Here are the top running backs prospects (with projected round):
1. Todd Gurley, 6-foot-1, 222 pounds, Georgia (first): He rushed for 773 yards and eight touchdowns over his first six games and was cruising to a Heisman Trophy victory. But he missed four games for an NCAA suspension for accepting money for his autograph. In his first game back, Gurley suffered a season-ending torn ACL. He finished his career with 3,285 yards on 6.4 yards per carry and rushed for 36 touchdowns in three seasons.
2. Melvin Gordon III, 6-1, 215, Wisconsin (first): Gordon rushed for a team-best 1,609 rushing yards, averaging 7.8 yards per rush and 123.8 yards per game as a junior. Last season, he rushed for a single-game FBS record 408 yards against Nebraska (a record later broken by Oklahoma’s Samaje Perine with 427 yards). Gordon broke the old mark of 406 rushing yards set by TCU’s LaDainian Tomlinson.
3. Ameer Abdullah, 5-9, 205, Nebraska (second): He led the Big Ten in rushing with 1,690 yards, averaged 130 yards per game and 6.0 yards per rush in 2013. Last season, he had 1,611 yards and ended his career with 4,588 yards, second in Nebraska history behind only Mike Rozier (4,780).
4. Jay Ajayi, 6-0, 221, Boise State (second): He rushed for 1,425 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2013. Last season, he posted school records for rushing yards (1,823), carries (347), all-purpose yardage (2,358), rushing touchdowns (28) and 100-yard rushing performances (10).
5. Tevin Coleman, 5-11, 206, Indiana (second/third): He became the 18th FBS player to reach the 2,000-yard rushing plateau last season. He set a school-record with 2,036 yards rushing. He finished his career with 15 100-yard rushing games.
Teams in need: Chicago, Arizona, Miami, New York Jets, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Baltimore, San Diego and Dallas.
Need area for Falcons? Yes. The Falcons waived Steven Jackson and didn’t re-sign Jacquizz Rodgers, the top two running backs from last season. Devonta Freeman, a third-round pick last season, is slated to carry the load, but some depth is needed behind him. The Falcons are expected to draft a running back as early as the fourth round.
Top 5 seniors for 2016 draft: 1. Devontae Booker, 5-11, 209, Utah. 2. Byron Marshall, 5-9, 201, Oregon. 3. Jonathan Williams, 5-11, 223, Arkansas. 4. Keith Marshall, 5-11, 215, Georgia. 5. Tra Carson, 5-11, 230, Texas A&M.