When Boom Williams declared for the NFL Draft following the TaxSlayer Bowl, Mark Stoops lost a 1,000-yard rusher. Losing the school’s ninth-best rusher would cripple most programs, but Kentucky has Benny Snell. After just one season in Lexington, Pro Football Focus believes Snell is the ninth-best player returning in the SEC.
On 185 carries in 2016, Snell forced 44 missed tackles, and averaged 4.1 yards after contact per carry. After splitting time with Williams last year, Snell should see the bulk of carries in 2017, and is a sneaky candidate to push the 2,000-yard mark if that holds true and he can perform at the level he did in 2016.
The only other running backs PFF ranked higher than Snell are LSU’s Derrius Guice and Georgia’s Nick Chubb. An organization that evaluates based off objective grades than subjective, anecdotal evidence, praise doesn’t get much better than this.