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Halsey
01-09-2011, 09:15 PM
This question crossed my mind today after watching James Starks run for big yards. I find myself wondering if fewer RBs should be taken with early picks, allowing teams to address other needs, and then find RBs later. It always has seemed to me that RB is a positioned saturated with good athletes, but now I wonder if that's more true than ever. Thoughts?

Chidi29
01-09-2011, 09:17 PM
I've always thought of RB as more of a luxury. Unless there's an elite guy, building a good line that can create holes will make any running look good.

gpngc
01-09-2011, 09:18 PM
A smart GM wouldn't even think about taking a RB in the first round.

Good RBs are ridiculously easy to find elsewhere.

And while guys like AD and CJ2K are very, very good, and CAN'T be found late, they play a position that is simply not as important. Proof: Titans and Vikings (both teams success correlated with strong QB play - their RBs were always a constant).

Halsey
01-09-2011, 09:23 PM
I do think a team can be seriously hurt if it doesn't have enough quality RBs to play. The Saints and Colts are evidence of that. While RBs may be relatively easy to find, they have very important jobs. Having to use a guy who is a weak between the tackles runner or fumbles the ball too much can kill drives.

JPP90
01-09-2011, 09:23 PM
There are always guys worth taking 1st round. However, trading up or jumping on guys like Donald Brown or Beanie Wells is asinine. Now *those* guys can be bested by a James Starks in the 6th round.

Morton
01-09-2011, 09:24 PM
Basically speaking, picking a RB with anything higher than a low second round pick is pretty foolish at this point, in this day and age when the passing game is paramount and reasonably talented RBs can be found everywhere.

SeanTaylorRIP
01-09-2011, 09:28 PM
Basically speaking, picking a RB with anything higher than a low second round pick is pretty foolish at this point, in this day and age when the passing game is paramount and reasonably talented RBs can be found everywhere.

Brandon Jackson was a 2nd round pick yet the Packers had a completely ineffective run game this year which made them lose games they shouldn't have.

Saints-Tigers
01-09-2011, 09:32 PM
I do think a team can be seriously hurt if it doesn't have enough quality RBs to play. The Saints and Colts are evidence of that. While RBs may be relatively easy to find, they have very important jobs. Having to use a guy who is a weak between the tackles runner or fumbles the ball too much can kill drives.

Saints and Colts did fine with anyone at RB... when they could run block.

Woody56
01-09-2011, 09:42 PM
If I was a GM, the earliest I would draft a RB would be the 3rd round. It is by far the easiest position to find good players.

GB12
01-09-2011, 09:46 PM
Brandon Jackson was a 2nd round pick yet the Packers had a completely ineffective run game this year which made them lose games they shouldn't have.
Grant was undrafted, had a lot of success. Jackson was a second round pick, didn't really have success. Then Starks, a 6th round pick, has success.


Not sure where you were trying to go with that.

DaBrowns41
01-09-2011, 09:56 PM
It's the easiest transition in the NFL. Guys like Peyton Hillis, Arian Foster, Jamaal Charles, Michael Turner, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, and Ahmad Bradshaw were all drafted in Rounds 3-7 or undrafted.

Ryan Torain, Michael Bush, and LeGarrette Blount have made names for themselves as well.

marshallb
01-09-2011, 09:58 PM
Grant was undrafted, had a lot of success. Jackson was a second round pick, didn't really have success. Then Starks, another undrafted player, has success.


Not sure where you were trying to go with that.

Starks actually was drafted in the 6th round, pick #193.

Halsey
01-09-2011, 10:00 PM
It's the easiest transition in the NFL. Guys like Peyton Hillis, Arian Foster, Jamaal Charles, Michael Turner, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, and Ahmad Bradshaw were all drafted in Rounds 3-7 or undrafted.

Ryan Torain, Michael Bush, and LeGarrette Blount have made names for themselves as well.

Don't forget about Benjarvus Green-Smith-Thomas-Clementine-Ellis

DaBrowns41
01-09-2011, 10:00 PM
Don't forget about Benjarvus Green-Smith-Thomas-Clementine-Ellis

I listed him in there. :D

Aka The Law Firm.

Halsey
01-09-2011, 10:01 PM
I listed him in there. :D

Aka The Law Firm.

Wow, how did I miss that...

TACKLE
01-09-2011, 10:02 PM
This question crossed my mind today after watching James Starks run for big yards. I find myself wondering if fewer RBs should be taken with early picks, allowing teams to address other needs, and then find RBs later. It always has seemed to me that RB is a positioned saturated with good athletes, but now I wonder if that's more true than ever. Thoughts?

Just a side note about Starks...he was an excellent player at Buffalo and probably could of gone as high as the 2nd round had he missed his entire senior season with a shoulder injury. So although he was a late round pick, he wasn't a late round talent.

GB12
01-09-2011, 10:02 PM
Starks actually was drafted in the 6th round, pick #193.

Yeah I was fixing that when you posted this, ha. Doesn't really make a difference here though anyway.

toddmlazarchick
01-09-2011, 10:04 PM
Its a double edged sword IMO. There are guys worth taking in round 1 like AP and C2KJ but there are also talents to be had later to fit what you are looking for. I think there should be less RBs drafted early but once in a while you get one thats worth it.

DaBrowns41
01-09-2011, 10:05 PM
Just a side note about Starks...he was an excellent player at Buffalo and probably could of gone as high as the 2nd round had he missed his entire senior season with a shoulder injury. So although he was a late round pick, he wasn't a late round talent.

You could make that argument about a few guys.

Blount was a 2nd-3rd round talent, but off-field issues, and thought of him being too slow caused him to be undrafted AND released by the Titans.

Ahmad Bradshaw had good production, but his size scared teams away.

Peyton Hillis was a fullback who made a name for himself in the passing game, not so much as a runner.

Arian Foster was productive, but slow and suffered through injuries. Had all the talent though.

Michael Bush didn't have the speed, and that broken leg cost him as well.

Halsey
01-09-2011, 10:08 PM
Just a side note about Starks...he was an excellent player at Buffalo and probably could of gone as high as the 2nd round had he missed his entire senior season with a shoulder injury. So although he was a late round pick, he wasn't a late round talent.

I think many RBs get drafted lower than their talent suggests they should be. My belief is that it starts before college. Lots of kids want to play RB and it doesn't favor unusually tall kids like many other positions do. Therefore, you have more talented kids competing to play RB in college.

DaBrowns41
01-09-2011, 10:20 PM
I think many RBs get drafted lower than their talent suggests they should be. My belief is that it starts before college. Lots of kids want to play RB and it doesn't favor unusually tall kids like many other positions do. Therefore, you have more talented kids competing to play RB in college.

Well, it's really the guys that light up the college world like AP, Reggie Bush, Darren McFadden, etc. that get taken high in the first.

I never thought Bush was a Top 10 pick, personally. But I also didn't think he'd be this useless as a RB.

Halsey
01-09-2011, 10:23 PM
Well, it's really the guys that light up the college world like AP, Reggie Bush, Darren McFadden, etc. that get taken high in the first.

I never thought Bush was a Top 10 pick, personally. But I also didn't think he'd be this useless as a RB.

I seriously think Bush may be better if he played more WR and less lining up in the backfield.

DaBrowns41
01-09-2011, 10:25 PM
I've always thought of RB as more of a luxury. Unless there's an elite guy, building a good line that can create holes will make any running look good.

See Denver Broncos of the last 15 years.

DaBrowns41
01-09-2011, 10:26 PM
I seriously think Bush may be better if he played more WR and less lining up in the backfield.

Yeah, he could create mismatches in the slot. It's no doubt he's talented, but you have to be more than just fast in the NFL. Chris Johnson is great because he's fast, but patient and has excellent vision. Bush just wants to try and outrun everybody and juke people left and right. It's not going to happen.

gpngc
01-09-2011, 10:28 PM
It's just not worth it.

If your goal is to win a Super Bowl, it's proven you don't need an elite talent at RB.

And how many teams are led to the Super Bowl by their star RB?

None.

Every productive/elite RB that got to the Super Bowl ALSO had a very good QB.

cajuncorey
01-09-2011, 10:36 PM
As said before take a decently sized athlete with good speed, plug him in behind a good offensively line and he can have sucess. At the NFL level runningback is based on pure instinct and creativeness. No sense in drafting a guy in the top 10 who has similar talent to someone whom is going to be a late round talent.

JPP90
01-09-2011, 10:43 PM
You can't say that guys like Marcus Lattimore or Adrian Peterson aren't 1st round prospects though. This is no different than any other position. You can find a lot of good players at every position taken outside the 1st round. Its all the same..you have a big need, address it. You see a slam dunk talent, you don't ignore it and look for a sleeper.

xxxxxxxx
01-09-2011, 10:56 PM
Any running back that is NFL caliber, whether it be a top 10 pick or an undrafted free agent, will get through the hole and gain yards if one is there, and will get stuffed if one isn't. It's that simple. Runningback is not that important.

Your welcome for ending this discussion.

/close thread.

JPP90
01-09-2011, 11:22 PM
Any running back that is NFL caliber, whether it be a top 10 pick or an undrafted free agent, will get through the hole and gain yards if one is there, and will get stuffed if one isn't. It's that simple. Runningback is not that important.

Your welcome for ending this discussion.

/close thread.

It really is not that simple or RBs wouldn't even be drafted...they'd be signed as free agents since the job of a RB is aso simplified under your explanation. There are guys like Peterson who are "rare breed" that are equally as dangerous between the tackles or on the edge. There are guys like CJ who can explode through a hole before a defemse can even react. There are physical traits that make up a RB that you have to identify..balance, instincts, vision, cutback ability, patience. RBs aren't necessarily dime a dozen. For every Arian Foster or James Starks there are 20 Blair Thomas or Tyrone Wheatley's.

gpngc
01-09-2011, 11:59 PM
It really is not that simple or RBs wouldn't even be drafted...they'd be signed as free agents since the job of a RB is aso simplified under your explanation. There are guys like Peterson who are "rare breed" that are equally as dangerous between the tackles or on the edge. There are guys like CJ who can explode through a hole before a defemse can even react. There are physical traits that make up a RB that you have to identify..balance, instincts, vision, cutback ability, patience. RBs aren't necessarily dime a dozen. For every Arian Foster or James Starks there are 20 Blair Thomas or Tyrone Wheatley's.

That's proving the point you are attempting to refute.

And where are CJ2K and AD right now? Sitting home.

RBs absolutely are a dime-a-dozen.

PossibleCabbage
01-10-2011, 12:13 AM
I think this is just a symptom of the way that the game has evolved. Specifically:

1) It's a passing league first and foremost. An RB of any quality can't make up for a deficiency at QB in the longrun, and a QB of sufficient quality can make up for any deficiency at RB in the longrun.

2) Defensive players are simply bigger, stronger, and faster than at any previous point in history. As a result not only is it more difficult to run effectively, running backs also tend to have shorter careers as they take more and harder hits.

3) Offense is generally ahead of defense in the college game, and many college offenses feature the running back heavily. With scouting having evolved as it has, the pool of potential running back is larger than it ever has been. It's much easier for every NFL team to be aware of a star RB from a minor program in the MAC now than it ever was. Not only that, but when we watch football we tend to spend the most time looking at the ball so RBs are much less likely to be ignored at smaller programs than, say, right guards (compare the draft status versus career trajectory of Kevin Jones and Josh Sitton, both UCF alums of 2008; Jones was considered a good pick, Sitton was considered a ridiculous reach).

I'm not entirely sure this is cyclical, and will change back. The fact that RBs take so many more hits than any other skill position and that they're so many of them will probably mean that teams will continue to treat them as fungible resources.

prock
01-10-2011, 12:13 AM
That's proving the point you are attempting to refute.

And where are CJ2K and AD right now? Sitting home.

