Exit Chris Johnson. Enter Bishop Sankey.
The former Washington star was the first running back taken, and in doing so, broke Giovani Bernard's record for the latest selection of the first RB in an NFL draft, according to ESPN Stats & Info:
Bishop Sankey is the 1st RB taken in the 2014 draft (54th overall). 37th was the previous high for the 1st RB off the board #TENpick— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 10, 2014
Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller seemed to take the dearth of running backs through the first two rounds as a personal affront. He expressed his relief when he heard Sankey's name:
FINALLYYYYY— Cj Spiller (@CJSPILLER) May 10, 2014
As ESPN's Chris Mortensen tweeted out, the Huskies runner had a historic career at the school, setting records in both rushing yards and touchdowns in a season:
Bishop Sankey #TENPick School record 1,870 rush yards & 20 TDs. Grandfather Albert was able to see him play for first time this year after..— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) May 10, 2014
While Sankey doesn't have blinding speed, he is quick and will break plenty of big runs. He ran a 4.49 40-yard dash at the combine. Unlike his predecessor, though, he is more of an inside rusher who will eat up yards slowly during a game.
Johnson is unquestionably a talented runner and accomplished great things in Tennessee, but far too often he couldn't consistently gain positive yardage. That won't be a problem with Sankey.
NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah also praised Sankey's pass-blocking. The Titans won't have to take him out on passing downs, which gives the offense a little more unpredictability:
Bishop Sankey is outstanding in pass protection. He can play on all 3 downs very early in his career.— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) May 10, 2014
Mortensen envisions Sankey and Shonn Greene splitting some carries in the backfield:
#TENPick Whisenhunt utilized two back system last year in San Diego with Mathews & Woodhead. No different in TEN w/ Sankey & Greene— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) May 10, 2014
Tom Gower of Football Outsiders thinks Dexter McCluster will get thrown in there as well:
Expecting some serious RBBC with the #Titans this year, with Sankey & Greene splitting carries regularly with McCluster mixed in.— Tom Gower (@ThomasGower) May 10, 2014
While running backs are becoming less and less valued in the NFL, Eddie Lacy and Bernard provided major contributions to their teams last year. The former was named Offensive Rookie of the Year, and the latter had his fair share of highlight-reel plays.
While Sankey may not have that kind of immediate impact, he does give the Titans a much-needed replacement for Johnson, in addition to saving the team a ton of money.