Is Johnson capable of NFL brilliance? Burst will ultimately tell the tale.
by Matt Waldman
The 2015 running back draft class is a potential embarrassment of riches. It may test the collective sentiment of recent claims from football media that running back is no longer an early-round position.
To give full disclosure, I’ve often tried to justify these claims so I could wrap my head around the two-year drought of first-round picks at the position. I made the rationalization that the pool of available backs is so densely talented that the drop in demand for a feature back has created a parallel to NFL runners and NBA-caliber shooting guards: you can find one off the street and at least get reasonable short-term production.
We’ll ultimately see how the NFL regards this crop of runners, but at this stage of the process I think it could rival the 2008 class, which had 14 runners who at least flashed contributor-level talent.
|Player||Round||Seasons||Touches||Total Yds||Total Tds|
The second- and third-round picks have been at least as productive as those from the opening round, and 80 percent of those first-round options had at least one quality season as a starter. Note that I didn’t use the phrases “first-round or second-round talent” to describe these players. Scheme fit, personality, and off-field behavior all factor into the draft.