RBs absolutely are a dime-a-dozen.

No one is saying that they are more important that QBs. Quarterback is the most important position in sports, and comparing them to running backs is irrelevant. Offensive line is so much about running back success, obviously, but when all other things are equal, an Adrian Peterson will get you 600 more yards in a year easily, again all other things equal.

wordofi
01-10-2011, 12:17 AM
I'd have to say so. Arian Foster, who lead the NFL in rushing, wasn't even drafted in 2009. I think early in the draft, you have to focus on quarterback (obviously) and the offensive and defensive lines.

umphrey
01-10-2011, 12:19 AM
Any running back that is NFL caliber, whether it be a top 10 pick or an undrafted free agent, will get through the hole and gain yards if one is there, and will get stuffed if one isn't. It's that simple. Runningback is not that important.

Your welcome for ending this discussion.

/close thread.
One of the worst posts I've ever read. You can simplify any position on the field to this language if you want to waste your time. Different runners have different skills and capabilities.

LonghornsLegend
01-10-2011, 12:24 AM
That's proving the point you are attempting to refute.

And where are CJ2K and AD right now? Sitting home.

RBs absolutely are a dime-a-dozen.

You do know that I can pick elite players at every position that didn't make the playoffs right? That proves nothing. 1 player can't change the outcome of the entire team himself. If the Pats had a chance at getting Chris Johnson, do you think they would do it, or just say screw it and take a guy in the 6th round? These guys are still difference makers, and there are times when the need and talent matches up well for a certain team.

JPP90
01-10-2011, 12:35 AM
That's proving the point you are attempting to refute.

And where are CJ2K and AD right now? Sitting home.

RBs absolutely are a dime-a-dozen.

Is that any of their fault? Seriously, what a dumb statement. Next we're gonna hear that QBs are a dine a dozen because the Jets are winning in spite of Mark Sanchez..

gpngc
01-10-2011, 12:37 AM
You do know that I can pick elite players at every position that didn't make the playoffs right? That proves nothing. 1 player can't change the outcome of the entire team himself. If the Pats had a chance at getting Chris Johnson, do you think they would do it, or just say screw it and take a guy in the 6th round? These guys are still difference makers, and there are times when the need and talent matches up well for a certain team.

They did just that.

And took Jerod Mayo.

And now they have Mayo and Woodhead/BJGE.

To me

Mayo + Woodhead/BJGE >>>> CJ2K + a 6th round ILB.

gpngc
01-10-2011, 12:41 AM
Is that any of their fault? Seriously, what a dumb statement. Next we're gonna hear that QBs are a dine a dozen because the Jets are winning in spite of Mark Sanchez..

I think it's fairly logical.

I pointed out the two best RBs in the league to support the hypothesis that RBs aren't that important or hard to find.

Both are sitting home.

If the goal is to build a team to win a Super Bowl (and not have players with awesome fantasy stats) then taking a RB, even a guy like CJ2K or AD instead of an impact defensive player or great lineman high in the draft is not very smart. Why? Because effective RBs can be found later... It's simply not cost-effective to draft one high. The supply is just as high as the demand.

Do I need to go down the list for you? There are so many examples of late-round or UDFA types effectively helping their teams win.

LonghornsLegend
01-10-2011, 12:45 AM
They did just that.

And took Jerod Mayo.

And now they have Mayo and Woodhead/BJGE.

To me

Mayo + Woodhead/BJGE >>>> CJ2K + a 6th round ILB.



Nobody was taking Chris Johnson where Mayo went in the draft, if it was the Adrian Peterson draft you'd have an argument. They were just used as a hypothetical.

LonghornsLegend
01-10-2011, 12:46 AM
I pointed out the two best RBs in the league to support the hypothesis that RBs aren't that important or hard to find.

You make it seem like it's that black and white. So if the Titans and Vikes make the playoff next year it's ok for someone to make the argument that you need to have an elite RB? What about if Phillip Rivers and Aaron Rodgers miss the playoffs as well? That's not enough to make an argument out of, football takes 11 players on each side of the ball, trying to attribute a RB to an entire teams success on offense, defense, and coaching is ridiculous.

Mr. Goosemahn
01-10-2011, 12:53 AM
Oh my goodness, some of the things being said here are completely ********.

RB is still a very important position in the NFL. As some of you have mentioned, this is turning into a passing league and therefore RB's are being asked to do more things, but they are still valuable.

And no single player can take a team/win a Superbowl. Brees has pretty darn good receivers. Roethlisberger had a great defense and Holmes. Manning had Burress and Earth, Wind, and Fire. Manning had Rhodes and Addai. Roethlisberger had Bettis and Parker. etc.

Are RB's a dime a dozen? Sure. Can you have a successful team and rely consistently on one of these RB's? Absolutely not.

A team that can't run the ball will have a one dimensional offense and consequently a defense that focuses solely on stopping the passing game. Kind of like what happens to the Colts. They don't have good RB's, IMO, and it definitely hurts them. How much more dangerous were they with Edge? A good running game slows down the pass-rush, brings the safeties forwards, and opens up the running game.

A 'dime a dozen' RB doesn't require as much preparation on the defense's behalf as a good RB does. Do you think teams don't prepare against Peterson and CJ and others? Of course they do. But they still find ways to absolutely rape defenses.

Arian Foster's recent success isn't the norm. Quite the contrary, it's a marvelous exception. You can't draft a RB in the sixth round and expect him to become a 1000+ yard rusher just because you open holes for him.

Having an elite RB won't win you a Superbowl, but my god will it help. Take away Michael Turner and put in a UDFA RB and let's see if the Falcons are still the #1 seed in the NFC.

Any running back that is NFL caliber, whether it be a top 10 pick or an undrafted free agent, will get through the hole and gain yards if one is there, and will get stuffed if one isn't. It's that simple. Runningback is not that important.

Your welcome for ending this discussion.

/close thread.

That is just completely ********. All there is to say.

So, are RB's more abundant right now? IMO, no they are not. They are just dropping in the draft. It's a consequence of the direction the league is headed in right now. The same thing is happening to 4-3 defensive talents. They are slipping because of the demand for 4-3 guys.

JPP90
01-10-2011, 12:55 AM
I think it's fairly logical.

I pointed out the two best RBs in the league to support the hypothesis that RBs aren't that important or hard to find.

Both are sitting home.

If the goal is to build a team to win a Super Bowl (and not have players with awesome fantasy stats) then taking a RB, even a guy like CJ2K or AD instead of an impact defensive player or great lineman high in the draft is not very smart. Why? Because effective RBs can be found later... It's simply not cost-effective to draft one high. The supply is just as high as the demand.

Do I need to go down the list for you? There are so many examples of late-round or UDFA types effectively helping their teams win.

Nnamdi Asomugha is sitting at home while Bryant McFadden and Ike Taylor start for the Steelers. Let's not take CBs high. And look at Matt Hasselbeck and Tom Brady... QBs can be found late too...don't take 'em high. Better yet don't draft anybody...just trade down continuously into the 2nd round because recent study finds that solid starters can be found in any round so let's take anybody and save some money.

gpngc
01-10-2011, 12:55 AM
You make it seem like it's that black and white. So if the Titans and Vikes make the playoff next year it's ok for someone to make the argument that you need to have an elite RB? What about if Phillip Rivers and Aaron Rodgers miss the playoffs as well? That's not enough to make an argument out of, football takes 11 players on each side of the ball, trying to attribute a RB to an entire teams success on offense, defense, and coaching is ridiculous.

Yes. Yes it is.

You should base arguments on things that actually occur.

I still wouldn't change my opinion though. I really don't even know what I'm arguing. I think you guys are reading into my critique on the importance of the position as a knock on the players. I love those two players. They are both amazing. I'd want them on my team. I just wouldn't draft them high. I said my view on RBs - they are absolutely a dime-a-dozen and having an extremely talented back is simply not that important in today's NFL.

You can draft AD and CJ2K and enjoy how amazing they are when their line opens up holes and allows them to showcase their talent. I'll focus my high picks on the trenches, pass rushers, DBs and QBs. That's just my philosophy.

brat316
01-10-2011, 12:57 AM
having a competent rb to pick up the blitz and catch and route run is not as easy to find.

You can't just plug a good athlete in there, you plug a good rb in there. Why did Starks have such a good game. But all season long Brandon Jackson couldn't?

Mr. Goosemahn
01-10-2011, 12:57 AM
You can't simply say the two best RB's in football are out of the playoffs just like that, take into consideration the rest of the team.

You can say the same for elite receivers, even if it's a pass-first league.

Here are the league's top five IMO/Legit list

1. Calvin Johnson, Detroit
2. Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona
3. Andre Johnson, Houston
4. Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis
5. Roddy White, Atlanta

The first three didn't even make the playoffs. Only one remains actively pursuing a championship. Does that mean you don't need an elite receiver to win a championship?

LonghornsLegend
01-10-2011, 12:57 AM
Where are Jake Long and Joe Thomas at right now? Sitting at home.

gpngc
01-10-2011, 12:58 AM
Nnamdi Asomugha is sitting at home while Bryant McFadden and Ike Taylor start for the Steelers. Let's not take CBs high. And look at Matt Hasselbeck and Tom Brady... QBs can be found late too...don't take 'em high. Better yet don't draft anybody...just trade down continuously into the 2nd round because recent study finds that solid starters can be found in any round so let's take anybody and save some money.

But here's the flaw with this argument.

Yes Nnamdi is home. But you can't find a guy who is as effective as Nnamdi at that position in the 6th round or UDFA. You just can't. Consistently, you can find RBs who are less talented, but ultimately very close to as effective as AD and CJ2K.

gpngc
01-10-2011, 12:59 AM
You can't simply say the two best RB's in football are out of the playoffs just like that, take into consideration the rest of the team.

You can say the same for elite receivers, even if it's a pass-first league.

Here are the league's top five IMO/Legit list

1. Calvin Johnson, Detroit
2. Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona
3. Andre Johnson, Houston
4. Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis
5. Roddy White, Atlanta

The first three didn't even make the playoffs. Only one remains actively pursuing a championship. Does that mean you don't need an elite receiver to win a championship?

Yes. I believe this to be true as well.

So do the 14-2 Patriots.

yo123
01-10-2011, 12:59 AM
Why does everything have to be so fricken black and white with everyone here. RB is the easiest position to fill no doubt, that doesn't mean that there isn't ever a RB with 1st round value. I will say I find some of the RB's taken in the first round ridiculous like Ryan Mathews last year, but we would have gone 2-14 without Adrian Peterson, saying that he isn't as important as an elite QB is completely obvious and irrelevant to the discussion.

Mr. Goosemahn
01-10-2011, 01:02 AM
Nnamdi Asomugha is sitting at home while Bryant McFadden and Ike Taylor start for the Steelers. Let's not take CBs high. And look at Matt Hasselbeck and Tom Brady... QBs can be found late too...don't take 'em high. Better yet don't draft anybody...just trade down continuously into the 2nd round because recent study finds that solid starters can be found in any round so let's take anybody and save some money.

1. Ike Taylor is an underrated CB. He is no Asomugha or Revis, but he's a good CB. Terrible hands, but good player.

2. That might also have to do with the fact that the team has a franchise QB, 7th rusher with most yards, 10th receiver with most yards, and fifth best rushing defense in NFL history.

But I agree with the second part of your statement. It's foolish to think you can just draft late round players and expect them to blossom into great ones.

JPP90
01-10-2011, 01:06 AM
Yes. Yes it is.

You should base arguments on things that actually occur.

I still wouldn't change my opinion though. I really don't even know what I'm arguing. I think you guys are reading into my critique on the importance of the position as a knock on the players. I love those two players. They are both amazing. I'd want them on my team. I just wouldn't draft them high. I said my view on RBs - they are absolutely a dime-a-dozen and having an extremely talented back is simply not that important in today's NFL.

