Marshall shocked everyone by easily timing fastest among running backs at the Combine with a 4.31-second 40-yard dash, and as a result he was expected to get drafted sooner than this. The extensive knee problems that bothered him at Georgia may have loomed large in his prospect profile for NFL teams, however. If Marshall can have a little good luck with his durability, this pick should easily pay off for Washington.
Lasco is an interesting name in dynasty formats after torching the Combine, but he generally doesn't have the appearance of much more than a third-down sort of running back in the NFL. Even if he's more quick than fast, Lasco is a player to watch in training camp, as the Saints depth chart behind Mark Ingram is unsettled.
San Francisco built up their secondary and lines on both sides of the ball with their first seven picks, but it turned its attention to addressing skill players in the late rounds. Taylor, the son of former Jaguars great Fred Taylor, followed in his father's footsteps and put together a solid all-around career at Florida. He ran for 1,035 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2015, but he averaged just 4.0 yards per carry. With such low explosiveness at the college level, it's difficult to imagine Taylor having a smooth transition at the next level. He'll need to make a strong impression in training camp for the 49ers to consider carrying him on the 53-man roster.
The Seahawks are normally drawn to athletic players, but they select Collins here despite a Combine performance where Collins (5-foot-11, 217 pounds) ran a 4.59 40 and remarkably bad jump numbers of a 28.5-inch vertical and 113-inch broad jump. Still, Collins ought to be a good off-the-bench runner in the NFL on first and second downs. He just shouldn't put any heat on Thomas Rawls or C.J. Prosise.
This is why you wait to draft running backs. Halfway through the fifth round, the Eagles get themselves the Big 12's leading rusher from last year, yet Smallwood also possesses standout pass-catching ability. At 5-foot-10, 208 pounds, Smallwood might not be an obvious feature back candidate, but we suspect he'll force his way into a meaningful change-of-pace role within his first couple years in the league. There's no obvious distinction to make between Smallwood and NFL runners like Gio Bernard and James White. With 4.47 speed and a high-motor running style, Smallwood will be tough to keep off the field, especially if the Eagles get rid of one or both of Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles.
Dixon was one of the most productive backs in college football history during his time at Louisiana Tech, scoring 87 total touchdowns. However, Dixon's role in the Baltimore offense is difficult to predict at this point given its crowded backfield that features Justin Forsett, Javorius Allen, Terrance West, and Trent Richardson all vying for a role. As such, Dixon may have a difficult time cracking the rotation early on in his career, but the overall lack of a true No.1 back in Baltimore could lead the coaching staff to see what it has in him before too long.
Concerns over Booker's recovery from a torn meniscus likely played a role in his falling this far, but he's an excellent pick here for Denver. C.J. Anderson is obviously the top runner for the Broncos, but Anderson was a far, far lesser prospect coming out of college, so a timeshare between the two shouldn't be ruled out further down the road. At 5-foot-11, 219 pounds with excellent hands, fast feet and a strong leg drive, Booker has all the tools to stand out as a three-down runner in the NFL, assuming his knee checks out fine going forward.
Ervin was an immensely productive runner at San Jose State, capping off his career there with a 1,601 yard campaign in 2015. He not only had a 300-yard game against Fresno state, but he followed that up the next week with a 160-yard outing at Auburn. Ervin is a burner (4.41 40-yard dash) skill position player, which has become a theme in this draft for the Texas, who are clearly emphasizing speed and play makers. He lacks the size to be an every down back at the next level, and Lamar Miller's presence ensures that Ervin won't be a workhorse early on his his career; however, if coach Bill O'Brien can find a way to get the ball into Ervin's hands, he could be a legitimate play maker capable of tearing off chunk plays.
Prosise was unsurprisingly underdeveloped in his first season playing running back, but his excellent production (1,029 yards and 11 touchdowns on 157 carries) and size/speed combination still allow him to project as an eventual starting runner in the NFL. If Thomas Rawls (foot) should have any unexpected injury complications, Prosise would be a candidate to thrive in a three-down role.
Drake is the third running back selected after Ezekiel Elliott and Derrick Henry. He showed a lot of rawness at Alabama but is certainly explosive, showing good open-field running that translates especially well on kick returns and passing downs. Playing as a backup for the length of his Alabama career, Drake ran for 1,495 yards and 18 touchdowns (6.4 YPC) while catching 46 passes for 570 yards and four touchdowns. It's hard to see Drake stealing more than off-the-bench work from Jay Ajayi.