The NFL draft has passed, questions have been answered, and we can project some fantasy dynasty value. As stated in the Pre-Draft article, we are now coming back after the NFL draft for a readjustment, landing spot analysis, and some long and short-term expectations. I will be copying and pasting the pre-draft analysis for the reader’s ability to compare.

  • Analytics
  • Pre-Draft analysis
  • Post-Draft Analysis
  • Short and long-term expectations
  • Rankings with Tiers
  • My rookie rankings since I started evaluating

Tier 0

RB1 – Bijan Robinson

NFL Combine: Falcons meet with Bijan Robinson
Photo Courtesy of Adam Davis/Icon Sportswire
  • Pre-Draft Rank: RB1
  • Age: 21.0
  • HT/WT: 5’11 / 215lbs
  • DOM: 36.43%
  • Backfield DOM: 51.74%
  • YPTP: 2.16
  • ReceptionMS: 7.66%
  • Early Declare
  • Projected DC: 1st-Early 2nd
Historical
  • 2022 RB1: Breece Hall
  • 2021 RB1: Javonte Williams
  • 2020 RB1: Jonathan Taylor

Pre-Draft Analysis

It gets thrown around more than it should, but Bijan Robinson is a generational talent. The elite running backs are aging in the league, and there is not enough young talent coming in, although this draft could change that. Bijan will be RB1 as soon as he steps foot in the league. He boasts that pro-sized can make guys miss and manipulate defenders at every level of the field. Bijan is hard to bring down with top-tier contact balance and can be a power back at the goal line or in short-yardage gains. He’s a great pass catcher even beyond the LOS and does well in the pass pro. Bijan does everything at a high level; the one fault is game-breaking speed, but he just ran a 4.46 40 at the combine, and that’s still fast.

Post-Draft Analysis

Robinson was taken eighth overall, the highest since Saquon Barkley was taken second overall in 2018. Bijan finds himself with the Falcons and a very thin depth chart whose leading running back was 1,000-yard rookie rusher rookie Tyler Allgeier. Bijan will be the starter on Day 1 and in an HC Arthur Smith-lead offense, that helped create Derrick Henry’s 1,500-yard and 2,000-yard rushing seasons. A match made in heaven. Allgeier has a complete skillset but can not do anything to the level Bijan can. He should be viewed as an immediate handcuff. It is also worth noting that the Falcons offensive line returns, creating an underrated element in chemistry in the trenches. The team should lean heavily on the run game, and the passing attack struggled last year with poor QB play and a thin WR core.

2-3 Year Projection

He finishes as an RB1 in his first year, and will probably be valued as the fantasy RB1 before the end of his rookie year  

Tier 1

RB2 – Jahmyr Gibbs

Jahmyr Gibbs - Football - University of Alabama Athletics
Photo courtesy of the University of Alabama Athletics
  • Pre-Draft Rank: RB2
  • Age: 20.9
  • HT/WT: 5’9 / 199lbs
  • DOM: 20.89%
  • Backfield DOM: 47.92%
  • YPTP: 1.53
  • ReceptionMS: 15.71%
  • Early Declare
Historical
  • 2022 RB2: Kenneth Walker III
  • 2021 RB2: Najee Harris
  • 2020 RB2: JK Dobbins

Pre-Draft Analysis

Gibbs spent this past season as the focal point of the Alabama offense, with his best skillset coming from operating in space and pass-catching. Gibbs operates fine down the middle at a college level, but power back duties are not his forte. He’s elusive in open space with a deadly juke ability and explosive bursts. His usage at the next level should mirror that of Austin Ekeler. He’s a great runner, and a deadly pass-catching weapon out of the backfield or operating out of the slot. Gibbs is set to be a PPR threat and would do best in a system with limited touches. He does have a smaller frame, so NFL teams should not look to run him up the middle into a wall 15+ times a game.

Post-Draft Analysis

Gibbs was taken with the 13th overall pick by the Lions, who then shipped off De’Andre Swift later in the draft to the Eagles. The Lions have recreated their thunder and lightning running back tandem in Detroit. QB Jared Goff is friendly to the short area passing game, and the team was looking for an addition pass-catching weapon. Gibbs can easily fill both roles as a runner and receiver. The major concern with Gibbs will always be his size. He is likely not to get as many goal-line opportunities or rush attempts as other lead-backs in the league but should be a PPR stud with his receiving work.

