Which running backs were selected in the 2022 NFL Draft? Who were the teams that drafted them, and how does this RB class compare to previous years?
Which Running Backs Were Drafted in the 2022 NFL Draft?
Breece Hall, Iowa State | New York Jets
Round 2, Pick 36
The 2022 NFL Draft didn’t see a single running back go in the first round, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t get an incredibly talented one.
The New York Jets made Breece Hall the first RB selected with the fourth pick of Day 2. Hall was coming off back-to-back seasons of 1,000 rushing yards and 20 rushing touchdowns at Iowa State, and across those two years, he posted a total of 3,044 rushing yards and 41 touchdowns.
As a rookie, Hall displayed elite efficiency on the ground and showcased quality receiving through the air.
He was headed for a Rookie of the Year award had he not torn his ACL in Week 7. Hall looks on track to be ready for Week 1 and should build upon a rookie campaign that saw him average 5.8 yards per carry.
Kenneth Walker III, Michigan State | Seahawks
Round 2, Pick 41
Kenneth Walker III earned the honor of being the second running back drafted. Also a second-round pick, Walker was selected by the Seattle Seahawks to back up Rashaad Penny. After rushing for 1,636 yards and 18 touchdowns in his final collegiate season, Walker was ready to shoulder the load following Penny’s season-ending injury.
The talented ball carrier went on to rush for over 1,000 yards in 15 games as a rookie, scoring nine touchdowns. Walker will be the Seahawks’ unquestioned lead back in 2023.
James Cook, Georgia | Bills
Round 2, Pick 63
The Bills barely used Cook for most of his rookie season. However, down the stretch, he saw his snap share steadily increase. By the end of the season, he was in a near-even split with Devin Singletary.
Cook will undoubtedly have a role this season. How big it is will depend on whether the Bills draft another running back. If not, Cook could serve as their lead back.
Rachaad White, Arizona State | Buccaneers
Round 3, Pick 91
After opening the season as a little-used backup, White burst onto the scene when he replaced an injured Leonard Fournette, running it 22 times for 105 yards.
Upon first glance, White looked like a star in the making. However, his efficiency cratered as his role increased. With Fournette gone, White could open the season as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ lead back, but unless he makes some serious strides as a runner, his time at the top will remain short.
Tyrion Davis-Price, LSU | 49ers
Round 3, Pick 93
The San Francisco 49ers have a history of drafting running backs on Day 2 and never using them. Tyrion Davis-Price was the latest among that group.
As a rookie, he appeared in just six games, amassing 99 yards on 34 carries. With the 49ers mortgaging their future to trade for Christian McCaffrey midseason, it’s unlikely that TDP ever ascends beyond a practice squad role.
Brian Robinson Jr., Alabama | Commanders
Round 3, Pick 98
Brian Robinson Jr. spent five years at Alabama, unable to surpass many of the top backs that come from the nation’s top program. Finally able to start as a super senior, Robinson carried the ball 271 times for 1,343 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2021.
The Washington Commanders seemed set at running back with Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic, but they elected to spend a Day 2 pick on Robinson anyway.
He proved to be a very capable runner, carrying the ball 205 times for 797 yards and two touchdowns as a rookie. With McKissic gone, Robinson enters the 2023 season set to be the lead runner in a committee with Gibson.
7) Dameon Pierce, Florida
Round 4, Pick 107 | Texans
8) Zamir White, Georgia
Round 4, Pick 122 | Raiders
9) Isaiah Spiller, Texas A&M
Round 4, Pick 123 | Chargers
10) Pierre Strong, SDSU
Round 4, Pick 127 | Patriots
11) Hassan Haskins, Michigan
Round 4, Pick 131 | Titans
12) Tyler Allgeier, BYU
Round 5, Pick 151 | Falcons
13) Snoop Conner, Ole Miss
Round 5, Pick 154 | Jaguars
14) Jerome Ford, Cincinnati
Round 5, Pick 156 | Browns
15) Kyren Williams, Notre Dame
Round 5, Pick 164 | Rams
16) Ty Chandler, North Carolina
Round 5, Pick 169 | Vikings
17) Kevin Harris, South Carolina
Round 6, Pick 183 | Patriots
18) Tyler Badie, Missouri
Round 6, Pick 196 | Ravens
19) Keaontay Ingram, USC
Round 6, Pick 201 | Cardinals
20) Trestan Ebner, Baylor
Round 6, Pick 203 | Bears
21) Brittain Brown, UCLA
Round 7, Pick 250 | Raiders
22) Isiah Pacheco, Rutgers
Round 7, Pick 251 | Chiefs
23) Zander Horvath (FB), Purdue
Round 7, Pick 260 | Chargers
How Many Running Backs Were Drafted in 2022?
A total of 23 running backs and one fullback were selected in the 2022 NFL Draft — right around the average over the past decade. The fewest number of running backs chosen in a single draft over the past decade came in 2020, when just 16 were taken. The most occurred in 2017, with a whopping 30 running backs drafted that year.
The 2022 NFL Draft also marked the first time since 2014 that the entire first round came and went without a single running back selected. However, we did see six RBs come off the board on Day 2. On average, 6.9 running backs have been taken across the first two days, so the 2022 RB NFL Draft class is very much in line with the past decade.
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