- Todd McShay, Scouts Inc.
Last year's draft was the first time since 2001 that three running backs have been taken in the first round. The first was Steven Jackson (Rams) at pick No. 24. This year, Ronnie Brown (Auburn), Carnell "Cadillac" Williams (Auburn) and Cedric Benson (Texas) should all go in the top 10.
Not only is it unique that Brown and Williams were backfield-mates at Auburn, but even though Williams stole the spotlight with 3,872 career rushing yards in college, most talent evaluators including myself feel that Brown will be the better pro.
Williams proved at the Senior Bowl that he has the receiving and blocking skills to become an every-down starter in the NFL, but he's nowhere near as versatile as Brown. Williams also lacks ideal size and has durability concerns after consecutive season-ending injuries in 2001 and 2002.
Brown, on the other hand, isn't the proven runner Williams is, but Brown is bigger and faster, and he also is a much better receiver and blocker than Williams or Benson. Brown also hasn't taken the punishment Williams and Benson took at the collegiate level.
Besides three potential top-10 picks, what makes this year's running back class special is the depth it offers.