Running backs have been an afterthought in the first round of past NFL drafts, but it seems a lock that the 2015 edition will have one, if not two or three, players at the position selected on the first night in Chicago.
The Detroit Lions are in the market to pick at least one tailback in the draft and recently hosted Georgia's Todd Gurley for a visit to the team's facility Monday. Gurley would be a great fit in Detroit, but he's becoming such a hot name in scouting circles that, given where the Lions select in the first round, it might be tough for the team to land him.
"I don't think he will be there at No. 23," NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah said on NFL Network's "Path to the Draft." "I know that surprises some people because of the knee injury, but when you talk to people around the league and gauge their interest in Todd Gurley, it is extremely high."
Gurley is ranked by NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock as the No. 2 running back in this year's draft class. He would probably be a consensus top 10 pick had he not torn his ACL last year. It might be tough for some teams to spend their first-round pick on somebody who won't be able to play until midseason or later, but Gurley's talent is so intriguing that he might end up going higher than expected.
"I think you can go way up the board," Jeremiah said. "I look at a team like the Minnesota Vikings, if they decide to move on from Adrian Peterson, they're at No. 11 and could make some sense. I think the New York Jets are a possible landing spot. There's a lot of love around the league for Todd Gurley. They believe he's a true impact, special talent."
If Gurley slips past those two franchises, Jeremiah even sees the Chargers at No. 17 being a possible spot in order to replace the now-departed Ryan Matthews.