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Running Backs Drafted from 2003 to 2007
David Dorey
July 2, 2007
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.  Both William Green and T.J. Duckett have failed to become even a primary rusher while Willis McGahee and Larry Johnson had to wait a season or two before getting into gear. What has been most troubling is the tendency of teams to draft early running backs when they already have a starter. A prudent move and one that has paid off well in the long term but one that has diminished what tailbacks can do in their rookie season. All four backs taken last year had significant playing time but none of them were considered the starter for their teams. What is even more interesting is that Maroney and Addai will be primary runners this year after a year of sharing and Jerious Norwood has a nice shot at getting more playing time.

Rounds Two through Four – These rounds have provided several players that became starting running backs for their team but other than Frank Gore, they all lost the starting nod (assuming Julius Jones is not considered a starter in Dallas). Maurice Drew had a monster rookie year and yet Fred Taylor is still the starter in Jacksonville - at least technically.

Round Five through Seven - For all the players taken here, none of them have 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. Wally Lundy got a shot last year but did almost nothing with it and that was largely because there were no other decent runners in Houston. This is really little more than camp legs.

2007 - After a very productive year for rookie runners in 2006, this season is shaping up to be far less dynamic for first-year runners. Adrian Peterson will no doubt become a starter - and a good one - but he will have to contend with Chester Taylor. Marshawn Lynch appears to be the lone candidate for a week one starter. Chris Brown appeared to have a shot at a starting role but the re-signing of Chris Brown makes that less certain. For this year, it's just Peterson and Lynch and then a small group waiting for someone to get injured.

Round 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
1 Willis McGahee Steven Jackson Ronnie Brown Reggie Bush Adrian Peterson
Larry Johnson Chris Perry Cedric Benson

Laurence Maroney

Marshawn Lynch
  Kevin Jones Carnell Williams DeAngelo Williams  
      Joseph Addai  
2   Tatum Bell JJ Arrington LenDale White Kenny Irons
  Julius Jones Eric Shelton Maurice Drew Chris Henry
  Greg Jones     Brandon Jackson
3 Musa Smith   Frank Gore Brian Calhoun Lorenzo Booker
B.J. Askew   Vern. Morency Jerious Norwood Tony Hunt
Chris Brown   Ryan Moats   Wolfe Garrett
Justin Fargas   Maurice Clarett    
4 Artose Pinner Mewelde Moore Marion Barber Le. Washington Michael Bush
Domanick Davis Cedric Cobbs Brandon Jacobs P.J. Daniels Antonio Pittman
Onterrio Smith   Ciatrick Fason   Dwayne Wright
Quentin Griffin   Alvin Pearman    
Lee Suggs   Darren Sproles    
5   Michael Turner Damien Nash Jerome Harrison Kolby Smith
      David Kirtman  
6 Brock Forsey   Cedric Houston Wali Lundy Thomas Clayton
    Deandra Cobb Lawren. Vickers Justise Hairston
      J.D. Runnels  
7 M. Mackenzie A. Echemandu Lionel Gates Cedric Humes DeShawn Wynn
Andrew Pinnock Jonathan Smith Anthony Davis Quinton Ganther Jason Snelling
A. Galloway Quincy Wilson Noah Herron   Kenneth Darby
  Derrick Ward     Ahmad Bradshaw
  Bruce Perry      
  Brandon Miree      

Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers

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