2011 NFL Draft: Is Any Running Back A First-Rounder?

For the St. Louis Rams, the story of the 2011 NFL Draft—at least its first round—comes down to finding some way to make Sam Bradford's job less boring. Julio Jones remains the top choice for most Mock Drafters, but another oft-suggested option is to grab Heisman-winner Mark Ingram to give Steven Jackson, who at times in 2010 looked worn down, a breather. Paranoid as I am about running backs who nearly lead the league in rushing attempts, I've supported this option on more than one occasion.

↵

That said, I loved this piece by 3k on Turf Show Times, which takes as its premise that a running back should be valued more like a tight end than a quarterback. It seems plausible to me; the run-first NFL exists, at this point, only in the fever-dreams of aging broadcasters and people who dress up in Halloween masks at football games. It's dead and our own Greatest Show on Turf, with its 80-reception Hall of Fame running back, helped kill it. 

↵

Rushing attempts have stayed steady for years—in 1990 teams averaged 440 carries a year, in 2000 441, in 2010 435. But passing has gotten more common and more efficient; teams averaged 3545 passing yards in 2010, compared to 3116 in 1990, and at the same time the individual starter's share of those rushing yards has declined. Running the football is less valuable than it was in 1990, and so is an individual running back. It makes it harder than ever to justify a draft strategy built around them, except in fantasy football. 

↵

Trending Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SB Nation St. Louis

You must be a member of SB Nation St. Louis to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation St. Louis. You should read them.

Join SB Nation St. Louis

You must be a member of SB Nation St. Louis to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation St. Louis. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.