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2015 NFL Draft: First Look At RBs

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Georgia's Todd Gurley might become the first running back drafted in the first round since 2012. Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images.
Georgia's Todd Gurley might become the first running back drafted in the first round since 2012. Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images.

Recent history is going to be challenged in 2015.

Will NFL teams continue their reluctance to spend a first-round pick on a running back? Or, if an impact back were to emerge, might they be willing to draft him in the first round -- something that hasn't happened for two years?

For all the talk about shrinking value of running backs, running the football remains an important part of an NFL offense. And with the changing composition of defensive rosters (fewer linebackers, more cornerbacks) and a growing trend toward 3-4 fronts, the conditions for running the football have never been more favorable.

The early prediction is that the two-year moratorium against first-round backs will end with the 2015 NFL Draft, when two or even three running backs will warrant first-day consideration.