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
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
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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