Running back strategy is evolving

The days of franchise backs may be gone, but look for longevity in top 45 picks

Originally Published: April 26, 2011
By John Parolin | ESPN Stats & Information

Only one running back -- Mark Ingram of Alabama -- is expected to be picked in the first round of the NFL draft. That would be the fewest first-round running backs taken since 1984 and striking evidence that emphasis in the NFL definitely has moved from rushing to passing. Consider, for instance, the 1983 draft and how it affected the league a generation ago.

The 1982 Los Angeles Rams were a mediocre running team. Their rushing leader, Wendell Tyler, averaged 62.7 yards per game, and the ...

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