NFL Hot Press






No First-round RBs for Some Teams

Updated Oct. 25, 2021
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.

The running back position has undergone an interesting rollercoaster in NFL drafts over the past decade. There have been years in which no running backs were selected in the first round, but for the past seven years, at least one running back was drafted in Round 1. That streak of recent first-round picks includes the likes of Najee Harris (24th-overall 2021), Clyde Edwards-Helaire (32nd-overall 2020), Josh Jacobs (24th-overall 2019), Saquon Barkley (2nd-overall 2018), Leonard Fournette (4th-overall 2017), Ezekiel Elliott (4th-overall of 2016) and Todd Gurley (10th-overall 2015). Some team sources, however, told WalterFootball.com that the 2022 NFL Draft could be like the 2014 NFL Draft, which did not have a first-round pick at the running back position, because some teams don't have a first-round grade on any draft-eligible running back.

"We don't have a first-round grade on a running back," said a director of player personnel. "That could change in the months to come and a guy gets bumped up, but from seeing this class, I think that's probably not likely."

While there may not be a first-round running back, that director felt there were still some quality prospects and future starters in the 2022 class.

"There are some good running backs who have the ability to be starters," the director said. "Brian Robinson, Isaiah Spiller, Zamir White are good players."

Some scouts have compared Robinson to former North Carolina running back Javonte Williams, a 2021 second-round pick by the Denver Broncos. Like Williams, Robinson is a big, strong, downhill runner. They said Robinson has more wiggle and elusiveness than Williams. Some team sources have compared Spiller to former Houston Texans running back Arian Foster. If those comparisons hold true, the 2022 NFL Draft will still provide some good running back options for NFL teams even though there may not be a running back selected in the first round.







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