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2017 NFL Draft RB Class Remains The Best Of The Last Decade Led by Alvin Kamara, Christian McCaffrey

This week, the Football Scout 365 Podcast team discusses the best RB classes since 2012. The top year for the RB position using NFL Approximate Value (Weighted) is the 2017 RB Draft class.



Using our free NFL Draft Database tool powered by Google and data from Pro Football Reference, the Football Scout 365 NFL Podcast crew debated and discussed the best NFL Draft RB classes since 2012.


How We Determined The Top Draft Classes

What is NFL Approximate Value (Weighted) or WAV? Created by PFR founder Doug Drinen, the Approximate Value (AV) method is an attempt to put a single number on the seasonal value of a player at any position from any year (since 1950). The value is calculated using 100% of the player's best season, 95% of his 2nd-best season, 90% of his 3rd-best season, 85% of his 4th-best season, and so on.


The best RB class using the weighted approximate value measurement is the 2017 NFL Draft, followed by the 2015, 2013, and 2016 classes.


The 2017 NFL Draft CLass Was Deep and Extremely Talented

The 2017 NFL Draft RB class consisted of Christian McCaffrey and Leonard Fournette, both drafted in the top ten of the first round. After CMC and Lenny, you have Joe Mixon, and Dalvin Cook drafted in round two. Arguably the best value and the player with the highest ceiling in this class is Alvin Kamara, drafted in the third round by the New Orleans Saints. James Conner and Kareem Hunt are great values drafted in the third round. You then have Tarik Cohen, drafted in the 4th round, who is one of two backs in the class to earn All-Pro honors early on before falling off due to various injuries. Lastly, we have Aaron Jones, who the Packers drafted in the 5th round.


2017 NFL Draft Class Demographics

The 2017 NFL draft RB class has produced 27 total RB's, two all pros, and 15 total pro bowls. The average number of years played is 2.8, but that number would surpass the 4+ year average of the other top classes in this research within the next few years as many of the players in this class remain active. The average draft age of the group is 22.


2017 RB Class Has a Lot Of Gas Left In The Tank

The 2017 class has a lot of gas left in the tank. Christian McCaffrey will enter the 2022 NFL season at age 26, followed by Dalvin Cook, Alvin Kamara, and Joe Mixon, all three also playing 2022 at the age of 26. Packers RB Aaron Jones, Cardinals RB James Conner, and Bucs RB Leonard FOurnette will all be 27. All the players mentioned above are their team's primary backs heading into the 2022 NFL season, which will only further cement the 2017 RB class as the league's best of the last decade.

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