2-3 Year Projection

First-year, he can finish as a back-end RB1, but the expectation is RB1 finishes his early career. An NFL team doesn’t invest a 1st into a running back to not use him.

Tier 2

RB3 – Kendre Miller

Kendre Miller - Football - TCU Athletics
Photo courtesy of TCU Athletics
  • Pre-Draft Rank: RB3
  • Age: 20.7
  • HT/WT: 5’11 / 215lbs
  • DOM: 24.29%
  • Backfield DOM: 40.68%
  • YPTP: 1.49
  • ReceptionMS: 5.48%
  • Early Declare
Historical
  • 2022 RB3: Rachaad White
  • 2021 RB3: Travis Eitenne
  • 2020 RB3: DeAndre Swift

Pre-Draft Analysis

The TCU product, Miller, was a preseason ‘my guy’ for me and has not disappointed. He’s posted three consecutive efficient seasons and now has kept that same efficiency but, with a season, has the primary workhorse running back. Kendre is coming off an MCL injury that kept him out of the national championship, and won’t perform at the combine. Miller has a prototypical workhorse size and runs with power. He has great vision and has no problem finding proper holes or cutback lanes. Miller is also light on his feet, showing off subtle movements at the second level. He’s not the best pass catcher, mostly operating as a dump-off option, but he is certainly serviceable in that area. Miller is decent in pass-pro situations and doesn’t struggle to hold a block. Although he has power back abilities, he does prefer to be an upright runner and avoid a tackle over breaking one.

Post-Draft Analysis

The Saints have found their next RB1. The current RB1 on the depth chart, Alvin Kamara, has legal issues catching up to him and his production has started to slow down. This should be viewed as a ‘changing of the guard’ type of move. The Saints also brought in goal-line back Jamaal Williams, who has never been a great runner down the middle or an exceptional pass catcher. Miller has a complete skillset with excellent contact balance. There is a clear lack of pass-catching ability in this backfield, and TCU clearly opted for the dump-off. Miller should be used early between the 20s, with Jamaal getting the bulk of the goal-line work. This is a crowded room, but Miller appears to be the future of the RB core.

2-3 Year Projection

There’s an opportunity for RB2 production in Years 1 and 2. Kamara may miss the start of the 2023 season, but he will return. Miller may not get the full workload until Year 3, when there’s a realistic out on Kamara’s contract. I wouldn’t count on higher than RB2 production his first two years unless there’s more clarity on the internal competition.

RB4 – Zach Charbonnet

Zach Charbonnet - Football - UCLA
Photo Courtesy of UCLA Athletics
  • Pre-Draft Rank: RB7
  • Age: 22.1
  • HT/WT: 6’0 / 214lbs
  • DOM: 23.01%
  • Backfield DOM: 39.08%
  • YPTP: 1.8
  • ReceptionMS: 12.71%
  • 4th year
Historical
  • 2022 RB4: Dameon Pierce
  • 2020 RB4: Cam Akers
  • 2021 RB4: Trey Sermon

Pre-Draft Analysis

Charbonnet is one of the best grinders in this draft and offers some plus as a pass catcher. He was split out wide but wasn’t running many routes past the LOS. Charbonnet is a great blend of size/speed with no worries about what his playing weight was or will be. A scheme versatile runner whether it’s zone or gap. He’s a great pile pusher, will always fight for extra yardage, and falls forward. He churns his feet and fights through contact, rarely being brought down from first contact. Charbonnet is great at creating bad angles for defenders as a runner in the open field. Not elusive but a tackle-breaker with some wiggle. He doesn’t have the top-end breakaway speed and does take too long to gear down when changing direction. For a guy his size, Charbonnet does struggle with pass protection. It’s something that must be addressed at the next level. I still have questions.

Post-Draft Analysis

Charbonnet’s profile was one of the easiest to project to the NFL, but this landing spot is puzzling. Charb gets drafted by the Seahawks, who selected Ken Walker III the year before in the second round. The things that Charb does better than Walker are pass block, push piles, and stay healthy. Walker is by far the more dynamic runner in the open, but Charb is better suited for short-area work.