You can draft AD and CJ2K and enjoy how amazing they are when their line opens up holes and allows them to showcase their talent. I'll focus my high picks on the trenches, pass rushers, DBs and QBs. That's just my philosophy.
You can make this argument about pretty much any position. The Jets just won a playoff game because Revis completely took a WR out of a close game and he is their best player. Teams have won with lousy running games because their QB is unstoppable and teams have won with lousy passing games because their RB is unstoppable. And teams with no QB or RB have been successful because they have a dominating defense. And you have teams with 0 defense that just score a ton of points. Colts qualify for a lot of that. So do the Ravens of 10 years ago. But botom line is in a perfect world you have a balance in all phases of the game and you don't just say, eh I don't need a running game...I have a great QB. Running the ball helps the passing game, obviously. If you get a good RB cheap, more power to you. But to argue Marcus Lattimore should be devalued because of teams finding UDFA RBs is ********. Like I said, Pats found Brady 6th round..don't take QBs now.

gpngc
01-10-2011, 01:10 AM
But to argue Marcus Lattimore should be devalued because of teams finding UDFA RBs is ********. Like I said, Pats found Brady 6th round..don't take QBs now.

I don't know why that's ********... I think it makes sense to devalue a guy that plays a position where the supply is much higher compared to other positions...

The Pats found Brady in the 6th round. Matt Hasselbeck too. That's two guys in the past 12 years.

The _______ found insert late-round RB in the 6th round or UDFA every single year without fail.

You can count on finding an effective RB late EVERY SINGLE YEAR. You cannot say the same for a QB.

JPP90
01-10-2011, 01:16 AM
RB is as devalued as its ever going to be. If you need a QB and a RB, you're going QB if the talent is equal. But if you need both positions and you have. Top 15 RB vs a 2nd round talent at QB, you're taking the RB. It makes sense. Its drafting for need. There aren't many elite "rare breed" guys out there at RB but Lattimore os one of them...and that's why he will go top 10 at worst, provided he stays healthy. But that argument is made about every position anyway...if a QB isn't elite, don't take him high. Same with every other position.

FUNBUNCHER
01-10-2011, 05:28 AM
In this current era of college and NFL football, running back is a depth position in every draft.
It just is, I don't know why.

Maybe because RB is such an instinctive position and if a player has decent quickness and vision, along with moderate productivity in college, if he goes to a team that has a strong run-blocking Oline and a decent passing game, he's going to be successful.

I don't know if there's a greater depth position in the NFL.

Sure a back like AD brings a different dimension to an offense, but the point being is you don't need a RB to rush for 1800 yards for an team to be successful.

I've seen too many RBs signed off the street in the last 10 years who've come in with a week of practice and put up 100+ yards not to believe their value isn't at the top of the draft, in most cases.

I bet most NFL squads have RBs on their practice squads or FAs on speed dial who in 7 days would be ready to start, even if they were a liability in the passing game and blitz pickup.

There are so many talented prep RBs across the country as well, from every state who play at every level of college football.
Take Woodhead, a superstar prep out of the state of Nebraska, whom the Huskers turned their noses up at.

Played I think Division 3 football and beasted, ends up on the Pats and was given the opportunity to prove that he's obviously an NFL talent.

I bet the top 5 RBs in the CFL could be productive NFL players behind most solid NFL run blocking teams.

The first round should only be reserved for those truly special talents at RB.

stephenson86
01-10-2011, 05:54 AM
I think it is very easy to find a running back that you can just plug in and get some production, but rarely do you find an exceptional talent.

NY+Giants=NYG
01-10-2011, 07:40 AM
You could make that argument about a few guys.

Blount was a 2nd-3rd round talent, but off-field issues, and thought of him being too slow caused him to be undrafted AND released by the Titans.

Ahmad Bradshaw had good production, but his size scared teams away.

Peyton Hillis was a fullback who made a name for himself in the passing game, not so much as a runner.

Arian Foster was productive, but slow and suffered through injuries. Had all the talent though.

Michael Bush didn't have the speed, and that broken leg cost him as well.


He had off the field issues where he stole a play station so that's why Bradshaw dropped. He had a better grade, but that off the field issue was a reason why he dropped. Also, level of competition was another factor.

Morton
01-10-2011, 08:28 AM
You can't simply say the two best RB's in football are out of the playoffs just like that, take into consideration the rest of the team.


But you have to ask yourself, then, why are these teams with elite RBs staying at home right now? Perhaps it's this drafting strategy of theirs that encourages them to pick unimportant positions such as RB very high?

Maybe wasting a top 10 pick on Adrian Peterson actually hindered the Vikings' chances of competing for a championship. Maybe spending a a first round pick on Chis Johnson instead of bolstering their offensive or defensive lines was the wrong move to make for the Titans.

Forget about the flashy stats and the figures. If you have a guy that can produce, say, at 80% of an elite back's production, or even closer to 90%, and at a fraction of the cost (in $$$ terms and draft resources), why not just take that guy? I can get a guy in the 3rd-7th rounds who can probably bang out 4.4 ypc behind a decent offensive line. Guess what Chris Johnson's ypc were this year? 4.3. I literally can find a guy off the street to do what Chris Johnson did this year. Instead of blowing a first round pick on Chris Johnson, the Titans could have fortified one of their lines, or picked a stud DB, and then just plugged in a late-round RB and would probably be better for it. Less flashy, but a more solid team.


Here are the league's top five IMO/Legit list

1. Calvin Johnson, Detroit
2. Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona
3. Andre Johnson, Houston
4. Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis
5. Roddy White, Atlanta

The first three didn't even make the playoffs. Only one remains actively pursuing a championship. Does that mean you don't need an elite receiver to win a championship?

You probably don't, in the end. Do the Patriots have an "elite" WR right now? Did they ever have one in those playoff runs from 2001-2004? Did they win a Super Bowl in 2007 when they finally did have an elite WR named Randy Moss?

stephenson86
01-10-2011, 08:40 AM
At the end of the day really, it is very hard to win a championship without a great QB, unless you defence is all world.

jth1331
01-10-2011, 08:50 AM
This is why I fricken hated the Knowshon Moreno pick by the Broncos.
If you draft a 1st round RB, it better be a fricken elite prospect, Peterson or McFadden come to mind.
A lot of successful RB's have been drafted after round 1, and the Broncos showed you can get talent anywhere in the draft you just need the blocking first.

Morton
01-10-2011, 08:59 AM
This is why I fricken hated the Knowshon Moreno pick by the Broncos.
If you draft a 1st round RB, it better be a fricken elite prospect, Peterson or McFadden come to mind.
A lot of successful RB's have been drafted after round 1, and the Broncos showed you can get talent anywhere in the draft you just need the blocking first.

The Broncos could have had Brian Orakpo with that pick instead, and probably *still* could have picked Moreno with their second first round pick that year.

Or they could have had LeSean McCoy in the second round, who is a better RB than Moreno at this point.

Yeah, Josh McDaniels sucked at drafting.

LizardState
01-10-2011, 09:11 AM
Answering the initial thread question, yes.

They are b/c the NFL goes through them like water. And they wouldn't be quality RBs if they aren't NFL quality b/c they wouldnt have made it through the vetting process of the Draft, which is very elaborate & detailed now, the All Star games, Combine, etc.

There are more of them -- supply & demand, filling the greatest need. And their replacement is in direct proportion to the injury rate which is highest at RB, although it fluctuates between LB to RB in recent yrs

shabazz916
01-10-2011, 11:45 AM
All great QBs had a Great RB at one point in time during the career.. Expect Tom Brady And Marino.. So saying A Top RB Talent isnt important is crazi Because Running The Ball And Defense Win Championships

kennyb
01-10-2011, 01:42 PM
There are a lot of late RBs successful because there are so many.

If you draft 20 RBs in rounds 3-7 and look at another 50 UDFAs, there have to be a few who stick.

There are a lot of 1st round DE busts and a lot of latter rounds who make it.

How many really special guys are there, who can block, run, and catch?

Is LeShoure still a 1st round pick? I think so.

Lloyd Braun
01-10-2011, 01:57 PM
The New England Patriots won two Super Bowls with Antowain Smith as their leading rusher. It's not hard to find a decent RB.

brat316
01-10-2011, 02:06 PM
Okay how many UDFA or 6th round and lower rbs in the past 4 years can you name that are successful? And by that I mean like 1600+, 10+ TD. Name 15.



Because recently since the league has moved to a passing league, qbs and WR, Cb are valued much higher, so it pushes that position down. The same can be said about the 4-3 players. They are being pushed down because of 3-4 players.

J-Mike88
01-10-2011, 02:15 PM
Unless you're talking about someone with special skills a la Barry Sanders, Bo Jackson, Adrian Peterson, I think RBs are overrated.

Look at the Saints, Colts from last year.
The Patriots and Giants... name one first round RB from either of them over the last 4 or 5 years: Laurence Maroney is the only one I believe.

SchizophrenicBatman
01-10-2011, 02:29 PM
AD is the only back I've ever graded out as a top 10 value

They are very low on the pecking order, perhaps the only position as low is LB (not counting 3-4 OLBs) and maybe safety, though S is becoming more and more prominent IMO. Just look at the Panthers. Two top 20? RBs, great depth behind them, and they went 2-14 because they had AIDS at the QB position and a poor team otherwise.

TACKLE
01-10-2011, 02:34 PM
To answer the initial question in the title: No.

The reason I say that is with the huge growth of the spread offense in college and even highschool football, offensively, the value is now put on recruiting quarterbacks and athletes; not so much pure RB's. 15-20 years ago, way more teams were running two back offenses where a lot of times, having a quality tailback was of higher value than having a quality quarterback. Having a stud RB who could carry your offense was more important than it is now. Because of the current trend of the spread offense, it leads me to think that RB's actually are less abundant than ever.

But to answer the question, is it easier to find a productive RB in the mid-late rounds than other positions: Yes, of course.

But I think that has more to do with the nature of the position more-so than the fact that college football is producing more quality RB's than ever.

StripedWalrus
01-10-2011, 02:51 PM
Okay how many UDFA or 6th round and lower rbs in the past 4 years can you name that are successful? And by that I mean like 1600+, 10+ TD. Name 15.



Because recently since the league has moved to a passing league, qbs and WR, Cb are valued much higher, so it pushes that position down. The same can be said about the 4-3 players. They are being pushed down because of 3-4 players.

You have some crazy high standards for a RB. 1600 yards and 10 TD's a season is pretty damn good. Like 4 running backs have done that in the last 4 years period.

Of which one was Undrafted and the other a 5th rounder.

brat316
01-10-2011, 02:56 PM
You have some crazy high standards for a RB. 1600 yards and 10 TD's a season is pretty damn good. Like 4 running backs have done that in the last 4 years period.

Of which one was Undrafted and the other a 5th rounder.


Just cause a UDFA runs for 800 yards doesn't mean he is successful like the other top guys, its just a good season.

Fine. 1200, 8 TD. Name some, recently.

Mr. Goosemahn
01-10-2011, 02:56 PM
RB is the easiest position to fill, we all agree with that, but you can't ignore the position and assume a late roun player will be good an be your future back.

brat316
01-10-2011, 03:02 PM
RB is the easiest position to fill, we all agree with that, but you can't ignore the position and assume a late roun player will be good an be your future back.

yeah, compare the number of top round guys that have had a great season vs the lower round guys. If the talent is there and just cause its the 2nd round doesn't mean you ignore that guy and wait till the 4th round.

Mr. Goosemahn
01-10-2011, 03:03 PM
Unless you're talking about someone with special skills a la Barry Sanders, Bo Jackson, Adrian Peterson, I think RBs are overrated.

