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Monday open thread: Which running back provides the best value in the 2018 NFL Draft?

Which running back will pay dividends for the team that drafts him?

SEC Championship - Auburn v Georgia Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

It should always be the goal of an NFL franchise to get the most talented players they can get in the draft. That’s a no brainer.

But part of the strategy in accomplishing that goal is not only knowing who to choose, but when to choose them. If you know the top player at a position is going early, it may be worth it to grab him immediately. However, if there’s a player just as talented, or only slightly less talented, that you think will be available much later, it may be the smart play to sit back and address a need that is scarcer in this year’s class.

This brings me to the running back position, a clear need for the Detroit Lions. It also happens to be a pretty solid year for running back depth in the 2018 NFL Draft. That combination gives the Lions a good, but tricky dilemma. Grab a running back early? Or wait until the second or third day to address the position?

That decision is going to be made based on two factors: their evaluation of each running back and their projections of which round they’ll land in. So today’s Question of the Day is:

Which 2018 running back prospect will provide the most value in the draft?

My answer: This is a bit of a difficult question to ask, because in order to determines someone’s value, you have to know where exactly they’ll go in the draft. Is Derrius Guice a first-round pick, or will he slide in to the mid or late second round?

But based on a variety of projections, we can make an educated guess. And based on my research, I think getting a guy like Kerryon Johnson in the third or fourth round would provide the best value of any team. I have never been much of a fan of drafting a first-round back, and outside of Saquon Barkley, I don’t see one worthy of a first-round pick.

While there are certainly more talented backs in this year’s class, I don’t think a team could do any better than Johnson late in the second day or early Day 3. He’s not flashy, but he’s smart, he’s got good vision and he’ll get the job done.

Your turn.

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