Under the Radar 2022 NFL Draft Targets: Running Back
Last week I talked about some overvalued running backs in this 2022 draft class. However, while early conclusions are that this is not the most talent-rich running back draft class, this group has a few late-round gems.
You should keep your eyes on these three running backs come late Day 2/even Day 3 of the 2022 NFL Draft. These guys have the tools to shine and have a substantial impact in the right opportunity at the NFL level.
- College: Arizona State
- Height: 6″2
- Weight: 210lbs
- 40 Time: 4.46 seconds
Rachaad White is someone who might be shooting up boards after an excellent Senior Bowl. If he manages to get drafted at all, he has achieved something not many people have. White didn’t get any offers from DI schools and ended up at the Division II University of Nebraska at Kearney. Certain circumstances saw White bounce around for a while before being spotted as a JUCO prospect at Mt. San Antonio College.
As a result of his JUCO production, Arizona State offered him a scholarship, and White never looked back. In a COVID-hit 2020 season, which consisted of four games, he rushed for 420 yards and five touchdowns while racking up 151 receiving yards and a single receiving TD. In 11 games played in 2021, he got even better, rushing for 1,000 yards and 15 Touchdowns in addition to racking up a highly impressive 456 receiving yards and one receiving touchdown.
White has measurables very similar to highly touted Michigan State product Kenneth Walker III. However, he is taller, much better with his hands, and has a much stronger dominator rating. According to PFF, White is ranked second on their college dominator rating behind Breece Hall due to his strong receiving metrics. Because of this, White has more ways to survive in the NFL. He has shown he can be an every-down back, a satellite back, a 1a/1b back, or even just a 3rd down back. Not to mention, he is an athletic freak. He can clock up to 22 MPH on the GPS and squats 500lbs. White also has plenty of tread in his tires as he is a late bloomer.
I am sure there will be a few GMs who might fall in love with Rachaad White. He is currently being mocked as a 5th rounder. However, don’t be surprised if he goes slightly sooner in drafts.
- College: Brigham Young
- Height: 5″11
- Weight: 220lbs
- 40 Time: 4.44 seconds
Allgeier might be the best running back you have never heard of in this class. He is swift for a player of his size and excellent at churning out yards. In his final two years at BYU, Allgeier managed 426 rushing attempts for 2,731 yards, 36 rushing touchdowns, and amassing 373 receiving yards. A big back who is a quick, physical runner, outstanding in the interior, Allgeier can be used out in the flat and on designed runs while also being able to block.
It’s unclear why Allgeier is being mocked outside the top 100 players right now. He seems to be one of the most pro-ready backs while also having a profile scouts and general managers love. Allgeier profiles as a bell-cow back who can also be effective in a 1a/1b situation and an every-down back due to his receiving ability. Since he has this receiving profile, he should be taken higher than others being mocked currently. I will personally be shocked if Allgeier is taken after Round 3.
Allgeier has a style that is very similar to James Conner. If you can put him in the right scheme, you will have an elusive, strong, chain moving back who has a nose for the endzone with good hands. If Allgeier tests well at the combine, he will shoot up boards because very few backs meet his profile. Who wouldn’t want a back like that on their team?
- College: South Dakota State
- Height: 5″11
- Weight: 202lbs
- 40 Time: 4.50 seconds
Strong Jr. is your guy if you like power backs who can run over linebackers. This guy is almost a cheat code for the running back position.
First, let us look at his college production. He produced three 1,000 yard rushing seasons, which might have been four had it not been for the COVID-hit 2020 season. Strong Jr. managed to put up these numbers without missing any time or picking up significant injuries. In addition to the rushing yardage output, Strong Jr. managed 40 Touchdowns in his college career on top of an amassed near 600 receiving yards. This is incredibly rare for a running back who has carried the ball over 600 times in college. This is someone who knows how to score regardless of the level he plays at. After all, he scored 57 touchdowns in his last two years in high school. Did I mention he also threw 5 Touchdowns in college as a passer?
Strong Jr. has great football intelligence and looks like someone born to play the position. He doesn’t seem to waste any motion or moves, is very elusive, and has excellent footwork. Overall, Strong Jr. can be used on gadget plays due to his good hands and poise. No matter what he faces, he doesn’t seem fazed by anything or anyone.
So why is Pierre Strong Jr. being mocked as 4th round pick and not a 1st or 2nd rounder? Well, it’s because he played for South Dakota State. While putting up incredible numbers, Strong Jr. has not played against elite opposition. He is also not great as a pass blocker, which will give some coaches kittens and hesitation at putting him in on 3rd down players.
However, do not let that faze you. Pierre Strong Jr. has tape that no other back can match in this draft class. And with no injuries, he has shown he looks after his body and knows how to take a hit. If Pierre Strong Jr. is taken in the 4th or 5th round of the NFL draft and lands on the right team, he will become THE draft steal of this draft class.
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