Look at the Saints, Colts from last year.
The Patriots and Giants... name one first round RB from either of them over the last 4 or 5 years: Laurence Maroney is the only one I believe.

Recently? Reggie Bush, Joseph Addai, Rashard Mendenhall, Laurence Maroney, Edgerrin James, Shaun Alexander, Thomas Jones, Cedric Benson, all are first round RB's that made the Superbowl in recent years. There might be a couple more that I missed.

Edit: Donald Brown too

StripedWalrus
01-10-2011, 03:12 PM
Just cause a UDFA runs for 800 yards doesn't mean he is successful like the other top guys, its just a good season.

Fine. 1200, 8 TD. Name some, recently.

Ahmad Bradshaw
Michael Turner
Arian Foster
Peyton Hillis
Ryan Grant

What first rounders have done that

Chris Johnson
Adrian Peterson
Rashard Mendenhall
Thomas Jones
DeAngelo Williams
LaDainian Tomlinson
Jamal Lewis

Mr. Goosemahn
01-10-2011, 03:18 PM
Ahmad Bradshaw
Michael Turner
Arian Foster
Peyton Hillis
Ryan Grant

What first rounders have done that

Chris Johnson
Adrian Peterson
Rashard Mendenhall
Thomas Jones
DeAngelo Williams
LaDainian Tomlinson
Jamal Lewis

Turner, Hillis, grant, and Bradshaw were all drafted.

brat316
01-10-2011, 03:24 PM
Ahmad Bradshaw
Michael Turner
Arian Foster
Peyton Hillis
Ryan Grant

What first rounders have done that

Chris Johnson
Adrian Peterson
Rashard Mendenhall
Thomas Jones
DeAngelo Williams
LaDainian Tomlinson
Jamal Lewis

Turner was 5th round. Willie Parker


Add to first round.
Edgerrin James
Cedric Benson
Steven Jackson
Larry Johnson
Willis McGahee

FlyingElvis
01-10-2011, 03:29 PM
I'm not sure quality RBs are more abundant. I think it's more a function of the passing attack being more prevalent. The days of needing a super stud like AP to lead your offensive attack are gone. Less talented RBs can have a lot more success now than in previous years because there are less big guys on the field and more DBs (in general) on a play by play basis.

PossibleCabbage
01-10-2011, 05:53 PM
Turner, Hillis, grant, and Bradshaw were all drafted.

Grant was not drafted. He was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Giants and later traded to the Packers for a sixth round pick.

ellsy82
01-11-2011, 01:41 AM
As a Steeler fan, I have no problem with them drafting Mendenhall. Pittsburgh has no offensive line, so you'd better draft a player that can run behind dogshit on legs.

Having said that, if I had an offensive line like the Jets or the Patriots, I wouldn't invest in a first round running back. Last year, most of the diverse RBs that can run and catch out of the backfield, went in the second (Hardesty, Gerhart, Tate).

If I were these teams, I'd wait a bit and see who falls. Unless you have no offensive line talent, there's no sense in spending a premium pick on a RB.

Mr. Goosemahn
01-11-2011, 02:31 AM
Grant was not drafted. He was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Giants and later traded to the Packers for a sixth round pick.

My bad, don't know why I thought he was a sixth round pick.

Now, for some statistical analysis:

Top 10 Rushers by Yardage for the past five years:

2010
1. Arian Foster, Houston - UDFA
2. Jamaal Charles, Kansas City - 3
3. Michael Turner, Atlanta - 5
4. Chris Johnson, Tennessee - 1
5. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville - 2
6. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota - 1
7. Rashard Mendenhall, Pittsburgh - 1
8. Steven Jackson, St. Louis - 1
9. Ahmad Bradshaw, New York Giants - 7
10. Ray Rice, Baltimore - 2

2009
1. Chris Johnson, Tennessee - 1
2. Steven Jackson, St. Louis - 1
3. Thomas Jones, New York Jets - 1
4. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville - 2
5. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota - 1
6. Ray Rice, Baltimore - 2
7. Ryan Grant, Green Bay - UDFA
8. Cedric Benson, Cincinnati - 1
9. Jonathan Stewart, Carolina - 1
10. Ricky Williams, Miami - 1

2008
1. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota - 1
2. Michael Turner, Atlanta - 5
3. DeAngelo Williams, Carolina - 1
4. Clinton Portis, Washington - 2
5. Thomas Jones, New York Jets - 1
6. Steve Slaton, Houston - 3
7. Matt Forte, Chicago - 2
8. Chris Johnson, Tennessee - 1
9. Ryan Grant, Green Bay - UDFA
10. LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego - 1

2007
1. LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego - 1
2. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota - 1
3. Brian Westbrook, Philadelphia - 3
4. Willie Parker, Pittsburgh - UDFA
5. Jamal Lewis, Cleveland - 1
6. Clinton Portis, Washington - 2
7. Edgerrin James, Arizona - 1
8. Willis McGahee, Baltimore - 1
9. Fred Taylor, Jacksonville - 1
10. Thomas Jones, New York Jets - 1

2006
1. LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego - 1
2. Larry Johnson, Kansas City - 1
3. Frank Gore, San Francisco - 3
4. Tiki Barber, New York Giants - 2
5. Steven Jackson, St. Louis - 1
6. Willie Parker, Pittsburgh - UDFA
7. Rudi Johnson, Cincinnati - 4
8. Brian Westbrook, Philadelphia - 3
9. Chester Taylor, Minnesota - 6
10. Travis Henry, Tennessee - 2

Broken down by round (out of 50):
1st Round: 26
2nd Round: 9
3rd Round: 5
4th Round: 1
5th Round: 2
6th Round: 1
7th Round: 1
UDFA: 5

This shows that more than half are first rounders, with 9 more coming in the second round. 70% of the top 50 rushers in the past five years were drafted in the first two rounds, showing that investing highly in a RB is still very rewarding. It also shows that, contrary to widespread belief here, late round RB's aren't as successful as the higher picks. Only 10% of the top 50 rushers in the past five years were drafted in the fourth round or later, including UDFA's.

So again, while RB is the easiest position to fill, you can't expect a late round player to come in and play well for an extended period of time. When they do, it's usually because teams aren't prepared for them, like Arian Foster early in the season and James Starks on Sunday.

Late round RB's usually are good for short periods of time, but rarely develop into long term answers. For every Willie Parker and Ryan Grant there are a ton of other players that just never make it.

ellsy82
01-11-2011, 02:38 AM
Late round RB's usually are good for short periods of time, but rarely develop into long term answers. For every Willie Parker and Ryan Grant there are a ton of other players that just never make it.

Well put, Goosemahn.

brat316
01-11-2011, 04:18 AM
Steven Jackson is an example of why take a Rb in the top 10, if you have **** for line. 6 back to back season of 1,000+.

FUNBUNCHER
01-11-2011, 07:00 AM
I think a better breakdown would be to see how many playoff teams had a top 10 rusher in their backfield, how many teams in the conference championship games had a top 10 rusher, and same for the SB.

Just took a quick look at 2010 and 2011; 6 rushers in '10 were from teams that didn't make the playoffs, 6 rushers in '09 didn't make the playoffs.

Taking a top rated prospect at RB IMO is not a prerequisite for winning football games and going deep into the playoffs.

Morton
01-11-2011, 10:10 AM
By looking at that statistical breakdown, I see alot of empty yards being piled up by these first round backs and not alot of successful playoff teams in that mix. Just proves to me even more that only stupid GMs invest first round picks in RBs, because all of those elite backs did little to help their teams advance deep into the playoffs.

Here's a contrasting list of Super Bowl participants of the past ten years and the draft round of their leading rusher:

2009: New Orleans - Pierre Thomas, UDFA*; Indianapolis - Joseph Addai, 1st
2008: Pittsburgh - Willie Parker, UDFA*; Arizona - Edgerrin James, 1st*
2007: New York - Brandon Jacobs, 4th; New England - Lawrence Maroney, 1st
2006: Indianapolis - Joseph Addai, 1st; Chicago - Thomas Jones, 1st*
2005: Pittsburgh - Willie Parker, UDFA*; Seattle - Shaun Alexander, 1st
2004: New England - Corey Dillon, 2nd*; Philadelphia - Brian Westbrook, 3rd
2003: New England - Antowain Smith, 1st*; Carolina - Stephen Davis, 4th
2002: Tampa Bay - Michael Pittman, 4th*; Oakland - Charlie Garner, 2nd*
2001: New England - Antowain Smith, 1st*; St. Louis - Marshall Faulk, 1st*
2000: Baltimore - Jamal Lewis, 1st; New York - Tiki Barber, 2nd

(* denotes a player not originally drafted by that team)

- Of all of these teams, the only running backs to have been acquired by their current team, as of the Super Bowl appearance, with a first round pick were Jamal Lewis, Shaun Alexander, Lawrence Maroney and Joseph Addai. Marshall Faulk was traded to St. Louis. Edgerrin James was signed in free agency by Arizona. Thomas Jones was signed in free agency by Chicago. Antowain Smith was signed in free agency by the Patriots.

- The only Super Bowl participants of the past ten years who spent first round draft picks on their most productive running back were Baltimore, Seattle, New England, and Indianapolis. And it is worthwhile to note that Lawrence Maroney was widely considered a "bust" for New England the time he was there, and the Patriots would likely have been best served spending that first round pick on a different position, as they have already traded him away for next to nothing and replaced him with an undrafted free agent. And while Joseph Addai is definitely valuable to the Colts, they were ranked 32nd in the NFL in rushing when they last appeared in the Super Bowl in 2009, so I would say that their first round investment in Addai has not necessarily paid them great dividends, at least not in their 2009 Super Bowl year, and certainly not this year.

- I think that this study proves what most people have been postulating in this thread: that successful championship-caliber teams typically do not invest high draft picks in their running backs. Either they draft them relatively low (New York), groom undrafted free agents in-house (Pittsburgh, New Orleans), or they sign/trade for an unwanted running back from another team without using premium draft resources to acquire that back (St. Louis, New England, Tampa Bay).

2 Live Crew
01-11-2011, 10:23 AM
Yep, and its been this way for awhile now. They are a dime a dozen.

Also, take into account that they are probably the most injury prone position and the life span of even an elite RB can be VERY short (30 is basically the wall now). There is just no reason to use a high pick on a RB unless it is someone with just unreal talent but even then, you have to take the probability of injuries into account.

brat316
01-11-2011, 01:54 PM
I think a better breakdown would be to see how many playoff teams had a top 10 rusher in their backfield, how many teams in the conference championship games had a top 10 rusher, and same for the SB.

Just took a quick look at 2010 and 2011; 6 rushers in '10 were from teams that didn't make the playoffs, 6 rushers in '09 didn't make the playoffs.

Taking a top rated prospect at RB IMO is not a prerequisite for winning football games and going deep into the playoffs.

Thats all depends on if you have a Great qb or not. Rarely do teams with great Qbs draft a high rb. Because they don't need it. Its because they are not relying on the rb, rather the Qb and Wr. But if you have nothing teams usually go rb route.

I thought we were arguing if they are abundant or if they are just as the same to a highly drafted rb. In the playoffs and superbowl even i will admit it doesn't matter since its a passing league now. Its just about are you running the ball, not even effectively but are you running it.

Mr. Goosemahn
01-11-2011, 05:19 PM
I think a better breakdown would be to see how many playoff teams had a top 10 rusher in their backfield, how many teams in the conference championship games had a top 10 rusher, and same for the SB.

Just took a quick look at 2010 and 2011; 6 rushers in '10 were from teams that didn't make the playoffs, 6 rushers in '09 didn't make the playoffs.

Taking a top rated prospect at RB IMO is not a prerequisite for winning football games and going deep into the playoffs.

