The zero running back theory is a concept that should be widely familiar to fantasy football players. In short, there’s enough production coming out of the position that making a heavy/early investment is a poor use of assets. The “economics” of the position in real life football are also relevant, as many times the running back position will find UDFAs or late round selections in a favorable situation; which allows them to be positive contributors in a large role.
Enter New York Jets rookie RB Elijah McGuire. This is a perfect case study of a talented player who came through the draft process as an unheralded prospect due to the profile and platform he played at. McGuire had 10 carries for 93 yards and a touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 4; he’s averaging nearly 5.0 yards per carry and looks to bring an element of quickness to the Jets’ backfield that offers a notable change of pace from their other backs.
Below is my 2017 NFL Draft report on McGuire.
The big play against the Jaguars and the consistency as a runner who forces poor tackle attempts is not a fluke.
“McGuire has great lateral quickness and foot speed….running style will create yards on the second level and (he) has enough long speed to produce some chunk gains.”
McGuire is putting this on the field for the Jets. As a 6th round selection (188th overall), McGuire offers terrific value and return for the investment; especially if he’s able to push for close to a 50% share of carries on a consistent basis. The valuation of running backs beyond the 1st round certainly contributes to McGuire’s availability late in Day 3; but it’s a reminder that this is a position where it’s possible to secure starting potential players late in the draft.