Former Penn State running back Saquon Barkley is currently the favorite to be the top pick in the 2018 NFL draft.
Bovada recently released the following odds:
- Saquon Barkley +170
- Sam Darnold +280
- Josh Allen +350
- Baker Mayfield +550
- Josh Rosen +700
- Any Other Player +1400
Who will be taken first overall in the 2018 NFL Draft?
Saquon Barkley +170
Sam Darnold +280
Josh Allen +350
Baker Mayfield +550
Josh Rosen +700
Any Other Player +1400
Odds via @BovadaLV
— OddsShark (@OddsShark) March 7, 2018
I can’t even begin to tell you how much I hate this move. Drafting running backs with the top pick in the draft is always something I caution against for a bunch of reasons. The main reasons is that running backs are much more likely to get hurt, which means you’re leveraging millions of dollars and the team’s future on a guy who could easily get injured. That’s just not smart business.
Running backs almost always have to take contact on every single play. They’re either running the ball or blocking. That means their body gets worn down way faster than a quarterback, who isn’t taking a hit if he releases the ball quickly.
Barkley is an absolute beast. I don’t think anybody would argue he’s not, but it’s so risky. If I’m the Browns with the first pick there’s a much better chance that I’d give Allen, Darnold or Mayfield a serious look. I’m just not bold enough to risk the future on a guy who is going to get run into the ground.