This year's national championship game between Alabama and Georgia (Jan. 8) will feature an outstanding collection of running backs. From Georgia's Nick Chubb and Sony Michel to Alabama's Damien Harris and Bo Scarbrough, among others, both squads rely on a stable of talented runners to control the clock and produce chunk plays.
Here's the question I posed to five NFL personnel executives this week: Which running back from this game will have the best pro career? Here are their answers.
Executive 1: Georgia RB Nick Chubb
"A couple years from now, we might say (Najee Harris) from Alabama or (D'Andre Swift) from Georgia, but for the draft-eligible guys -- it's Chubb. He's so steady. He has better play speed than you initially give him credit for and he rarely goes down on first contact. He's built to withstand the rigors of the NFL."
Executive 2: Chubb
"It is so close in talent between all of these backs, it will probably come down to team/scheme fit. I have very similar grades on Harris, Chubb and Michel. The Sony Michel bandwagon is picking up steam around the league, but Chubb would be my choice. I just love his style and the way he's wired."
Executive 3: Chubb
"This is a really tough call. I think Chubb's talent and running style will translate the best to the next level. My gut feeling says that (D'Andre) Swift will end up being the best of the bunch in time. He's so explosive, but he still has a lot to learn."
Executive 4: Georgia RB Sony Michel
"Best vision, run skills and third-down value."
Executive 5: Michel
"I'll go with Michel. He has quick-strike ability and three-down ability."
Summary: That's 3 votes for Chubb and 2 votes for Michel.
Conclusion: It's obvious that Chubb is highly regarded by these executives. I love his game and I believe his powerful running translates very well to the next level. However, I have a slightly higher grade on Michel. I love his versatility and he's going to be a three-down back from Day One of his pro career. He reminds me a lot of Kareem Hunt, and we've seen the impact he's made for the Kansas City Chiefs in his rookie year.
The Alabama RBs didn't get any love from these executives, but I love the way the Tide rushers attack the line of scrimmage and seek out contact. The Georgia stable of RBs is a bit more versatile and elusive.