2013 NFL Draft Predictions: Teams That Must Find Help at RB

Pete SchauerCorrespondent IJanuary 17, 2013

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 06:  Darren McFadden #20 of the Oakland Raiders runs with the ball against the Denver Broncos at O.co Coliseum on December 6, 2012 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The 2013 NFL draft is right around the corner and will give a handful of NFL teams the chance to beef up their ground games.

The running back class this year isn't as deep as we've seen in recent times—view the class here (via CBS Sports)—but there are still some great backs who can help any team requiring their services.

As the NFL transitions more and more to a quarterback league, running backs become more important tools in professional offenses.

Here are three teams that should target a running back in the 2013 NFL draft.


Cincinnati Bengals

BenJarvus Green-Ellis had a nasty season for the Bengals—rushing for more than 1,000 yards for the second time in his career—but Cincinnati could still stand to draft a running back.

The next leading rusher on the Bengals was Cedric Peerman, with just 258 yards on 36 carries.

This was the first season in which the Law Firm saw more than 230 carries—Green-Ellis rushed for a career-high 278 times this year—so it's not definite that he can carry the load consistently.

In no way, shape or form is this a knock on BGE, but with a multitude of NFL teams sporting two-headed rushing attacks, it makes sense for Cincinnati to look into another RB.

ESPN's draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. has the Bengals drafting Wisconsin RB Montee Ball with their first pick in his first mock draft of 2013, and I think Ball would be a great fit in Cincinnati.

Pounding opposing defenses with Green-Ellis and Ball could wear down the defensive line and linebackers, leading to big plays through the air for Andy Dalton and his receivers.

Oakland Raiders

Darren McFadden is one of the most exciting rushers when healthy, but that's the issue.

He's rarely healthy.

Since being drafted by the Raiders in 2008, Run DMC has never played in more than 13 games and has rushed for more than 1,000 yards just once, due to the fact that he's missed so many games in his young career.

Marcel Reece wasn't exactly the most suitable backup for Oakland, which is why it's a necessity for the Raiders to select a RB in the 2013 NFL draft.

Carson Palmer ranked eighth in the league this season in attempts (565), which is a lot for a team that should be able to run the ball effectively with a back like McFadden.

Oakland ranked 28th in the NFL in total rushing yards during the regular season, which was certainly a reflection of its 4-12 record.

The Raiders would be wise to add a RB in the draft to spell McFadden, and unfortunately for Raiders fans, replace DMC when he gets injured next year.

Perhaps Oakland will discuss looking into dynamic Alabama RB Eddie Lacy, who could jumpstart that Raiders offense with a few touches.

San Diego Chargers

Overall, it was an ugly season for the Chargers.

San Diego axed Norv Turner after a 7-9 record and an offense that ranked 31st in the league.

Most disappointing was the Chargers' ground game, as Ryan Mathews played in just 12 games and rushed for 707 yards and one touchdown.

Without the help of a run game, Philip Rivers threw 15 interceptions, something he's only done two others times in his career (15 in 2007 and 20 in 2011).

The Chargers' offense scored just four rushing touchdowns in 2012, which was tied with the Raiders for worst in the NFL.

San Diego owned the No. 27 rushing offense in the NFL and could use a fresh pair of legs in the backfield, as Mathews has never played in more than 14 games in his three seasons in the league.

The Chargers have the right quarterback, now they just need more help in the backfield.

San Diego could thinking about going after Marcus Lattimore, who could possibly be available in later rounds like the third or fourth.


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