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2011 NFL Draft Preview: Running Backs

Posted Mar 28, 2011

Take a closer look at some of the top prospects at running back as the 2011 NFL Draft approaches.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- In the weeks leading up to the 2011 NFL Draft, DenverBroncos.com is taking a look at the draft prospects position-by-position.

We will devote a week to each group, looking back at some of the Broncos' previous picks at the position and showcasing some of the top prospects through top stories, blogs and Broncos TV videos.

Next up in the nine-part series: running backs.

Below you will find six of the top prospects at the position. Later in the week, we will profile a fullback prospect to keep an eye on -- Stanford's two-way standout Owen Marecic.

TOP PROSPECTS AT THE POSITION:

ROY HELU
• COLLEGE: Nebraska
• HEIGHT: 6'0"
• WEIGHT: 219
• KEY STATISTICS: 3,536 rush yds; 28 rush TDs
On his measureables:
"God gave me this body, and I'm going to use it to the best of my ability, whether I'm considered big or have qualities of a speedy back."
Player
MARK INGRAM
Player • COLLEGE: Alabama
• HEIGHT: 5'9"
• WEIGHT: 215
• KEY STATISTICS: 3,261 rush yds; 42 rush TDs; 2009 Heisman Trophy; 2010 BCS National Championship
On his running style:
"I’m a complete, all-around back. I could be in the game on first down, second down, third down, goal line, short yardage, pick up pass protections, go out of the backfield and catch the ball -- things like that. I’m a complete back."
MIKEL LESHOURE
• COLLEGE: Illinois
• HEIGHT: 6'0"
• WEIGHT: 227
• KEY STATISTICS: 2,557 rush yds; 23 rush TDs
On whether he would rather run over someone or juke around him:
"It depends on how that guy's looking. You can look in his eyes and that will tell you a lot. I feel like I can do either one of those and that's what makes me a different back. One of those guys might just have the quickness and can move and another guy might have the power that can run him over. But I feel like I have a little bit of both."
Player
JACQUIZZ RODGERS
Player • COLLEGE: Oregon State
• HEIGHT: 5'6"
• WEIGHT: 196
• KEY STATISTICS: 3,875 rush yds; 1,005 rec. yds; 52 rush/rec/pass TDs
On his size:
"People are always going to question my size. They say ‘You’re 5-7. That’s not a prototypical running back.' But my heart, my passion for the game, I think I could show them that."
DANIEL THOMAS
• COLLEGE: Kansas State
• HEIGHT: 6'0"
• WEIGHT: 230
• KEY STATISTICS: 2,850 rush yds; 30 rush TDs; 2 pass TDs
On his game:
"A physical game, a guy that can carry the load the whole game if you need me to. I can catch the ball. I’m an athlete back there. I can do whatever you need me to do."
Player
RYAN WILLIAMS
Player • COLLEGE: Virginia Tech
• HEIGHT: 5'9"
• WEIGHT: 212
• KEY STATISTICS: 2,132 rush yds; 30 rush TDs
On NFL teams splitting carries among backs:
"It's cool -- I feel that with the position I play, it's one of the most physical positions if not the most physical position. It's good to stay fresh, and making your career last longer by subbing in with another guy who can be just as productive as you. It makes it a lot better, because I want to be playing when I'm 40 years old. So, hopefully I can."
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