You can't simply assume that a top RB will take a team to the Superbowl by himself, there are way too many other factors we have to take into consideration. Very rarely does a QB take a team to a championship by himself, he usually has some type of help, from either a great RB, or elite WR, or someone else.

By looking at that statistical breakdown, I see alot of empty yards being piled up by these first round backs and not alot of successful playoff teams in that mix. Just proves to me even more that only stupid GMs invest first round picks in RBs, because all of those elite backs did little to help their teams advance deep into the playoffs.

Here's a contrasting list of Super Bowl participants of the past ten years and the draft round of their leading rusher:

2009: New Orleans - Pierre Thomas, UDFA*; Indianapolis - Joseph Addai, 1st
2008: Pittsburgh - Willie Parker, UDFA*; Arizona - Edgerrin James, 1st*
2007: New York - Brandon Jacobs, 4th; New England - Lawrence Maroney, 1st
2006: Indianapolis - Joseph Addai, 1st; Chicago - Thomas Jones, 1st*
2005: Pittsburgh - Willie Parker, UDFA*; Seattle - Shaun Alexander, 1st
2004: New England - Corey Dillon, 2nd*; Philadelphia - Brian Westbrook, 3rd
2003: New England - Antowain Smith, 1st*; Carolina - Stephen Davis, 4th
2002: Tampa Bay - Michael Pittman, 4th*; Oakland - Charlie Garner, 2nd*
2001: New England - Antowain Smith, 1st*; St. Louis - Marshall Faulk, 1st*
2000: Baltimore - Jamal Lewis, 1st; New York - Tiki Barber, 2nd

(* denotes a player not originally drafted by that team)

- Of all of these teams, the only running backs to have been acquired by their current team, as of the Super Bowl appearance, with a first round pick were Jamal Lewis, Shaun Alexander, Lawrence Maroney and Joseph Addai. Marshall Faulk was traded to St. Louis. Edgerrin James was signed in free agency by Arizona. Thomas Jones was signed in free agency by Chicago. Antowain Smith was signed in free agency by the Patriots.

- The only Super Bowl participants of the past ten years who spent first round draft picks on their most productive running back were Baltimore, Seattle, New England, and Indianapolis. And it is worthwhile to note that Lawrence Maroney was widely considered a "bust" for New England the time he was there, and the Patriots would likely have been best served spending that first round pick on a different position, as they have already traded him away for next to nothing and replaced him with an undrafted free agent. And while Joseph Addai is definitely valuable to the Colts, they were ranked 32nd in the NFL in rushing when they last appeared in the Super Bowl in 2009, so I would say that their first round investment in Addai has not necessarily paid them great dividends, at least not in their 2009 Super Bowl year, and certainly not this year.

Okay, how about this. Using your logic regarding Superbowl RB's, one can say the same thing for QB's.

2009: New Orleans - Drew Brees, 2nd*; Indianapolis - Peyton Manning, 1st
2008: Pittsburgh - Ben Roethlisberger, 1st; Arizona - Kurt Warner, UDFA*
2007: New York - Eli Manning, 1st*; New England - Tom Brady, 6th
2006: Indianapolis - Peyton Manning, 1st; Chicago - Rex Grossman, 1st
2005: Pittsburgh - Ben Roethlisberger, 1st; Seattle - Matt Hasselbeck, 6th*
2004: New England - Tom Brady, 6th; Philadelphia - Donovan McNabb, 1st
2003: New England - Tom Brady, 6th; Carolina - Jake Delhomme, UDFA*
2002: Tampa Bay - Brad Johnson, 9th*; Oakland - Rich Gannon, 4th*
2001: New England - Tom Brady, 6th; St. Louis - Kurt Warner, UDFA*
2000: Baltimore - Trent Dilfer, 1st*; New York - Kerry Collins, 1st*

In the last 10 Superbowls, out of 20 starting QB's, only 9 QB's were selected in the first round, with 7 QB's being the real number, since Peyton Manning and Ben Roethlisberger each made it twice. There is one more first round RB starting in the last 10 Superbowls than 1st round QBs.

And using your argument, out of the 7 first round QB's who made the Superbowl (Roethlisberger and Manning both made it twice), only four were drafted by the team they made it with, which curiously is the same amount for RB's:

Peyton Manning - Drafted by Indianapolis
Ben Roethlisberger - Drafted by Pittsburgh
Rex Grossman - Drafted by Chicago
Donovan McNabb - Drafted by Philadelphia
*Eli Manning - Drafted by San Diego, acquired via Trade
*Trent Dilfer - Drafted by Tampa Bay, acquired via Free Agency
* Kerry Collins - Drafted by Carolina, acquired via Free Agency

Also important to note that Grossman was a bust while being in the SB.

Furthermore, out of the 20 starting QB's, 10 were acquired via trade or free agency, while 11 RB's were acquired via free agency or trade.

So, comparing both positions...


10 first round RB's, 9 first round QB's
4 first round RB's playing for original team, 4 first round QB's playing for original team
3 first round RB's signed as free agents, 2 first round QB's signed as free agents
1 first round RB acquired via trade, 1 first round QB acquired via trade
11/20 RB's not playing for original team, 10/20 QB's not playing for original team

Most successful RBs (multiple Superbowl appearances):
- Antowain Smith - 1st - 2 SB
- Willie Parker - UDFA - 2 SB
- Joseph Addai - 1st - 2 SB
Most successful QBs (multiple Superbowl appearances):
- Tom Brady - 6th - 4 SB
- Kurt Warner - UDFA - 2 SB
- Ben Roethlisberger - 1st - 2 SB
- Peyton Manning - 1st - 2SB

By percentage: 66% of RB's with multiple SB experience were first rounders.
By percentage: 50% of QB's with multiple SB experience were first rounders.


Just proves to me even more that only stupid GMs invest first round picks in RBs.

Seeing as the numbers in all the categories you defined are virtually identical, I guess this means only stupid GMs invest first round picks in QBs too, right?

And finally...

that successful championship-caliber teams typically do not invest high draft picks in their running backs.

Really? Same teams, same ten years, first two rounds:

New Orleans Saints: Ricky Williams (year earlier, 1999), Deuce McAllister, Reggie Bush
Indianapolis Colts: Edgerrin James (year earlier 1999), Joseph Addai, Donald Brown
Pittsburgh Steelers: Rashard Mendenhall
Arizona Cardinals: Thomas Jones, J.J. Arrington, Chris Wells
New England Patriots: Laurence Maroney
New York Giants: Ron Dayne
Chicago Bears: Anthony Thomas, Cedric Benson, Matt Forte
Seattle Seahawks: Shaun Alexander, Maurice Morris
Philadelphia Eagles: LeSean McCoy
Carolina Panthers: DeShaun Foster, Eric Shelton, DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Carnell Williams
Oakland Raiders: None
St. Louis Rams: Trung Canidate, Steven Jackson
Baltimore Ravens: Jamal Lewis, Ray Rice

I can include all the other playoffs teams that also drafted RB's early on, too, like San Diego, Jacksonville, Tennesee, etc. Also, just because a player doesn't work out doesn't mean the team didn't make an investment. It might be a bad investment in hindsight, but at the time it's being made, it's usually not.

So, in freaking conclusion:

Yes, RBs are still very, very important to a team's success. Yes, a late round RB can hold the fort for a little while. Yes, teams need and benefit from having good RB's to win games and make it far into the postseason. No, there is nothing wrong with taking a RB in the first or second round. No, there isn't an abundance of quality RB, more than ever, as I said earlier, and so did bhaarat and a couple others, the league is shifting to a passing league putting RB's at a disadvantage in the draft, similar to 4-3 defensive players. They're sliding, but they're still talented. Just happens that people get surprised to see they were 2nd, 3rd round talents taken in the 5th, sixth round.

And last but not least: No, you can't believe a late round RB will be your future. Pierre Thomas was the starter last year for Saints' championship team with Mike Bell providing quality plays. Bell has had two teams this season (Eagles and Browns), and Thomas could be allowed to leave this offseason. Texan believed they had their future RB after Steve Slaton had a great year, but he sucked it up afterwards and lost his spot to another unknown talent. Let's see what happens to Foster in the future.

PossibleCabbage
01-11-2011, 06:28 PM
I idly wonder how much of this sentiment is motivated by the fact that C.J. Spiller, Jahvid Best, Knowshon Moreno, Donald Brown, and Beanie Wells have so far failed to impress in the NFL.

I mean, after a long string of underwhelming performances by first round picks at a position, I'd personally be somewhat hesitant to draft that position early.

Mr. Goosemahn
01-11-2011, 06:41 PM
I idly wonder how much of this sentiment is motivated by the fact that C.J. Spiller, Jahvid Best, Knowshon Moreno, Donald Brown, and Beanie Wells have so far failed to impress in the NFL.

I mean, after a long string of underwhelming performances by first round picks at a position, I'd personally be somewhat hesitant to draft that position early.

Yeah, these last two drafts have provided some pretty unspectacular players. Kinda weird they're all struggling to develop. Only guys who've proved themselves so far are Arian Foster, LeSean McCoy and LeGarrette Blount.

Of course, the 2008 draft was quite the opposite.

Darren McFadden, Jonathan Stewart, Rashard Mendenhall, Chris Johnson, Matt Forte, Ray Rice, and Jamaal Charles are all studs.

Felix Jones, Kevin Smith, Tashard Choice, Ryan Torain, and Tim Hightower are solid too.

bam bam
01-11-2011, 06:42 PM
You can't simply assume that a top RB will take a team to the Superbowl by himself, there are way too many other factors we have to take into consideration. Very rarely does a QB take a team to a championship by himself, he usually has some type of help, from either a great RB, or elite WR, or someone else.



Okay, how about this. Using your logic regarding Superbowl RB's, one can say the same thing for QB's.

2009: New Orleans - Drew Brees, 2nd*; Indianapolis - Peyton Manning, 1st
2008: Pittsburgh - Ben Roethlisberger, 1st; Arizona - Kurt Warner, UDFA*
2007: New York - Eli Manning, 1st*; New England - Tom Brady, 6th
2006: Indianapolis - Peyton Manning, 1st; Chicago - Rex Grossman, 1st
2005: Pittsburgh - Ben Roethlisberger, 1st; Seattle - Matt Hasselbeck, 6th*
2004: New England - Tom Brady, 6th; Philadelphia - Donovan McNabb, 1st
2003: New England - Tom Brady, 6th; Carolina - Jake Delhomme, UDFA*
2002: Tampa Bay - Brad Johnson, 9th*; Oakland - Rich Gannon, 4th*
2001: New England - Tom Brady, 6th; St. Louis - Kurt Warner, UDFA*
2000: Baltimore - Trent Dilfer, 1st*; New York - Kerry Collins, 1st*

In the last 10 Superbowls, out of 20 starting QB's, only 9 QB's were selected in the first round, with 7 QB's being the real number, since Peyton Manning and Ben Roethlisberger each made it twice. There is one more first round RB starting in the last 10 Superbowls than 1st round QBs.

And using your argument, out of the 7 first round QB's who made the Superbowl (Roethlisberger and Manning both made it twice), only four were drafted by the team they made it with, which curiously is the same amount for RB's:

Peyton Manning - Drafted by Indianapolis
Ben Roethlisberger - Drafted by Pittsburgh
Rex Grossman - Drafted by Chicago
Donovan McNabb - Drafted by Philadelphia
*Eli Manning - Drafted by San Diego, acquired via Trade
*Trent Dilfer - Drafted by Tampa Bay, acquired via Free Agency
* Kerry Collins - Drafted by Carolina, acquired via Free Agency

Also important to note that Grossman was a bust while being in the SB.

Furthermore, out of the 20 starting QB's, 10 were acquired via trade or free agency, while 11 RB's were acquired via free agency or trade.

So, comparing both positions...


