I'm talking in terms of prospects for the upcoming season, not how it actually played out. This was pretty much the hay day for bell-cow RBs, and in 2006 (coming off the 2005 season), the first round was loaded. You had a big 3 in their primes that put up absolutely absurd numbers in 2005 (age in 2005 season in brackets): Shaun Alexander (28): 370-1,880-27, 15-78-1 Larry Johnson (26): 336-1,750-20, 33-343-1 (this was the year he only started the last 9 games of the season and was a revelation, pacing for 2,402 rushing yards and 28 rushing TDs if you extrapolate his 9 starts to a full 16 game season) Ladanian Tomlinson (26): 339-1,462-18, 51-370-2 (3 passing TDs) Tiki Barber (30) as the #4, who, while now in his 30s, was still a scrimmage yard monster: 357-1,860-9, 54-530-2. It was either Barber or Edgerrin James in this spot. And to round out the top 10 (in no particular order), 3 well-established guys coming off great seasons: Edgerrin James (27, 15 games): 360-1,506-13, 44-337-1 Clinton Portis (24): 352-1,516-11, 30-216-0 (1 passing TD) Rudi Johnson (27): 337-1,458-12, 23-90-0 And 3 very high profile young RBs that were coming off either very promising 1st or 2nd years and were due for an expanded role: Steven Jackson (22, 15 games): 254-1,046-8, 43-320-2 Cadillac Williams (23, 14 games): 290-1,178-6, 20-81-0 Ronnie Brown (24, 15 games): 207-907-4, 32-232-1 Lamont Jordan (27) was also in the mix with a huge year in Oakland: 272-1,025-9, 70-563-2, although he didn't have the established track record or the more known potential of the others. 12th overall is where it started to open up. Top QB Option Peyton Manning (29): 3,747, 28-10 Significant statistical decline from his record setting 49 TD season the year before, but was still the consensus best and most reliable fantasy QB at the time. Top RB Options Willis McGahee (24): 325-1,247-5, 28-178-0 Brian Westbrook (26, 12 games): 156-617-3, 61-616-4 Thomas Jones (27, 15 games): 314-1,335-9, 26-143-0 Reggie Bush (20, 2nd Overall Pick) McGahee's season was seen as a relative disappointment but he still had a ton of potential and opportunity, Westbrook was still the guy that was never fed the ball enough in the running game (which would completely change in 2006), Jones was just kind of an unsexy option, and Bush had a ridiculous amount of hype but was of course a wildcard as a rookie. Top WR Options Steve Smith (26): 103-1,563-12 Chad Johnson (27): 97-1,432-9 Torry Holt (29, 14 games): 102-1,331-9 Larry Fitzgerald (22): 103-1,409-10 Anquan Boldin (25, 14 games played): 102-1,402-7 Marvin Harrison (33, 15 games): 82-1,146-12 Terrell Owens (32, 7 games played): 47-763-6 Randy Moss (28): 60-1,005-8 A ton of talent but kind of tough to pick favorites out of considering the mix of age/injury/newer talent. Smith had a huge year but was one year removed from a big injury, Holt and Harrison were still very productive although some may have been fearing a more significant decline, Fitzgerald/Boldin were incredible but maybe questions about both being able to put up those same numbers again and not take away from one another, and Owens and Moss had serious questions at this point with Owens off to Dallas and Moss being much maligned in Oakland, even though their talent was unquestioned. Chad Johnson may have been the safest option at this point. Top TE Option Antonio Gates (25, 15 games): 89-1,101, 10 2nd straight year of top WR numbers although I still believe a stigma existed against TEs. I think the year after this one presented the best top 5 group of RBs I've ever seen: Tomlinson's historic season, Larry Johnson being an absolute workhorse (although maybe too much of a workhorse), Steven Jackson turning into everything people thought he was going to be and more, the hopefulness of Alexander coming back from injury after his 27 TD season in 2005, and Gore exploding onto the scene with an unexpected amazing season in 2006. But in terms of feeling like you had a great pick no matter where you picked in round 1, even though there was still a very clear top 3, I don't know if I've ever seen anything like this year. I think the typical draft strategy at the time was very much so "you have to take a RB with your 1st pick, and maybe even your 2nd", and this year fed into that perfectly.