CFB RB’s Angered Over Devaluation Of Position, Possibly Leading To Changes

In the ever-evolving landscape of the NFL, the value of running backs has seen a significant decline in recent years, and this trend hasn’t gone unnoticed by one of college football’s standout stars, Quinshon Judkins, of Ole Miss.

Following the struggles of NFL running backs Josh Jacobs and Saquon Barkley in securing long-term contracts, Judkins is determined to maximize his earnings once his illustrious Ole Miss football career comes to an end.

The Las Vegas Raiders’ Jacobs and the New York Giants’ Barkley, both regarded as premier running backs in the league, were unable to agree on lucrative deals and were slapped with the franchise tag.

Meanwhile, wide receivers continue to command substantial paychecks, raising concerns for Judkins about the future prospects of running backs in the NFL.

Understanding the importance of versatility in today’s game, Judkins is focusing on becoming a dangerous pass-catcher for Ole Miss, which he believes will bolster his value for a successful NFL career.

Addressing the media during SEC media day, Judkins emphasized, “That’s why I’ve improved my game as far as showing what I can do in the passing game. I have a lot of receptions, a lot of passing yards. I can not only be used in the backfield, but I can also be used in the slot as well. So you can put me all over the field no matter what you need me to do as a playmaker.”

He added, “I think that as far as the next level, the way they’re doing those guys is because I feel like you can only do so much at that position because of the guys who are in the league and dealing with those situations.”

The decline in running back contracts in the NFL is a cause for concern for Judkins. Over the years, the franchise tag cost for running backs has experienced a noticeable drop, falling from $12.1 million in 2017 to $10.1 million in 2023.

During his freshman year at Ole Miss, Judkins proved himself to be one of the most productive running backs in college football. He achieved an impressive 1,567 rushing yards on an average of 5.7 yards per carry, in addition to scoring 16 rushing touchdowns.

However, Judkins recognizes that his impact in the Ole Miss passing game hasn’t been as significant, having caught only 15 passes for 132 yards. Determined to address this aspect of his game, Judkins expressed his intentions to improve those numbers in the upcoming season.

“I’ve seen the things that they’ve done with the running back position and the contracts and the things in the NFL that the running backs are dealing with,” Judkins stated, underlining the importance of evolving his skill set to remain competitive in a rapidly changing football landscape.

What do you think of Judkins’ comments?

Do you think youth players with NFL aspirations will start to shy away from playing running back?