Previewing the 2019 NFL Combine: Studs, starters and sleepers at Running Back

Florida Atlantic Owls running back Devin Singletary (5) runs for a first down during the second quarter against the UCF Knights.Photo: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Ric Serritella

The 2019 NFL Scouting Combine is now less than two weeks away and is taking a daily look at the top prospects at each position to help get you up to speed quickly.

Each day, a different position will be profiled and given a grade with three individual players featured:

· A First Round Prototype

· Second Day (Future) Starter

· Third Day Sleeper

Senior Analysts Rob Rang and Ric Serritella have nearly 40 years of combined experience professionally evaluating prospects for the NFL and after a year spent visiting campuses, watching tape, attending games, all-star practices and Combine training facilities, they have not surprisingly developed some favorites in this talented 2019 draft class.

Hundreds of their scouting reports are being printed for Lindy’s NFL Draft magazine right now (RESERVE YOUR COPY HERE) with a snapshot of each position and some of their favorite players to watch available complimentary of below.


A First Round Prototype: Devin Singletary, FAU

The “Motor” man just doesn’t stop, running hard between the tackles or on the edge. In addition to his power running style, Singletary shows exceptional change of direction capability and gains a tremendous amount of yardage after contact. He breaks a ton of tackles and compiles more yards after contact than any other runner in this year’s class. In addition, Singletary possesses a stout, thick build, along with good vision and patience, which allows him to let his blocks to develop. He can cut on a dime and makes use of a powerful stiff arm. Even more impressive is how hard it is to bring him down in the open field. Playing in Conference USA does dim his accomplishments somewhat but he’s viewed as a prime-time back in this year’s crop and is widely regarded as the best player in FAU history.

Second Day (Future) Starter: Darnell Henderson, Memphis

While perhaps lacking an elite package of size and breakaway speed, Henderson possesses excellent vision, subtle shifts and has an effective stiff-arm to weave his way through defenses. A high energy player who runs with ruthless effort and burst, Henderson constantly keeps his legs churning upon contact and often times doesn’t go down very easily. He demonstrates good vision and burst, along with a strong upper body, which makes for a powerful stiff-arm. Henderson's career average of 8.2 yards per carry tied Houston's Chuck Weatherspoon for the highest in NCAA history since 1956 and he led the nation with 2,328 all-purpose yards this past season. Henderson could potentially thrive in a zone blocking scheme that would take advantage of his one cut and up running style. Memphis hasn’t had a back this talented since the Pittsburgh Steelers made DeAngelo Williams the 27th overall pick back in 2006.

Third Day Sleeper: Rodney Anderson, Oklahoma

Let the record show, there have been plenty of college superstars who never panned out in the NFL due to a myriad of injuries and inability to stay healthy. Anderson has had three season-ending injuries in a row, including a right knee injury that grounded him before he could even take off in 2018. He suffered a fractured vertebra in his neck during 2016 and a broken leg ended his year prematurely in 2015. However, he managed to stay on the field in 2017, demonstrating exceptional cutback ability, power, burst and home run speed, on his way to accumulating 1,442 yards from scrimmage and 18 touchdowns. A longer, lean-framed runner with a knack for finding the right run lane, Anderson knows how to follow his blocks. He shows great strength and usually takes a swarm of defenders to finally bring him down in the open field. Durability is a major concern but take away the injuries and this is a first round talent.

*Be sure to check out our the latest Ric & Joe NFL Draft Show, recapping the 2019 Senior Bowl.