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Running Backs Drafted from 2005 to 2009
David Dorey
June 22, 2009
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Other Positions:  Quarterbacks  |  Running Backs  |  Wide Receivers

First Round - The first round historically had always been rich in providing stud running backs for the NFL up until 2002 when a three year drought of sorts began.  No running back was selected in the first 16 picks in those three seasons and the results show their fall in the first round was warranted.  . 2007 only had two running backs drafted in the first round as one of the weakest seasons but 2008 served up five first round backs as an uncharacteristically high number. The oddity from 2008 wasn't that a first round back was injured, it was that all but Chris Johnson had at least nagging injuries if not season ending ones. Normally, the first round always serves up the running backs that are expected to be immediate contributors at least in a limited role.

Rounds Two through Four – These rounds have provided several players that became starting running backs for their team with notables of Marion Barber, Frank Gore and Maurice Jones-Drew. And then last year - gold mine. Matt Forte, Kevin Smith and Steve Slaton all had significant fantasy value and realistically will set the bar impossibly high most likely. Tashard Choice was tremendous in his limited play last year and Ray Rice should get much more playing time in 2009. Last year was just a major haul for these rounds. Compare that to 2007 when very little happened after the first two picks. Never be scared of these rounds. First rounders are collegiate all-stars but rounds two through four have all supplied some NFL all-stars.

Round Five through Seven - Other than Michael Turner from 2004, all the players taken since have not become a starter at any point in their careers if in fact they are even still in the NFL. Final round gems sound great in theory but non-existent in reality.  This group has produced little more than some kick returners. This is really little more than camp legs even though every year at least one or two runners get some hype and spawn far too much optimism about these final rounds.

2009 - Knowshon Moreno and Chris Wells both are likely locks to be the primary ball carries for their respective teams this year and while Moreno lands with a rebuilding Broncos team (or is that deconstructing), Wells plays in sunny Arizona for the 2008 NFC Champs. LaSean McCoy was already interesting and more so since Brian Westbrook's health is in question. The rest are all lucky enough to be backups that will need injury to see the light of day. Rashad Jennings could show up in Jacksonville as some envision but history is stacked against him.

Rnd 2005 2006 2007 2008 2008
1 Ronnie Brown Reggie Bush Adrian Peterson Darren McFadden Knowshon Moreno
Cedric Benson

Laurence Maroney

Marshawn Lynch Jonathan Stewart Donald Brown
Carnell Williams DeAngelo Williams   Felix Jones Chris Wells
  Joseph Addai   Rashard Mendenhall  
      Chris Johnson  
2 JJ Arrington LenDale White Kenny Irons Matt Forte LeSean McCoy
Eric Shelton Maurice Drew Chris Henry Ray Rice  
    Brandon Jackson    
3 Frank Gore Brian Calhoun Lorenzo Booker Kevin Smith Shonn Greene
Vern. Morency Jerious Norwood Tony Hunt Jamaal Charles Glen Coffee
Ryan Moats   Wolfe Garrett Steve Slaton  
Maurice Clarett        
4 Marion Barber Le. Washington Michael Bush Tashard Choice Mike Goodson
Brandon Jacobs P.J. Daniels Antonio Pittman   Andre Brown
Ciatrick Fason   Dwayne Wright   Gartrell Johnson
Alvin Pearman        
Darren Sproles        
5 Damien Nash Jerome Harrison Kolby Smith Ryan Torrain Frank Summers
  David Kirtman   Tim Hightower Javon Ringer
      Marcus Thomas  
6 Cedric Houston Wali Lundy Thomas Clayton Thomas Brown Cedric Peerman
Deandra Cobb Lawren. Vickers Justise Hairston Jalen Parmele Aaron Brown
  J.D. Runnels   Xavier Omon James Davis
      Mike Hart Bernard Scott
      Lex Hilliard  
7 Lionel Gates Cedric Humes DeShawn Wynn Chauncey Washington Chris Ogbonnaya
Anthony Davis Quinton Ganther Jason Snelling Justin Forsett Javarris Williams
Noah Herron   Kenneth Darby Cory Boyd Fui Vakapuna
    Ahmad Bradshaw Patrick Allen LaRod Stephens
2009 Starter       Rashad Jennings

Other Positions:  Quarterbacks  |  Running Backs  |  Wide Receivers

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