NFL teams strike gold in mid-round running backs
OU's DeMarco Murray and OSU's Kendall Hunter are projected to go in the third round of this week's NFL Draft. And that's not a bad thing.
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The Dolphins, Bears and Buccaneers, meanwhile, committed their top-five picks to running backs in 2005 and hardly got their money's worth.
Benson lasted three years in Chicago before he was released. Williams is merely a backup to Blount. Brown's once-promising career has been derailed by injuries, which has Miami reportedly considering drafting Ingram.
What's more, the rise of the pass and running-back-by-committees have devalued the need to gamble a high pick or high-pick dollars on one runner.
Green Bay won the 2011 Super Bowl using an array of runners, including sixth-round rookie James Starks, the Packers' leading rusher in the Super Bowl.
New Orleans won the Super Bowl the year before relying on a committee that featured undrafted backs Mike Bell and Pierre Thomas.
“Having a franchise running back is not as important as it was,” said NFL Network analyst Solomon Wilcots. “Unless you have an Adrian Peterson on the board, someone really special, I think you go ahead and wait. I think it's been proved that you don't have to take a running back with your first-round pick.”
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