- Two elite backs with two elite landing spots: The two teams most likely to pick running backs in the first round are two of the best run-blocking teams in the NFL.
- Not just rookies on the move: Austin Ekeler, Derrick Henry, Dalvin Cook and Joe Mixon have all been rumored to change teams. It’s possible one of these teams will add a veteran instead of a rookie this weekend.
- See where the backs rank: See where the rookie backs currently rank in my pre-draft dynasty rankings.
Estimated reading time: 6 mins
Ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft, here are the five best landing spots for the soon-to-be rookie running back class. All 32 teams were considered, looking at draft capital, run rates for the offenses, competition in the backfield and offensive line quality.
1. Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons were the only team to run the ball on over half of their offensive plays last season.
- This included maintaining the run even when playing from behind.
- They ran 48.8% of the time while losing, which was 5% more than any other team.
- Those rates remained similar when Desmond Ridder took over as the team’s starting quarterback.
- The Falcons currently have Tyler Allgeier sitting at the top of the depth chart.
- His 3.6 yards after contact per attempt ranked third among running backs with 200 or more carries, placing him right behind Rhamondre Stevenson and Derrick Henry, and just above Nick Chubb and Josh Jacobs.
- Their backup is currently Cordarrelle Patterson, who recently celebrated his 32nd birthday.
- Frank Gore, Adrian Peterson and Mark Ingram II are the only running backs who played the last three seasons at an older age and still played significantly. All of them graded around replacement level.
- Atlanta should pick up a running back at some point to compete with Allgeier, but an elite back in Atlanta could lead the league in touches as a rookie.
Suggested Target: Bijan Robinson
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