I would have loved to have been able to draft either Todd Gurley or Melvin Gordon, unfortunately they went to the St Louis Rams (10) and the San Diego Chargers (15) respectively. However we're fortunate in that we have a very early pick in the 2nd round, so we have an opportunity to land one of the best 2nd tier running back prospects.
I do think there is a significant gap between Gurley/Gordon and the next batch of running backs, however I do think that the 2nd tier has real talent and there are a number of players I'd still like to target in the 2nd round.
Here are my top 5 running backs who are still available:
1. Tevin Coleman
He was borderline a first round talent for me, but he does play with a high pad level and a lack of patience, which is probably why he didn't go in the first 32. Saying that, he is a north-south guy who has one cut ability and breakaway acceleration and speed. He is a very impressive specimen who loves contact, he has no problems running between tackles and getting hit in the process. He had 25 receptions last year, but I think he can do even more as a receiving threat.
2. Duke Johnson
I have a lot of time for Johnson, he doesn't run inside very well, he has struggled with injuries and he can get lazy with technique, but the guy is lightning in a bottle, when he explodes he can't be caught, he can cut on a dime and make defenders look stupid, he shows a lot of balance and a lot of heart and I love that in a back. His pass protection needs a lot of work. 38 receptions, 421 yards and 5 touchdowns as a receiver out of the backfield last year, in a spread scheme, he could be very dangerous.
3. T.J Yeldon
Opinion is split on T.J but I actually quite like him. He doesn't have the best speed and he doesn't exactly bowl people over like an Eddie Lacy but I love his vision and creativity as a runner, he's exceptional at spotting lanes and bursting through them. He changes direction well and moves laterally very well, he's a decent pass protector and reliable coming out of the backfield without being that productive.
4. Jay Ajayi
Good size, good feet, generates a lot of momentum and has deceptive football speed. Has some creativity as a runner and can gets the tough yards when needed. Probably the best pass protector in this group However he has fumble issues and he is indecisive, he will often dance behind the line which results in the odd loss of yards. He's a talented back that will probably go in the next 50 picks.
5. Ameer Abdullah
A very productive back in college, Ameer has excellent acceleration and hits top speed effortlessly. He has excellent vision and I compare his ability to spot open lanes with T.J Yeldon's. A very valuable weapon in the passing game, he puts it all out on the line every single time he plays. Apparently he is a football junky. He's had a few fumbles and he's quite a small, lean back in comparison to many others.
Other running backs of note that are still available:
Jeremy Langford, David Johnson, Karlos Williams, David Cobb, Mike Davis