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Running backs falling out of first-round favor

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08:06 AM ET 04.17 | Trent Richardson has run through all sorts of things in his career -- tacklers, concerns, questions. So, try telling the All-American and Heisman Trophy finalist at Alabama that running backs no longer are worth selecting in the first round of the NFL draft. "It bothers me a lot because we're getting pounded on every down," Richardson said. "That's a big issue with some football players that aren't really strong mentally. When it comes down to it, everyone needs a running back." But in a quarterback-driven, pass-first league, most teams don't see drafting a running back in the first round as a necessity. More and more personnel executives see running back as a high- impact, short-career position.

The Denver Post

Trent Richardson, Icon Sports Trent Richardson, Icon Sports
April 17, 2012  08:07 AM ET

Less talent, other than Richardson.

Comment #2 has been removed
April 17, 2012  08:22 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

When it comes down to it, everyone needs a running back."




You need a quarterback first

Other than Luck & RGIII, see comment #1.

April 17, 2012  08:30 AM ET

There's talk that Fisher is enamored with TR and will choose him if he falls out of the top 5.

April 17, 2012  08:43 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

When it comes down to it, everyone needs a running back." You need a quarterback first

Right. Surprisingly, there are probably more "elite" quarterbacks than "elite" running backs in the league, despite the serious shortage of QBs for struggling teams.

When you look at teams like the Patriots, you see that you can be successful with rookies and journeymen at running back, so why mortgage the farm for anything less than Adrian Peterson?

April 17, 2012  08:49 AM ET

Last time I looked it is a pass league 60/40. Teams are using two backs. The 20 carry a game RB is nearly extinct.

April 17, 2012  08:53 AM ET

The Giants had the lowest ranked running game in the NFL last year. The Packers the year before? who remembers their running backs outside of GB? The Pats are always in a superbowl or on the doorstep of one, what running game do you remember of theirs?

No team has it all, but if you are going to be short on offense, better to be short running the ball than anything else.

April 17, 2012  09:12 AM ET

too many serviceable RB's later in the draft to blow a top pick on one, not to say some team won't do it though.

April 17, 2012  09:18 AM ET
QUOTE(#8):

too many serviceable RB's later in the draft to blow a top pick on one, not to say some team won't do it though.

Yup. You can make your quarterback and your running backs better by improving your offensive line. Wanna score more points? Look for the best guards and tackles.

April 17, 2012  09:21 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

When it comes down to it, everyone needs a running back." You need a quarterback first

You need an o-line first. Whats up Mick.

Had to throw that in us o-line guys got to get some props.

April 17, 2012  09:22 AM ET
QUOTE(#9):

Yup. You can make your quarterback and your running backs better by improving your offensive line. Wanna score more points? Look for the best guards and tackles.

Very well said. Give the big eaters some credit.

Comment #12 has been removed
April 17, 2012  09:44 AM ET
QUOTE(#9):

Yup. You can make your quarterback and your running backs better by improving your offensive line. Wanna score more points? Look for the best guards and tackles.

Couldn't agree more but it still amazes me how many teams fail to develop/create a sound O-line to work from. Seems like a simple concept. Building a defense is far more challenging.

April 17, 2012  10:25 AM ET
QUOTE(#13):

Building a defense is far more challenging.

Tell me about it. Belichick used to be thought of as a god on defense. Now our D couldn't stop a bunch of girls in plaid skirts coached by nuns.

April 17, 2012  10:30 AM ET

Thats why most teams have 2 running backs now?

April 17, 2012  10:39 AM ET
QUOTE(#8):

too many serviceable RB's later in the draft to blow a top pick on one, not to say some team won't do it though.

Well the only team that seems to have an interest in a first round running back is Cleveland, they have 2 first round picks so I can see where taking Richardson would be wise, they do need an every down RB.

April 17, 2012  11:45 AM ET
QUOTE(#16):

Well the only team that seems to have an interest in a first round running back is Cleveland, they have 2 first round picks so I can see where taking Richardson would be wise, they do need an every down RB.

Why? If CLE is really going to run the west coast, they need a better OL to protect McCoy for the crossing routes and other passes vital to that offense. Roger Craig, while serviceable, will never be confused with a workhorse like Sweetness or even Emmitt Smith. The Browns should take note.

April 17, 2012  12:38 PM ET
QUOTE(#14):

Tell me about it. Belichick used to be thought of as a god on defense. Now our D couldn't stop a bunch of girls in plaid skirts coached by nuns.

Thats true, NY did beat you

April 17, 2012  01:00 PM ET
QUOTE(#7):

The Giants had the lowest ranked running game in the NFL last year. The Packers the year before? who remembers their running backs outside of GB? The Pats are always in a superbowl or on the doorstep of one, what running game do you remember of theirs?No team has it all, but if you are going to be short on offense, better to be short running the ball than anything else.

I don't know. Matt Forte, for example, was/is a huge part of a run-pass Chicago offense: he proved his worth when he went down last season and the Bears collapsed. Yes, Cutler's injury probably had greater impact, but the absolute mediocrity of the Chicago line blocking for years now for Forte shows what a back almost singlehandedly can do, whether running or catching out of the backfield or running a route. A good back can run, catch, block: I think Marshall Faulk - who by the way was at NE - is the prototype for the modern back. Then again, who's more important in short yardage situations, guys who follow their blocks or creative backs who see where a hole is or isn't and make their own plays? (Cedric Benson in CHI used to always run to where the hole wasn't; Forte seems to make his own way: he's got nothing to work with.) And it's very important - whatever the quality of the line you have - to have a good back on short yardage situations, especially around the goal line. Yep, there are a lot of mediocre backs out there, but Trent Richardson is not one of them. NFL management is pretty stupid a) for "falling in love" with players, and b) for "falling out of love." Emotion of any kind should have nothing to do with player evaluation. My God, people. Have we learned nothing from "Money Ball"?

 
April 17, 2012  01:32 PM ET
QUOTE(#15):

Thats why most teams have 2 running backs now?

Exactly.

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