2014 NFL Draft: Which Teams Need A Running Back?
By Ryan Ratty on January 15, 2014
While the coaching carousel still going round and round, the playoffs are still going on. The NFL is down to four teams, who are in contention for the Super Bowl trophy. With around four months left until the NFL draft, many teams are prepping their war rooms to fill glaring needs across their rosters. If there is one position besides full back that is extremely looked down upon in the NFL draft, it is the running position. It is said that when running backs enter the NFL, their careers are immediately on a ticking clock. While running backs may not last long, it is an extremely crucial position in today's age of offense. In a day in age where the NFL is moving toward spread offense, running backs need to have good hands and they must be able to block for their quarterbacks. Let's take a look at some teams who are in need of a consistent running back.
Back in 2009, Chris Johnson racked up over 2,000 rushing yards. At the time, the speedster looked like a lock to stay atop the running back position in the NFL for years to come. But, he has fallen out of flavor in Tennessee. It looks like Johnson is on his way out of Tennessee after the news that he would not accept a pay cut. If the Titans were to get rid of Johnson, their starting back would be Shonn Greene. Although Greene has had an above-average NFL career, he is not the same feature back as he once was. Tennessee may elect to go the route of the NFL draft for a running back. If they do go that route, a guy on their radar could be Andre Williams from Boston College. Right now, Williams is slated to go in the third or fourth round. In his senior season at Boston College, Williams had over 2,000 yards as a workhorse back in the Eagles' offense. Williams is your typical running back that has excellent vision and an above-average football IQ.
After trading away Trent Richardson, the Browns mainly used Willis McGahee as their starting tail back. In his short tenure with the Colts, Richardson looks like a complete bust. Luckily for the Browns, they picked up an extra first-round pick in the trade. With that pick coming at the end of the first round, Cleveland may elect to pick a running back. The Browns have four starters in Josh Gordon, Jordan Cameron, Joe Thomas, and Alex Mack. After those four, the Browns are lacking talent all across the offense. The Browns may target Ka'Deem Carey with their late first or second round pick. Carey is an excellent running back, perhaps the best running back entering the draft. Inserting Carey into the starting running back role would give the Browns a player who could make an immediate impact.
After an up-and-down season from running back Lamar Miller, the Dolphins need a more reliable back. In some games, Miller gave the Dolphins a few long runs. But in some games, Miller only gained eight yards on three carries. A consistent running back will be needed to help the slow developement of franchise quarterback Ryan Tannehill. The Dolphins could use a player who could produce on a week-to-week basic. Look no further than Heisman candidate Tre Mason. Mason will be an excellent player at the next level with his unbelievable vision and his playmaking ability. Watching Mason in the BCS National Championship, it is easy to see why he flourished in Gus Malzahn's offense. Mason has the ability to run over opposing tacklers. Mason may not be the running back taken in this draft, but he has all of the makings to be a great running back at the next level.
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