The 2013 NFL Draft class is front-loaded in talent in the areas of defensive and offensive linemen and hybrid outside pass-rushers. The running backs group certainly features some talented players who could wind up being good pros too; they just might not be selected in the first round this year.
CBSSports.com's Jason La Canfora wrote an informative piece on all-things-draft Thursday morning, and he predicts that this will be the year where no running backs are taken off the board in the first round. He notes that Alabama Crimson Tide bruiser Eddie Lacy's -- currently the top player at the position in Dan Kadar's rankings for SB Nation -- underwhelming pre-draft workouts only weakened the group's overall chances of sending a player to the podium in the first round.
La Canfora does go on to say that he believes UCLA Bruins' back Johnathan Franklin (rated No. 4 on Kadar's list) will be the first rusher selected, with teams such as the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Jets reportedly interested in him.
Last year, three running backs went in the draft's first round. The Cleveland Browns took Alabama's Trent Richardson with the third overall pick and the other two were selected in the last two spots of the first round -- Boise State's Doug Martin to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at No. 31 and Virginia Tech back David Wilson to the New York Giants at No. 32.
SB Nation's Matthew Fairburn agrees with La Canfora, as he doesn't have a running back going in the first round in his latest mock draft.