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Steelers NFL Draft Forecast: Running Backs

Friday, April 20, 2001

By Ed Bouchette, Post-Gazette Sports Writer

LaDainian Tomlinson
5-10, 220
Texas Christian
1 Overtook Deuce McAllister as the sure-fire first pick at the position. Most of his college running came off pitches to the outside, but can run with power inside as well. Two-time NCAA rushing leader. Has been compared to Emmitt Smith.

Deuce McAllister
6-1, 220
Mississippi
2 Outstanding speed for his size at 4.4 in the 40-yard dash, he has more breakaway ability than Tomlinson. Runs with power and is outstanding as a receiver. Has missed time to injuries the past two seasons. Marshall Faulk-like multi-purpose back.

LaMont Jordan
5-10, 230
Maryland
3 Good recent workout moved him up on the list. All-purpose performer with big-time potential. Faster than Kevan Barlow at 4.5. Ran behind a poor line last season and his yardage fell to 920 after he ran for 1,632 yards in 1999.

Kevan Barlow
6-1, 235
Pittsburgh
4 Scouts are a little wary of his work ethic and his inconsistent play, but he should be drafted in the first round. He has the size, decent speed and overall ability. Fumbles too much. Good power. Has decent receiving skills.

Michael Bennett
5-9, 205
Wisconsin
5 Has the best speed by far in a short package. Succeeded Ron Dayne and ran for 1,598 yards last season as a junior. Needs to become a better receiver. Tough and powerful.

Anthony Thomas
6-1, 225
Michigan
6 Solid, not spectacular. He doesn't have break-away speed and he's not shifty, but he did have 1,551 yards rushing last season and 1,257 in 1999 in a big conference. Productive, durable and reliable.

Travis Henry
5-10, 220
Tennessee
7 Not fast and might be tried at fullback by some teams. Has Barry Foster-like low center of gravity, which makes him tough to bring down. Delivers a low blow and he's hard to knock off of his feet. Good attitude. If the Steelers were looking or a back after the first round, he would be it but they are not.

Derrick Blaylock
5-10, 190
Stephen F. Austin
8 Impressive combine workout for this scatback has moved him up. Has great speed at 4.4 and lower. Looks like a good third-down back. Ran for 1,382 yards. Has potential as a kick returner.

Correll Buckhalter
5-11 , 224
Nebraska
9 His size and speed and his post-season workouts have put him on the list. Runs in the 4.5s. Has shown he can catch. He had a great week at the East-West game. Overshadowed by teammate Dan Alexander.

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