KC Chiefs: Mid-round running backs who make sense in 2022 NFL Draft

MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 31: James Cook #4 of the Georgia Bulldogs carries the ball in the second quarter of the game against the Michigan Wolverines in the Capital One Orange Bowl for the College Football Playoff semifinal game at Hard Rock Stadium on December 31, 2021 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 31: James Cook #4 of the Georgia Bulldogs carries the ball in the second quarter of the game against the Michigan Wolverines in the Capital One Orange Bowl for the College Football Playoff semifinal game at Hard Rock Stadium on December 31, 2021 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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MINNEAPOLIS, MN – AUGUST 29: Pierre Strong Jr. #20 of the South Dakota State Jackrabbits reacts to a penalty flag during the third quarter of the game against the Minnesota Gophers on August 29, 2018 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Strong had run the ball for a touchdown and the penalty was against his teammate. The Gophers defeated the Jackrabbits 28-21. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – AUGUST 29: Pierre Strong Jr. #20 of the South Dakota State Jackrabbits reacts to a penalty flag during the third quarter of the game against the Minnesota Gophers on August 29, 2018 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Strong had run the ball for a touchdown and the penalty was against his teammate. The Gophers defeated the Jackrabbits 28-21. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

Pierre Strong Jr.

If the Chiefs miss out on the first three backs in this post, but still want to add a back with high upside, targeting Pierre Strong Jr. from South Dakota State would be a smart choice. This small-school back is big on upside. Strong is 5-foot-11 and 207 pounds and ran a 4.37 forty. Strong needs some coaching and is the least ready to step in of the four backs in this post, but his ability to hit an open hole and explode for a big run is as good or better than any back in this draft class.

I think this quote from Lance Zierlein’s NFL.com scouting report sums it up pretty well:

"Strong is more reactive than manipulative but is quite impressive with his spatial awareness and ability to slalom around bodies on a smooth, linear pathway without slowing his roll. He struggles when forced to slow his feet and make early cuts. He needs a north/south run scheme where he can square his pads and find his rhythm quickly."

You can see exactly what he means by “slalom around bodies” in the clip in Jim Nagy’s bottom tweet below.

If Strong could develop his patience, pass protection skills, and reliance as a pass-catcher, he has the upside of a star running back. Does he have a higher bust potential than some backs? Yes, but if he hits he could be the best value of any back taken in this draft. If you want to see more of him in action you can check out more in the links below.

Watch some of Strong’s highlights HERE.

Watch Strong’s complete game vs Southern Illinois HERE.

So what do you think Chiefs fans? Have I sold any more of you on KC taking a back in the 3rd or 4th round of the draft? Were you already on board with the idea? What do you think of these four options? Are there other backs you like even more in this range? Would you rather the Chiefs target another free agent running back? I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments below.

You can also check out my thoughts on the biggest remaining holes on the Chiefs roster from last week and my thoughts on some of the 1st round wide receiver targets from last month.

Ranking first round WR options for the Chiefs. dark. Next