This article is part of our Job Battles series.
The last Job Battles article addressed the relevant quarterback showdowns, and this one will start on the running backs. I'll have to make this a two-part article since I ran it a bit long.
The blurbs sort by descending alphabetical order of the team location. The players within a blurb are listed from left to right in descending seniority, not favor.
Smith (6-foot-3, 235) and Scarbrough (6-foot-1, 229) are similar in the sense that they are both former high-level recruits (especially in Scarbrough's case), and in that they are big backs with uncommon athleticism for their builds.
They are different in that Smith has several years of NFL experience, including a breakout 2017 season where he served with Alfred Morris as co-backup to Ezekiel Elliott, specifically handling the passing-down snaps in that setting. In totaling 232 yards (4.2 YPC) and four touchdowns while catching 19 passes for 202 yards and a score, Smith established himself as the favorite to back up Elliott in 2018.
Whereas Smith's passing-down work is a demonstrated strength, Scarbrough fell to the seventh round of the draft in large part due to questions about his ability to contribute in the passing game. As a pure runner, Scarbrough is intimidating with a 4.52-second 40, 40-inch vertical, and 129-inch broad jump, so he would project for some amount of upside if he ever secures a big workload. But between his potential pass-catching limitations and a history of persistent injury troubles