LA Chargers News

Chargers: Most Super Bowl winners didn’t need a franchise running back

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 11: Running back C.J. Anderson #22 of the Denver Broncos rushes with the ball in the first quarter of the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 11, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 11: Running back C.J. Anderson #22 of the Denver Broncos rushes with the ball in the first quarter of the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 11, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
facebooktwitterreddit
4 of 5
SAN DIEGO, CA – OCTOBER 13: Korey Toomer #56 of the San Diego Chargers chases C.J. Anderson #22 of the Denver Broncos during the first half of a game at Qualcomm Stadium on October 13, 2016 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA – OCTOBER 13: Korey Toomer #56 of the San Diego Chargers chases C.J. Anderson #22 of the Denver Broncos during the first half of a game at Qualcomm Stadium on October 13, 2016 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Chargers and running back comparisons: Draft capital

  • Pierre Thomas: Undrafted free agent
  • James Starks: Sixth-round selection
  • Ahmad Bradshaw: Seventh-round selection
  • Ray Rice: Second-round draft selection
  • Marshawn Lynch: First-round draft selection
  • LeGarrette Blount: Undrafted free agent
  • C.J. Anderson: Undrafted free agent
  • LeGarrette Blount: Undrafted free agent
  • LeGarrette Blount: Undrafted free agent
  • Sony Michel: First-round draft selection

There are as many unique (not counting repeats) undrafted free agents (Thomas, Blount, Anderson) on this list as first-round and second-round draft selections (Rice, Lynch, Michel). Less than one third of all Super Bowl-winning leading rushers (now counting repeats) were taken within the first five rounds.

The Chargers took Gordon with a first-round selection, as well as using more draft capital to move up and get him. His replacements, however, are Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson, who are undrafted free agents and seventh-round selections, respectively.

This is not to say talented early-round running backs are pointless; Michel, in particular, was most recently a huge part of the Patriots’ win against the Los Angeles Rams. But sandwiched between he and Lynch, another first-round selection, are four Super Bowl winners who used an undrafted free agent as their leading rusher.

It’s great to have talent in the backfield, but to win a Super Bowl, it is not necessary to invest that much draft capital in a running back.

facebooktwitterreddit