6. Chase Brown, Illinois
One of the dark horse backs that has risen up the boards is Illinois running back Chase Brown. Brown was an absolute workhorse in college averaging over 27 carries per game and having nine consecutive 100-yard rushing games.
Brown posted an impressive performance at the NFL Combine, running a 4.43 dash, and freakish jump numbers with a 40" vertical and 10'7" broad jump. Brown is the only running back to be top 5 in all categories for the position as well as finishing first in both jumps. His 40" vertical jump was top 5 of offensive position players, even more so impressive being that Brown is not even 5'10". In addition to
Chase Brown is an explosive runner who works best inside cutting through the open hole. With impressive yards after contact his biggest strength may not be short yardage plays pushing the pile but he has shown the ability to fight for yards when needed. His combine outing has improved many's opinions on his run ability and footwork in such situations.
Although used as a workhorse back, Brown has also shown great receiving ability out of the backfield bolstering his case. There are adjustments to be made in his pass protection, decision-making, and ball security but with some work on the details he has great potential to be a three-down back with the versatility that he has shown.
If the Chargers decide to wait for the third round to select a running back, Chase Brown would be a versatile workhorse that can make an impact in both the rushing and passing game whose athleticism should translate well at the professional level.
When can the Chargers draft him?: Round 3
This year's running back class is strong with a lot of depth between in the middle rounds. Everyone is eyeing Bijan Robinson, but if he doesn't fall to the Chargers there are many names left on the board who have the potential to be a star at the professional level.
No matter who the Chargers draft it will be fun to watch as they all have their own strengths that can elevate the current offense.