As your New Orleans Saints prepare for the 2022 NFL Draft, we take a look at the top 10 ranked players at various positions. The 2022 NFL Draft big board rankings are reflective of Bucky Brooks' top five 2022 NFL Draft prospects by position 1.0 and ESPN's NFL Draft "Best Available" list.
Here are the top 10 ranked draft prospects at running back:
2022 NFL Draft prospects - Running Back | #1 Breece Hall | Iowa State
Breece Hall has a lot of the traits that NFL teams look for when looking for a high-volume running back. He has an ability to sniff out the endzone, but he has received a large workload through his young career, so his durability has come into question. He possesses great vision and power, but occasionally he jukes himself out of balance. Hall was ranked first on the NFL's list and second on ESPN's Best Available. At the Combine, Hall ran the 40-yard dash in 4.39 second, had a vertical jump of 40 and a broad jump of 126.
Height: 5 feet 11
Weight: 217 pounds
NFL.com Draft Grade: 6.38
NFL.com Overview: "Will give NFL evaluators early starter vibes with his blend of size, power and creativity...He has surprising build-up speed once he's in the open field but might not have the instant gas to become a plus outside runner...Hall has full-package, three-down talent with surprisingly soft hands out of the backfield and should find early touches as a Day 2 draft pick with above-average potential."
2022 NFL Draft prospects - Running Back | #2 Kenny Walker III | Michigan State
Kenny Walker III has great vision and the skills to make something out of nothing. His biggest knock is his discipline, occasionally cutting before letting a play develop or breaking away from the designed play too soon. At the Combine, he ran a 4.38 in the 40-yard dash, jumped 34 in the vertical and 122 in the broad Jump. He is listed as the No. 2 prospect on NFL.com and No. 1 on ESPN's Best Available.
Height: 5 feet 9
Weight: 211 pounds
NFL.com Draft Grade: 6.35
NFL.com Overview: "Walker is a compact back with a very powerful, sturdy base. He can find his own yards with twitchy directional change when run-blocking breaks down and possesses plus-rated contact balance to add on to his yardage throughout the game... He can handle RB1 workload in terms of carries but needs work as a third-down option. Walker would benefit from better rush-track discipline, but his explosiveness and unpredictable style should still lead to success as a future starter."
2022 NFL Draft prospects - Running Back | #3 Isaiah Spiller | Texas A&M
Isaiah Spiller may not have as many rushing attempts as the previous two prospects, but he is listed as No. 3 on NFL.com for a reason. He possesses great quickness and ability to read a defense. He sometimes runs with the football too loosely, exposing himself to fumbles. Spiller is listed as the No. 5 running back on ESPN's Best Available, so he seems to be shaping up to be a later round choice. At the NFL Combine, he did not participate in the 40-yard dash, but did compete in the vertical and broad jumps. He had a vertical jump of 30 inches and a broad jump of 114.
Height: 6 feet
Weight: 217 pounds
NFL.com Draft Grade: 6.23
NFL.com Overview: "Volume-carry running back with good size and talent for starting consideration as a pro...Spiller runs with good elusiveness but stays in that mode a little too long, which can affect his ability to finish with authority. He's a solid back but not overly dynamic and lacks the desired third-down value right now."
2022 NFL Draft prospects - Running Back | #4 Kyren Williams | North Carolina
Shifty runner, team captain, and consistent are all phrases used to describe Kyren Williams's strengths. His weaknesses: too many fumbles, lacks power to consistently break tackles. The Fighting Irish prospect has the traits many teams look for. In the NFL Combine, he ran a 4.65 in the 40-yard dash, had a vertical jump of 32 and posted a broad jump of 116. He is listed as the No. 4 prospect on NFL.com and ESPN's Best Available.
Height: 5 feet 9
Weight: 194 pounds
NFL.com Draft Grade: 6.00
NFL.com Overview: "Fiery team leader and combative runner who leaves it all out on the field. Williams has been a worker bee with a willingness to do the heavy lifting on all three downs and has premium third-down talent both in blitz pickup and as a route-runner out of the backfield..."
2022 NFL Draft prospects - Running Back | #5 James Cook | Georgia
James Cook had more attention in college than some of the other prospects because he is the younger brother of Vikings star Dalvin Cook. The Bulldog prospect did not truly get an opportunity to showcase his talents until his senior year, the first season where he had over 100 attempts. In that time, he was able to show his coaches and NFL scouts that he has the patience and ability to be a pass-catching threat from the backfield. His biggest knock is his lack of being a red zone threat. On ESPN's Best Available, he is listed as No. 3 whereas on NFL.com, he is No. 5. Cook ran a 4.42 in the 40-yard dash at the Combine. He also had a vertical jump of 33 and a broad jump of 124. Cook will likely have to face comparisons to his brother through much of his rookie year, but James Cook will be looking to make his own name known and escape from Dalvin's shadow.
