[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image source="featured_image" img_size="large"][vc_column_text]National Columnist Mike Farrell is here with the best running offenses next season, the best against the run next season, and five college programs that helped themselves in the NFL Draft in today's 3-Point Stance.
— Running the ball is crucial. We all know this. And some of the best rushing teams next season will be the usual suspects. But you may be shocked at my top two.
Billy Napier doesn't get enough credit for his offensive mind, and with a super mobile QB in Anthony Richardson and some depth in the backfield, they're going to be putting up a ton of yards. Just looks at what Levi Lewis did at Louisiana last season and the possibilities for what Richardson can do in this offense are endless. Add a deep stable of talent at running back and the obvious lack of running last season and they could dominate.
Dorian Thompson-Robinson and Zach Charbonnet are both back for a team that finished sixth in the nation in rushing last season. Chip Kelly has this ground game firing on all cylinders.
The Badgers have their next workhorse back in Braleon Allen, who was a stud as a 17-year-old true freshman in 2021. Bob Bostad returns to coach an offensive line that should take a couple of steps forward as well.
The addition of Jahmyr Gibbs is massive for the Tide, who, for the first time in a very long time, didn't have a true impact running back last season. They'll be back to having a dominant ground game even as Bryce Young continues to put up otherworldly stats through the air.
Sam Pittman and company have built their identity on running the ball. So even though they lost Trelon Smith, last year's top RB, they still have their leading rusher in QB KJ Jefferson back, as well as Raheim Sanders and Dominique Johnson, both of whom finished within 25 yards of Smith last year. They'll continue to maul people at the line of scrimmage.
— And stopping the run is always important as well and this list won’t surprise anyone.
The Tide finished fourth in rushing defense last season, allowing only 86 yards per game and 2.66 yards per carry. But they get most of their defense back and have added a couple of key pieces. They'll be as good as ever next season.
Despite losing a bunch of guys to the draft (including five defenders taken in round one), there's still a ton of talent in Athens. Jalen Carter is going to be a superstar and he'll anchor a line that won't give up a lot through the middle.
Since the Badgers switched to a 3-4 front before the 2013 season, they've finished in the top six of rushing defense in seven of nine seasons, including number one in the country last year. So despite losing four starters in their front seven, including All-American Leo Chenal, they still have plenty of juice against the run and will once again be a brick wall.
The Tigers have one of the best defensive lines in the entire nation, anchored by Bryan Bresee and Myles Murphy. They finished last season seventh in the country against the run, and should only get better this year.
Iowa churns out all-conference linebackers with the best of them, and Jack Campbell is the next guy in line to be a one-man wrecking crew. But under Phil Parker, the Hawkeyes' defense has continued to be stifling against the run, with no reason to think it will change this season.
— And finally, we know the NFL Draft makes NFL teams better but the results can really help recruiting in college. These five teams got a massive boost.
Georgia — There’s no way to discount how amazing this draft was for UGA recruiting. Five defensive first-rounders and 15 total picks, a new record. Like Kirby Smart needed more ammunition.
Cincinnati — Headed to the Power Five soon, the Bearcats had nine players drafted including No. 4 overall in Sauce Gardner. That’s more than all Power Five teams except Georgia and LSU.
Oklahoma — The Sooners didn’t have a first-rounder but they had seven overall picks. And guess how many their rival Texas had? None.
Penn State — The Nittany Lions had eight players selected which is very impressive and more than Michigan or Ohio State. This will only help James Franklin recruit.
Baylor — We saw the speed of Baylor at the NFL Combine and coming off a great season, this will push Dave Aranda forward.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]