How To Draft an NFL Running Back: Part Six

Here comes the final part in this series: the evaluation. We have narrowed down our scores on our potential running backs (and have ignored several other prospects) and must now determine when these players should be drafted. Here are the scores of the players we've evaluated:

Jordan Todman - 7.8

DeMarco Murray - 7.5

Mark Ingram - 7.4

Kendall Hunter - 7.2

Roy Helu Jr. - 7.1

Ryan Williams - 6.6

Delone Carter - 6.3

De'Rel Scott - 6.1

And here's the minimum acceptable return from a draft pick.

Top Half 1st Round

Minimum Acceptable: 8.5/10

Bottom Half 1st Round

Minimum Acceptable: 7.5/10

Top Half 2nd Round

Minimum Acceptable: 7/10

Bottom Half 2nd Round

Minimum Acceptable: 6.5/10

3rd Round

Minimum Acceptable: 6/10

4th Round->UDFA

Minimum Acceptable: 5.5/10

It seems as if all of the running backs listed have at least a third round grade, which is fairly consistent with the ideas of the NFL scouts.

Let's finish this after the jump!

This represents where the players predicted production deserve to be drafted:

Early First Round - None

Late First Round - Jordan Todman

Early Second Round - DeMarco Murray, Mark Ingram

Middle Second Round - Kendall Hunter, Roy Helu Jr.

Late Second Round - Ryan Williams

Third Round - Delone Carter, Da'Rel Scott

And we can see a few players who are overrated (Ingram, Williams), a few who are underrated (Todman, Helu, Scott), and a few who are fairly rated (Murray, Hunter, Carter). As a result, the Patriots should remove Ingram and Williams from their list of potential running backs because they would have to pay more than their expected return in order to draft them. The question remains: which players should the Patriots draft?

The Patriots could get a first round talent in Jordan Todman in the second round, and they could get a second round talent like Roy Helu Jr. in the fourth or fifth round. They could even go for the third round talent in Da'Rel Scott in the sixth or seventh round. Why pay a second for an RB like Hunter when an equivalent RB like Helu is available in the later rounds? There are clear differences since Hunter can catch the ball and is a solid blocker (which are factors not evaluated in this piece that focuses purely on the player's ability to run the ball), but from a running perspective, they're expected to have similar outputs.

If I were the Patriots, I would take Jordan Todman in the middle of the second round (trade down or up, just grab him) and then take Da'Rel Scott in the sixth round. This provides two running backs with potential to the stable and it gives the Patriots the opportunity to have a feature back, or at least an elite tandem back, in Todman.

What would you do?

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Thanks for reading!

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