How Many Running Backs Will Be Selected In The First Round Of The 2020 NFL Draft?
2020 NFL Draft
The Line: Over 1.5 +600 / Under 1.5 -1200 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
Running back is an essential position in any NFL offense, but the need for the position in the NFL draft has shifted to the back burner over the years. We’re far removed from the drafts in 1967, 1971, 1982 and 1987 that would have 7 running backs taken in the first round. Let’s take a look at this year’s prop bet and see if we can project how many running backs go in the second round.
D’Andre Swift, Georgia, Swift had a solid 2019 season for the Bulldogs, averaging 6.2 yards per carry while logging 1,216 yards with 7 TDs and all while doing it with less than 200 carries. Swift also appears to be the total package with speed, agility and ball carrier vision and coule very well be a three-down back for whichever team picks him. The drawback is his size at just 5’8” tall, but that’s the going size for running backs in this year’s draft.
Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin, Taylor showed some wow factor at the combine, putting up a superb 4.39 40-yard dash, the fastest of any of the backs that I’ll be previewing in this article. Taylor had 2,003 rushing yards for the Badgers this season, but the scary thing is that it was part of Taylor’s model of consistency as he had 1,977 rushing yards in his freshman year and 2,194 yards as a sophomore. Taylor’s a solid 5’10”, 226 pounds with very good power, quickness and agility. The con on Taylor by many is ball security, as Taylor also has 17 fumbles in his college career.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU, Edwards-Helaire was always on the radar for LSU, but his junior season finally saw him take over the lead running back role after splitting time with Nick Brossette in 2018. CEH flourished as the top guy, averaging 6.6 yards per carry while losing 1,414 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns on the way to helping LSU claim the national title. Helaire’s 5’7” stature is the shortest of any of the backs that are going to be featured here, but he’s quick, shifty and has very good ball carrier vision. He’s also a solid receiver out of the backfield, logging 55 catches for 453 yards last season, making him a possible three-down back for whichever team drafts him.
J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State, Dobbins had a really good year himself, also recording 2,003 rushing yards, but Dobbins also had 6.7 yards per carry with an astounding 21 rushing TDs. Scouts love Dobbins’ ability to grind out big plays with his size and strength and the ability to pick up yards after contact as well as a speediness and shiftiness to break off huge yardage plays. Dobbins is another back with ball security issues though, as he dropped the pigskin against teams like Florida Atlantic, Penn State and Michigan.
Pick: I think you could honestly make a case for all four of these guys to be selected in the first round. And if history has shown us anything, three of the last five draft have seen at least two running backs taken in the first round. The under looks promising as there’s going to be a few wide receivers taken as well as a litany of offensive linemen, but I still think the over is worth a look here. My mock draft had Swift going to the Dolphins at 26, as the Dolphins need a running back as a 37-year old Ryan Fitzpatrick should not lead your team in rushing. I also think Jonathan Taylor could sneak in to Baltimore, or if Baltimore for whatever reason trades up to take Swift, then Miami can take Taylor or maybe even Dobbins. Either way, getting this much plus money is hard to turn down when all we need is two running backs taken, and crazier things have happened in the draft. Give me the over here.