Let’s think of everything we could want in a running back prospect at the next level. Early-age dominance, efficiency on the ground, pass-catching talent, and the ability to shoulder a big workload. Ohio State RB J.K. Dobbins has all of that. Dobbins dropped into THE Ohio State University and secured the starting gig as a 19-year-old true freshman. He posted over 1,400 rushing yards and added 22 receptions on 26 targets, indicating that he is a natural in the passing game. Those stats carried over throughout his career, with him seeing a floor of 1,000 rushing yards and 20 receptions.
He was leaned on heavily in 2019, carrying the rock over 300 times. While holding up to that beating is a skill in itself, his efficiency didn’t waiver. He averaged 6.7 (87th-percentile among qualified running backs) yards per carry and found the end zone 23 times. NFL teams crave backs that can be leaned on late in games. Ones that can chew up clock and churn out first downs make for good fantasy players, with their touch totals being inflated relative to their peers. More importantly, his 71 receptions for 645 yards showcase his three-down skillset. Running backs that can truly do it all are rare for fantasy football, and his body of work at Ohio State checks every box imaginable.
Check out J.K. Dobbins on PlayerProfiler’s Updated Rookie Rankings:
At the NFL Combine, Dobbins measured 5-10, 209-pounds. He doesn’t have the girth of Jonathan Taylor or D’Andre Swift, but his 30.0 (46th-percentile) Body Mass Index is plenty high. Plus, his 300-carry season should put any workload concerns to bed. He is also incredibly slippery, meaning he takes few big hits. According to Graham Barfield, Dobbins bested Taylor, Swift, Cam Akers and Clyde Edwards-Helaire in Yards Created Per Carry, highlighting his ability to generate in spite of his blocking.
An ankle injury contributed to his sitting out the NFL Combine drills, but he intended to run at his Pro Day. COVID-19 prevented that event from happening, but he shouldn’t have any speed concerns. His highlights show his ability to run away from defenders in the open field. Plus, his yards per carry average hints he’s capable of busting off chunk plays at will.
Dobbins’ three-down profile will push him up draft boards, making him a likely Day 2 selection. According to Field Yates, the Chiefs did have a FaceTime meeting with the young back. The most high-powered offense in the NFL would obviously be a dream landing spot. He would compete for the starting gig right away. If he does land on a depth chart with an entrenched starter, dynasty owners can still see production in Year 1. Miles Sanders, the rightful RB1 of 2019, was in a similar situation last season with Jordan Howard ahead of him. Sanders eventually earned extra reps due to his dynamic flashes, which is what Dobbins should be able to do as well. He’s PlayerProfiler’s No. 4 rookie RB and sits squarely in the top tier at his position.