The 2020 NFL Draft heads into round two on Friday, and while there is a decent chance we don’t see a quarterback drafted in the second round, running backs should get their moment in the sun.
Running backs have lost value in recent years, and on Thursday, LSU’s Clyde Edwards-Helaire was the only back to get drafted in the first round. He went higher than some expected, but he is a great fit for the Kansas City Chiefs. If you were betting the under on 0.5 running backs in the first round, it was indeed a bad beat.
We will see a larger number of backs drafted starting in the second round. SB Nation’s Dan Kadar and ESPN’s Steve Muench each released their second round mock drafts, and they each have the same three running backs going in the second round. They vary in order, but D’Andre Swift, Jonathan Taylor, and J.K. Dobbins are strong bets to go in the second round.
Kadar has the Steelers grabbing Dobbins at No. 49, the Rams picking Swift at No. 52, and the Dolphins drafting Taylor at No. 56. Muench is more aggressive. He has the Dolphins drafting Swift at No. 39, the Texans grabbing Dobbins at No. 40, and the Steelers landing Taylor at No. 49.
The Dolphins are the obvious call to grab a running back. They signed Jordan Howard this offseason, but after an abysmal 2019 on the ground, they desperately need more talent in the backfield. There are few locks in the annual draft, but the Dolphins picking a running back in the second round might be one of them.
The Steelers have James Conner, but injuries slowed him down in 2019 after a strong 2018. They moved on from Le’Veon Bell, but it did not pan out last year. Conner likely still has something left in the tank, but it makes sense the Steelers would start looking to the future.
After those three, the next group of running backs includes Cam Akers, Zack Moss, Eno Benjamin, and A.J. Dillon. They are likely third round and day three picks.