There's a lot of excitement about this year's quarterback class, and there's quite a bit of fondness for incoming pass catchers (wide receivers and tight ends), too. You're not hearing as much about the running backs. There will perhaps be a first-rounder or two (Najee Harris and Travis Etienne), but no one would be completely stunned if none were selected. Fantasy teams shouldn't worry too much, though.

First-rounders typically have the most talent, and they also get advantages as far as opportunity and commitment. But plenty of backs can rise up from the ranks of mid- to late-rounders or undrafted free agents to make an impact, even in year one.

Table below shows all the rookie running backs who finished in the top 25 at their position since 2000. About 40 percent of those players (21 of 51) were first-round picks, so that initial edge definitely makes a difference. But almost as many (17 of 51) were drafted in the third round or later. (And 13 in the second round, which seems likely for Javonte Williams, pictured.) Give an edge to those first-rounders, certainly, but 60 percent of top-25 rookies this century were selected outside that initial round.

Last year was a particularly good year for rookie running backs. Six of them finished in the top 25 at the position. Five of those players (in bold) were either drafted outside the first round, or not drafted at all.

12018Saquon Barkley, NYG13079172115385.82
12016Ezekiel Elliott, Dall.16313236316327.42
12012Doug Martin, T.B.14544947212313.62
22008Matt Forte, Chi.12386347712306.52
32017Alvin Kamara, N.O.7288182614322.43
32017Kareem Hunt, K.C.13275345511297.24
12007Adrian Peterson, Min.13411926813257.95
22020Jonathan Taylor, Ind.11693629912254.86
12001LaDainian Tomlinson, S.D.12365936710279.36
FA2020James Robinson, Jac.10704934410252.47
32015David Johnson, Ariz.5813645713217.87
62012Alfred Morris, Was.1613117713258.07
32008Steve Slaton, Hou.12825037710275.97
22002Clinton Portis, Den.15083336417322.27
22013Eddie Lacy, G.B.11783525711244.58
12012Trent Richardson, Cle.9505136712254.78
22006Maurice Jones-Drew, Jac.9414643616279.78
12017Christian McCaffrey, Car.435806517230.69
12015Todd Gurley, St.L.11062118810210.49
12006Reggie Bush, N.O.565887429272.79
12017Leonard Fournette, Jac.10403630210230.210
52016Jordan Howard, Chi.1313292987232.110
22014Jeremy Hill, Cin.1124272159214.910
12008Chris Johnson, Ten.12284326010251.811
62000Mike Anderson, Den.14872316915280.611
FA2001Dominic Rhodes, Ind.11043422410226.812
FA2018Phillip Lindsay, Den.10373524110222.813
22013Giovani Bernard, Cin.695565148224.913
12006Joseph Addai, Ind.1081403258228.613
32020Antonio Gibson, Was.7953624711206.214
42003Domanick Williams, Hou.1031473518233.214
22019Miles Sanders, Phil.818505096220.715
22013LeVeon Bell, Pitt.860453998218.915
22020D'Andre Swift, Det.5214635710193.816
12007Marshawn Lynch, Buff.1115181847196.316
22018Nick Chubb, Cle.9962014910194.517
32008Kevin Smith, Det.976392868213.217
22001Anthony Thomas, Chi.1183221787202.117
12009Knowshon Moreno, Den.947282139198.018
12000Jamal Lewis, Balt.1364272966231.018
12010Jahvid Best, Det.555584876198.220
12019Josh Jacobs, Oak.1150201667193.621
52013Zac Stacy, St.L.973261418185.421
12005Cadillac Williams, T.B.117820816181.921
12004Kevin Jones, Det.1133281806195.321
12020Clyde Edwards-Helaire, K.C.80336297517622
12005Ronnie Brown, Mia.907322325175.923
22020J.K. Dobbins, Balt.805181209168.524
32019David Montgomery, Chi.889251857174.424
32015Duke Johnson, Cle.379615342164.324
42011Roy Helu, Was.640493793168.925

Two weeks from right now, we'll know who, if any, were the first-round running backs. But the ones selected in the second and third rounds on Friday, and fourth through seventh on Saturday, also will have the potential to make a significant rookie impact.

--Andy Richardson