Best running backs in 2014 NFL draft

Carlos Hyde*RBOhio State5-11 7/82304.661-2

No running back went in the first round last year, but this big-bodied runner could buck the trend. He gained 1,521 yards with 15 rushing touchdowns in 2013 and is an option for the Patriots at No. 29 to replace LeGarrette Blount.

Bishop Sankey*RBWashington5-9½2094.492-3

Two elements boost his stock — he ran a faster-than-expected 40 at the Combine, and also caught 28 balls for 304 yards and a touchdown last year, proving himself to be an every-down running back.

Jeremy Hill*RBLSU6-12334.662-3

Another big, powerful running back that could help the Patriots replace Blount, Hill averaged 6.9 yards per carry with 16 touchdowns last year and also caught 18 passes .

Tre Mason*RBAuburn5-8½2074.502-3

Decisive runner with good pad level averaged 5.9 and 5.7 yards per carry in the last two seasons, leading Auburn to the national championship game last year with 1,816 yards and 23 touchdowns.

Ka’Deem Carey*RBArizona5-9 3/82074.72-3

Ran a disappointingly slow 40 at the Combine, but could be a solid all-around back after rushing for 1,885 yards and 19 touchdowns with 26 catches for 173 yards in 2013.

Lache Seastrunk*RBBaylor5-92074.513-4

Ran for 1,177 yards and 11 touchdowns on an impressive 7.4 yards per carry last year, but how much was due to Baylor’s high-powered offense? Also didn’t catch a pass in 2013.

Devonta Freeman*RBFlorida State5-82064.583-4

Solid all-around combo back rushed for 1,016 yards with 14 touchdowns last year while also catching 22 passes in helping Seminoles win BCS Championship.

Tyler GaffneyRBStanford5-112204.494-5

Another power option for the Patriots in the middle rounds, rushed for a school-record 1,709 yards with 21 touchdowns last year while also catching 15 passes.

Andre WilliamsRBBC5-112304.564-5

Terrific natural runner with size and speed rushed for 2,177 yards and 18 touchdowns last year, but bad hands and lack of receiver skills make him more of a situational running back.

Jerick McKinnonRBGeorgia Southern5-92094.414-5

College QB who will switch to running back for the NFL, he had several big runs at the Senior Bowl and had a great Combine, with one of the top performances in the bench press (32) and 40-yard dash.

Best of the rest: Kapri Bibbs, Colorado State (5-9, 212 pounds, 4.67; 4-5); Charles Sims, West Virginia (6-0, 214 pounds, 4.48, 4-5); Lorenzo Taliaferra, Coastal Carolina (6-0, 229 pounds, 4.58, 4-5); Terrance West, Towson (5-9, 225 pounds, 4.54, 4-5); Antonio Andrews, Western Kentucky (5-10, 225 pounds, 4.82, 5-6); Henry Josey*, Missouri (5-8, 194 pounds, 4.43, 5-6); James White, Wisconsin (5-9, 204 pounds, 4.57, 5-6).

 * Underclassman.