New England Patriots: Stay Away From Todd Gurley, Melvin Gordon In First Round


Drafting a running back in the first round of the NFL draft is a huge mistake. Recent history backs up that statement, and I promise you the New England Patriots will not be doing anything of the kind come April 30th. The running back’s value has decreased significantly over the last couple of years all around the league, especially in New England, where they can seemingly pick anybody up, and they will produce in the backfield.

This year, there are two extremely talented backs that could go in the first round, and both of them have been mocked at some point to the New England Patriots. Todd Gurley out of Georgia is the top guy, while Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon is right on his heels. Bill Belichick is smart, so I know he will stay far away from them in the first round, but some of the Patriots fan-base doesn’t feel the same way.

As I previously mentioned, the Pats’ offensive system is designed in a way to accommodate pretty much any running back that they have on the roster. This offense will be elite regardless of who is the backfield, thanks to Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, and the host of talented weapons Brady has at his disposal. So why would you waste a high draft pick on a luxury item like a running back? The Pats have big needs in the secondary, on the offensive line, and they can always use more talent on the defensive front, especially in this year’s draft, where it is just chock full of big boys ready to make an impact at the next level.

I’m not knocking the talent of Gurley or Gordon, I just don’t think the Patriots, or anybody for that matter, should take a running back in the first round in this day and age. If someone pulls the trigger on either of these two in the first round, I think they will be making a mistake.

For some perspective, here is a list of all the running backs that have been picked in the first round since 2002:


Williams Green (16)

T.J. Duckett (18)


Willis McGahee (23)

Larry Johnson (27)


Steven Jackson (24)

Chris Perry (26)

Kevin Jones (30)


Ronnie Brown (2)

Cedric Benson (4)

Cadillac Williams (5)


Reggie Bush (2)

Laurence Maroney (21)

DeAngelo Williams (27)

Joseph Addai (30)


Adrian Peterson (7)

Marshawn Lynch (12)


Darren McFadden (4)

Jonathan Stewart (13)

Felix Jones (22)

Rashard Mendenhall (23)

Chris Johnson (24)


Knowshon Moreno (12)

Donald Brown (27)

Beanie Wells (31)


C.J. Spiller (9)

Ryan Matthews (12)

Jahvid Best (30)


Mark Ingram (28)


Trent Richardson (3)

Doug Martin (31)

David Wilson (32)

Out of these 31 backs drafted, how many can you say were worth it at that particular selection? Five, maybe six. The point is, drafting running backs high usually doesn’t work out well for your team, and in a league that is always evolving, that position is becoming less, and less important.