Eighteen running backs were taken in last year's draft, so the position has hardly become an afterthought, but that also doesn't mean to expect one to go in the first round of the upcoming 2022 NFL Draft.
Even though two were taken in the first 32 picks last year (Najee Harris, Travis Etienne), that's not the expectation this year, a mindset backed up by the fact that no running back profiled in Athlon Sports' 2022 NFL Draft Guide received a first-round grade. That doesn't mean it won't happen, however, as the draft is always good for a surprise or two every year.
Seven running backs did make Athlon's top 100 list and are among the 25 total ranked in this year's draft magazine. Here's that list, which is headlined by a group of early entries for this year's draft.
Positional rankings are just one of the features in Athlon Sports' 2022 NFL Draft Guide. This year's edition is highlighted by in-depth scouting reports on 230 of the top prospects. At 176 pages, it's the most complete preview of the upcoming draft. Purchase a copy online today, the digital edition for instant access, or look for it on newsstands everywhere.
2022 NFL Draft: Running Back Rankings
1. Breece Hall*, Iowa State
2. Isaiah Spiller*, Texas A&M
3. Kenneth Walker III*, Michigan State
4. Kyren Williams*, Notre Dame
5. James Cook, Georgia
6. Tyler Allgeier*, BYU
7. Zamir White*, Georgia
8. Brian Robinson Jr., Alabama
9. Jerome Ford*, Cincinnati
10. Hassan Haskins*, Michigan
11. Jerrion Ealy*, Ole Miss
12. D'vonte Price, FIU
13. Sincere McCormick*, UTSA
14. Kennedy Brooks, Oklahoma
15. Rachaad White, Arizona State
16. Abram Smith, Baylor
17. Max Borghi, Washington State
18. Tyler Goodson*, Iowa
19. CJ Verdell, Oregon
20. Pierre Strong Jr., South Dakota State
21. Tyrion Davis-Price*, LSU
22. Dameon Pierce, Florida
23. Master Teague III*, Ohio State
24. Leddie Brown, West Virginia
25. Mataeo Durant, Duke
*Denotes early entry, either draft-eligible junior or sophomore