Colts Could Face Running Back Draft Dilemma

Intro: Over the years, the thought process of when to take a running back has changed around the NFL. How should the Colts handle finding the future lead back behind Frank Gore?

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INDIANAPOLIS – The flashy move would be Florida State's Dalvin Cook in Round One.

But the debate of when to draft a running back nowadays has shifted over the years.

By all accounts, the 2017 running back group is filled with depth and diversity.

Said one anonymous NFL scout to Matt Miller of Bleacher Report:

"This is a historic running back class," said a league area scout. "Not just with the first-rounders, but with the overall depth. I think we'll have around 30 draftable running backs in this class—which probably translates to like Round 5 or higher on your board. That's an unreal number. And the variety is nice, too. Power runners. Speed backs. It's a great class. Best I've seen."

That's great news to the Colts, who are in the market for a young running back to play alongside Frank Gore.

Entering the first major off-season event of the 2017, the Colts have the soon-to-be 34-year-old Gore under contract for one more season.

Backups Robert Turbin and Jordan Todman are pending free agents after playing in the league around a handful of seasons.

Hence the likelihood the Colts will draft a running back come April.

The question becomes: When is the proper time to pull the trigger once the draft begins?

Taking a look at the leading rushers from 2016 and it seems "practicing patience" come draft time would be smart in looking for the next running back.

Only* one* of the NFL's top 10 rushers last season was taken in the first 47 picks of a draft (Ezekiel Elliott, drafted 4th overall).

Of the top 10 rushers in 2016, the average draft selection of them was 101st overall, right at the start of the fourth round.

Elliott, Le'Veon Bell (48th overall) and LeSean McCoy (53rd overall) were the only top 10 rushers from last year taken in the first two rounds of a draft.

Finding productive running backs later in drafts happens more often than at other skill positions.

Let's compare it to the wide receiver position.

Of the NFL's top 10 receivers last year, eight were taken in the first or second round.

The Colts are in the market for a rookie running back this offseason.

Chris Ballard must deem if patience is the best method in looking to life after Frank Gore coming soon.

The analysis from those producing content on Colts.com does not necessarily represent the thoughts of the Indianapolis Colts organization. Any conjecture, analysis or opinions formed by Colts.com content creators is not based on inside knowledge gained from team officials, players or staff.

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