The NFL regular season is rapidly approaching, and chances are that your draft is this weekend. You know the running back pool is thinner than the Olsen twins, and at the back of the first, you know that there's a chance to grab Maurice Jones-Drew.
"Mojo" is a potential top-five back, yet he's available late because he's entering the 37th day of his holdout. You want to take a chance, but you're looking for a way to mitigate the possible scenario in which he holds out.
Here are three players you must take in the eighth to 10th round if you want to avoid disaster with Maurice Jones-Drew.
The great thing about MJD is that he actually has a competent and clear backup in Jennings. They're not close to being the same player in that Jennings is much bigger and is a different back than Jones-Drew, but Jennings has flashed some hope (4.9 yards a carry on 36 carries in preseason).
Even if MJD isn't around for Week 1, we can probably pencil in Jennings for a healthy amount of touches while he's gone.
Similarly, Ryan Mathews of the San Diego Chargers is probably out for Week 1 with his broken clavicle. Call me crazy, but Ronnie Brown has looked spry in preseason and flashed some of the burst that made him a former second overall pick.
The Chargers won't want to run as much without a talented back to lean on, but they'll have to run it some. Also, a whopping 31 percent of San Diego's completed passes last season were caught by a running back, so you can bet Brown will get involved in the passing game.
The Minnesota Vikings have been very careful with Adrian Peterson, threatening to cut any player who touches him in training camp. That makes me feel that, given that "All Day" will be a game-time decision Week 1, they will be the ultra-conservative camp. If I had to bet, I'd say he wouldn't start, and that puts Toby Gerhart in line for starters' carries.
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