KC Chiefs: Drafting Running Back in First Round Not Ideal

Kansas City Chiefs draft prospect Dalvin Cook. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports
Kansas City Chiefs draft prospect Dalvin Cook. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports /

The KC Chiefs have a week until the 2017 NFL Draft and many think that a running back could be in the cards for the Chiefs in the first round. Is that a good idea for any NFL team though?

Recently, there have been some mock drafts floating around with Dalvin Cook of Florida State landing with the Kansas City Chiefs at pick 27. While that might seem like an awesome pick to many, others would argue that drafting a running back in the first round might not be the best idea.

The running back position isn’t what it once was. No longer do running backs dominate the league like they did in the 1990s. Today’s NFL is all about passing, meaning it’s all about having an elite level quarterback at the helm.

In the 2013 and 2014 NFL Drafts, the first running back didn’t go off the board until the second round. That proved that the position was becoming less and less important in the league.

Look at the top five running backs in rushing yards last year (courtesy of ESPN):

Out of those five players, only one was drafted in the first round, and that was Ezekiel Elliott. Elliott was drafted fourth overall last year and is the exception to the rule I’m about to make in this post. That point being that unless a running back is an elite level running back coming out of college, which Elliott was, then drafting them in the first round isn’t a great idea.

The shelf life isn’t great for running backs, and they’ve usually got two or three great seasons in them before they get washed up.

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Howard and Ajayi were both fifth round picks and ended in the top five in rushing yards last year. With how deep this year’s draft class is in running backs, the KC Chiefs could easily wait until the third round to find their next franchise star at the running back position.

It’s no secret that the Kansas City Chiefs need a running back. Jamaal Charles is no more in Kansas City, Spencer Ware sputtered down the stretch last year, and Charcandrick West added nothing to the team. The Chiefs were abysmal in the running game and they need a young prospect to change that, but it doesn’t need to be in the first round.

There will be plenty of talented backs available past the second round, including Kareem Hunt, Marlon Mack, and Donnel Pumphrey. Any of these guys could make an impact in the Chiefs offense right away and wouldn’t be nearly as big of an investment as a first rounder like Cook or Christian McCaffrey would be.

Don’t get me wrong. I want the KC Chiefs to draft a running back, but with the wear and tear that the position entails, the investment doesn’t seem as critical if it’s past the second round.

What do you think, Chiefs fans? Should the team go after a running back in the first round or would they be fine waiting until the later rounds?