Just a few years ago, it was almost unheard of for a running back to go undrafted in the first round.
Last year, after a running back wasn't selected until the 37th pick overall (Giovani Bernard to the Cincinnati Bengals), it seemed the trend to minimize the impact of the running back would continue. Washington's Bishop Sankey, picked 54th overall by the Tennessee Titans, is the first running back off the board in the 2014 NFL draft, marking the latest a running back has ever been selected.
The Titans certainly needed a running back after jettisoning Chris Johnson. But for the league, and for future prospective players, it appears the position is clearly no longer the most coveted by NFL teams.
Another indication of which is the franchise and transition tags which place a value on each position. For running backs, the value was tagged at $9.54 million (franchise) and $8.033 million (transition) this offseason, less than wide receiver ($12.312 million/$10.176 million) and offensive linemen ($11.654 million/$10.039 million), but still more than tight ends ($7.035 million/$6.106 million). Quarterbacks ($16.192 million/$14.666 million) are at the forefront on offense.
Just one pick later, the Bengals selected LSU running back Jeremy Hill.