I thought after the Trent Richardson debacle it would be a loooong time before a running back was selected in the top 5 again. I was wrong, but was pleased to see who made the blunder.
We’ve obviously been through this before, but given that 1)the marginal quality of a team’s running game is not terribly important to winning in the contemporary NFL, 2)adequate running backs are fairly easily obtained by a competent organization, and 3)the performance of RBs tends to vary widely from year-to-year, it’s crazy to invest top-first-round opportunity cost and money in anything but a once-in-a-generation talent at the position. And nobody knows how to identify top-flight NFL running backs ex ante. Elliott will probably be better than Richardson — who isn’t? — but it’s a really dumb pick.
Conversely — and it feels weird to say this — the new management in Cleveland seems to know what it’s doing. They’re at the beginning of a long road, but hiring a good coach and accumulating lots of draft picks is a good place to start.