These days, most NFL Draft coverage focuses on quarterbacks and, in the words of Brandon Tierney, “a few big fatties upfront.”
Oh, and Jadeveon Clowney.
But what about the running backs? More specifically, what about Bishop Sankey? The Washington product is one of the top-rated tailbacks in the country.
Where he’ll land, though, is anyone’s guess.
“I’m hearing anywhere from second to third round,” Sankey said on The Morning Show. “For me, all I’m really worried about every time I get on the field is (eliminating) all the questions that the NFL coaches and scouts have about me.”
As Tiki Barber can attest, the life of an NFL running back has changed considerably in a short amount of time. It used to be – as recently as seven or eight years ago – that a running back would be disappointed if he only got 20 or 25 carries in a game. Now? He’s lucky to get 15.
So, how does Sankey – at 5-10, 203 pounds – see himself fitting in at the next level?
“I want to come in and make an impact any way I can,” he said. “Ideally, I wouldn’t mind getting the ball 20 times a game; I think I’ll be able to carry that load if need be. But really, I just want to go in and make an impact from Day One and do whatever I can to get on the field and help (out) whatever team I end up going to.”
Sankey had a monster career at Washington. After getting just 28 carries as a freshman in 2011, he ran 289 times for 1,439 yards and 16 touchdowns as a sophomore in 2012. He followed that up with personal bests across the board in 2013, rushing 327 times for 1,870 yards and 20 touchdowns. He also had 28 receptions for 304 yards and a touchdown.
That’s an average of 10.9 yards per catch and 6.1 yards per touch.
“I think one of my biggest strengths out there is my field vision – just being able to see what happens in front of me,” Sankey said. “I think it gives me an advantage recognizing where to cut.”
If the NFL Combine was any indication, Sankey has more than just field vision; he has the physical tools needed to succeed in the pros. He finished second among running backs in the bench press, repping 225 pounds an impressive 26 times. He also ran a 4.49 in the 40-yard dash – which was faster than the likes of Oregon’s De’Anthony Thomas (4.50), Baylor’s Lache Seastrunk (4.51) and Arizona’s Ka’Deem Carey (4.70).
“I think I’ve proven to be an all-around running back,” Sankey said. “I think I’ve proven that I can move the ball on the ground – not only that, but catch it out of the backfield and also (be) an asset in pass-protection as well. I think I definitely have a lot to bring to the table, and I definitely could help a team out wherever I end up going.”
Asked where he needs to improve, Sankey said recognizing cornerback coverages.
“In college, a lot of times the running back was focused more on what the linebackers were doing and what the fronts were looking like – and not much on what the back end of the defense is doing,” Sankey said. “So I think I definitely can grow in being able to recognize coverages quicker.”
Sankey, who likened his game to LeSean McCoy and Giovani Bernard, feels he’s the best running back prospect in the draft.
“I think I’m the best back coming out this year,” Sankey said. “I think I’ve shown consistency each year. I’m able to get the job done.”