Devy Running Back Rankings: Quarter Season Update

Scottie Phillips: Stock Rising

Scottie Phillips is quickly becoming my favorite Devy prospect. He transferred from Junior College and burst onto the scene at Ole Miss and became an integral part of a stacked offense from day one of his junior year. Through just 4 games, he has rushed for 467 yards and scored 6 times with one coming through the air. He has been extremely efficient with his touches even with only around 16 touches per game.

The fact that Phillips has been able to carve out a role on a team with this many NFL level playmakers (including DK Metcalf, AJ Brown, Damarkus Lodge and Dawson Knox) is very impressive.

Benny Snell: Stock Rising

Benny Snell is a guy who I will admit, was not high enough in my rankings.  Watching him this year has been an absolute treat. Following up 32 scores over the last two season is not easy to do, but through four games this year, Snell has stepped it up.  From scoring 4 times in Week 1 to rushing for 175 to lead his Wildcats to a big upset over the Florida Gators, Snell has looked great every week.

Handling a workhorse load, and remaining efficient when the defense knows he is getting the ball have been the biggest takeaways from my time watching him. Especially in this weak running back class, he is vaulting up the board.

Travis Etienne: Stock Holding

Travis Etienne is the most talented running back I will talk about here. The only significant challenge his Clemson Tigers have faced this year is Texas A&M. Etienne didn’t see much of the ball in that game and hasn’t been heavily relied upon at all this year.  

In the games against lesser competition, he has shown what you need to see. He has been dominant in 3 games against that lesser competition averaging almost 10 yards a carry. Etienne continues to show explosiveness and quick change of direction ability. We will likely get to see limited work going forward for Etienne as Trevor Lawrence steps into the starting quarterback role. What can continue Etienne’s slow rise up my board though is an increase in usage in the passing game out of the backfield.

David Montgomery: Stock Dropping

There are some foils to those who are rising. Some big names who have not had the start to the season that you would like to see.  David Montgomery was my RB1 for 2019, and, spoiler alert, he still is. However, his struggles can’t continue if he wants to stay there.  Montgomery has all the traits and he has a go to ability in his agility, specifically his jump cut, that fuels my love for him, but that has not carried him in a couple of tough games against Oklahoma and rival Iowa.

The schedule is difficult for the rest of the season for these Cyclones and they need Montgomery needs to step it up if they want to have a successful season and especially if he wants to maintain his fairly consensus top 3 RB status.

Bryce Love: Stock Falling

Bryce Love is also falling for me. Following a strong outing against USC, he struggled mightily against San Diego State. Love hasn’t been consistent even behind a solid offensive line. Stanford has also opened up the passing game and been more successful than they have been previously.

 Love was draft eligible after his Heisman level season last year and it is looking more and more like he should have declared. I don’t see much of any way he will come close to matching that year and what he has been putting on tape this year hasn’t been all that exciting. Ever since the decision to stay in school, he has been fading, before long, it might seem like Thanos got to him.

Damarea Crockett: Stock Falling

While Love is falling hard and fast, there is a guy who has fallen further.  Damarea Crockett was a guy I was high on after a strong showing his freshman year.   After struggling with injury all through his sophomore year, Crockett has let his job go full committee with Larry Roundtree III.  He has not regained his freshman form. Crockett may not even be draftable and I could certainly see him staying in school for his senior year after proving he has not truly recovered.

Rodney Anderson: Stock Holding

Unfortunately, we are waiting on another recovery from a big name. Rodney Anderson went down with a knee injury against UCLA and will miss the rest of the season. This is the second season he has lost to injury. He was another lock to be a top 3 RB in 2019, but this injury could mean another year at school before NFL teams will even touch him. Patience will be key for those who already own Anderson in Devy.  Now is not the time to panic and sell. The talent is there and another year of waiting won’t kill you.

About Josh Padgett

Husband and dad. From Indianapolis, to Purdue University, to living in Fort Wayne. Colts season ticket holder. On Twitter too much (@jpadgett94), but thrilled to talk about football, basketball, wrestling and more with anyone, anytime. Resident Devy/Draft guy here at Top 2 Sports. If you learn anything from me, it's that you got to risk it for the biscuit.

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