10 first round RB's, 9 first round QB's
4 first round RB's playing for original team, 4 first round QB's playing for original team
3 first round RB's signed as free agents, 2 first round QB's signed as free agents
1 first round RB acquired via trade, 1 first round QB acquired via trade
11/20 RB's not playing for original team, 10/20 QB's not playing for original team

Most successful RBs (multiple Superbowl appearances):
- Antowain Smith - 1st - 2 SB
- Willie Parker - UDFA - 2 SB
- Joseph Addai - 1st - 2 SB
Most successful QBs (multiple Superbowl appearances):
- Tom Brady - 6th - 4 SB
- Kurt Warner - UDFA - 2 SB
- Ben Roethlisberger - 1st - 2 SB
- Peyton Manning - 1st - 2SB

By percentage: 66% of RB's with multiple SB experience were first rounders.
By percentage: 50% of QB's with multiple SB experience were first rounders.




Seeing as the numbers in all the categories you defined are virtually identical, I guess this means only stupid GMs invest first round picks in QBs too, right?

And finally...



Really? Same teams, same ten years, first two rounds:

New Orleans Saints: Ricky Williams (year earlier, 1999), Deuce McAllister, Reggie Bush
Indianapolis Colts: Edgerrin James (year earlier 1999), Joseph Addai, Donald Brown
Pittsburgh Steelers: Rashard Mendenhall
Arizona Cardinals: Thomas Jones, J.J. Arrington, Chris Wells
New England Patriots: Laurence Maroney
New York Giants: Ron Dayne
Chicago Bears: Anthony Thomas, Cedric Benson, Matt Forte
Seattle Seahawks: Shaun Alexander, Maurice Morris
Philadelphia Eagles: LeSean McCoy
Carolina Panthers: DeShaun Foster, Eric Shelton, DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Carnell Williams
Oakland Raiders: None
St. Louis Rams: Trung Canidate, Steven Jackson
Baltimore Ravens: Jamal Lewis, Ray Rice

I can include all the other playoffs teams that also drafted RB's early on, too, like San Diego, Jacksonville, Tennesee, etc. Also, just because a player doesn't work out doesn't mean the team didn't make an investment. It might be a bad investment in hindsight, but at the time it's being made, it's usually not.

So, in freaking conclusion:

Yes, RBs are still very, very important to a team's success. Yes, a late round RB can hold the fort for a little while. Yes, teams need and benefit from having good RB's to win games and make it far into the postseason. No, there is nothing wrong with taking a RB in the first or second round. No, there isn't an abundance of quality RB, more than ever, as I said earlier, and so did bhaarat and a couple others, the league is shifting to a passing league putting RB's at a disadvantage in the draft, similar to 4-3 defensive players. They're sliding, but they're still talented. Just happens that people get surprised to see they were 2nd, 3rd round talents taken in the 5th, sixth round.

And last but not least: No, you can't believe a late round RB will be your future. Pierre Thomas was the starter last year for Saints' championship team with Mike Bell providing quality plays. Bell has had two teams this season (Eagles and Browns), and Thomas could be allowed to leave this offseason. Texan believed they had their future RB after Steve Slaton had a great year, but he sucked it up afterwards and lost his spot to another unknown talent. Let's see what happens to Foster in the future.

We the jury hearby convict Mr. Goosemahn of rape in the first degree.

Saints-Tigers
01-11-2011, 07:09 PM
Really, the Saints have had quality RBs every year since Drew Brees has been here, but we've had quality run blocking in exactly one year, and we won the superbowl.

GB12
01-11-2011, 07:15 PM
Really, the Saints have had quality RBs every year since Drew Brees has been here, but we've had quality run blocking in exactly one year, and we won the superbowl.

How does that happen when you have two of the best guards in the league?

Saints-Tigers
01-11-2011, 07:24 PM
How does that happen when you have two of the best guards in the league?

Crap center, mediocre LT, and absolutely brutally terrible RT. I can't understand how Stinch is even looked at as a RT, he's a finesse guy who is decent in the screen game, has decent quickness, but is laughably weak. I love when someone like John Abraham bull Rushes him, it's freaking hilarious.

That, and it's a lot to do with our mentality, we run once or twice, and we throw the entire idea out now, and last year we stuck with it. When Reggie or Pierre got stuffed a few times, we'd keep going with it, and eventually it would start to pay off.

This year, like all the years before last, as soon as one guy gets stopped, we throw out running the ball.

Same starters, but Reggie dropped from 5.6 to 4.1 yards per carry, and Pierre Thomas went from 5.4 to like 3.2, because they had to dodge guys in the backfield, and then not get any carries late in games, or get enough to establish any rhythm.

Wrathman
01-12-2011, 03:09 AM
I'll never understand why looking at any one position, even that of quarterback, has direct correlation to the success of a team in a sport where 22 players are starters plus the guys on special teams. It's a bogus "study" that wouldn't pass the rigors that any faintly academic study would be required to pass.

That doesn't mean it's not interesting because I enjoy these types of discussions. But they don't provide the proof that their authors like to think they do.

whatadai
01-12-2011, 03:21 AM
I'll never understand why looking at any one position, even that of quarterback, has direct correlation to the success of a team in a sport where 22 players are starters plus the guys on special teams. It's a bogus "study" that wouldn't pass the rigors that any faintly academic study would be required to pass.

That doesn't mean it's not interesting because I enjoy these types of discussions. But they don't provide the proof that their authors like to think they do.

No one said you DON'T need a runningback. They're saying there's a wider selection of people who could fit in at runningback well than the selection of people who would do well as quarterbacks, which would make it more difficult to find a successful quarterback late in the draft compared to runningbacks. I'm only using quarterback as an example, I'm not saying that it's easier nor am I saying that it's harder.

No one is saying there is a direct correlation to drafting one position high to championship team.

Halsey
01-12-2011, 03:54 AM
I'll never understand why looking at any one position, even that of quarterback, has direct correlation to the success of a team in a sport where 22 players are starters plus the guys on special teams. It's a bogus "study" that wouldn't pass the rigors that any faintly academic study would be required to pass.

That doesn't mean it's not interesting because I enjoy these types of discussions. But they don't provide the proof that their authors like to think they do.

Please enlighten me on what proof I think this thread provides.

Morton
01-12-2011, 06:48 AM
Okay, how about this. Using your logic regarding Superbowl RB's, one can say the same thing for QB's.

2009: New Orleans - Drew Brees, 2nd*; Indianapolis - Peyton Manning, 1st
2008: Pittsburgh - Ben Roethlisberger, 1st; Arizona - Kurt Warner, UDFA*
2007: New York - Eli Manning, 1st*; New England - Tom Brady, 6th
2006: Indianapolis - Peyton Manning, 1st; Chicago - Rex Grossman, 1st
2005: Pittsburgh - Ben Roethlisberger, 1st; Seattle - Matt Hasselbeck, 6th*
2004: New England - Tom Brady, 6th; Philadelphia - Donovan McNabb, 1st
2003: New England - Tom Brady, 6th; Carolina - Jake Delhomme, UDFA*
2002: Tampa Bay - Brad Johnson, 9th*; Oakland - Rich Gannon, 4th*
2001: New England - Tom Brady, 6th; St. Louis - Kurt Warner, UDFA*
2000: Baltimore - Trent Dilfer, 1st*; New York - Kerry Collins, 1st*

In the last 10 Superbowls, out of 20 starting QB's, only 9 QB's were selected in the first round, with 7 QB's being the real number, since Peyton Manning and Ben Roethlisberger each made it twice. There is one more first round RB starting in the last 10 Superbowls than 1st round QBs.

And using your argument, out of the 7 first round QB's who made the Superbowl (Roethlisberger and Manning both made it twice), only four were drafted by the team they made it with, which curiously is the same amount for RB's:

Peyton Manning - Drafted by Indianapolis
Ben Roethlisberger - Drafted by Pittsburgh
Rex Grossman - Drafted by Chicago
Donovan McNabb - Drafted by Philadelphia
*Eli Manning - Drafted by San Diego, acquired via Trade
*Trent Dilfer - Drafted by Tampa Bay, acquired via Free Agency
* Kerry Collins - Drafted by Carolina, acquired via Free Agency

Also important to note that Grossman was a bust while being in the SB.

Furthermore, out of the 20 starting QB's, 10 were acquired via trade or free agency, while 11 RB's were acquired via free agency or trade.


First of all, we need to make a distinction between QBs and RBs who were acquired with a first round pick by the team that makes a Super Bowl appearance and QBs and RBs who are simply first round picks. This distinction is important; it's the draft resources of the contending team that matter and not the original resources used to draft the player initially. Using this criteria, seven quarterbacks making Super Bowl appearances in the past ten years (Roethlisberger x 2, Peyton Manning x 2, Eli Manning - who was acquired with a NYG first round pick despite being initially drafted by SD, Donovan McNabb, Rex Grossman) were QBs acquired by their teams with first round draft picks.

The QB position is the most important of all of the positions on the football team. What that list, above all else, shows is that an above-average QB is a prerequisite for a Super Bowl appearance, whereas even mediocre RBs are not a liability, necessarily, for a Super Bowl team. Methods of acquiring these QBs is varied, but the #1 priority for a team in the NFL must be to acquire one of these QBs who has the unique skillset to lead a team into the playoffs and on to the Super Bowl. This skillset is rare, obviously, but it can exist in 1st round picks, late round picks, and even undrafted free agents. The likelihood that it exists in anything but the first is small, however. This is why teams must take a risk on the selection of a QB in the first round. Those skills are not easily found in late round picks and undrafted free agents. That doesn't mean, of course, that it is impossible to find competent starters in those avenues, but it is less likely. Hall of Fame players who slip into the 6th round such as Tom Brady are the rarest of the rare.

The skillset required to be an above-average RB, on the other hand, is not nearly as rare as the skillset required to be an above-average QB. This is the heart of the matter. This is why I would not advise GMs to select RBs in the first round The ability to make cuts, to break arm tackles, and to escape a defender, is far less irreplaceable and unique than the ability to motivate and lead your team, to make accurate throws, to read defenses and discern the applicability of a particular play-call, to coordinate an offensive scheme, and to be the de facto face of your franchise and to navigate all of the intricacies of interaction with the media. Thus, the acquisition of an above-average RB is not only easier a process than the acquisition of an above-average QB, but it is also not nearly as important for a team's playoff success.

A GM must continue to try to obtain this type of above-average or even elite QB through whatever means necessary. If that GM is blessed with a draft steal such as Tom Brady, or a fortunate free agency signing such as Drew Brees or Kurt Warner, then he no longer needs to invest draft resources into the position. But most teams must expend first round picks in the process of searching for this type of player because they simply cannot count on the rare free agency miracle or late round pick panning out. The same cannot be said for RBs - many teams with an above-average QB on their roster can thrive with an array of interchangeable RBs available through free agency and later rounds of the draft. Take New England, for instance, who made Super Bowl appearances with a variety of different leading rushers - Corey Dillon, Antowain Smith, and Lawrence Maroney. All of these players were basically interchangeable across their many Super Bowl appearances, but Tom Brady was not.

