John Clayton, Bucky Brooks anticipate deep RB class for 2018 draft

Feb 21, 2018, 3:26 PM | Updated: Feb 22, 2018, 3:46 pm
saquon barkley, 2018 nfl draft, running back draft, nfl draft...
Penn State's Saquon Barkley is projected to be taken in the Top 5, but there's plenty of RB talent in later rounds. (AP)

The 2018 NFL Draft is months away, but John Clayton offered his preview of the strength of this year’s class.

“I’m getting an idea. It’s one of the more interesting quarterback classes we’ve had, probably since 1983,” Clayton told Brock Huard and Tom Wassell on 710 ESPN Seattle Wednesday. “I’m not saying there are four Hall of Famers in this group, but there’s certainly four options that’ll go in the Top 10. I think you can see that it’s going to continue to be pretty good on defense. Not great as far as a lot of defensive ends … but (defensive tackle) I think is going to be a position that’s well in-stock. It’s not a great wide receiver class, one of the better running back classes I think we’ve seen in a long time. Pretty good at cornerback. Not strong at the linebacker position.”

2018 NFL Combine: Schedule, local players to watch

The Seahawks enter this year’s draft with an 18th overall selection, and no picks in the second or third round. Seattle frequently trades out of the first round, and should accumulate additional picks before April. But they’ll still have plenty of holes to fill with limited capital. Thankfully, thanks to a depth at running back, a good player could fall to the third or fourth rounds.

NFL analyst Bucky Brooks had a similar sentiment about the 2018 running back group.

“I feel great about the running position,” Brooks said. “I think there are a ton of running backs that can come in and make a lot of contributions, no matter where (they’re) drafted.”

The Seahawks could always use one of their early picks on a running back – it will certainly be a position of need this season – but could they wait until the later rounds to pull the trigger?

“I think we’ve seen it every year. Normally the sweet spot for running backs are the second or third round. I think this year’s no different. Second or third round you can find some guys who will (go on to) have Pro Bowl success. But I wouldn’t be surprised to see some guys in the fourth or fifth round have that. We have seen the ‘devaluation of the running back position.’ Doesn’t mean they’re diminished in importance, but people are better understanding the supply and demand equation. They know they’re running backs are in (better) supply, so they’re willing to wait a little bit in the draft to pull that guy off the board. Because you can address other needs in the draft at positions that aren’t as deep or as plentiful.”

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John Clayton, Bucky Brooks anticipate deep RB class for 2018 draft