As NFL teams progress through training camp, and soon, the preseason, the 20 franchises who selected running backs in the 2022 NFL Draft will have the chance to see how those rookies can fit into their backfields this season. Of the 22 running backs taken in the 2022 Draft, several are in a position to lead their backfields as rookies. And unsurprisingly, a couple of them rated among Derius Swinton’s best in the class when he profiled the group during the draft cycle.
A coach for 15 years in the NFL, Swinton sat down with several members of the The 33rd Team’s staff to go over the running backs in the 2022 Draft. He highlighted three players who stood out from the group, providing detailed analysis and film breakdowns for each.
Those three Swinton was highest on were Iowa State’s Breece Hall, Cincinnati’s Jerome Ford and Michigan State’s Kenneth Walker III. Hall and Walker headlined the 2022 Draft class of running backs for much of the cycle. Walker was the 2021 Walter Camp Player of the Year and won the Doak Walker Award as the nation’s top running back. Hall, meanwhile, was a finalist for the latter for the second consecutive season.
Both will also see plenty of carries as rookies. Hall was the first back taken, 36th by the New York Jets, and Walker went 41st to the Seattle Seahawks. Each team’s backfield featured multiple players in 2021, and both are in similar situations to begin 2022. Because of that, a chance exists for both players to win the outright starting job in the preseason.
Ford landed in a different situation, going to the Cleveland Browns in the fifth round. There, his snaps will be more limited. But, he will get to study behind one of the league’s best backfield tandems: Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt.
For Swinton’s thoughts on what traits can help all three backs succeed as rookies, check out the video above. And for those wishing to hear about a specific player, here is when each player’s section begins:
0:20 — Breece Hall (New York Jets)
2:49 — Jerome Ford (Cleveland Browns)
5:43 — Ken Walker III (Seattle Seahawks)