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Drafting first-round running backs is a bad idea

Especially when you already have Legarrette Blount on the team. While Blount certainly isn't without his faults, his presence means there's no need for an all-around running back. Instead the Bucs need some role-players - a pass-catching, pass-blocking back and a change-of-pace back. But those aren't players you draft high in the draft, they're players you pick up later in the draft or as undrafted free agents. I have seen the occasional mock draft give Mark Ingram to the Bucs, but I've also seen a lot of mock drafts give a running-back to the Bucs in the second-round. I'm not buying it, the role-players the Bucs need can be had a lot later in the draft as well, while a good linebacker or defensive end can't be had late in the draft but will be available in the second round. 

Even though that just goes for the Bucs specifically, I think this is a general truth: drafting running backs high is a bad idea. I'm not saying a highly drafted running back can't be a useful addition to a team - Adrian Peterson and Chris Johnson would look good in any uniform. I am saying that adding talent at other positions will give teams a better chance of winning games, though. Steven Jackson has been a terrific running back for years, but how many games have the Rams really won? Barry Sanders was one of the best backs of all time, but it didn't do the Lions a whole lot of good. When was the last time a team won the Super Bowl because it had drafted a running back high? The 2000 Ravens? I can tell you the last time a team won the Super Bowl without a running game: the 2010 Green Bay Packers

I can make an argument for one team that may have won the Super Bowl on the back of its running game, at least in part: the 2007 Giants. I'd argue that the Giants pass-rush was what really carried the team, but at least that running game was relevant. Here's the interesting thing though: they did it with two seventh-rounders in Ahmad Bradshaw and Derrick Ward and one fourth-rounder in Brandon Jacobs. The Giants never drafted running backs very highly, but they still produced one heck of a running game because it had spent those draft picks on offensive linemen instead. And there's the key to creating a good running game: offensive linemen. A good offensive line can make even the worst running backs look good, and the worst offensive line can make the best running backs look bad. If there's anything teams like the Broncos and Giants have proven over the years it's that running backs are easily replaced, as long as the offensive line remains productive.