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2022 NFL Draft Running Backs Prospects, Predictions, and Picks

Written by: Mike Lukas
Updated October 14, 2022
12 min read
  • The 2022 NFL Draft is Scheduled for April (28-30) in Paradise, Nevada
  • Top RB Prospects: Isaiah Spiller (Texas A&M) and Kenneth Walker (Michigan State) 
  • Modern NFL RBs must run, block, and catch with speed, quickness, and power

The 2022 NFL Draft is happening at the end of April (28-30) in Paradise, Nevada, and all thirty-two franchises will be showing up with various needs to address, one of those being a running back to help bolster the offense with a young playmaker who can contribute right away.

The modern NFL running back does a lot more than just run with the football, he also blocks during pass protection as well as catches passes as an outlet receiver and often as a legitimate route-runner, and a few can even pass the ball.

Chances are no running backs will be selected in the early parts of the first round of this draft, but there is no doubt that with this crop of running backs in the draft some will be starting their NFL careers soon, so we take a look at these potential rookies.

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2022 Nfl Draft Running Back Prospects

Who Are the Best Running Backs in the 2022 NFL Draft?

There is a talented group of running backs in this 2022 NFL Draft class and during the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, many showed off their ability to run fast and dodge quickly as well as catch passes while on the run.

Seen as a top prospect is Isaiah Spiller, the Texas A&M alum who averaged 5.5 yards per carry over three seasons on almost 3,000 total yards on the ground, but also turning heads is Kenneth Walker III who played his senior season at Michigan State and scored 18 rushing TDs.

Here are the top-10 running back prospects for this year’s NFL Draft, but please note that these rankings can shift as the end-of-April event gets closer:

NFL Draft Running Back Rankings

Rank 2022 NFL Draft – Running Back Rankings School
1 Isaiah Spiller Texas A&M
2 Kenneth Walker III Michigan State
3 Breece Hall Iowa State
4 Kyren Williams Notre Dame
5 Dameon Pierce Florida
6 Jerome Ford Cincinnati
7 Brian Robinson Jr. Alabama
8 Tyler Badie Missouri
9 James Cook Georgia
10 Abram Smith Baylor

For all the best NFL Draft odds and more, check out our favorite sportsbooks where it’s easy for you to place your own wagers.

Who Will Be the First Running Back Drafted in 2022?

For a rookie running back to be valuable in the pros he has to be ready to go right away, and it looks like Breece Hall who played in the Big 12 at Iowa State could be immediately effective, his 3,941 rushing yards and 302 receiving yards yielding 56 total TDs, a valuable dual threat back.

Our Pick:

Breece Hall, Iowa State

Were Any Running Backs Ever Selected First Overall?

It has been almost a quarter of a century since the last running back was selected first overall, that was when the Cincinnati Bengals took Penn State’s Ki-Jana Carter with the number one pick in the mid-nineties, a back who went on to play in 59 games for three different teams.

Bo Jackson is perhaps the best known of the group, the dual-sport phenom splitting his time between pro football and baseball, constantly wowing fans from both leagues.

Running Backs Selected First Overall

Year Running Backs Selected First Overall NFL Team School
1995 Ki-Jana Carte Bengals Penn State
1986 Bo Jackson Buccaneers Auburn
1981 George Rogers Saints South Carolina
1980 Billy Sims Lions Oklahoma
1978 Earl Campbell Oilers Texas
1977 Ricky Bell Buccaneers USC

Who Is the Best Player in the 2022 NFL Draft?

The answer to this question can be debated forever but as with most prospect lists, the cream usually rises to the top and some names have appeared on quite a few draft rankings.

Here are the five top draft prospects in 2022, but keep in mind this list will shift and adjust as the draft gets closer:

Rank 2022 NFL Draft – Top-5 Best Overall Players Position School
1 Aidan Hutchinson EDGE Michigan
2 Kyle Hamilton Safety Notre Dame
3 Derek Stingley Cornerback LSU
4 Kayvon Thibodeaux EGDE Oregon
5 Charles Cross Tackle Mississippi State

Best Sites to Bet on the NFL Draft

Placing bets online used to be risky back when the only option for sports gamblers was to use one of the many unregulated offshore sportsbooks available, but that was a dodgy way to place bets that took a lot of trusts that winners would get paid.

Now with over thirty states (and counting) offering some form of legal sports betting for residents, there are plenty of trustable online sportsbooks to work with, including some of our favorites like Caesars, BetMGM, FanDuel, and DraftKings.

Betting online is easy to do now – just set up an account, safely link a bank account, deposit some money, and start making bets – and as more and more states launch their own legal sports betting market, access to exciting wagers is only a few clicks away.

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How to Watch the 2022 NFL Draft

2022 NFL Draft Information
What 2022 NFL Draft
Where Allegiant Stadium in Paradise, Nevada
When Thursday, April 28 Round 1 8 p.m. ET

Friday, April 29 Rounds 2-3 7 p.m. ET

Saturday, April 30 Rounds 4-7 Noon ET

How to watch ESPN, ABC, NFL Network, ESPN Deportes

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Mike Lukas

1204 Articles

Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]

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