2-3 Year Projection

This should be viewed as a split workload, and there have been a few cases of a duo both finishing as fantasy RB1, but I wouldn’t recommend betting on outliers. Charb should be viewed as RB2 production as his upside for the near future, as should Walker.

RB5 – Devon Achane

Photo Courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics – 12thMan.com
  • Pre-Draft Rank: RB8
  • Age: 21.3
  • HT/WT: 5’8.5 / 188lbs
  • DOM: 38.83%
  • Backfield DOM: 83.32%
  • YPTP: 1.71
  • ReceptionMS: 16.36%
  • Early Declare
Historical
  • 2022 RB5: James Cook
  • 2021 RB5: Michael Carter
  • 2020 RB5: Clyde Edwards-Helaire

Pre-Draft Analysis

A top-tier speed steer, Achane is lightning in a bottle. His size will restrict his usage at the next level. While at Texas A&M, he found most of his success on the ground as an outside runner, only averaging 4.2 YPC down the middle. As a pass catcher, he doesn’t run many routes past the line of scrimmage. Achane will be one of those players that will be a better NFL running back than a fantasy option. OCs will use his skill set to keep defenses honest with his home run ability as a runner. He will not be used for goalline duties or blocking plays. Achane may be a limited touch type of player at the next level but has a skillset that could stick around for multiple contracts.

Post-Draft Analysis

The list of running backs that have finished as RB1 while weighing less than 200 lbs. is a very thin list in recent history. Defenses have moved to far more athletic players making it hard for the undersized runner to win with speed. I must admit that Achane fell into the perfect situation by getting drafted by the Dolphins and offensive guru Mike McDaniels, who’s been getting the most out of his speedy WRs. The RB core is filled with misfits and lacks a dynamic runner that can stay healthy. He shouldn’t be used as a runner down the middle in the NFL, but his skill set can be used as a gadget player.  Achane has the ability to break off some big chunk plays. He will be the lead role in a committee backfield.

2-3 Year Projection

Achane won’t be on the field pass blocking or goal-line duties, and should not be viewed as a 50%+ of snaps type of player. I believe his upside is back-end RB2 numbers.

Tier 3

RB6 – Tank Bigsby

Photo courtesy of Auburn Athletics
  • Pre-Draft Rank: RB4
  • Age: 21.5
  • HT/WT: 6’0 / 210lbs
  • DOM: 21.99%
  • Backfield DOM: 39.51%
  • YPTP: 1.44
  • ReceptionMS: 18.87%
  • Early Declare
Historical
  • 2022 RB6: Tyler Allgeier
  • 2021 RB6: Kenny Gainwell
  • 2020 RB6: Antonio Gibson

Pre-Draft Analysis

Bigsby has a great blend of balance, speed, agility, and size. He’s been stuck behind a terrible offensive line in a terrible offensive system for his collegiate career. The box scores will show a player that struggled against tougher competition, but I believe the coaching just couldn’t keep up. Bigsby is an underrated pass catcher but primarily catches dump-offs. He’s deadly in space with the ability to make guys miss with his quickness and decent acceleration out of his cuts. Bigsby has demonstrated some ability to push piles but typically ops to be an upright runner, always looking for cutback lanes, but that offense rarely creates one. Coming from a terrible offense, Bigsby does have a tendency to bounce out wide. He’s overly patient and waits to make a big play rather than take the handful of yards in front of him.

Post-Draft Analysis

This draft selection by the Jaguars was a head-scratcher. HC Doug Peterson does have a history of running a split backfield, but I wouldn’t view Tank as the RB1. Travis Etienne was an efficient runner and a very good pass catcher as well. Bigsby, drafted in the third round, shouldn’t be viewed as a serious threat to his production but probably a high-end handcuff in fantasy terms. This will sound brutal, but I do not know what Bigsby provides that Etienne cannot do himself. Bigsby himself has a well-rounded skillset. If Etienne were to miss time for injury, then Bigsby would be a great fill-in, with managers feeling confident he should provide value

2-3 Year Projection

Bigsby is a high-end handcuff with occasional flex appeal.

