The Atlanta Falcons don’t have a big need at the running back position with veteran Steven Jackson and all-purpose back Jacquizz Rodgers on the roster, but they could use another RB in the 2014 NFL Draft as quality depth. Jackson is an injury-prone RB despite his effectiveness when healthy, and the Falcons could use a better pure rusher as a backup than ‘Quizz, who is definitely more of a change-of-pace back.
ESPN NFL Nation’s Vaughn McClure reports that the Falcons brought in Ohio State Buckeyes star running back Carlos Hyde in for a pre-draft visit today, and there’s little doubt in my mind that Hyde is the top running back in the class. The Falcons wouldn’t be able to draft Hyde unless if they use their high second-round pick on him, because he’s too good to fall into the early third round. That said, he’s such a talented back that the Falcons are doing well to at least take a close look at him, even if he would be either a reach or a pipe dream for the Falcons, depending on when they would want to take him.
Hyde has all the tools to be a feature back in this league, because he has a great mix of power, size, speed, and agility. He can do it all as a rusher, and he has been compared to the likes of Arian Foster, Frank Gore, and Zac Stacy during the pre-draft process. The Falcons should take a running back this year, but they will have to aim for someone later on in the draft.