The 2017 NFL Draft is one week away, and as top players and organizational leaders get ready to travel to Philadelphia for the annual selection meeting, WKYC.com takes a look at the best athletes, position by position.
Today, we examine the top running backs eligible for the 2017 NFL Draft.
Leonard Fournette, Louisiana State University (LSU)
Despite being injured for part of the 2016 season, Fournette rushed for 843 yards and eight touchdowns on 129 carries over seven games for the Tigers, including six starts. A native of New Orleans, the 6-foot-1, 235-pound Fournette averaged 120.4 yards per game and 6.5 yards per carry in his final season at LSU.
Over three seasons with the Tigers, Fournette rushed for 3,830 yards and 40 touchdowns on 616 carries. After rushing for 1,034 yards and 10 touchdowns as a freshman, Fournette nearly doubled his offensive output with 1,953 yards and 22 touchdowns on 300 carries in 2015.
Dalvin Cook, Florida State University (FSU)
Cook ran for more than 1,000 yards in each of the three years he was a starter for the Seminoles, including a career-best 1,765 yards on 288 carries during the 2016 season. Cook finished his collegiate career with 4,464 yards and 46 touchdowns on 687 carries.
Cook ran for 19 touchdowns in each of his final two seasons at Florida State, and although he had less yards as a sophomore, 1,691, on 229 carries, his 7.4 yards-per-rush average was a career high.
Christian McCaffrey, Stanford University
McCaffrey was a “Jack-of-all-trades” kind of player in his three years with the Cardinal, finishing as a Heisman Trophy finalist during the 2015 season and first-team All-Pacific 12 Conference performer as a sophomore and junior.
During his final season with the Cardinal, the 5-foot-11, 200-pound McCaffrey, son of former NFL standout wide receiver Ed McCaffrey of the New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos, rushed for 1,603 yards and 13 touchdowns on 253 carries in addition to the 310 yards and three touchdowns he accounted for on 37 catches.
In his sophomore year, McCaffrey set an NCAA record for the most all-purpose yards in a single season. In addition to his 2,019 rushing yards, McCaffrey had 645 receiving yards and more than 1,200 in kickoff and punt returns.
Kareem Hunt, University of Toledo
A former Willoughby South High School standout, the 6-foot, 225-pound Hunt rushed for 4,945 yards and 44 touchdowns on 782 carries over his four-year career with the Rockets in the Mid-American Conference.
Hunt rushed for more than 850 yards in each of his four seasons, including a career-best 1,631 yards and 16 touchdowns as a sophomore, when he registered 163.1 yards per game and 8.0 yards per carry.
After being limited to nine games as a junior, where he still gained 973 yards and scored 12 touchdowns, Hunt punctuated his career with a 1,475-yard, 10-touchdown season in 2016.
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