Best running back option for Chiefs at every turn

The Kansas City Chiefs haven’t found much success in the running backs room lately.

Last season, they got a modest production in a room that included former first-round pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire, former undrafted free agent Darrel Williams and free agent signing Jerick McKinnon. It’s safe to say the team are hoping for more in 2022.

Edwards-Helarie and Derrick Gore are the only survivors from last season so far. They added former Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Ronald Jones to the mix, who is expected to be part of the Kansas City rotation. There’s also former Marshall Thundering Herd RB Brenden Knox, who is a bit of a wildcard after not making the Dallas Cowboys roster in 2021.

The Chiefs won’t advance in the offseason with just four running backs on the 90-man roster. While they may not prioritize position in the 2022 NFL Draft, Kansas City could use a different style of running back. They specifically lack someone who can be used as a pass blocker on third down.

Here’s a look at some of the running backs the Chiefs could consider adding in each round of the 2022 NFL Draft:

Stephen R. Sylvania – USA TODAY Sports

A two-time All-American and a two-time Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year, Hall is considered perhaps the only running back with a shot to make in the first round. Listed at 6-1 and 220 pounds, Hall has some local ties to the territory. He is from Witchita, Kansas and plays ball at Wichita Northwest High School. He became an instant starter when he signed up to play for the Iowa State Cyclones, rushing for 3,941 career yards and 50 touchdowns over his three-year career. He also caught 82 passes for 734 yards and six touchdowns during that span. Catching a running back in the first round seems highly unlikely for Kansas City, but they certainly have choices in the lineup where Hall should land.

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The brother of Minnesota Vikings RB Dalvin Cook, James was a key part of the Georgia Bulldogs’ national championship last season. He rushed for 728 yards and seven touchdowns, averaging 6.4 yards per carry while splitting time with Zamir White. Cook was also a dynamic weapon as a wide receiver, with 27 receptions for 284 yards (10.5 yards per catch) and four other scores. He’s an explosive and elusive dual threat with a taste for big plays. Despite being listed at a lightweight 5-10 and 190 pounds, Cook has also improved as a pass blocker with the Bulldogs in 2021.

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A local prospect who played at Center High School in Kansas City, Missouri, White was an all-around guard for Arizona State under Herm Edwards. He posted a highly productive two-year streak with the Sun Devils, recording over 2,000 scrimmage yards and 22 touchdowns on 275 touches. At 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds, White is a fast, powerful runner who is patient, elusive, and has good hands. He is known as a chain mover, having represented a first down or hit on nearly 45% of his touches at Arizona State.

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At 6-2 and 215 pounds, Price looks like an economy version of Tennessee Titans RB Derrick Henry. He’s a downhill runner who runs behind his pads and through contact and he’s faster than many players expect given his size. He averaged six yards per carry during his five-year career at Florida International, rushing for more than 2,200 yards and 15 touchdowns on 369 attempts. He has a good hand game with 45 receptions for over 300 yards and a touchdown in that span as well. He is also one of the best pass-protecting running backs in this class.

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Chandler has a successful record in both the SEC and ACC, having transferred from Tennessee to UNC in 2021. He was more of a change of pace for the Seasonless Vols with 135+ carries and 655 yards and four rushing touchdowns. He rushed for over 1,000 yards and 13 touchdowns in his only season with the Tar Heels. He weighed a hair under 6 feet and 204 pounds at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine, shooting a 4.38 s dash from 40 yards, a vertical jump of 31 inches and a wide jump of 121 inches. Chandler is known for his exceptional hands in the passing game and his ability to contribute as a return specialist on special teams.

Jim Dedmon – USA TODAY Sports

One of the most underrated running backs in this draft class, Harris is an underclass coming off an injury-riddled 2021 campaign where he suffered an ankle injury. He appeared in 12 games in 2021 with 152 carries for 660 yards and four scores. That was a far cry from his 2020 season, where Harris appeared in 10 games, amassing 185 carries for 1,138 yards and 15 touchdowns for gamecocks. Medicals are the big thing keeping Harris on Day 3 of the 2022 NFL Draft. He underwent back surgery in the 2021 offseason to remove a sac of fluid from a nerve near his spine. Teams will need to be comfortable with this injury if they want to draft him

Justin Ford – USA TODAY Sports

Listed at 5-10 and 210 pounds, Harris is an intriguing late-round option for Kansas City. It is a compact and powerful runner with good leg drive for short distance situations. He has that crush mentality and brings the same level of physicality to his pass protection. He won’t be the fastest guy in this draft class, but he’s hardly slow. His burst and acceleration often surprise defenders, which is part of why he’s averaged 5.2 yards per carry and more than eight yards per reception during his career.

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