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Cardinals Draft Primer 2023: Running Back

Conner remains at the top of the depth chart


The Cardinals, with eight draft picks and with the No. 3 overall selection, have a chance in GM Monti Ossenfort's first season to begin to build a roster that is desperate for an infusion of youthful talent. The draft begins April 27 – held in Kansas City, Missouri – but before then, will take a look at each position and how the Cardinals may look at them on draft weekend. Here is the next position group breakdown.

Previous primersEdge, Offensive line

Here is the next position group breakdown:

Draft primer: Running back

Players under contract: James Conner, Corey Clement, Keaontay Ingram, Ty'Son Williams

Need: Medium

The Cardinals' situation: Conner, on a per-carry average, improved in 2022 over 2021, even as his touchdowns dropped. But he will continue to be atop the depth chart right now. Clement was re-signed after given some help last season, and Ingram got brief moments on the field to mixed results. Williams was signed after injuries but never was a factor. 

The draft class: The class is highlighted by Texas' Bijan Robinson, who hails from Tucson and is considered so good that he will be a rarity – a first-round running back. But this class of backs is deep, and again, since there seem to be so many that can fill an RB-by-committee role (which so many teams use now), there are places to find guys. Backs like Roshon Johnson of Texas, East Carolina's Keaton Mitchell, TCU's Kendre Miller, Texas A&M speed back Devon Achane or Auburn's Tank Bigsby all should be there in the late third round or later. 

The conclusion: Taking a back in the draft makes sense, but the Cardinals can find one later on and use earlier picks at more pressing spots. There are still veterans in free agency that could be available, and you can make a Conner-Clement-Ingram trio work if needed.