6 running backs for Rams to watch at NFL combine

The Rams backfield will likely be led by Cam Akers once again in 2023, but Kyren Williams is the only legitimate option behind him right now. That could lead to Los Angeles drafting another running back this year, though that’s probably not going to happen at No. 36 overall.

This class has a good mix of running back prospects, which we’ll get an even better sense of during the combine this weekend. Here are six running backs for the Rams to watch in Indianapolis.

Roschon Johnson, Texas

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Johnson played behind the best running back in the country, which limited his opportunities. But when he did get the ball, he made the most of his chances, averaging a healthy 5.6 yards per carry in four years at Texas, including a 6.0 clip in 2022. At 6-foot-2, he has great athleticism for his size, which he’ll showcase at the combine this weekend. He could be a mid-round option for the Rams if they want a big, physical back to pair with Cam Akers.

Tyjae Spears, Tulane

Spears isn’t going to be a workhorse in the NFL at just 5-foot-9, but he’s shifty and creates big plays, as evidenced by his 6.9 yards per carry and 19 touchdowns on the ground last season. He’d be a nice complement to Akers in the backfield, being more of a chance-of-pace runner who isn’t going to win with power but by making defenders miss.

Zach Charbonnet, UCLA

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Charbonnet is a bruiser, which the Rams could use along the goal line where they’ve struggled to punch the ball into the end zone. He scored 27 touchdowns on the ground the last two years and rushed for 2,496 yards in his two years at UCLA after transferring from Michigan, putting up big numbers with the Bruins. His times in the three-cone and 40-yard dash will have an impact on his draft stock.

Eric Gray, Oklahoma

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Gray rushed for 1,366 yards and 11 touchdowns last season at Oklahoma, getting the bulk of the carries for the Sooners. He’s an undersized running back who picks up yards not with power, but with his elusiveness in the open field. Gray also contributed as a receiver in each of his four college seasons, catching a career-high 33 passes for 229 yards in 2022 alone. He’d be another change-of-pace back behind Akers, who brings more physicality to the running game.

Deuce Vaughn, Kansas State

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Vaughn’s weigh-in will be something to watch considering he’s only listed at 5-foot-6 and 176 pounds. His game is reminiscent of Darren Sproles, doing a little bit of everything – from running the ball (1,558 yards in 2022) to catching passes out of the backfield (378 yards). He does have good bulk for a player who isn’t very tall, which allows him to run through contact and maintain his balance.

Devon Achane, Texas A&M

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Achane will be one of the fastest players at the combine regardless of position, potentially running the best time in the 40 of anyone in Indy. His blazing speed and versatility as a runner and receiver could get him drafted in Round 2 or 3 and even though the Rams aren’t desperate for running back help, he could be too explosive for Les Snead and Sean McVay to pass up on Day 2.

Story originally appeared on Rams Wire