NFL Draft

Rookie running backs, linebackers make big contributions

Kareem Hunt, Dalvin Cook and T.J. Watt led the way as rookie running backs and linebackers made an immediate impact in Week 1.

Of the 266 rookies who were on active NFL rosters, 34 started on offense or defense and 13 more played at least half the snaps. Sixteen of those 47 players are linebackers and running backs. At least one player at each position started.

Team executives generally view running backs and linebackers as the players who have the easiest time transitioning from college to the NFL because of the responsibilities associated with the positions.

"Running backs can be more ready with less mental preparation than a quarterback or an offensive...