Only four running backs were selected in the first three rounds of this year's draft. It wasn't a highly regarded class. From the fourth through seventh rounds, though, there were 15 college runners selected, with Michael Carter (pictured) taken first. What are the chances one of those players has a significant rookie season, or career?

I went to our files, where we collect statistics from everyone each year. To give me a manageable sample, I looked at all first-year running backs since 2011, but ones that weren't selected in the first three rounds. Either Day 3 picks, or undrafted guys.

From the last decade, there have been a little over 200 late-drafted (rounds 4-7) or undrafted running backs to make it into our files, on average about 22 per year.

Of those players, 13 finished their first season ranked in the top 30 at the position; 1.3 per year. Nineteen more made it into the top 50; should be rostered in typical leagues, and managed some usable production along the way. Collectively, you're looking at about 3 viable late-round or undrafted rookie running backs per season. Three of them made it into the top 10 at the position in the last decade, with James Robinson the best of those players recently.

U2020James Robinson, Jac.10704934410252.47
62012Alfred Morris, Was.1613117713258.07
52016Jordan Howard, Chi.1313292987232.110
U2018Phillip Lindsay, Den.10373524110222.813
52013Zac Stacy, St.L.973261418185.421
42011Roy Helu, Was.640493793168.925
U2014Branden Oliver, S.D.582362714145.326
62013Andre Ellington, Ariz.652393714165.326
42014Andre Williams, NYG721181307145.127
42017Tarik Cohen, Chi.370533534154.428
42016Devontae Booker, Den.612312655148.729
42015Javorius Allen, Balt.514453533149.729
42015Jeremy Langford, Chi.537222797147.630
U2014Isaiah Crowell, Cle.6079878126.433
52012Vick Ballard, Ind.814171523131.633
42017Jamaal Williams, G.B.556252626142.834
U2015Thomas Rawls, Sea.8309765129.637
U2016Robert Kelley, Was.70412827132.638
52015Karlos Williams, Buff.51711969126.338
U2016Jalen Richard, Oak.491291943115.542
42017Samaje Perine, Was.603221822112.543
72012Bryce Brown, Phil.5641356499.043
U2017Austin Ekeler, LAC260272795110.944
42011Kendall Hunter, S.F.47316195294.845
42017Wayne Gallman, NYG476341931106.946
62014Alfred Blue, Hou.52815113397.146
72012Daryl Richardson, St.L.47524163089.846
U2017Matt Breida, S.F.465211803103.547
42016Kenneth Dixon, Balt.382301623102.447
42017Marlon Mack, Ind.358212254103.348
42014Devonta Freeman, Atl.24830225289.349
42018Ito Smith, Atl.31527152497.750

From this year's draft, there are some potentially intriguing players, but the vast majority will require an injury or two to make an impact. Chuba Hubbard will likely be the primary backup to Christian McCaffrey. Kene Nwangwu (in Minnesota) and Jermar Jefferson (in Detroit) are probably going to have a couple of players in front of them. Also the case with Chris Evans (discussed a little yesterday) in Cincinnati.

Carter has the least-noteworthy depth chart in front of him, and he's drawn some praise in camp -- decent chance he's a Week 1 starter, albeit perhaps in a committee with one of Tevin Coleman, Ty Johnson or Lamical Perine. Perhaps New England fourth-rounder Rhamondre Stevenson.

If I'm drafting today, Carter looks like the best late-round stab in re-draft leagues. Statistically, the history suggests at least a couple of these guys will be relevant in 2021; call him the early favorite.

--Andy Richardson