Apart from the 2013 and 2014 NFL Drafts, at least one running back has been taken in the first round every single year. All indications are that former Georgia running back, D'Andre Swift will be the first back taken off the board.
The only question is, when?
So, let's make the case for Swift being a first-round back:
Miami - 5,18, and 26
The Dolphins have not one, not two, but three first-round draft picks this year. And not that you were watching too many of their games last season, but Ryan Fitzpatrick leading your team in rushing tells you just about all you need to know when it comes to their rushing attack. He would pair well alongside the bruising nature of the Jordan Howard.
Seattle - 27
Despite having one of the best quarterbacks in the entire league, the Seahawks still ran the ball 29.5 times per contest last season, third-most in the NFL. And that was down three rushing attempts from the year above. Chris Carson is a solid back, but he can't carry the workload on his own. And though they spent a first-round pick on Rashaad Penny in the 2018 NFL Draft, he's eclipsed 100 yards in just two of his 24 contests.
Ravens - 28
Do they need another running back? Not exactly, but that doesn't mean they don't want one. We talked about Seattle's run-heavy offense. Well, Baltimore led the league with 36.8 rusher attempts per game. I also know that of all the media members doing mock drafts, few are more connected in Baltimore than Daniel Jeremiah. So, when he floats out the idea of Swift landing with the Ravens — as he did with his latest mock draft — I take it seriously.
Kansas City - 32
The Superbowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. That's a phrase that had not been uttered since 1970, and they did it without a top-20 running back in terms of yards per attempt. Damien Williams rushed for 498 yards on 4.5 yards per carry. For reference, D'Andre Swift averaged 6.6 YPC during his three years at Georgia. They obviously already have a Super Bowl-winning roster, and though they could use their late first-round pick on a defender, maybe Andy Reid wants even more firepower.
Supply and Demand
It's the first thing they teach you in your freshman ECON 101 back in school. If there's an abundance of a product, the price point is lowered. However, if there is a short supply of a product, yet the demand for that product increases then the price point increases. Simple right? Well, though there are several talented backs in this year's draft class, there are three that have really separated themselves from the rest.
Swift, Taylor, and Dobbins are head and shoulders above the rest of the backs in the class. This means the supply for elite running backs is low and yet the demand — as we've laid out already — is still rather high. Therefore, if teams want D'Andre Swift then they are going to have to take him the first time they have the opportunity because he won't make it till the second time around.
That's not to say teams can't be successful drafting third and fourth-round running backs, but it's more likely that the premier talent at the position goes much earlier.
Of the ten leading rushers in the NFL last season, five were first-round picks. Better yet, Chris Carson and Marlon Mack were the only two players that weren't at least second-round picks.
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