2015 NFL Draft: Second Round Running Backs Are First Round Talents


The 2015 NFL Draft features a slew of talented runners. From Georgia’s Todd Gurley and Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon to Boise State’s Jay Ajayi and Indiana’s Tevin Coleman, there are a number of running backs coming out in 2015 with top level talent. They will flood rosters this season and provide a much needed influx of quality running backs in a pass heavy NFL.

While the NFL has headed toward the air attack through increased quarterback success, rule changes, and the relatively longer playing tenure that a quality quarterback offers over a quality running back, and many other reasons, the running game has gotten a bit lost. Emmett Smith did not really have a dominant runner to pass his torch on to. Adrian Peterson is easily the best of his generation and Ladanian Tomlinson accomplished great things during his career as well, but there hasn’t been a group of running backs proving dominant.

Enter the 2015 NFL Draft class.

While there will certainly be some exceptions, I fully expect much of this class to succeed.

If this were a decade or two earlier, many of these running backs would be first round picks. Hurley and Gordon will go on day one for sure and Ajayi, Coleman, and T.J. Yeldon certainly deserve at least the consideration. While the latter three are most definitely going to be second round picks, they have the past production and the measurable to be first round picks in a more run heavy NFL.

The declining value of the running back position is a shame in my opinion as I enjoy smash mouth football. Watching guys like Jerome Bettis run was an absolute joy, even in an age where passing dominated the game.

In today’s NFL we too often get caught up with the running game being nothing more than providing balance for the pass. That’s well and good, but I see players in the 2015 NFL Draft class that could be something special with the ball. I see players that may not be worth mortgaging the draft over, but should certainly be coveted. These young men are ready to come in and be good running backs early in their career and (I hope) for a long time as well.

So far it’s all speculation, but the running backs in this year’s class look strong and could be something special. While they won’t be first round picks, they certainly should be valued highly.

Next: The Case for Drafting Tevin Coleman

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