Philly's D'Andre Swift, of Georgia, could be the top running back in the 2020 NFL draft.
Philly's D'Andre Swift, of Georgia, could be the top running back in the 2020 NFL draft.|

Mark Eckel rates the Running Backs in the 2020 NFL Draft – the top guy is Philadelphia's D’Andre Swift from St. Joe's Prep

Swift, out of Georgia, may be the only RB taken in the first round.

Mark Eckel

(Second in a series of stories previewing the 2020 NFL Draft.)

Over the past 10 NFL Drafts just 16 running backs have been selected in the first round, an average of less than two backs per draft.

Last year’s draft featured just one — Alabama’s Josh Jacobs, who went 24th overall to the Raiders.

This year’s draft, which is scheduled to take place April 23, doesn’t figure to be much different.

“This isn’t a bad draft (for running backs), it’s at least average,’’ a long time executive in personnel said. “But as far as first round goes, maybe one or two, probably just one.’’

That one figures to be Georgia’s D’Andre Swift, a Philadelphia naive who was a star at St. Joe’s Prep before heading to Athens.

Other possibilities include LSU’s Clyde Edwards-Helarie, Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor and Ohio State’s J.K. Dobbins, but count on hearing their names called Friday night, rather than Thursday night.

“Every year you see good backs get picked all throughout the draft,’’ the personnel man said. “You don’t have to take one in the first round.’’

And most teams don’t.

Here’s the list of the top 5 with quotes from the personnel exec.:

D’Andre Swift, Georgia

Class: Jr.

Height/Weight: 5-9/215

40 Time: 4.46

Stats: 2019: 1,218 rushing yards, 7 TDs

Quote: “He’s the best. He’s the complete package and he’ll come ready to play right away. And he doesn’t have a lot of wear and tear on him.’’

Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU

Class: Jr.

Height/Weight: 5-8/210

40 Time: 4.55

Stats: 2019: 1,414 rushing yards, 16 TDs, 55 receptions, 453 yards

Quote: “I like him a lot. I think he’s going to be really good. He’s a good receiver, too, and teams are looking for that more and more.’’

Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin

Class: Jr.

Height/Weight: 5-10, 220

40 Time: 4.54

Stats: 3-years: 6,174 yards, 50 TDs

Quote: “He’s a big, strong, old-school kind of guy. My red flag with him is he had over 900 (926) carries in college.’’

Darryton Evans, Appalachian St.

Class: Sr.

Height/Weight: 5-11, 200

40 Time: 4.41

Stats: 2019: 1,678 total yards; 18 rush TDs, 5 Rec. TDs

Quote: “He’s my sleeper. Some team is going to get a real good player later (in the draft). He can really run. He can catch the ball. He’s a good player.’’

J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State

Class: Jr.

Height/Weight: 5-10, 216

40 Time: 4.5

Stats: 2019: 2,003 rushing yards, 21 TDs

Quote: “He’s not as good as the hype, but he’s good all-around back. In the right offense he’ll be very productive.’’

Overrated: Cam Akers, Florida St.

Underrated: Evans, Appalachian St.

Small School Star: Pete Guerriero, Monmouth

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