RB7 – Roschon Johnson

Roschon Johnson - Football - University of Texas Athletics
Photo Courtesy of University of Texas Athletics
  • Pre-Draft Rank: RB10
  • Age: 22
  • HT/WT: 6’0 / 219lbs
  • DOM: 12.13%
  • Backfield DOM: 18.26%
  • YPTP: 0.78
  • ReceptionMS: 5.65%
  • 4th year
Historical
  • 2022 RB7: Brian Robinson
  • 2021 RB7: Chuba Hubbard
  • 2020 RB7: AJ Dillon

Pre-Draft Analysis

Johnson played most of his years behind Bijan. Johnson has a prototypical workhorse size and demonstrated everything a franchise would want in an NFL running back. His tape is littered with hurdles, pass-catching, and some sneak elusiveness for a guy his size. Johnson is also one of the better pass blockers in this class. He does lack burst and acceleration to capitalize on the space he creates but runs as a bruiser that can gain extra yardage after contact. The lack of a year as the lead back can be viewed as a plus for mileage but also a negative. As an on-field athlete, there’s more to be desired, but Johnson does have a complete skill set. He’s a player that I will move up rookie draft boards if he lands on a team with a clear opportunity to be the lead back as a rookie

Post-Draft Analysis

Johnson was taken in the fourth by the Chicago Bears with a wide-open backfield. Roschon’s only competition is Khalil Herbert and the ghost of D’Onta Foreman. This is a fourth-round selection and not a ringing endorsement. Justin Fields is still a major threat on the ground but should create a better situation for Herbert or Johnson to be productive. Johnson has a decent opportunity to win RB1 duties for the season but be cautious of getting drafted over by the next draft. I consider Johnson’s and Herbert’s skillsets to be very similar; it’s curious that they drafted him. It leads me to assume they believe he’s at least somewhat of an upgrade.

2-3 Year Projection

Johnson’s upside is to have a singular back-end RB2 season through opportunity rather than talent. He’s a prime trade-away-for-value candidate, rather than a long-term asset to count on.

RB8 – Tyjae Spears

Tyjae Spears - Football - Tulane University Athletics
Photo courtesy of Tulane University Athletics
  • Pre-NFL Draft Rank: RB11
  • Age: 21.7
  • HT/WT: 5’10 / 201lbs
  • DOM: 31.35%
  • Backfield DOM: 85.32%
  • YPTP: 1.96%
  • ReceptionMS: 9.13%
  • 4th year
Historical
  • 2022 RB8: Tyrion Davis-Price
  • 2021 RB8: Rhamondre Stevenson
  • 2020 RB8: Zack Moss

Pre-Draft Analysis

Spears did a great job bouncing back from an ACL injury in 2020 and has been efficient as a runner since. Perceived as a big winner in this year’s Senior Bowl, Spears did a great job maxing out his thin frame this off-season. He’s got great lateral agility, burst, and acceleration. Spears doesn’t run with power and tries to manipulate defenders with footwork rather than go through them. He’s deadly in the open space with excellent second-level vision. Spears profiles best as a pass-catching back at the next level with a committee role.

Post-Draft Analysis

Is anyone getting Darrynton Evans deja vu? The Titans selected Spears in the mid-third and should be viewed as an immediate replacement for Dontrell Hillard, not as a future replacement for the king, Derick Henry. Spears is better suited for pass-catching duties, and I think I’m tired of saying Henry should hit his cliff soon. The man is built differently. Spears is undersized to be running down the middle and might be able to find some value lining up in the slot. Handcuffs are a bit more appealing when in line behind aging vets, and the King does hit 30 by the end of the year.

2-3 Year Projection

He has occasional flex appeal with his pass-catching skill set but should be viewed as a handcuff RB.

