Top five picks rare for running backs

You’ll be able to read much more about this topic in tomorrow’s newspaper, but why not address the topic today? Trent Richardson is projected to go to Cleveland with the fourth pick of the NFL draft Thursday.

It’s not unheard of for a a running back to go so early, but it bucks the recent trend. Mark Ingram was the first running back taken last year, but he didn’t go until the 28th pick late in the first round.

There’s a durability factor. Running backs have the shortest average career span in the NFL (2.57 years). Durability is a factor with these guys taking so many violent hits.  Anyway, here’s the list of last 10 drafts with the first running back taken each year. Did they pan out?

2011: Mark Ingram (28th pick)
2010: C.J. Spiller (9)
2009: Knowshon Moreno (12)
2008: Darren McFadden (4)
2007: Adrian Peterson (7)
2006: Reggie Bush (2)
2005: Ronnie Brown (2)
2004: Steven Jackson (24)
2003: Willis McGahee (23)
2002: William Green (16)

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