Brother Maine ~ Before The Draft ~ on The BackField For me, it's a question of resources. After O-line and QB, you have five guys out of eleven to either run the ball or catch passes. To require a defense to "cover everything", ideally you might want an RB who's a threat to break a run for big yardage even out of an offensive set that includes four superior pass-catchers (even better if the RB is also an excellent pass catcher). These would be "classic" early-down, Q1-Q3 "feature backs"; guys who you can still count on to make a big running play in Q4 when you're down by a score. However, RBs who can do this consistently are pretty rare, even those running behind very good run-blocking offensive lines. I'll call this type of RB "Class A". Most RBs need at least one extra accomplished run-blocker some percentage of the time to get started through the LoS or to get around the corner. Unless you have extraordinary TEs or FBs, this extra blocker necessarily takes one of your better pass catchers out of the set and gives the defense maybe one less guy to worry about in coverage. But, still, that can be okay IF the RB in question has the level of burst and elusiveness that allows him to do great things once that extra blocker enables him to get to (relatively) open field. And play-action is still a legitimate threat for a defense to worry about because there are still three (hypothetically) superior pass-catching WRs on the field. I'll call this level of RB "Class B", which would encompass a wide range of talent - from those guy who need one extra blocker less of the time to those who need one almost all the time. And then there's guys like BGE. BGE seemed to need TWO extra blockers just to get started most of the time (one of them Crumpler, who is certainly NOT a superior pass-catcher anymore). Even so, BGE doesn't appear to have the burst/elusiveness to do much after he gets through the LoS or TO the corner. Sure, he can run over a guy here and there, but he provides a merely adequate ground game at the "cost" of having only two superior pass-catchers in the set (offset somewhat by Gronk being one of the TEs). This tends to telegraph to the defense when you're more likely to run than pass, de-legitimizes the threat of play-action and leaves the defense having only two superior pass-catchers to cover. This would be "Class C". "Class D" would be the guys who can't do much no matter how much extra blocking help you give them. So, that's my take on you first question. Yes we can, and SHOULD, try to improve on BGE. This is not to say "replace him". BGE, to me, is a nearly perfect Q4 back - the guy you'd use to pound the ball in Q4 to take time off the clock and protect a lead while giving your feature back a breather (and protecting him from injury risk), while not worrying a whole lot about fooling a defense with play-action (such a situation sorta does that for you). The second question, which you've only implied, is what "Class" does Ingram fit into? Is he really a "Class A" who might be worthy of a first round pick? I have no clue. Many say, "YES!" while many others disagree. Maybe he's merely a very good "Class B" who might be worth a 2nd round look since he'd still probably provide a better tactical ground game requiring fewer resources "borrowed" from the passing game. But then, Leshoure, Ryan Williams or someone else might also be a good to very good "Class B" guy. And, of course, in every draft it seems that one or two of the 15-20 RBs taken after #64 turns out to be good "Class B" guys, not including UDFAs (where the odds are realistically something like 1 in 30, though it seems much better sometimes). [SIDEBAR: Interestingly enough, historically, the odds of coming up with a "Class B" diamond in the rough have actually been HIGHER in round 4 than in round 3. My only explanation would be that round three is where teams end up taking RBs who've been hyped as "hidden gems" that turn out not to be while round four has guys who haven't been hyped.] The next question is, of course, "Do we have sufficient resources in this draft to bolster both lines, upgrade OLB and maybe nickel/slot CB, AND try to get a very good Class B running back, maybe in the 2nd?" Actually, I think we might this time around.