Height: 5 feet 11
Weight: 199 pounds
NFL.com Draft Grade: 6.15
NFL.com Overview: "Change-of-pace runner with vision and flow but a lack of functional play strength...His slashing style fits with outside zone and toss plays. He can also be used as a mismatch option as a pass-catcher. Cook has big-play ability but is unlikely to see his carry count get very high."
2022 NFL Draft prospects - Running Back | #6 Dameon Pierce | Florida
Dameon Pierce was the definition of productive last season at Florida, averaging a touchdown for every seven touches. Although he is better running off-tackle than between the tackles, he finds ways to be effective running the ball. He has an energy that defenses can feel when trying to bring him down. He is ranked as the #6 prospect by ESPN on their Best Available list. At the Combine, he ran the 40-yard dash in a 4.59, did 21 reps on the bench press, had a vertical jump of 34.5, and had a broad jump of 119.
Height: 5 feet 10
Weight: 218 pounds
NFL.com Draft Grade: 6.20
NFL.com Overview: "...He's an urgent runner with twitchy downfield burst, tackle-breaking leg drive and outstanding balance through contact. He reads and reacts to block development quickly and creates additional yardage with both power and subtle shiftiness. Pierce was highly productive (16 total touchdowns) in 2021 despite an embarrassingly low usage rate by the coaching staff. He has plenty of tread left on the tires and fits into any run-blocking scheme as a quality future starter or member of a RB tandem."
2022 NFL Draft prospects - Running Back | #7 Brian Robinson Jr. | Alabama
Brian Robinson Jr. is a big back with battering-ram power. He also has fast feet for a bigger back, but struggles to get into a different speed. He has the capability and build to take on a larger workload, but his running style raises concern about his durability. At the Combine, he ran a 4.53 in the 40-yard dash. He also had a vertical jump of 30 and a broad jump of 119. He comes into the draft as the No. 7 prospect on ESPN's Best Available.
Height: 6 feet 2
Weight: 225 pounds
NFL.com Draft Grade: 6.21
NFL.com Overview: "Robinson is an absolute physical unit with good feet and power to add yards after contact, but his running style is predictable and somewhat indecisive between the tackles...He is a linear runner who is likely to be utilized as a complementary bulldozer to help wear down defenses, but Robinson might have more potential from sideline to sideline than he receives credit for."
2022 NFL Draft prospects - Running Back | #8 Jerome Ford | Cincinnati
Jerome Ford does not have much wear as he has just over 300 career carries. He has the ability to outrun linebackers on routes, so becoming a receiving threat could be an option. His issue comes with ball security. If he can hang on to the ball, he has the build to be successful in the league and can make a name for himself. He is listed as the No. 8 prospect on ESPN's Best Available. At the NFL Combine, he ran a 4.46 in the 40-yard dash. He also had a vertical jump of 31 and a broad jump of 118.
Height: 5 feet 10 1/2
Weight: 210 pounds
NFL.com Draft Grade: 5.95
NFL.com Overview: Well-built back with NFL size and athletic ability but the vision and creativity are just OK....He's a talented, explosive option out of the backfield with soft hands and the speed to mismatch linebackers out in space. The pieces aren't all in place, but Ford could have a future as a change-of-pace slasher with third-down value.
2022 NFL Draft prospects - Running Back | #9 Abram Smith | Baylor
Abram Smith is a running back with mentality of a linebacker. He runs with a purpose and is not afraid of contact. He does have a history of knee issues and struggles to run faster than one speed. Smith did not compete in the NFL Combine, so he will be hoping his season stats are enough to land him a spot on a team next season. He comes in at 9th on ESPN's Best Available list.
Height: 6 feet 0
Weight: 213 pounds
NFL.com Draft Grade: 6.17
NFL.com Overview: "Big, tough prospect who went from running back to linebacker and then back to running back during his collegiate career. Smith proved a formidable fit in Baylor's zone scheme with a patient but decisive approach and a natural feel for cutback lanes...Smith's lack of short-area creativity could make him zone-dependent, but he's a natural in that scheme. He has the upside to become a committee back with three-down potential."
2022 NFL Draft prospects - Running Back | #10 Tyler Badie | Missouri
Tyler Badie is big on ball security, only having two fumbles in more than 500 carries. He also is a great receiving back and is difficult to bring down right after the catch. He does lack some of the toughness needed in the NFL. He does not specialize in short-yardage situations and struggles to break free from some tackles. He is ranked No. 10 on ESPN's Best Available list. At the Combine, he ran a 4.45 in the 40-yard dash, posted a 33.5 in the vertical jump, and had a 121 in the broad jump.
Height: 5 feet 8
Weight: 197 pounds
NFL.com Draft Grade: 6.14
NFL.com Overview: "Undersized, change-of-pace back with a big heart and pass-catching talent...He played in a run scheme heavily tilted to outside zone and is at his best in space, although he's natural and confident in tight run lanes. He's a tough runner but lacks short-yardage leg drive, so his role as a pro could be fairly well-defined as a talented third-down back who can handle an occasional spike in carries if needed."