Tier 4

RB9 – Zach Evans

Photo courtesy of Ole Miss Athletics
  • Pre-Draft Rank: RB5
  • Age: 21.7
  • HT/WT: 5’11 / 202lbs
  • DOM: 15.93%
  • Backfield DOM: 40.66%
  • YPTP: 1.05
  • ReceptionMS: 5.02%
  • Early Declare
Historical
  • 2022 RB9: Zamir White
  • 2021 RB9: Elijah Mitchell
  • 2020 RB9: Ke’Shawn Vaughn

Pre-Draft Analysis

We’re two years removed from debating which running back is the best pure-runner between Bijan and Zach Evans. Evans still has that elite movement ability without needing to slow down. He does struggle with his vision behind the LOS at times. Evans is also a violent runner and a fast processor beyond the LOS. Whenever he feels caught, he will lower his pad level and choose to go through a defender rather than make the first guy miss. His running style is very similar to Marshawn Lloyd’s. Evans has been focused on saving his body for the pros, not risking further injury when minor digs crop up, and wanting to operate in a split backfield at the collegiate level. The narrative now is that he was outproduced by freshman Quinshon Judkins despite his transfer to a program known to operate a committee. Evans is now foregoing the combine and instead participating in a Pro Day. He came in severely underweight compared to what was expected. This could possibly be because the injury prevented him from working out. It’s becoming hard to stay supportive of his raw talent when he continues to only show it in short flashes instead of a consistent performance. Considering raw talent, Evans should be up draft boards. His draft cap will weigh heavily into my analysis of him.

Post-Draft Analysis

Evans was selected in the sixth by the LA Rams, which is a team that feels like the bottom is falling out. The running back room was wide open, with Cam Akers looking like a shell of himself since coming back from an Achilles injury, until the final three games of the season. The usual theme for drafting RBs late is to identify opportunities. Thin depth charts are our friend, and Evans fell into somewhat of an opportunity. During the pre-draft process, no underlining major injuries were uncovered. He once had an elite profile, but at the least, He should win the RB2 role in the offense.

2-3 Year Projection

Evans is likely a handcuff, but RBs will have their opportunities to step up when starters go down for injury. Use those windows to sell for a value.

RB10 – Israel Abanikanda

Israel Abanikanda emerges as top running back for Pitt early in training camp - Cardiac Hill
Photo courtesy of Pittsburghpanthers.com
  • Pre-Draft Rank: RB9
  • Age: 20.4
  • HT/WT: 5’11 / 216lbs
  • DOM: 34.88%
  • Backfield DOM: 67.18%
  • YPTP: 1.72
  • ReceptionMS: 5.38%
  • Early Declare
Historical
  • 2022 RB10: Hassan Haskins
  • 2021 RB10: Khalil Herbert
  • 2020 RB10: Darrynton Evans

Pre-Draft Analysis

One of the youngest running backs in the draft, Abanikanda, is coming off a monstrous year of production. He finds most of his success from zone schemes making his play style not friendly to gap-running offenses. He’s a patient runner who lets his blocks develop with decent vision at the second level. Izzy is not the best at creating for himself but certainly punishes a defense that gives him open lanes. He will identify and hit the lane with some of the best accelerations in the class.  He is a very upright runner and doesn’t make much effort to make defenders miss in the open. Abanikanda would much rather win with speed than fancy footwork or power. He was underutilized as a pass catcher this year, but he can run more routes than he was given in the 2022 season. Abanikanda’s limitation in running primarily to zone schemes will hurt his draft stock, and he got dinged up before the combine. He has an outside shot at Day 2 draft cap, but his skill set is limited.

Post-Draft Analysis

Abanikanda was drafted by the Jets in the fifth round to play behind Breece Hall, who is coming off an ACL injury. Current reports are that Breece is on schedule for the start of the season, but we know it’ll take him time to get up to speed. Abanikanda should get some work early while Breece is rehabbing, and getting limited work until he is 100%.

2-3 Year Projection

Izzy is another handcuff RB who will have windows of value.  

Closing Thoughts

  • This RB Class is top-heavy with Gibbs and Bijan but gets lackluster quick
  • I’ll probably be looking to trade Tier 3 or later RBs for value when I can
  • If you have zero concern about size, then Achane is probably your RB3
  • Charbonnet to the Seahawks is a hard backfield to navigate, usually, question marks are negatives, so he’s a prospect I’m not reaching for.
  • Apologies to everyone with second-round rookie picks hoping to get running back value; the pickings are slim.

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