I’m guessing guys like Jonathan Taylor and D'Andre Swift, soon-to-be-NFL draftees at the top of the running back crop, had to notice with a special sense of wonderment: Christian McCaffrey broke the bank last week in becoming the richest running back in NFL history.

This is what can happen when you produce in multi-dimensional dynamism as McCaffrey has with the Carolina Panthers. Numbers tell part of the story: The only player in league history with 2,500 rushing yards and 2,500 receiving yards in his first three years. Now $16 million a year in new money.

But just because McCaffrey got paid as the new face of Cam Newton's old team — and without the holdout strife that Ezekiel Elliott and Le'Veon Bell engaged in — doesn’t mean the value on running backs in the NFL has suddenly soared out of character.

As much as every team needs a weapon like McCaffrey and as deep as the running back talent seems for the draft that begins on Thursday night from Roger Goodell's basement, it's likely an RB won't go off the board before the middle of the first round.

"Is there a guy in this group that is going to go extraordinarily high in the top 10 or top 15? I'm not sure about that," Los Angeles Chargers GM Tom Telesco said during a pre-draft Zoom conference on Friday.