Every year the NFL draft offers depth-chart surprises at running back. Veterans dodge the rookie bullet and suddenly have new life. Solid starters find themselves in a battle with young upstarts. Even rising stars get more committee help than they really wanted.
Once we move into the second round, the situation changes in a hurry. We immediately run into a group of RBs who could be hurt by the draft, in some cases catastrophically.
Today, we’ll examine the teams most likely to use a top-150 pick at RB. We’ll break the 10 best RB prospects into three tiers and then run through scenarios where an RB from each tier is selected onto that team. I’ll discuss the potential ADP damage to the presumed starter. In some cases, the incumbent still looks fairly valued in most scenarios. He might even have some upside. In other cases, you may want to make some portfolio adjustments over the next couple of weeks.
Teams Most Likely to Strike Early at RB
Based on team depth charts, NFL news, and mock draft analysis, at least nine teams are strong candidates to use a top-150 pick at RB.
- Miami Dolphins
- Buffalo Bills
- Kansas City Chiefs
- Los Angeles Chargers
- Detroit Lions
- Pittsburgh Steelers
- Atlanta Falcons
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Arizona Cardinals
* I have another four teams as solid options as well, but these nine generate the most headlines.
Among these teams, the Dolphins, Lions, and Buccaneers would appear to be the most obvious situations where the current starter is priced with the assumption of a committee at minimum.
Kerryon Johnson and Ronald Jones were both top-45 selections in the 2018 NFL draft. Johnson flashed as a rookie, and Jones made a little bit of noise down the stretch last season.
Johnson is priced as a player likely to get the high-value touches in a committee, while drafters believe Jones will slide into low-value opportunities. That fits the assumptions about their draft plans, although the Bucs make a point to prop up Jones whenever possible. If they don’t select one of the top-five prospects with their second-round pick, his ADP should rise.