2012 NFL Mock Draft: Which Running Backs Will Go in Round 1?

Ryan Alfieri@Ryan_AlfieriCorrespondent IIIMarch 19, 2012

BLACKSBURG, VA - NOVEMBER 17: David Wilson #4 of the Virginia Tech Hokies runs with the ball against the North Carolina Tar Heels at Lane Stadium on November 17, 2011 in Blacksburg, Virginia. (Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images)
Geoff Burke/Getty Images

There is little doubt that Trent Richardson is the top back in this year's class and that he will go early in the first round. However, there is a lot of competition among several other quality backs for the right to accompany Richardson and be selected in the first round. 

Here is a projection of how the first round will play out, including analysis of every running back selection.  


1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

2. Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor

3. Minnesota Vikings: Matt Kalil, OT, USC

4. Cleveland Browns: Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

There is a stigma that surrounds taking runners this early. However, if there is anyone who should be considered an exception to that rule, Richardson is the guy. He may be the best player in the draft, and will be a foundation back that the Browns need to help Colt McCoy as much as possible.

After missing out on the RGIII trade, Cleveland needs to add as much offensive talent as possible in other ways. 

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Morris Claiborne, LSU

6. St. Louis Rams: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State

7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame

8. Miami Dolphins: Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor

LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 22:  Doug Martin #22 of the Boise State Broncos runs for yardage ahaead of Keelan Johnson #10 of the Arizona State Sun Devils during the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas at Sam Boyd Stadium December 22, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Boise State
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

9. Carolina Panthers: Devon Still, DT ,Penn State

11. Kansas City Chiefs: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama

12. Seattle Seahawks: Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina

13. Arizona Cardinals: Riley Reiff, OT, Stanford

14. Dallas Cowboys: David DeCastro, G, Stanford

15. Philadelphia Eagles: Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College 

16. New York Jets: Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina

17. Cincinnati Bengals: Doug Martin, RB, Boise State

Martin is not the kind of running back that is going to make a lot of "wow" runs. However, he has excellent vision and fluid running ability that can make him the heavy-workload kind of back the Bengals are looking for.

This is about as high as Martin is going to go, but he may be the safest back outside of Trent Richardson in the draft. 

18. San Diego Chargers: Nick Perry, DE/OLB, USC

19. Chicago Bears: Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech

20. Tennessee Titans: Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis

TALLAHASSEE, FL - NOVEMBER 12: Lamar Miller #6 of the Miami Hurricanes rushes during a game  against the Florida State Seminoles at Doak Campbell Stadium on November 12, 2011 in Tallahassee, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

21. Cincinnati Bengals: Janoris Jenkins, CB, Northern Alabama

22. Cleveland Browns: Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford

23. Detroit Lions: Mark Barron, S, Alabama

24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Dont'a Hightower, ILB, Alabama

25. Denver Broncos: David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech

Willis McGahee had a career resurgence with John Fox, but it is hard to believe that he can stay healthy and keep up his production at his age. 

Wilson has a ton of ability in terms of his speed and strength ratio. A good receiver out of the backfield, he has all of the tools to become one of the top backs in football sooner rather than later. 

26. Houston Texans: Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State

27. New England Patriots: Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina

28. Green Bay Packers: Vinny Curry, OLB, Marshall

29. Baltimore Ravens: Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin

30. San Francisco 49ers: Cordy Glenn, G, Geogia

31. New England Patriots: Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illonis

32. New York Giants: Lamar Miller, RB, Miami

Now that Brandon Jacobs is officially out of town, the Giants are kidding themselves if they think Ahmad Bradshaw can carry the load without getting hurt.

Miller has big-play ability and can be used in the passing game as a perfect complement to Bradshaw to form one of the best tandem of backs in football. 


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