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2018 NFL Draft: Fumble rates for all running back prospects

By
Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
Penn State Nittany Lions running back Saquon Barkley (L) avoids the attempted tackle by Washington Huskies defender Vita Vea in the fourth quarter of the Play Station Fiesta Bowl on December 30, 2017 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. File photo by Art Foxall/UPI
Penn State Nittany Lions running back Saquon Barkley (L) avoids the attempted tackle by Washington Huskies defender Vita Vea in the fourth quarter of the Play Station Fiesta Bowl on December 30, 2017 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. File photo by Art Foxall/UPI | License Photo

Vision. Balance. Burst. These are the main traits that scouts want to see from running backs. Ball security is also a crucial characteristic that is key to the NFL transition.

The average fumble rate for the top 10 rushers in the NFL last season was one for every 124.5 offensive touches.

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Kansas City Chiefs rookie running back Kareem Hunt had elite ball security at Toledo (fumble rate of 856.0), and that skill translated as a first-year NFL player, as he fumbled only once in 325 offensive touches in 2017.

Cincinnati Bengals rookie Joe Mixon had fumbling issues in college, putting the ball on the ground once every 73.0 offensive touches at Oklahoma. And that stayed true in his first year as a pro, posting a 69.3 fumble rate last season.

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Below are the career offensive fumble rates for the top running back prospects in the 2018 NFL Draft class, broken down into five categories:

ELITE (150 or better)

359.0 -- Darrel Williams, LSU

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238.7 -- Demario Richard, Arizona State

207.7 -- Ronald Jones, USC

193.3 -- Saquon Barkley, Penn State

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191.3 -- Kerryon Johnson, Auburn

181.7 -- Kyle Hicks, TCU

180.6 -- Justin Jackson, Northwestern

174.0 -- Josh Adams, Notre Dame

155.5 -- Jordan Wilkins, Ole Miss

ABOVE AVERAGE (125-149)

142.1 -- Chase Edmonds, Fordham

135.0 -- Lavon Coleman, Washington

124.9 -- Ralph Webb, Vanderbilt

123.3 -- John Kelly, Tennessee

AVERAGE (100-124)

114.0 -- Royce Freeman, Oregon

110.0 -- Phillip Lindsay, Colorado

105.8 -- Rashaad Penny, San Diego State

100.6 -- Derrius Guice, LSU

BELOW AVERAGE (76-99)

98.6 -- Nick Chubb, Georgia

96.0 -- Bo Scarbrough, Alabama

90.0 -- Mark Walton, Miami (Fla.)

88.2 -- Ryan Nall, Oregon State

87.3 -- Ito Smith, Southern Miss

86.8 -- Nyheim Hines, NC State

76.3 -- Jordan Chunn, Troy

RED FLAG (75 or worse)

74.2 -- Roc Thomas, Jacksonville State

67.4 -- Akrum Wadley, Iowa

66.9 -- Jarvion Franklin, Western Michigan

66.5 -- Kalen Ballage, Arizona State

62.5 -- Justin Crawford, West Virginia

58.2 -- Kamryn Pettway, Auburn

55.6 -- Keith Ford, Texas A&M

54.6 -- Sony Michel, Georgia

39.5 -- Jeffery Wilson, North Texas

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