What happened to elite RB prospects? 

February, 27, 2014
Feb 27
1:24
PM ET
For the first time in half a century no running backs were selected in the first round of last year's NFL draft. That is a scenario likely to play out again in 2014. ESPN NFL Insiders Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay have no running backs in their latest first-round mock drafts and top-32 rankings.

What has caused the running back position -- which used to be found readily throughout the first round, often near the top -- to loose its first-round luster?

“I think it’s a result of what’s happening in college football,” Pittsburgh Steelers GM Kevin Colbert said, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “The running backs, for the most part in a lot of offenses … are not emphasized as much, so you don’t get to see as much production or dominance. So, you maybe don’t see a top running back, but several were taken in the second round and they ended up being productive players for their teams. If there is a great running back he’ll still go in the first round, regardless of what’s happening schematically.”