.||Andre Ellington||5'11" 200 lbs||Clemson||2nd Round||6.70|
|3.||Eddie Lacy||5'10" 238 lbs||Alabama||Late 1st-Early 2nd||6.68|
|4.||Johnathan Franklin||5'10" 195 lbs||UCLA||2nd/3rd||6.56|
|5.||Joseph Randle||6'1" 216 lbs||Oklahoma State||3rd||6.50|
|6.||Ray Graham||5'9" 192 lbs||Pittsburgh||4th||6.43|
|7.||Zac Stacy||5'8" 215 lbs||Vanderbilt||4th||6.42|
|8.||Montee Ball||5'11" 216 lbs||Wisconsin||4th||6.41|
|9.||Dennis Johnson||5'9" 215 lbs||Arkansas||4th/5th||6.40|
|10.||Kenjon Barner||5'10" 188 lbs||Oregon||4th/5th||6.18|
|11.||Christine Michael||5'11" 223 lbs||Texas A&M||4th/5th||6.09|
|12.||Stepfan Taylor||5'11" 218 lbs||Stanford||4th/5th||5.93|
|13.||Le'Veon Bell||6'2" 235 lbs||Michigan State||5th||5.87|
|14.||Latavius Murray||6'3" 223 lbs||UCF||5th/6th||5.86|
|15.||Cierre Wood||6'0" 210 lbs||Notre Dame||5th/6th||5.86|
|16.||D.J. Harper||5'10" 205 lbs||Boise State||6th/7th||5.82|
|17.||Mike James||5'11" 220 lbs||Miami||6th/7th||5.80|
|18.||Mike Gilislee||5'11" 210 lbs||Florida||5th/6th||5.78|
|19.||Marcus Lattimore||6'0" 220 lbs||South Carolina||5th/7th||5.76|
|20.||Kerwynn Williams||5'9" 185 lbs||Utah State||6th/7th||5.66|
|21.||George Winn||5'11" 210 lbs||Cincinnati||6th/7th||5.63|
|22.||Miguel Maysonet||5'9" 205 lbs||Stonybrook||7th/UDFA||5.61|
|23.||Montel Harris||5'10" 206 lbs||Temple||7th/UDFA||5.59|
|24.||Stefphon Jefferson||5'11" 210 lbs||Nevada||7th/UDFA||5.57|
|25.||Jawan Jamison||5'8" 200 lbs||Rutgers||7th/UDFA||5.56|
|26.||Theo Riddick||6'0" 200 lbs||Notre Dame||7th/UDFA||5.56|
|28.||Michael Ford||5'10" 216 lbs||LSU||7th/UDFA||5.31|
|29.||Robbie Rouse||5'9" 190 lbs||Fresno State||7th/UDFA||5.24|
|30.||Rex Burkhead||5'10" 215 lbs||Nebraska||7th/UDFA||5.21|
*Others I viewed but couldn't get a conclusive analysis: Michael Dyer, Knile Davis, Spencer Ware, Trabis Ward, Chris Thompson and Ontario McCaleb.
Note: I think 20-25 backs could be drafted and the last 10-prospects on my board all bring one interesting skill, but don't have the complete package. They're low-risk developmental prospects that offer upside at a low price.
You can follow Joe Goodberry at @JoeGoodberry.