In order to familiarize fans with some of the top names in the 2019 NFL Draft, Chargers.com will be highlighting top prospects by position each week leading up to the first day of the draft on April 25th
First up is a look at some of the premiere running backs according to pundits.
Weight: 216 pounds
NFL Network Pro Comparison: Cedric Benson
Alabama is a running back factory, which is why they have a pair of top players at the position primed to go early in this year's draft.
That includes Damien Harris, who ranks eighth in school history in career rushing yards (3,070). Even more impressive, his 6.4 yards per carry average on 477 career totes is the best mark in Crimson Tide history for a running back with at least 400 carries. Oh, and he accomplished all this despite being in a time-share his entire career.
Simply put, teams looking to add a powerful grinder at running back will likely fall in love with Harris.
A rugged runner who plays with a no-nonsense attitude, the 5-10, 216-pounder makes would-be tacklers look silly as he dismisses them with ease. Experts love the physical nature in which he plays the game, wearing down defenders in the ever-important fourth quarter. He's also known for his tremendous ball security as he did not lose a single fumble in 56 career games.
Overall, Harris figures to be a reliable option to pound the rock from day one, and is regarded as a perfect fit in the league's current landscape when time-sharing at the position is all the rage.
40-Yard Dash: 4.57 seconds
Bench Press: 16 reps
Vertical Jump: 37.0 inches
Broad Jump: 121.0 inches
Weight: 208 pounds
NFL Network Pro Comparison: Tevin Coleman
There may not be a more explosive playmaker in this year's draft than Darrell Henderson.
Built like a rock, the 5-8, 208-pound Memphis product uses his compact size and low center of gravity to stay upright. Add in his blazing speed and off the charts athleticism and you can see why most scouts consider Henderson an ideal back in the modern NFL.
His production at Memphis proves that to be the case as well.
Henderson declared for the draft following a dynamic junior campaign in which he was a first-team All-America selection after tying for the FBS lead with 20 total touchdowns. His 1,446 rushing yards and 17 TDs on the ground each ranked second in college football. He also chipped in with 19 catches for 295 yards and an additional three scores.
Overall, Henderson leaves Memphis as the school's second-leading rusher with 3,082 yards. He also ranks second with 4,302 all-purpose yards and total touchdowns (40).
All in all, Henderson boasts as much "big play" ability as any running back. His penchant for explosive plays will likely force defensive coordinators to game plan for him from day one.
40-Yard Dash: 4.49 seconds
Bench Press: 22 reps
Vertical Jump: 33.5 inches
Broad Jump: 121.0 inches
Weight: 220 pounds
NFL Network Pro Comparison: Sony Michel
It's easy to see why pundits universally predict Jacobs will be the first running back taken in the 2019 NFL Draft.
There's simply nothing the do-it-all back can't do.
Alabama never lacks for weapons on offense, and he paced the talented Crimson Tide lineup with 1,315 all-purpose yards in 2018. The junior carried the ball 120 times for 640 yards (5.3 ypc) and 11 touchdowns while hauling in 20 passes for another 247 yards and three scores. He was also a force returning kickoffs, averaging 30.6 yards per return including a 77-yard touchdown. Overall, he declared early for the draft following a prolific career in which he toted the rock 251 times for 1,491 yards (5.9 ypc) and 16 touchdowns and caught 48 passes for 571 yards and another five scores.
Jacobs terrorizes defenses with his rare natural blend of power and athleticism. He finishes every run hard, demoralizing the defense with his knack for getting those extra couple yards. Jacobs' ability to move the pile makes him an excellent short-yardage back; however, he's more than just a straight-ahead runner. The 5-10, 220-pounder possesses top notch vision and terrific quickness to pivot at a moment's notice. He's also a capable weapon in the passing game due to his excellent hands and pristine route-running ability.
All in all, pundits universally consider Jacobs to be a first-round lock with his uncanny ability to torch teams in a variety of ways.
Weight: 200 pounds
NFL Network Pro Comparison: Dion Lewis
Blessed with lightning quick athleticism and home-run ability any time he touches the ball, it became a must-watch every time Love took the field for Stanford.
In fact, it became a must-watch event every time he took the field.
Love boasts true elite top-end speed, making it nearly impossible to catch up to him once he kicks it into gear. However, he also possesses a sudden burst to hit the hole as soon as it opens. Scouts love his whirling dervish running style. He can cut on a dime, and if he gets out into the open field, it's nearly all but over.
The 5-9, 200-pound Love appeared in 49 games over his four-year collegiate career, carrying the ball 569 times for 3,866 yards and 30 touchdowns. His top season came as a junior when he logged 263 carries for 2,118 yards and 19 touchdowns. Love's 2,118 rushing yards were the second most in the country as he captured the Doak Walker Award and Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year honors in the process. In addition, he set a FBS record with 15 consecutive games with a run of at least 30 yards.
Unfortunately, Love's senior year was derailed by an ACL injury, but his pure talent and passion for the game have pundits believing it won't hinder his draft stock too much.
Bench Press: 18 reps
School: Iowa St.
Weight: 222 pounds
NFL Network Pro Comparison: Kareem Hunt
Good luck trying to tackle David Montgomery.
Universally considered the preeminent power back in this year's draft, scouts rave about his toughness between the tackles. Just listen to what NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah says when he describes Montgomery as having "an ideal blend of size, vision and short-area burst (with an) ability to stop/start immediately (that) is unique for a bigger back."
While all 32 teams need to project how a player will perform in the NFL, they have plenty of film on Montgomery as he proved his worth as a bell-cow back for Iowa State.
The 5-10, 222-pounder carried the ball 624 times in three seasons, totaling 2,295 yards and 26 touchdowns. His top season came a year ago when he toted the rock 257 times for 1,216 yards and 13 TDs. He also proved capable as a receiver, hauling in 71 receptions for another 582 yards over the years.
Overall, mock drafts project Montgomery to be a sure-fire day two pick, with some even projecting he'll creep into the first round when all is said and done.
40-Yard Dash: 4.63 seconds
Bench Press: 15 reps
Vertical Jump: 28.5 inches
Broad Jump: 121.0 inches
School: Florida Atlantic
Weight: 203 pounds
NFL Network Pro Comparison: Charlie Garner
That's the single word you'll hear most often leading into the draft as pundits and experts alike rave about Singletary's scintillating game.
While most think of an electric skillset when it comes to operating in the open space – and the FAU product certainly does that in spades – it's his ability to play the same way in tight corners that really wows the scouting community. Although undersized at 5-7, 203-pounds, he runs with a powerful burst with surprising physicality.
Add it all together and you can understand why Singletary had such a successful collegiate career. Singletary declared after his junior season after playing in 38 games over three seasons, totaling 714 carries for 4,289 yards and 66 touchdowns.
Yes, you read that right – 66 rushing touchdowns!
Singletary burst onto the field the very moment he stepped foot on Florida Atlantic's campus, and draft experts believe he can have the same immediate impact as a pro.
40-Yard Dash: 4.66 seconds
Bench Press: 15 reps
Vertical Jump: 35.0 inches
Broad Jump: 117.0 inches
Take a closer look at some of the top running backs available in this year's NFL Draft.
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed above represent those of individual authors and do not represent the opinions or policies of the Chargers' organization, front office staff, coaches and executives.