There's a lot of talented backs, but Knile Davis stood out early.
If the Falcons don't select a running back in this 2013 NFL draft, deep as a well, then I won't be the only one who is stunned come the end of April.
Amid this deep class, there's every kind of back you can imagine. Plodding power backs, speedy scatbacks and a few pass catchers who may be able to split out wide. It's a great class for anyone looking to bolster their depth charts, and the Falcons can probably get at least a useful player
Knile Davis may have done more to help himself than anyone. The oft-injured but ridiculously strong and fast Arkansas back could have been a second or third day pick, but it was hard to know after so many injuries where he would end up. Then he came to the combine.
Davis is a willing and capable blocker, a decent short-range pass catcher and a back who has a nice blend of power and speed. After running a blistering 4.37 40 and managing 31 reps on the bench press, he's undoubtedly improved his stock, to the point where I could see Davis going off the board in the third or fourth round. If he's healthy and the Falcons are confident he can stay healthy, he would unquestionably be an option for Atlanta.
Here's a quick list of backs who are rising and falling based on their Combine performances thus far:
Le'Veon Bell: Bell is a classic power back, so everyone expected him to turn up and deliver a plodding 40. His 4.60 isn't exactly blazing fast, but it's faster than expected, and Bell is big and strong enough to at least be a part of a quality platoon. Whether he can catch and whether his height will be a liability is, of course, an open-ended question, but Bell probably helped himself today.
Johnathan Franklin: Another power back with underrated explosion, Franklin ran a nice 4.49 40 yard dash. He's a little one-dimensional and isn't known for his straight line speed in the open field, but Franklin locked himself in as a mid-round pick.
Stepfan Taylor: A slowish 4.76 40 will probably drop him a few spots in the draft. Taylor can catch well and makes quality cuts, but he's not a burner and he's not a a great blocker. If he falls a bit, I still like his fit in Atlanta.
Robbie Rouse: A smallish back with good agility, Rouse needed a faster 40 time than 4.80 to improve his stock. He didn't get there.
Who's your preferred running back?