Top 10 Running Backs Selected in the 2019 NFL Draft - Odds and Predictions

With the 2019 NFL Draft fast approaching – it runs from Thursday, April 25 through Saturday, April 27 – oddsmakers have begun to determine the various favorites this year (as well as the long shots), breaking down their futures bets into individual positions.

Running backs do not typically draft super high in the first round (unless you’re a physical freak like Saquon Barkley), but this year there are quite a few decent backs to choose from so it will be fun to watch (and bet on) which one gets selected first.

Here we describe the top ten running backs in this year’s draft as well as list the odds and predictions of their possible drafting order.

Quick history. Who were the first running backs drafted over the last five years?

For a running back to be selected in the first round, they have to be something special, as you can see by the first four players on this list.

The fifth man, Bishop Sankey, was the latest pick for a first running back in the history of the NFL Draft.

  • 2018: Saquon Barkley: 2nd pick overall, New York Giants, Offensive Rookie of the Year, Pro Bowl;
  • 2017: Leonard Fournette: 4th pick overall, Jacksonville Jaguars, 1000+ yards his rookie year;
  • 2016: Ezekiel Elliott: 4th pick overall, Dallas Cowboys, NFL Rushing Yards Leader, and Pro Bowl his rookie season;
  • 2015: Todd Gurley: 10th pick overall, St. Louis (LA) Rams, Offensive Rookie of the Year, Pro Bowl;
  • 2014: Bishop Sankey: 54th pick overall, Tennessee Titans, started out promising but fizzled out by 2016 and was released by the Titans as part of the final roster cuts.

Odds and Predictions of the first running back selected in 2019

The 2019 draft class is also said to be heavy with defensive powerhouses and a few quarterback keepers, but the odds we’re listing here are for which running back will be selected before all of the others.

Currently, that honor looks like it’s going to Josh Jacobs, who football analyst Peter Schrager predicts will be taken in the first round by the Indianapolis Colts with the 26th pick, while both CBS Sports and Jared Dubin have Jacobs going to the Philadelphia Eagles with pick number 25.

But who knows, maybe those teams know something we don’t know and your best bet is a sleeper with juicier odds, but either way, here’s how oddsmakers see it right now. If you reside in New Jersey you can place a bet at one of the sportsbooks below.

Good luck betting on your favorite!

NFL Draft

1. Joshua Jacobs

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College: University of Alabama, 3 seasons

Hometown: Tulsa, OK

Age: 21-years-old

Size: 5-foot-10 and 220-pounds

Speed: 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds

College Stats Line: 299 touches for 2,062 total yards from scrimmage and 21 touchdowns, averaging 6.9 yards per touch.

Biggest Accomplishment: 2019 College Football Playoff National Championship

Strengths: Jacobs is considered a ‘one-cut-and-explodes’ type of runner and because of his compact build, is difficult to take down, plus he can catch the ball, considered to be the best running back in this class.

Weaknesses: Mostly his slower speed, though when you watch him play he doesn’t look slow.

Injuries: played for most of sophomore season on a broken ankle.

2. Miles Sanders

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College: Penn State, 3 seasons

Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

Age: 21-years-old

Size: 5-foot-11 and 211-pounds

Speed: 40-yard dash in 4.49 seconds

College Stats Line: 308 touches for 1,842 total yards from scrimmage and 13 touchdowns, averaging 6.0 yards per touch.

Biggest Accomplishment: Second-team All-Big Ten (2018)

Strengths: Catches the ball well, good patience and vision, runs very hard and has good feet for his size.

Weaknesses: Ball security and lack of quickness.

Injuries: A mild left leg injury that caused him to limp out of a game in 2018, but currently he is good to go.

3. David Montgomery

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College: Iowa State, 3 seasons

Hometown: Cincinnati, OH

Age: 21-years-old

Size: 5-foot-10 and 222-pounds

Speed: 40-yard dash in 4.63 seconds

College Stats Line: 695 touches for 3,507 total yards from scrimmage and 26 touchdowns, averaging 5.0 yards per touch.

Biggest Accomplishment: 2x First-team All-Big 12 (2017, 2018)

Strengths: Able to get yards after initial contact, soft hands and patience behind his blockers.

Weaknesses: Lack of speed, smaller size.

Injuries: Last season Montgomery was day-to-day for awhile with an upper arm injury, but X-rays were negative and the injury was described as a deep bruise.

4. Damien Harris

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College: University of Alabama, 4 seasons

Hometown: Richmond, KY

Age: 22-years-old

Size: 5-foot-10 and 216-pounds

Speed: 40-yard dash in 4.57 seconds

College Stats Line: 529 touches for 3,477 total yards from scrimmage and 25 touchdowns, averaging 6.6yards per touch.

