I said this mock draft scenario was going to explore the idea of trading into the first round for a second first-round pick after trading down and acquiring Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah with the top pick.
Here we are.
Although many will argue that you simply do not use a first-round pick on a running back on principle, not all cases and players are created equal. If a running back is one-dimensional or requires 30 carries per game in order to be effective, then no — it’s not a good idea.
If the player can split out wide and run routes like a wide receiver and keep your quarterback clean in pass protection?
That might be a different story.
Najee Harris is the rare type of playmaker at the running back position that I would say is worth a first-round investment. With additional picks in this trade-down scenario, the Broncos move up to fortify the running back position after letting Phillip Lindsay walk as a free agent.
Melvin Gordon has just one year left on his deal, and even though the Denver Broncos brought in Mike Boone from the Vikings to be a possible RB2 or RB3, the possibility of having Najee Harris in the offense for the next five years is too good to pass up on.
Harris is physical and savvy as a runner. He’s capable of breaking tackles and running through people but he’s less of a Derrick Henry bruiser type of back and more in the mold of a Matt Forte.
Where Harris really excels is as a receiver and on third downs. He is dynamic in this regard. He’s not just going to catch passes on swings or screens, but he can also line up out wide, in the slot, and make plays at the catch point like a receiver.
Factor in his ability to pass protect and you have the ideal three-down back in today’s NFL.