Mizzou's Tyler Badie highlights late-round RB prospects to watch

Yahoo Sports' Matt Harmon and Late-Round's JJ Zachariason discuss a few RB prospects who could be grabbed late in this year's NFL Draft.

Video Transcript

MATT HARMON: Let's talk running backs here. It does seem like there's a set in stone kind of big three of Breece Hall, Kenneth Walker, and Isaiah Spiller. So I know that Liz and Eric are going to touch on those guys in the next episode, so we'll leave them for a second. Give us the name of-- because I think this is what people really want to know, JJ, especially people that aren't super familiar with draft prospects in general.

Who are the guys that will go outside of those top three that, let's say, they land in like a really juicy landing spot, and they're getting pumped up not just dynasty boards but potentially redraft boards come like July and August, who are the players that we should look out for beyond those three guys?

JJ ZACHARIASON: Yeah, it's crazy. I feel like this class is very much a class where there's a lot of depth and there's a lot of guys that could go maybe late day three, or day two into day three, but there's just no telling which guy is going to be which. We have no idea really how these teams are thinking about these players right now.

And so I would agree that, at the very least, Breece Hall and Kenneth Walker look like the top two. Maybe we get a Zamir White in there around where Spiller goes. I mean, there's other guys that might go around Spiller, but it does seem like those are at least the names that are popping up.

So I'll look at more day three guys that I think could be really, really intriguing. One guy is Tyler Badie. He, in my prospect model-- I like to look at the different production filters in my model just to see what guys have produced similarly to this player that I'm analyzing historically. And if you look at Tyler Badie-- again, I look at best season numbers. Best season touchdown share above 45%, which is where he was. Best season reception share, which is a very, very underrated metric for running backs, of 18% or better. And a best season total yards for team play rate over 2.1.

If you look at those three production metrics, which are the three that I look at in my model, and you look at Tyler Badie's baseline, you get four running backs that pop up. Two of them are Donnel Pumphrey and Jacquizz Rodgers, which were like, OK-- I don't know. Jacquizz Rodgers was fine enough, but Donnel Pumphrey was this super small guy that never did anything in the league. But both of those guys were not athletic. They had really, really bad speed scores, the speed scores under 90.

The other two running backs that popped up, Aaron Jones and Christian McCaffrey. That's who we're looking at with with Tyler Badie. Now I'm not saying a Tyler Badie is the next Christian McCaffrey. That would be idiotic. What I'm saying is the metrics that Tyler Badie has and the production that he has matches up well with successful running backs, which is something that you always want to see. So Tyler Badie is someone who I am very intrigued by as a day three guy.

Pierre Strong, he's getting more and more love throughout both the film and dynasty and numbers-driven communities. But my top comp for Pierre Strong was Elijah Mitchell. He's basically like an Elijah Mitchell clone. I was hoping that Mike McDaniel and the Dolphins didn't really do that much in free agency and they just went after a guy like Strong, which would have been really fun. But--

MATT HARMON: Hey, now listen, JJ. If Mike McDaniel follows the 49ers way, he can draft some guy like this Pierre Strong, and he'll definitely-- look, you just brought up Elijah Mitchell. Were we not here like a year ago talking about friggin' Trey Sermon? And it's like, uh, no, actually Elijah Mitchell is going to come and dunk on him, despite no beat reporter even hinting at that all summer. So--

JJ ZACHARIASON: Yeah, yeah, yeah. They'll spend $10 million on these random running backs, and then it'll be Pierre Strong stepping in and just being their guy. So, yeah, Pierre Strong really, really kind of below average to average production but a really good speed score for him.

And then the last guy. I always look-- one of the things that is sort of like a-- I don't want to say cheat code because then people will think that it's foolproof. But one of the things that I like to do is look at bigger-bodied running backs we know are capable of carrying a big workload-- like a Rhamondre Stevenson is a good example of this last year-- who also had really interesting receiving metrics. Because it shows that versatility for a bigger-bodied guy, which is really hard to find.

One guy in this year's class that has that that could be a day three guy is Kevin Harris. He had a 12% best season reception share. 1.95 yards per team play in his best season. He is supposed to get drafted. He's over 220 pounds. And he had a 40% best season touchdown share, OK?

So take those metrics, filter out in my prospect model, you get Rashaad Penny, Leonard Fournette, David Johnson, Jay Ajayi, Le'Veon Bell, Trent Richardson, and Robert Turbin. Those are his production slash size comps that you could look at. Obviously, the difference being that a lot of those guys had better draft capital. But again, I do think that you could see-- I could see a James Conner sort of outlook for Kevin Harris. And I don't think he's on a lot of people's radars right now.