For instance, take this year's playoffs for a more recent example of this phenomenon:

NFC
#1 Atlanta (Matt Ryan, 1st)
#2 Chicago (Jay Cutler, multiple 1sts)
#3 Philadelphia (Michael Vick, FA)
#4 Seattle (Matt Hasselbeck, trade)
#5 New Orleans (Drew Brees, FA)
#6 Green Bay (Aaron Rodgers, 1st)

AFC
#1 New England (Tom Brady, 6th)
#2 Pittsburgh (Ben Roethlisberger, 1st)
#3 Indianapolis (Peyton Manning, 1st)
#4 Kansas CIty (Matt Cassel, trade)
#5 Baltimore (Joe Flacco, 1st)
#6 New York Jets (Mark Sanchez, 1st)

Nearly 60% of the QBs in the playoffs this year were drafted by their teams with first round picks. Clearly, teams such as the Jets, and the Packers, and the Ravens would not have been in the position to make the playoffs without these first round players, barring a fortunate free agency signing or the rare development of a late round pick, which are both rare occurrences and cannot be relied upon. Teams such as New Orleans and Philadelphia, and Kansas City and Seattle luck into competent players through those other means, but for most teams, this way of obtaining an above-average QB is highly unreliable. How often does a Michael Vick or a Drew Brees appear on the free agency market? Conversely, how often are above-average QB prospects available in the first round of the draft? The latter clearly is more common than the former, as potentially elite QB prospects appear in nearly every draft class. But it is important to note that these prospects rarely slip into the later rounds. The Tom Bradys and Matt Hasselbecks are rare.

Now let's take a look at the RB situation for each team in the playoffs:

NFC
#1 Atlanta (Michael Turner, FA)
#2 Chicago (Matt Forte, 2nd)
#3 Philadelphia (LeSean McCoy, 2nd)
#4 Seattle (Marshawn Lynch, trade)
#5 New Orleans (Pierre Thomas/Chris Ivory, UDFA/UDFA)
#6 Green Bay (James Starks, UDFA)

AFC
#1 New England, (Benjarvis Green-Ellis, FA)
#2 Pittsburgh (Rashard Mendenhall, 1st)
#3 Indianapolis (Joseph Addai, 1st)
#4 Kansas City (Jamaal Charles, 3rd)
#5 Baltimore (Ray Rice, 2nd)
#6 New York Jets (Shonn Greene/Ladanian Tomlinson, 3rd/FA)

Wow! Look at that disparity. I see a grand total of *two* first round draft picks being used as their team's primary RB this year in the playoffs, and both of which could arguably be interchanged with a replacement-level player without affecting the team's success. Rashard Mendenhall averaged 3.9 ypc this year, which is a substandard mark, and substituting an UDFA or a late round pick for him may actually even *improve* Pittsburgh. Joseph Addai was constantly injured this year and likewise has seen his level of production drop to below replacement-level marks. It is plainly obvious that above-average and even elite RBs routinely slip into the later rounds of the draft, far more so than QBs do, and playoff teams routinely field late round picks and UDFAs in the interchangeable role of the RB.

If this list doesn't make you realize that the RBs are a truly fungible position and not worthy of first round consideration, nothing will.


Really? Same teams, same ten years, first two rounds:

New Orleans Saints: Ricky Williams (year earlier, 1999), Deuce McAllister, Reggie Bush
Indianapolis Colts: Edgerrin James (year earlier 1999), Joseph Addai, Donald Brown
Pittsburgh Steelers: Rashard Mendenhall
Arizona Cardinals: Thomas Jones, J.J. Arrington, Chris Wells
New England Patriots: Laurence Maroney
New York Giants: Ron Dayne
Chicago Bears: Anthony Thomas, Cedric Benson, Matt Forte
Seattle Seahawks: Shaun Alexander, Maurice Morris
Philadelphia Eagles: LeSean McCoy
Carolina Panthers: DeShaun Foster, Eric Shelton, DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Carnell Williams
Oakland Raiders: None
St. Louis Rams: Trung Canidate, Steven Jackson
Baltimore Ravens: Jamal Lewis, Ray Rice



In many of these cases, the teams were succeeding in spite of wasting first round picks on RBs, and in other cases, you are listing RBs who are irrelevant to the discussion of drafting strategies leading to a Super Bowl run because they were drafted by those teams in years following their Super Bowl appearance(s).

- The Saints selection of Deuce McCallister was inconsequential to their Super Bowl run, and in many ways so was their selection of Reggie Bush.
- The Colts received some adequate return on investment with the Addai pick, but the Donald Brown pick and the Edgerrin James picks were inconsquential to their two Super Bowl runs.
- The Steelers selection of Mendenhall was inconsequential to their two Super Bowl runs.
- All of Arizona's first round selections of RBs were wastes of draft picks who had little to no impact on their success in 2008, and the selection of Beanie Wells was made following their Super Bowl appearance.
- Maroney was, again, a replacement-level player who will probably dissuade Belichick from ever wasting another first round pick on a RB.
- Ron Dayne was a bust for the Giants who had little impact on their success in 2000, and absolutely none in 2007.
- The Bears picks were all mostly wastes.
- The selection of LeSean McCoy was a second round selection by the Eagles and obviously had no impact on their success in 2004, as he was drafted in 2009.

And so on and so forth. You can't dredge up examples of past Super Bowl winners spending first round picks on RBs AFTER their appearance because, obviously, the decisions they make in the draft following a Super Bowl appearance has no impact on that team's success PRIOR to their Super Bowl appearance.

And for all of those other RBs you noted who *were* selected prior to their team's Super Bowl appearance, a starkly disproportionate amount of these RBs had little to no impact on their team's success and could have been replaced by an UDFA or a late-round pick without a significant drop in performance.


So, in freaking conclusion:

Yes, RBs are still very, very important to a team's success. Yes, a late round RB can hold the fort for a little while. Yes, teams need and benefit from having good RB's to win games and make it far into the postseason. No, there is nothing wrong with taking a RB in the first or second round. No, there isn't an abundance of quality RB, more than ever, as I said earlier, and so did bhaarat and a couple others, the league is shifting to a passing league putting RB's at a disadvantage in the draft, similar to 4-3 defensive players. They're sliding, but they're still talented. Just happens that people get surprised to see they were 2nd, 3rd round talents taken in the 5th, sixth round.

And last but not least: No, you can't believe a late round RB will be your future. Pierre Thomas was the starter last year for Saints' championship team with Mike Bell providing quality plays. Bell has had two teams this season (Eagles and Browns), and Thomas could be allowed to leave this offseason. Texan believed they had their future RB after Steve Slaton had a great year, but he sucked it up afterwards and lost his spot to another unknown talent. Let's see what happens to Foster in the future.


A late round RB is no more inherently injury-prone than a first round RB. Your claim that a team "can't believe a late round RB will be your future" makes no sense whatsoever. Why can you depend more on a RB with a first round pedigree than a RB without such a pedigree, given similar levels of production? Is Joseph Addai less injury prone than Pierre Thomas simply because he is drafted in the first round? Clearly not, as this year has shown - they both have struggled with injuries this year despite having different pedigrees. Injuries are typically not related to draft positioning, and to insinuate as such is misleading and disingenuous. If a player has shown the ability to produce at a high level, his team will expect the same level of production from him regardless of his draft pedigree, and any injuries incurred which make that RB less reliable are mostly coincidental.

PossibleCabbage
01-12-2011, 07:49 AM
#6 Green Bay (James Starks, UDFA)

James Starks was a 6th round pick.

PossibleCabbage
01-12-2011, 08:02 AM
Here's something interesting that I found. Since the start of free agency (after the 1993 season) the following teams have never spent a first round pick on a running back:

Green Bay (last pick was Darrell Thompson in '90)
Houston (expansion team, never picked a first round RB)
New York Jets (last pick was Blair Thomas in '90)
Philadelphia (last pick was Keith Byars in '86)
San Francisco (last pick was Dexter Carter in '90)
Washington Redskins (last pick was Ray McDonald in '67)

Saints-Tigers
01-12-2011, 03:24 PM
You can have a strong running game and a top tier offense without a top running back, it's not even that uncommon.

How many teams have elite passing and elite offense without an elite QB?

Runningbacks are far more a product of players around them than the QB is, that's the main difference.

Morton
01-16-2011, 01:20 PM
We the jury hearby convict Mr. Goosemahn of rape in the first degree.

So if that was rape in the first degree, what would my final response be considered? Rape, murder, and abuse of a corpse?

I would still like to hear a single good reason to draft a RB in the first round. I am convinced that it is easily one of the worst possible draft decisions a team can make.

PossibleCabbage
01-16-2011, 01:30 PM
I would still like to hear a single good reason to draft a RB in the first round. I am convinced that it is easily one of the worst possible draft decisions a team can make.

Luxury pick. If you're already good at every position other than RB where there's quality on the board, and you aren't able to trade down, then why not?

I mean, as fungible as RBs are, a starting RB is generally a better use of a first round draft pick than a backup at most positions.

Morton
01-16-2011, 01:32 PM
Luxury pick. If you're already good at every position other than RB where there's quality on the board, and you aren't able to trade down, then why not?

I mean, as fungible as RBs are, a starting RB is generally a better use of a first round draft pick than a backup at most positions.

The concept of a "luxury pick" is flawed.

Your draft should be the foundation of your future. You shouldn't look at the draft as a way to restock your current roster but as a way to build your future roster. Even the most well-stocked teams will suffer injuries and unexpected declines from veteran players, so continuing to build upon that foundation by investing in even more defensive and offensive linemen, and other premium positions, is still of utmost importance to remain relevant in the future.

PossibleCabbage
01-16-2011, 01:46 PM
The concept of a "luxury pick" is flawed.

Your draft should be the foundation of your future. You shouldn't look at the draft as a way to restock your current roster but as a way to build your future roster. Even the most well-stocked teams will suffer injuries and unexpected declines from veteran players, so continuing to build upon that foundation by investing in even more defensive and offensive linemen, and other premium positions, is still of utmost importance to remain relevant in the future.

What if you're an exceptionally young team at most of your positions of depth? I'm just saying that you can make a case for a player at any position to be the highest player on your board at a given pick (though generally this works best with late picks). It may never actually happen, but it can happen.

Plus, I mean, if we're okay with Ray Rice going #55 or Maurice Jones-Drew going #60, is it that bad to select an RB of around that quality with #31?

It's a hell of a lot easier to justify taking an RB in the first than a Punter, and I would take ROBOPUNTER #1 overall.

Mr. Goosemahn
01-16-2011, 02:11 PM
So if that was rape in the first degree, what would my final response be considered? Rape, murder, and abuse of a corpse?

I would still like to hear a single good reason to draft a RB in the first round. I am convinced that it is easily one of the worst possible draft decisions a team can make.

It's nothing, maybe a little *****-slap if anything.

The point is that your argument of measuring RB success and importance through Superbowl victories is both idiotic and utterly ********.

Superbowl victories are a team effort, not based on the play of a single player. The only real way of gauging what a player did is to evaluate his individual performance, and even then it might still be affected the by play of others.

Using your logic and argument, I can validly state that Trent Dilfer was a more important player to Baltimore than Philip Rivers is for San Diego. That Dilfer was more important to Baltimore than LT for San Diego.

You want a single good reason to draft a RB in the first round: it helps your chances to win, which is basically everything you need from any players. I've said it before and I'll say it again: the vast majority of late round RB's are nothing more than stopgaps at the position. Very rarely do they develop into franchise backs. I know you guys love Talking about Turner, and Pierre Thomas, and Jamaal Charles, but those guys are the exception. For those very few legitimate late round stars, there are dozens of other RB's that have, and ultimately will, amount to nothing.

And even more evidence of this: Willie Parker. Parker is probably the most notorious example of a late round RB who found success in recent years. People remember him for his speed and ability and whatnot, but ultimately, he didn't provide ALL that much for the franchise.

In 6 years with the team Parker only started 4, getting more than 1,000 yards only three times. There was only one year where he got more than 5 TD's.

Comparing his stats to Mendenhall, a first round pick, it's pretty clear who will be the best RB. In only two years as a starter, Mendenhall is only 4 TD's away from matching Willie Parker's career total. Furthermore, he's close to getting half of the yards Willie Parker had for his entire career.

And all of this, mind you, playing with an absolutely atrocious offensive line. Parker at least played some years with Marvel Smith at LT, Alan Faneca at LG, and a healthier Kendall Simmons at RG.

