This was the latest the first running back went off the board, breaking the record set last year when Giovani Bernard was picked by the Cincinnati Bengals. Just because running backs are going later in drafts every year doesn't mean we care less in fantasy.
Heck, we have to care more because of the amount of time we have to study their circumstances. It makes projecting them a bit more difficult, because they are less likely to start. In fact, it is possible none of them do out of training camp.
Let's see what shook out among running backs when they finally started tumbling from the shelves:
Day 2 Running Backs Selected
Bishop Sankey, Tennessee Titans (2.54)
You had to figure the Titans would be the first team to take a running back after they released Chris Johnson, and they got a good one Friday night. More of a shorter Ray Rice-type, Sankey can take over the feature-back duties by the end of next season. Shonn Greene might start, but Sankey will outproduce him over the fantasy haul—a la Bernard vs. BenJarvus Green-Ellis a year ago.
Sankey should challenge Buffalo Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins to be the first fantasy rookie off the board this August.
Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati Bengals (2.55)
The selection of Hill fits a power-running game mold the Bengals want to go with. Bernard is a smaller, shifty back, but Hill is a downhill runner who can pound it between the tackles.
Hill can steal BGE's thunder before training camp is out—earlier if BGE is a June 1 cut—but he tops out as a short-yardage back for fantasy purposes. Hill is a Bernard handcuff, but perhaps only after Green-Ellis is off fantasy boards.
Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49ers (2.57)
The 49ers collect running backs like they are nuts. Frank Gore, who will be 31 next week, is past his prime, but they already had smaller backs Kendall Hunter and LaMichael James on the roster and Marcus Lattimore coming off his second major knee reconstruction. This is not a great destination for Hyde, because there are a lot of players in his way to start.
The good news is, if Hyde eventually does start, this is one of the best running teams in football. You have to consider him a mere late-round pick, along with all of Gore's backups.
Charles Sims, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3.69)
If the Bucs only had Sims a year ago, he would have been a hot commodity in fantasy by midseason. With Doug Martin (shoulder) expected to be healthy, Sims is a mere handcuff pick. Sims is a talented back who can start in this league, but Martin was arguably a future fantasy No. 1 overall before last season.
Like Hyde, the good news is Sims' team is one that will play solid defense and stay committed to the run. You just cannot see Sims being a starter for the Bucs unless Martin succumbs to another season-ending injury.
Tre Mason, St. Louis Rams (3.75)
Zac Stacy was a Day 1 winner. Now, he's a potential Day 2 loser. Mason is a game-changer who can steal Stacy's thunder, perhaps even compete to start in Week 1. Stacy is more of a power runner than Mason, another stocky Rice-type, so perhaps you shouldn't drop Stacy too far after this pick.
When you break Bo Jackson's records as Auburn, you have some serious potential. Mason might have the biggest 2014 upside in this class. He is a must-have Stacy handcuff in the middle rounds, at the very least.
Terrance West, Cleveland Browns (3.94)
West is big and fast out of Towson, giving the Browns a power runner to complement Ben Tate in the black-and-blue AFC North division. He is the right style. West won't start over Tate initially, but Tate's awful history of injury woes gives West a pretty good chance to gain serious fantasy steam during next year.
He is yet another running back handcuff you should consider after the top 35 to 45 running backs are off the board.
Jerick McKinnon, Minnesota Vikings (1.96)
The Georgia Southern prospect is a great athlete, but he will have to bide his time behind Adrian Peterson as a rookie. Peterson is getting older and will need to surrender more touches as the games and carries wear on, but McKinnon is nothing more than a last-round handcuff pick for those that wind up with Peterson early in Round 1.
Dri Archer, Pittsburgh Steelers (1.97)
The fastest player in the draft is a potential playmaker, but he isn't a true fantasy option—unless your league values guys such as Dexter McCluster. Archer doesn't fit a power running game which the Steelers want, but he can be a shifty receiving back or slot receiver for Ben Roethlisberger. Neither role nets him much in the way of value in the near future.