One big name and highly used running back is gone, so the Tennessee Titans need to find ways and fill that hole. Bishop Sankey coming out of Washington was the first running back taken in the 2014 NFL draft, and will be carrying plenty of expectations going into his rookie season, and hopefully also plenty of the ball as well.
Being the 54th overall pick, Sankey became the latest first running back taken in an NFL draft, showing how much the position has lost its luster in the eyes of general managers and head coaches. Sankey played for three seasons with the Huskies, dominating during his sophomore and junior years with 36 touchdowns and 3309 yards.
Saneky came in at Washington with the shadow and legacy of Chris Polk, or at least his production, looming over him, and showed he has no problem stepping up and even beating the previous achievements. Chris Johnson didn’t leave on the best of terms to the New York Jets. Shone Greene isn’t going to bring much to the table and also coming off major surgery. Sankey might be only a second rounder, but he is probably going to get a lot of touches.
Not that he minds. He ran the ball 289 times in 2012 and that rose to 327 in 2013, along with two receptions a game. Being a workhorse in college and in the NFL is completely different, but it seems the Titans have another young stud to give the ball to, although Sankey might not be as quick as Chris Johnson was during his prime. Even with the significant drop off in production, Johnson still rushed for 1077 yards last season, averaging 3.9 yards a carry.
No matter how much people are happy to see Johnson go, Sankey has some big shoes to fill in a changing NFL. The Titans aren’t a pass-happy team or at least haven’t shown a tendency to focus just on that. With a hopefully improved offensive line, Sankey might be able to break the glass ceiling for running backs these days and put on an impressive rookie season despite being a late second round pick.