The NFL has become a predominately pass-first league, but teams cannot look past the impact that a running back can have on an offense.
Running backs don’t face as big of a learning curve as some of the other positions in football, which is why you see a lot of rookie running backs make a big impact in their first season.
Top rookie running backs don’t always come in the form of a first round pick. Look no further than the 2010 class of running backs, as the top two rookie rushers, LeGarrette Blount and Chris Ivory, weren’t even selected in last year’s draft. Another rookie, James Starks, was a key component to the Green Bay Packers Super Bowl run.
So let’s take a look at five running backs in this year’s draft class who could be key contributors in the 2011 season, despite the fact that they won’t be selected in the first couple of rounds of the draft.