Who could be eyeing Leonard Fournette, Dalvin Cook, Christian McCaffrey or Nick Chubb early in the draft?
As you can see, this draft has some pretty interesting running backs who could find themselves as early selections. This draft class offers four running backs who could be taken in the first/mid-second round who are all different types of runners, so it will be a choice of what tickles each team’s fancy.
Indianapolis Colts – Somebody has to help Andrew Luck and this offense in the run game. Frank Gore has been a great back for years, but he is coming to the end of his career. They need a fresh body and stud back there to take this offense to an elite level. They can’t expect Luck to continue to carry this offense all by himself for the rest of his career and survive. Any rookie can split carries with Frank Gore for a season before becoming the lead back of the future with Andrew Luck.
Miami Dolphins – Arian Foster is a one-year rental who is injury-prone while Jay Ajayi looks like he doesn’t have the coaching staff behind him. Coach Adam Gase, the offense and Ryan Tannehill can only move forward if they can secure a sufficient run game.
New England Patriots – I am intrigued with the idea of coach Bill Belichick adding Christian McCaffrey to an already explosive offense. We are not sure what kind of running back McCaffrey would be in the NFL, but a coach like Belichick would use his maximum ability and potential.
Carolina Panthers – If Cam Newton takes a beating this year, they might look to take some of the load away from him in the run game. That means they would need to invest a decent running back to pair with Newton. I also say this due to the fact that Jonathan Stewart struggles to stay healthy. We will have to follow the story of Cameron Artis-Payne and how he plays this year in relief of Stewart.
Philadelphia Eagles (Minnesota’s pick) – It depends on how Ryan Mathews holds up for the entire season, and how Wendell Smallwood performs, but they could be looking for a lead back to pair with Carson Wentz in this offense. Coach Doug Pederson needs a solid running back depth to be successful with a young quarterback and could invest in one early to secure an elite talent.
New York Giants – Rashad Jennings has proven to be a decent back in the NFL, but he is 31 years old and not very explosive anymore. They Giants could become a very impressive young offense with a new running back in this draft to pair with Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard.