The past several seasons have showcased just how impactful rookie running backs can be in the NFL. Todd Gurley and Ezekiel Elliott have proven that the day of the workhorse running back is not over and the incoming wave of running backs could continue this trend.
Leonard Fournette and Dalvin Cook both spent their collegiate careers absolutely carving up opposing defenses.
Despite battling through injuries last season, Fournette managed to average 6.5 yards per carry and recorded eight touchdowns. The season before that, Fournette rushed for 1953 yards and 22 touchdowns and was in the Heisman conversation.
Cook started his junior year at Florida State slowly but went off to average 153.7 rushing yards and nearly two touchdowns in the final 10 outings of his collegiate career, which includes two 200-plus yard performances. To add to his elusive running style, Cook also added 33 receptions for 488 yards through the air.
Fournette is a massive -450 favorite to be the first running back selected in the 2017 NFL draft. It’s easy to see why, as Fournette looks a lot like Adrian Peterson did coming out of college. Fournette has the size to bowl over defenders and the speed to simply run past them. There is a very realistic chance that Fournette could be the next great running back in the NFL.
However, Cook may spark interest, as he has a slashing style could fit into certain offensive schemes better than Fournette. Cook’s elite receiving skills mixed with his running ability may make teams think he is the better pick for their organization instead of Fournette.
Who Will Be The First Running Back Selected In 2017 NFL Draft?
Odds as of February 8, 2017 at BetOnline
- Leonard Fournette -450
- Dalvin Cook +350
- Christian McCaffrey +2000
- D’Onta Foreman +2500