Biggest Accomplishment: Second-Team All-SEC, 3x SEC Champion (2015, 2016, 2018)

Strengths: Great vision and mental processing, a tough back who delivers hits with a low center of gravity.

Weaknesses: Average athletic ability, limited ball catching experience and lacks power as a blocker.

Injuries: Suffered a mild concussion after a 73-yard run last season.

5. Darrell Henderson

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College: University of Memphis, 3 seasons

Hometown: Batesville, MS

Age: unlisted

Size: 5-foot-8 and 208-pounds

Speed: 40-yard dash in 4.49 seconds

College Stats Line: 494 touches for 4,303 total yards from scrimmage and 44 touchdowns, averaging 8.7 yards per touch.

Biggest Accomplishment: First-team All-American (2018), First-team All-AAC (2018)

Strengths: Excellent vision in traffic and in open field, good balance and elusive, smaller size allow him to run between tackles.

Weaknesses: Lacks power, struggles against bigger defenders and in pass protection.

Injuries: Henderson missed the 2017 Liberty Bowl due to injury.

6. Justice Hill

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College: Oklahoma State University, 3 seasons

Hometown: Tulsa, OK

Age: 21-years-old

Size: 5-foot-10 and 198-pounds

Speed: 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds

College Stats Line: 681 touches for 3,843 total yards from scrimmage and 31 touchdowns, averaging 5.6 yards per touch.

Biggest Accomplishment: Big 12 Newcomer of the Year AP (2016)

Strengths: Productive and elusive with strong cutback ability and the speed burst to create long gains.

Weaknesses: Undersized by NFL standards, not the most reliable hands, though Hill has 49 career catches.

Injuries: Hill suffered a rib injury that took him out of the Bedlam game in 2018.

7. Devin Singletary

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College: Florida Atlantic University, 3 seasons

Hometown: Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Age: 21-years-old

Size: 5-foot-7 and 203-pounds

Speed: 40-yard dash in 4.66 seconds

College Stats Line: 765 touches for 4,684 total yards from scrimmage and 67 touchdowns, averaging 6.1 yards per touch.

Biggest Accomplishment: First-Team All C-USA (2017, 2018)

Strengths: High production, able to run between tackles with power and patience.

Weaknesses: Undersized for an NFL running back and weak at pass protection, plus not a lot of experience catching the ball in college.

Injuries: Healthy

8. Rodney Anderson

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College: University of Oklahoma, 3 seasons

Hometown: Katy, TX

Age: 22-years-old

Size: 6-foot-0 and 224-pounds

Strength: 25 bench reps (225-pounds)

College Stats Line: 217 touches for 1,566 total yards from scrimmage and 21 touchdowns, averaging 7.2 yards per touch.

Biggest Accomplishment: 2

Strengths: Great size and play strength with decent quickness, with soft hands and the ability to run good routes.

Weaknesses: Injury history (see below) and needs more patience.

Injuries: Fractured Fibula (2015), Fractured Vertebrae (2016), Torn ACL (2018)

9. Benny Snell Jr.

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College: University of Kentucky, 3 seasons

Hometown: Columbus, OH

Age: 21-years-old

Size: 5-foot-10 and 224-pounds

Speed: 40-yard dash in 4.66 seconds

College Stats Line: 766 touches for 4,089 total yards from scrimmage and 48 touchdowns, averaging 5.3yards per touch.

Biggest Accomplishment: 2x Associated Press All-SEC First Team (2017, 2018)

Strengths: Strong first step, can find lanes and explode, level and strong core base and he’s got soft hands, grabs yards after the catch and loves to score.

Weaknesses: Has trouble squeezing through tight holes and lacks explosive, breakaway speed when he is 1-on-1 and has difficulty regaining his speed once he’s slowed down.

Injuries: Snell rolled his ankle last season but was re-taped and returned in the second half.

10. Devine Ozigbo

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College: University of Nebraska, 4 seasons

Hometown: Sachse, TX

Age: 22-years-old

Size: 5-foot-11 and 222-pounds

Speed: N/A

College Stats Line: 468 touches for 2,684 total yards from scrimmage and 21 touchdowns, averaging 5.7 yards per touch.

Biggest Accomplishment: Ran for over 1,000 yards his senior season.

Strengths: Great lateral movement, patience in the backfield, soft hands, averaging 9.9 yards per catch.

Weaknesses: Pass protection, but he’s spent time doing daily study sessions to get better.

Injuries: Lingering back injury in 2017.