The running back position has been devalued in the NFL in recent years, but one running back appears poised to be snapped up no later than the end of the first round.
Alabama running back Josh Jacobs has been mocked to draft slots in the 20s in most mock drafts, with the Raiders (who own picks 24 and 27) appearing to like him and the Eagles and Colts (25th and 26th) high on him as well.
In his mock draft, Peter King projected the Raiders trading up to 21st to take Jacobs. Oakland may think it has to move up to 24 to keep some other team from leapfrogging it.
The Raiders are reportedly poised to do something surprising, but taking Jacobs at No. 4 overall would be stunning, not just surprising.
Still, for as much as the NFL has become a passing league and not a running league, teams continue to draft running backs. Last year Saquon Barkley went second overall, Rashaad Penny 27th and Sony Michel 31st. Jacobs surely won’t go as high as Barkley did last year, but he seems likely to be off the board as early as Penny was last year.