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Draft Primer 2016: Running Backs

Cardinals in good shape at position and can afford to be picky

The NFL draft will be held from April 28-30 in Chicago. The Cardinals have addressed many of their biggest needs through the Chandler Jones trade and free agency but will aim to add more impact pieces. We'll take a look at each position group over the next few weeks as the draft beckons.

More draft analysis: QB I LB I WR I S I ST

Draft primer: Running back

Cardinals under contract:David Johnson; Chris Johnson; Andre Ellington; Stepfan Taylor; Kerwynn Williams

Need: Low

Images of the running backs projected to get selected in the NFL draft

Analysis: The Cardinals re-signed Chris Johnson earlier this offseason and he is slated to back up David Johnson, with Andre Ellington in the mix as a change-of-pace back. Stepfan Taylor won the battle for the fourth running back spot in training camp last year and will aim to hold onto that role. Kerwynn Williams will also compete for a roster spot. The Cardinals recently cut Marion Grice and Robert Hughes , but the quintet on the roster is a solid group.

The top three on the depth chart looks set while Taylor and Williams are both proven commodities, which makes drafting a running back a low possibility. If it happens, the player would likely need to be able to contribute on special teams, since Johnson, Johnson and Ellington aren't expected to be used much, if at all, in that capacity.

Ohio State's Ezekiel Elliott is expected to be the first running back chosen, with Alabama's Derrick Henry a likely second-round pick. Utah's Devontae Booker, Louisiana Tech's Kenneth Dixon and Indiana's Jordan Howard are also expected to be picked early. Former Chandler High and UCLA running back Paul Perkins is projected to get taken in the middle rounds, while Arizona State running back/wide receiver D.J. Foster is a borderline draft choice.

David Johnson showed star flashes in 2015 and the Cardinals have enviable depth behind him with Chris Johnson and Ellington. The latter two are on expiring contracts, so there is wiggle room to add a running back with the future in mind, but the cupboard looks full in regards to 2016 playing time.

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