Projecting Where Breece Hall, Walker III Will Be Drafted After 2022 NFL Draft Day 1

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVApril 29, 2022

AMES, IA - NOVEMBER 26: Running back Breece Hall #28 of the Iowa State Cyclones scores a touchdown in the second half of play against the TCU Horned Frogs at Jack Trice Stadium on November 26, 2021 in Ames, Iowa. The Iowa State Cyclones won 48-14 over the TCU Horned Frogs. (Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images)
David Purdy/Getty Images

The first round of the 2022 NFL draft came and went without a single running back being selected, the first time that's happened since 2014. 

NFL teams have continued to devalue running backs as the years have gone by, and high-volume passing offenses have become the trend. But there are still solid options at the position for teams in need of an upgrade, with Iowa State's Breece Hall and Michigan State's Kenneth Walker III the biggest backfield names on the board.

So, which teams would be a logical suitor for each player?

We'll assume Hall is the first running back off the board. The Houston Texans would make sense with the No. 37 overall pick, but they feel like a sneaky candidate to select quarterback Malik Willis, so we'll pass on them. 

That means Hall very well could fall all the way to Buffalo Bills at No. 57. The Bills need an upgrade at the position over Devin Singletary, Zack Moss and Duke Johnson. 

Hall would immediately fill that void and improve an already scary offense, as he can run between the tackles and is a versatile enough weapon in the passing game to play snaps on third down.

Matthew Bové @Matt_Bove

Don’t think of Breece Hall as *just* a running back. Think of him as a weapon for the offense who can also help in the passing game. I know RB in round one scares people but Hall could make a pretty big impact immediately.

Defenses dared the Bills to run the ball last year, and Hall would punish them for taking that gamble with his balance and ability to churn out yards after contact.

The Bills can afford to use a second-rounder on a running back. They are in win-now mode, so it wouldn't be a reach from a value standpoint as it's a major need. If Hall falls to Buffalo, the Bills likely wouldn't think twice.

Another win-now team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, could then nab Walker with its second second-round pick, the No. 60 overall selection. Walker's ability to work between the tackles—combined with his home-run speed—would pair nicely with the versatile Leonard Fournette, giving the Bucs a clear upgrade on the departed Ronald Jones II.

PFF Draft @PFF_College

71.5% of Kenneth Walker's yards were after contact in 2021...<br><br>Highest percentage by a Big 10 RB since 2017 (min 200 carries)<a href="https://t.co/lEUgvs9Lnx">pic.twitter.com/lEUgvs9Lnx</a>

Fournette would likely remain the starter, but Walker would give them a change-of-pace option, leaving defenses with one more playmaker to fret over.