Entering the 2012 college football season Marcus Lattimore was considered the top running back prospect for the 2013 NFL Draft. Coming off ACL surgery on his left knee, he was starting to resemble his his pre-injury form. He was looking explosive and running with the power that made him a premier workhorse running back. Then against Tennessee he suffered a devastating right leg injury that has put his career in question.
At that point in the season Lattimore was the only running back that was being considered in the first round mix. The injury forced scouts to take a long look at the other running back prospects in the class. A few have emerged that will get first round consideration based on the team's need and how the draft order falls. Guys like North Carolina's Giovani Bernard, Michigan State's Le'Veon Bell and Stanford's Stepfan Taylor have all had great seasons and put themselves in the mix.
Guys like Houston's Arian Foster, who went undrafted and has been one of the premier rushers the in the NFL the last few seasons has made things more difficult for top college runners to crack the first round. The recent success of Philadelphia's seventh round pick Bryce Brown and Washington's sixth round pick Alfred Morris will only make teams shy away even more from spending a premium pick on the position.
With that said, while this class lacks a true elite prospect like Adrian Peterson or Trent Richardson, it does boast a wide array of talented runners. Each with a different skill set that could fit your team's need at the position. While there is no guarantee that all the underclassmen on my list will declare, here's a look at my top 25 draft eligible running back prospects for the 2013 NFL Draft.
*The deadline for underclassmen to declare is Tuesday, January 15.