Josh Jacobs is expected to be the first running back chosen in the NFL Draft later this month. It's not a given, however, that he'll be a first-round pick, certainly not selected as early as Saquon Barkley, Leonard Fournette and Ezekiel Elliott in recent years. He'll be drafted by the end of Day 2, certainly, despite a relative lack of college production.

Jacobs played in a tandem with Damien Harris at Alabama, and he was a secondary part of that duo -- Harris had more carries and yards last year. Jacobs finished under 1,000 total yards, which is rare for running backs selected in the first three rounds. Teams seem to want proof that a back can carry the load before selecting them early.

Over the last decade, there have been 69 running backs selected in the first three rounds of the draft. Only 9 of those backs (13 percent) finished under 1,000 total yards in their final season of college. Two-thirds of them (46), meanwhile, went over 1,500. It appears that teams had a lot more confidence using early picks on running backs who'd proven capable of handing a heavy workload in college.

20143Terrance West2519258277742
20151Melvin Gordon2587153274032
20181Rashaad Penny2248135238325
20173D'Onta Foreman202875235115
20162Derrick Henry221991231028
20172Dalvin Cook1765488225320
20091Donald Brown2083125220818
20143Tre Mason1816163217924
20153Tevin Coleman2036141217715
20142Bishop Sankey1870304217421
20153David Johnson1553536208919
20153Duke Johnson1652421207313
20102Toby Gerhart1871157202828
20161Ezekiel Elliott1821206202723
20121Trent Richardson1679338201724
20122LaMichael James1805210201519
20123Ronnie Hillman1711270198120
20132LeVeon Bell1793167196013
20101Ryan Mathews1808122193019
20171Christian McCaffrey1603310191316
20181Saquon Barkley1271632190321
20132Montee Ball183072190222
20093Shonn Greene185049189920
20112Mikel Leshoure1697196189320
20152Ameer Abdullah1611269188022
20173Kareem Hunt1475403187811
20121David Wilson1709129183810
20172Joe Mixon1274538181216
20113DeMarco Murray1214594180820
20092LeSean McCoy1488305179321
20091Knowshon Moreno1400392179218
20112Daniel Thomas1585171175619
20182Ronald Jones1550187173720
20132Giovani Bernard1228490171817
20101C.J. Spiller1212503171516
20142Carlos Hyde1521147166818
20102Montario Hardesty1345302164714
20183Royce Freeman1475164163916
20182Kerryon Johnson1391194158520
20142Jeremy Hill1401181158216
20122Isaiah Pead1259319157815
20113Alex Green1199363156219
20121Doug Martin1299255155418
20123Bernard Pierce148152153327
20132Eddie Lacy1322189151119
20093Glen Coffee1383118150111
20143Charles Sims1095401149614
20102Ben Tate1362105146710
20173James Conner1092302139420
20112Shane Vereen1167209137616
20182Nick Chubb134530137515
20182Derrius Guice1251124137513
20163C.J. Prosise1029308133712
20181Sony Michel122796132317
20091Beanie Wells11974712448
20113Stevan Ridley114761120815
20152T.J. Yeldon979180115912
20111Mark Ingram875282115714
20101Jahvid Best867213108016
20143Jerick McKinnon105023107312
20173Alvin Kamara59639298813
20171Leonard Fournette8431469898
20151Todd Gurley911579689
20153Matt Jones817658827
20143Dri Archer52732785411
20163Kenyan Drake4082766842
20112Ryan Williams47710958610
20133Knile Davis3771575343
20132Christine Michael4174846512

Jacobs had 640 rushing and 247 receiving yards last season. He'd show up near the bottom of the list, which is sorted by total yards the final year of college.

Two of the league's best young running backs the last couple of seasons, Todd Gurley and Alvin Kamara, also show up near the bottom of the list. The Rams didn't hesitate to select Gurley with a top-10 pick, while the Saints gave up a future 2nd to draft Kamara, and would do so again. Fournette also shows up down under 1,000 total yards.

Atop the list are a couple of guys who have either been very good pros -- Melvin Gordon -- or might yet be (Rashaad Penny, Dalvin Cook, Derrick Henry). Too early to say on those guys. But Terrance West and Tre Mason didn't work out, and thus far we haven't seen much out of D'Onta Foreman. Regardless, I don't think there's much to say that teams should be putting heavy weight into how much these backs did in college. Just that it looks like they do.