NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks at the podium as draft prospect Cam Newton looks on (R) during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
If not for Alabama, the first rounds of the 2011 and 2012 NFL drafts may have been completely devoid of running back selections.
Bama back Mark Ingram was selected 28th last year and Trent Richardson is the lone RB expected to be taken in the first round of the NFL draft on Thursday night. The unprecedented lack of interest in runners has sparked an unprecedented amount of interest in NFL draft odds, where the over under on RBs taken in the first round is 1.5.
"It's pretty amazing to see that skill position marginalized on draft day," said Mike Pickett of OddsShark.com. "But it reflects the pass-happiness of the NFL and the fact teams are getting good value from later rounds."
Boise State running back Doug Martin is a candidate to move into the first round and teams like Detroit (coming off injury-plagued seasons to Jahvid Best and Mikel Leshoure) would be wise to consider him.
So with Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III off the board at No. 1 and 2, the draft only gets interesting at No. 3. There is drama for fans and for bettors, thanks to many rumored trades and dozens of draft odds on all kinds of subjects.
The odds on the Vikings parting with the No. 3 pick are currently at +200 for yes and -300 for no. The Browns trading away the No. 4 pick is also unexpected right now, according the Bovada oddsmakers.
The Browns are a -300 favorite to make the pick and a +200 underdog to trade it away.
This could also be another down year for running backs in the draft. It's all but guaranteed that Alabama's Trent Richardson is going in the first round but will any other running backs join him there?
Right now the "how many running backs' will be selected in the first round" has a total of only 1.5 and the Under is a huge favorite at -250.
By comparison the total for the prop on how many quarterbacks will be selected in the first round is 3.5. The Under is still favored though at -200.