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We got together with our Footballguys staff members and asked a simple question: Which player -- generally taken in the first round -- do you most-like having on your team?
Here are their answers.
Saquon Barkley and Ezekiel Elliott are my co-favorites in Round 1. For Barkley, he is on a historic track through two seasons and, with his overall profile and career start, is a strong bet to finish as the overall RB1 in the near future. Being the unquestioned centerpiece of his offense and a dynamic home run threat does not hurt either. For Elliott, he is the lynchpin for the Cowboys offense, which is primed to be one of the best in the NFL and added firepower with CeeDee Lamb in this year's draft. Elliott is one of the few backs in the league with the ability to lead in rushing yards, touchdowns, and challenge for 50+ receptions any given year.
The answer seems somewhat obvious in that Christian McCaffrey is the top guy this season. McCaffrey has shown so far throughout his career that he is durable and reliable finishing as a top-5 running back in 10 of his games last season while the next closest player only did it 7 times. If you have the chance to draft him, it is an easy decision this year and is the only player that week in and week out you can rely on consistent elite-level production out of at the running back position.
If given my choice of draft spots this season, I am taking 1.01 and drafting Christian McCaffrey. His combination of floor and ceiling is unmatched. The receiving production and overall usage rate are both insane.
If I'm not lucky enough to land a top pick, Joe Mixon is the guy I am most excited about drafting in the back half of the first round. There is a narrative, true to some extent, that we are still waiting for Mixon to break out. However, you can make a good argument that Mixon had his break out in the second half of the 2019 season and many just didn't notice. The Bengals running game was a mess early in the season but offensive coordinator Brian Callahan made major changes during the midseason bye week and the Bengals running game took off. As Callahan explained, once the run game started to produce: "To run strictly zone plays all the time is probably not realistic. We’ve definitely put a heavier emphasis on some of the gap schemes and some perimeter game and things like that. It’s helped us. It’s gotten Joe in spots where he’s good and it’s gotten our guys in spots where they’ve been good."
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