Top running backs to watch during the 2013 NFL Draft Combine

South Carolina Gamecocks running back Marcus Lattimore rehabbing in the hydro pool at the Andrews Institute Orthopedics and Sports Medicine following his October 2012 injury tearing his right anterior cruciate, posterior cruciate and lateral collateral ligaments. Lattimore declared himself eligible during a press conference back in December 2012 for the 2013 NFL Draft. (John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports)

Knile Davis, Arkansas:

Davis has dealt with injuries and come back, but he had yet to look the same. Arkansas had a season to forget after the loss of Coach Bobby Petrino and the hiring of John L. Smith. Davis is a bigger back and will need to show he can run and have quick feet. His ability to catch the ball out the backfield will be crucial for him as well. Davis isn’t a first round talent. However, there truly aren’t any first round talents in this draft. Davis just needs to show that he is in good health and also prove his knee injury won’t affect him going forward with crisp clean cuts. If the interview process goes well, he will be hearing his name called in the late 3rd or 4th rounds.

Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina

The apple of the college football world’s eye. Lattimore had NFL superstar written all over him until a knee injury sidelined him in his sophomore season. Following grueling rehab, he returned, only to suffer another (and absolutely devastating) knee injury where he dislocated his knee cap and tore three of the four ligaments in his knee. Lattimore was the only first round talent that had even a remotely close chance of being drafted highly. However, with the devaluation of the running back and also his injuries, he needs to wow teams in the interview process and assure teams he can come back better than ever while we all know that may not be the case.

Lonnie Pryor, Florida State

Pryor is not highly touted, nor was he really even used full-time in the Noles’ stable full of backs. Pryor had to compete for touches and wasn’t a true fullback coming into this year. Pryor compares himself to 2012 6th-round pick for the Washington Redskins, Alfred Morris, and he hopes to have the same type of draft success with a great performance at the Combine. Pryor has good speed and also good vision. Not a really big back or possessing great vision, but a late round pick would be great for him. Being the versatile special teamer and change of pace back that he is is something that teams are always looking for.

Chris Thompson, Florida State

Thompson hasn’t been seen since late October after suffering an injury against Miami. Prior to bowing out for the season, however, he flashed some real talent. Thompson isn’t a big guy but shows instances of being like a player like Jahvid Best. His really good speed along with a knack for wanting to pound the ball inside is something that will impress teams. As long as the medical checks out or is going as scheduled Thompson will be fine and a team could find themselves a good special teamer with breakaway speed.

Zach Line, SMU

Line is a player who isn’t flashy and wont win you games by riding him to the finish line. Ultimately, Line has the ability to be the change-of-pace back like a Peyton Hillis, who can turn into a every down type down the road. While he runs high, his strength is something that will impress when it comes to the bench press and leg strength in the broad jump. Line has a chance to prove to teams he can run with a good 40 time and can be on his way to being a late round pick or an undrafted free agent.

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