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2020 NFL Draft: The draft’s power-backs

Which of the draft’s tailbacks can replace Frank Gore?

Back in March of last year, the Buffalo Bills announced they signed veteran running back Frank Gore to a one-year $2 million deal. At the time, it was assumed that Gore would serve as the power, change-of-pace running back to LeSean McCoy. After the team cut McCoy though, Gore was expected to share time with the newly drafted rookie Devin Singletary—which he did—until about the middle of the season. However, after averaging 3.6 yards per carry and being usurped by the younger tailback, it looks like Gore might have seen his last days on the team. If Frank Gore retires or moves on, here are the tailbacks from the 2020 NFL Draft who are able to run with power.

Tier I

Jonathan Taylor (Wisconsin)

Taylor is the 2020 Draft’s premier power back, with an impressive blend of size, power and speed. He has sprinter speed in a straight line, and even showed that he can be an adequate pass catcher this season. Taylor has struggled a bit with fumbles, and has a lot of tread on his tires, but he’s likely to be a first-round pick.

Tier II

Ke’Shawn Vaughn (Vanderbilt)
Zack Moss (Utah)
Clyde Edwards-Helaire (LSU)
Cam Akers (Florida State)

Vaughn’s an interesting case: a big, productive SEC back, it looks like he may be better fit for a zone-blocking scheme, but he’s not exactly an experienced receiver and his speed is questionable. Reminding this writer of a young Chris Ivory, Zack Moss has an exciting mixture of size, speed and agility, but he hasn’t been able to stay healthy for long stretches. LSU’s Edwards-Helaire isn’t really a true power runner because he’s only a 5’8” 209-lb back, but like Devin Singletary he follows his blocks well and isn’t easy to bring down by any means. Cam Akers is a shorter and stockier body type of former FSU runner Dalvin Cook, but he had a really poor 2018, before bouncing back this past season with 1,144 rushing yards.

Tier III

AJ Dillon (Boston College)
Lamical Perine (Florida)

AJ Dillon’s perhaps the most physical runner of the draft. The 250-lb tailback refuses to be tackled by just one man, but questions remain about Dillon’s fit within today’s NFL as just a pure straight-ahead runner. Perine had a strong finish to the season, but he’s not exactly explosive. We’ll see how he’s able to perform at the upcoming Senior Bowl.

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