Published: February 26th, 2012 | Tags: 2012 NFL Scouting Combine, Chris Rainey, Darren Sproles, David Wilson, Doug Martin, LaMichael James, Marshall Faulk, Ronnie Hillman, running backs, Trent Richardson
Editor’s note: Marshall Faulk, a Hall of Fame running back and an NFL Network analyst, watched all the backs work out Sunday at the NFL Scouting Combine and shares his thoughts.
INDIANAPOLIS — I felt bad for Trent Richardson all day Sunday at the NFL Scouting Combine. You could just tell he was itching to be out there and that he wanted to compete.
The show must go on, though, and I’ve got to say the running backs showed me something during their workouts.
One thing I understand now about the drills that I didn’t in previous times here is that they aren’t designed to make the kids successful. They’re meant to stress them out, to put them in challenging situations, especially with the pass routes they run. These aren’t routes that were featured in college, so it’s good to see them rise to the occasion.
So who did? I’ve got to show some love to Doug Martin, David Wilson, Chris Rainey, LaMichael James, and my fellow San Diego State Aztec, Ronnie Hillman.
Martin solidified my belief that he’s an every-down back in the NFL. He showed he’s fast enough to run off tackle, strong enough to run inside, and he can catch — all things you need a back to do to be successful. He made it look effortless.
Wilson was a surprise, because I was impressed with his skills catching the ball downfield. He showed he had good feet.
Rainey easily could be to a team what Darren Sproles is to the Saints. Rainey showed how lightning fast he is with a 40-yard dash time of 4.45 seconds. The only question mark with him is his commitment to football, since he also loves track.
James and Hillman were two little guys I thought did a great job with everything. They both ran 4.45, and that’s what they needed to do at their size. I believe both of them have the potential to be game-changers in the NFL.
So, when you look at this class of running backs, there’s definitely some solid talent for teams to scoop up in April.
— Marshall Faulk