The first round of the 2022 NFL Draft is just a few days away and we’re continuing our position previews with the running back position. Earlier in the day, we took you through the best odds and landing spots for the potential first-round quarterbacks and wide receivers, so make sure to check that out.
Lately, it has become rare for teams to draft a running back in the first round, as we’ve seen so many great NFL running backs emerge from the mid-rounds and find success based on team scheme and blocking. In fact, on Pro Football Focus’ big board of the top 250 college football prospects, no running backs make the top 50, which means it might be unlikely for us to see more than one taken on the draft’s first night.
Here are the top five receivers ranked by PFF along (plus one additional that we added) with their overall ranks and their 2021 stats.
2022 NFL Draft Running Back Rankings
1) Kenneth Walker III (ranked 55th overall), Michigan State
- 12 games, 1,636 yards on 263 carries (6.2 avg) with 87 yards receiving on 13 catches and 19 total TDs
2) Breece Hall (57th overall), Iowa State
- 12 games, 1,472 yards on 253 carries (5.8 avg) with 302 yards receiving on 36 catches and 23 total TDs
3) Dameon Pierce (95th overall), Florida
- 13 games, 574 yards on 100 carries (5.7 avg) with 216 yards receiving on 19 catches and 16 total TDs
4) James Cook (101st overall), Georgia
- 15 games, 728 yards on 113 carries (6.4 avg) with 284 yards receiving on 27 catches and 11 total TDs
5) Zamir White (116th overall), Georgia
- 15 games, 856 yards on 160 carries (5.4 avg) with 75 yards receiving on 9 catches and 11 total TDs
6) Isaiah Spiller (150th overall), Texas A&M
- 12 games, 1,011 yards on 179 carries (5.6 avg) with 189 yards receiving on 25 catches and 7 total TDs
2022 NFL Draft: Odds on First RB Drafted
As it stands on Tuesday morning, Breece Hall is the odds-on favorite to be the first running back off of the board and this seems to be one of the easiest positions to bet on first drafted.
Potential Landing Spots
Where might each of these running backs go? The oddsmakers at DraftKings have the top five favorites (any position) for each of the first 22 picks available.
- No. 25 (Bills): Breece Hall (no odds)
- Unless there’s a trade in the first round, the Bills are the first real possible landing spot for a running back. They already have a dynamic offense and Hall, who is a strong receiver out of the backfield, would give them another explosive playmaking option to help Josh Allen.
- No. 37 (Texans) Hall, Walker (no odds)
- If nobody trades up into the first round, the Texans’ second-round pick would be another possible landing spot for a running back. If Hall is still on the board, this would likely be around the spot in the draft where people are trading up to get him.
- No. 43 (Falcons) Hall, Walker, Spiller (no odds)
- The Falcons would appear to be another clearly landing spot for a top running back if one were still on the board here. It would be hard to imagine Hall falling this far, but if he does, the Falcons would be ecstatic.
- No. 57 (Bills) Walker, Spiller (no odds)
- For all of the reasons mentioned above, the Bills could be looking to add a running back here if they don’t take Hall in the first round.
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