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The Dime a Dozen RB’s
By on April 7, 2011 at 11:56 am

Undrafted Arian Foster led the NFL in rushing yards and TD's in 2010

With so many mock drafts continuing to suggest that the Dolphins will take Alabama RB Mark Ingram at #15 and with my continued assertion that he isn’t worth drafting at that position because “running backs are a dime a dozen,” I figured it was time to share with you some of the other RBs who could have an impact in this year’s draft.

Before we get to the rookies-to-be though, I’d like to show you the list of the top five rushers from last season in the NFL:

  1. Arian Foster, Houston, 1,616 yards: Undrafted
  2. Jamaal Charles, Kansas City, 1,467 yards: 3rd round
  3. Michael Turner, Atlanta, 1,371 yards: 5th round
  4. Chris Johnson, Tennessee, 1,364 yards: #24 overall
  5. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville, 1,324 yards: 2nd round

In addition, the guy who scored more rushing touchdowns than anyone in the league besides Foster in 2010 was BenJarvus Green-Ellis of the Patriots, who was undrafted. So only one of the top running backs in the NFL last year was a first round choice, and he went #24. The point here is that there just isn’t value in taking a running back in the first half of the first round of the draft unless you know that he is going to be a super-duper-star type of guy, like an Adrian Peterson. I think Mark Ingram is a very solid player. I do not think he is AP.

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My contention remains that running backs are a “dime a dozen” and so here are a dozen running backs who may very well be the stars of tomorrow (in no particular order). Some of these guys project as 2nd or 3rd round picks, but most of them are expected to be mid-round (4-6) types of guys:

  • DeMarco Murray, Oklahoma: Considered by many to be the 2nd best RB in this draft behind Ingram.
  • Roy Helu, Jr., Nebraska: Will forever be remembered in Lincoln for his 307 yard rushing performance last year vs. Mizzou.
  • Mikel Leshoure, Illinois: Can take hits with the best of them and has earned comparisons to former Illinois RB Rashard Mendenhall.
  • Jacquizz Rodgers, Oregon St.: At just 5’6″, Rodgers is small and does not possess elite breakaway speed but had a very productive career for the Beavers.
  • Daniel Thomas, Kansas St.: A strong between-the-tackles runner who many people think can “do it all” at the next level.
  • Ryan Williams, Virginia Tech: A big-time athlete (40″ vertical at Combine) who had to share time his final year at Tech.
  • Kendall Hunter, Oklahoma St.: At 5’7″ he is probably to small to be an every down back but not too small to make a big impact.
  • Shane Vereen, Cal: Has been compared to his former college teammate and current Lion Jahvid Best.
  • Jordan Todman, UConn: His 4.40 in the 40-yard dash at the Combine was tied with Derrick Locke for 3rd fastest among all RBs.
  • Taiwan Jones, Eastern Washington: A guy with good size and speed, the biggest question marks will be about the competition he faced in the FCS.
  • Bilal Powell, Louisville: A breakout 2010 put Powell on a lot of peoples’ maps; a strong one-cut type back.
  • Derrick Locke, Kentucky: A standout at the Senior Bowl, Locke is considered a bit undersized (5’8″) but can run tough and inside. His 4.40 40 at the Combine was tied for 3rd fastest of all RBs.

Other backs that have received a nice amount of pre-draft attention are guys like Wisconsin’s John Clay, Noel Divine of West Virginia, Syracuse’s Delone Carter, and Anthony Allen out of Georgia Tech.

I’m not here to say that all of these RBs are the next Foster or Charles or Green-Ellis’s of the world, I’m just saying that in today’s NFL, it seems that you can get as much value in the draft out of the running back position than at almost any other position, and that #15 is much too high for the Fins to go that direction, unless they think that Ingram (or whoever else) is THE guy to build the team around in the years to come. Maybe they do, maybe they don’t. We’ll find out on April 28th.

Where would you like to see the Dolphins draft a RB?

  • Second round (assuming trade) (34%)
  • Third round (30%)
  • Fourth/Fifth round (12%)
  • #15 (11%)
  • Later in the first round (assuming trade) (9%)
  • They don't need to draft a RB (4%)
  • Sixth/Seventh round (0%)
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Jesse Agler is the host of The Finsiders. Follow him on Twitter @finsjesse.


Please Note:
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.
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Mad Hatter says:

If “GOOD” Rbs are a dime a dozen then eveyone would have one !

markeyh says:

Very FEW Bust……most have served their teams well……

markeyh says:

First round RB in the NFL!!!!

markeyh says:

C.J. Spiller
Jahvid Best
Knowshon Moreno
Donald Brown
Darren McFadden
Jonathan Stewart
Felix Jones
Rashard Mendenhall
Chris Johnson
Adrian Peterson
Marshawn Lynch
Reggie Bush
Laurence Maroney
DeAngelo Williams
Joseph Addai
Ronnie Brown
Cedric Benson
Cadillac Williams
Steven Jackson
Chris Perry
Kevin Jones
Willis McGahee
Larry Johnson
William Green
T.J. Duckett
LaDainian Tomlinson
Deuce McAllister
Michael Bennett
Jamal Lewis
Thomas Jones
Ron Dayne
Shaun Alexander
Trung Canidate
Edgerrin James
Ricky Williams

markeyh says:

2 RB’s, TE, WR,OG,LB,OG, Speedy Return man….

markeyh says:

In fact I not only would draft Ingram but I also would take another RB between the 3-7 th rounds. Maybe even the 2nd if they were able to acquire one….

markeyh says:

This is such BS you are spewing! You can say that about any position in the draft. Just because YOU don’t want Miami to draft Ingram don’t mean your foolish argument about getting one later will fly…..

You and your elk say that crap when in fact you don’t talk about the many BUSTS that don’t make it…..

There is no greater need for Miami than RB, that is the only position on the team that have two old RB’s who currently are FA’s and two young RB that have shown NOTHING so far.

I am so sick of this BS you and others spew!