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Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Ranking the needs: Running backs

By Pat Yasinskas

We continue our pre-draft rankings of position-group needs with the running backs.

Remember, the earlier the ranking, the greater the need.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Bucs are in great shape with Doug Martin as their starting tailback and Erik Lorig as their fullback. The Bucs brought in Brian Leonard to replace D.J. Ware as the third-down back. But this team still could use a workhorse back just in case something happens to Martin. LeGarrette Blount remains on the roster for now, but it sure looks as if the coaching staff doesn’t have much faith in him and he could be traded or released.

Atlanta Falcons: Steven Jackson should be an upgrade over Michael Turner and I expect Jacquizz Rodgers to continue to emerge. But Jackson is not young. The Falcons are in a situation where they might be able to draft a running back (South Carolina’s Marcus Lattimore perhaps?) in the middle rounds and bring him along slowly.

Carolina Panthers: Carolina is overloaded with DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart and Mike Tolbert in the backfield.

New Orleans Saints: They are even more overloaded than the Panthers with Mark Ingram, Darren Sproles, Chris Ivory and Pierre Thomas. The New York Jets reportedly have shown interest in trading for Ivory.