So that is why you draft a RB with a high pick. It gives you stability at the position and not just a journeyman who'll provide 3 years of talent.

If you already have a franchise RB, then you don't necessarily have to look for one. But if you don't have a good RB, and you're in the position to take a good one, you should definitely consider it. It can do wonders for a team.

First round RB's give you a better chance at winning than most late round RB's. Will he win you a Superbowl alone? Hell no, no single player can win you a SB, not even QB. He needs good WR's too.

So, I'll say what I've been saying for a while now because apparently it's just too hard for you to comprehend:

Late Round picks and UDFA's will hold the fort for a little while, but they're not the answer. Can they have success? Yes. Any late round player can. But rarely is it long term.

The difference is that a first round RB can play well for/by himself, while a late round FA will need, as you have repetitively stated, a good Oline. That's like saying that you prefer a late round receiver who can play well with a fantastic QB, rather than an elite receiver who will still play well with a mediocre QB.

Does it make sense? Sure. But it's still ********.

Morton
01-16-2011, 03:25 PM
It's nothing, maybe a little *****-slap if anything.

The point is that your argument of measuring RB success and importance through Superbowl victories is both idiotic and utterly ********.

Superbowl victories are a team effort, not based on the play of a single player. The only real way of gauging what a player did is to evaluate his individual performance, and even then it might still be affected the by play of others.


My point was to evaluate the importance of the RB position in the overall picture of the Super Bowl caliber roster.

My conclusion was that premium talent @ the RB position was not necessary, and/or the talent requisite at the RB position for a Super Bowl caliber team could be relatively easily obtained without using first round draft picks.


Using your logic and argument, I can validly state that Trent Dilfer was a more important player to Baltimore than Philip Rivers is for San Diego. That Dilfer was more important to Baltimore than LT for San Diego.

You want a single good reason to draft a RB in the first round: it helps your chances to win, which is basically everything you need from any players. I've said it before and I'll say it again: the vast majority of late round RB's are nothing more than stopgaps at the position. Very rarely do they develop into franchise backs. I know you guys love Talking about Turner, and Pierre Thomas, and Jamaal Charles, but those guys are the exception. For those very few legitimate late round stars, there are dozens of other RB's that have, and ultimately will, amount to nothing.


So how do you explain my table of 2010 playoff RBs? Why is it that the vast majority of the playoff teams are using free agents and mid-late round picks as their primary rusher? Obviously if this is the pattern of behavior exhibited by playoff teams, then perhaps the first round RB truly is unnecessary to playoff success?


And even more evidence of this: Willie Parker. Parker is probably the most notorious example of a late round RB who found success in recent years. People remember him for his speed and ability and whatnot, but ultimately, he didn't provide ALL that much for the franchise.

In 6 years with the team Parker only started 4, getting more than 1,000 yards only three times. There was only one year where he got more than 5 TD's.


This is even more of an indictment of the RB position and how it relates to the first round of the draft. Clearly, if Parker did not produce great numbers, but his team nevertheless won Super Bowls, then maybe the RB position just isn't important? Maybe investing those first round picks in defense, for instance, is smarter, as the Pittsburgh defense is clearly one of the top factors that won them those Super Bowls?


Comparing his stats to Mendenhall, a first round pick, it's pretty clear who will be the best RB. In only two years as a starter, Mendenhall is only 4 TD's away from matching Willie Parker's career total. Furthermore, he's close to getting half of the yards Willie Parker had for his entire career.

And all of this, mind you, playing with an absolutely atrocious offensive line. Parker at least played some years with Marvel Smith at LT, Alan Faneca at LG, and a healthier Kendall Simmons at RG.

So that is why you draft a RB with a high pick. It gives you stability at the position and not just a journeyman who'll provide 3 years of talent.



If Pittsburgh can win Super Bowls without a first round talent playing RB, why should they bother obtaining one?

I contend that Rashard Mendenhall was a wasted pick for Pittsburgh. Not only do they not need a top flight RB to win Super Bowls, as you have clearly demonstrated with your Willie Parker example, but they could obtain similar production out of a late round pick.

If Pittsburgh wins any more Super Bowls, it will be in spite of wasting a first round pick on Rashard Mendenhall.


If you already have a franchise RB, then you don't necessarily have to look for one. But if you don't have a good RB, and you're in the position to take a good one, you should definitely consider it. It can do wonders for a team.

First round RB's give you a better chance at winning than most late round RB's. Will he win you a Superbowl alone? Hell no, no single player can win you a SB, not even QB. He needs good WR's too.

So, I'll say what I've been saying for a while now because apparently it's just too hard for you to comprehend:

Late Round picks and UDFA's will hold the fort for a little while, but they're not the answer. Can they have success? Yes. Any late round player can. But rarely is it long term.

The difference is that a first round RB can play well for/by himself, while a late round FA will need, as you have repetitively stated, a good Oline. That's like saying that you prefer a late round receiver who can play well with a fantastic QB, rather than an elite receiver who will still play well with a mediocre QB.

Does it make sense? Sure. But it's still ********.

There is no material evidence to support your claim that simply based on draft pedigree a RB requires a better offensive line, or vice versa, to produce effectively. Simply none at all. The reason talented RBs fall into the later rounds is because the abilities to be effective as a RB in the NFL are so commonplace, that many late-round players, with conditioning in an NFL weight room, and NFL training, can become just as effective as your typical first round pick. It's simply the nature of the position that requires merely speed, toughness, and agility. These are basic attributes that can be cultivated in nearly any player.

hoekd0250
01-16-2011, 03:51 PM
see i think a team can take a runningback in the first round but u shouldnt take one just because hes dominate at running with the ball in his hands which is what has been happening pp forget its the small things that make a rb so great now days its his ability to pick up bliztes, sell play action and use blocks on kick and punt returns that make a great running back as i believe there are hundreds of backs that can find a crease and run for 1000 yd seasons but only a select few that can be counted on to do those little things right

Mr. Goosemahn
01-16-2011, 04:24 PM
My point was to evaluate the importance of the RB position in the overall picture of the Super Bowl caliber roster.

My conclusion was that premium talent @ the RB position was not necessary, and/or the talent requisite at the RB position for a Super Bowl caliber team could be relatively easily obtained without using first round draft picks.

You can argue that premium talent isn't necessary for any position with each different winner.

According to the Saints, you don't RB's.
According to the Steelers, you don't need an O-line.
According to Giants, you don't need to score 20 points.
According to the Colts, you don't need a defense.
According to the Steelers, you don't need a QB.

Each team has a different philosophy and different schemes, but very, very, very few teams, if any, can legitimately say that RB isn't a very important position for them.

Again, Superbowls are a team effort, not an individual performance. Your claims that a good RB won't win you a superbowl are just asinine, and ignorant. No single player can lead a team to a championship, never has happened, never will.

So how do you explain my table of 2010 playoff RBs? Why is it that the vast majority of the playoff teams are using free agents and mid-late round picks as their primary rusher? Obviously if this is the pattern of behavior exhibited by playoff teams, then perhaps the first round RB truly is unnecessary to playoff success?

The vast majority? What are you talking about? Using the top rusher this year for the respective teams:

AFC
1. Patriots - UDFA
2. Steelers - 1st rounder
3. Colts - 1st rounder (2, in fact)
4. Chiefs - 3rd rounder
5. Ravens - 2nd rounder
6. Jets - FA

NFC
1. Falcons - FA
2. Bears - 2nd rounder
3. Eagles - 2nd rounder
4. Seahawks - Trade
5. Saints - UDFA
6. Packers - 2nd rounder

Since when is 5/12 the vast majority?

Steelers, Colts, Ravens, Bears, Eagles, and Packers all used a RB picked in the first two rounds, a big investment on a RB. Jamaal Charles was a third rounder, so he could be used in both your and my argument, but just for the sake of the argument I'll give it to you.

That's 6 teams with a high round pick, and 6 teams without.

Now, out of the 5 remaining teams in the playoffs, only two don't have a RB drafted early, being the Patriots and Jets. The Jets do have a first rounder in Tomlinson and a third rounder in Green, who could also be considered a second rounder as he was the first pick of the third round.

So there are more teams left with a high round RB than without. Hmm, how about that.

This is even more of an indictment of the RB position and how it relates to the first round of the draft. Clearly, if Parker did not produce great numbers, but his team nevertheless won Super Bowls, then maybe the RB position just isn't important? Maybe investing those first round picks in defense, for instance, is smarter, as the Pittsburgh defense is clearly one of the top factors that won them those Super Bowls?

Again, same argument I refuted above, you can say the same for any team. The Ravens don't need a QB, Colts don't need a defense, Saints don't need RB's, just because it worked once doesn't mean it'll work again.

You don't really know how Pittsburgh's defense is built, right? There are only three 1st round starters for us right now, 4 if you count Ziggy Hood who is starting for an injured Aaron Smith.

Smith - 4th round
Hampton - 1st round
Keisel - 7th round

Harrison - UDFA
Farrior - FA
Timmons - 1st round
Woodley - 2nd round

Taylor - 4th round
Clark - FA
Polamalu - 1st round
McFadden - 2nd round

Steelers take players that fit their scheme, not just big name players. And it's the same for offense. Not just because a player is selected high in the draft is he going to be good, and not just because he's selected high in the draft does it mean he'll benefit the team more.

Selecting first rounders on positions you already have great players for, and good replacements for as well, isn't really smart.

I'd rather have the team focus on rebuilding the weakest part, the O-line, this year.

If Pittsburgh can win Super Bowls without a first round talent playing RB, why should they bother obtaining one?

You say you would fortify the trenches, but Pittsburgh won a SB with an atrocious offensive line, so why invest in it? If they won with pieces of **** as starters, then everybody can do it and drafting offensive linemen top 10 is just stupid.

I contend that Rashard Mendenhall was a wasted pick for Pittsburgh. Not only do they not need a top flight RB to win Super Bowls, as you have clearly demonstrated with your Willie Parker example, but they could obtain similar production out of a late round pick.

No, Mendenhall was a key contributor all season long, one of the main reasons the team went 3-1 in the first 4 games. He was the league's 7th best rusher and helps take the pressure off of the passing game.

He was, most definitely, not a wasted pick. Again, just because Pittsburgh lucked out and hit on an UDFA who was good for four years doesn't mean that's the norm. Quite the contrary, it's the exception.

And what evidence do you have that they could obtain the similar production out of a late round pick? None.

If Pittsburgh wins any more Super Bowls, it will be in spite of wasting a first round pick on Rashard Mendenhall.

Again, incorrect assertion. Mendenhall is a key contributor, and thus was not a wasted pick and the team will not win in spite of having him. Saying a team wins in spite of a key contributor makes no sense. It's like saying the Patriots are winning in spite of Wes Welker, or the Packers are winning in spite of Greg Jennings, or the Bears are winning in spite of Matt Forte.

Those are all guys that were key components of victories and crucial elements throughout the season.

There is no material evidence to support your claim that simply based on draft pedigree a RB requires a better offensive line, or vice versa, to produce effectively. Simply none at all.

Statistically, no, but anyone who watches a bit of football knows that this is often the case. First round RB's simply have better vision and ability than later round RB's, at least during their first years. It's the reason they're first rounders. Guys like McFadden, CJ2K, Peterson, they don't always need an elite line to succeed, they create yardage for themselves.

The reason talented RBs fall into the later rounds is because the abilities to be effective as a RB in the NFL are so commonplace, that many late-round players, with conditioning in an NFL weight room, and NFL training, can become just as effective as your typical first round pick. It's simply the nature of the position that requires merely speed, toughness, and agility. These are basic attributes that can be cultivated in nearly any player.

If it were as easy as you say it is, then no one would draft RB's. At all. And unfortunately, speed, toughness, and agility are three of the things that CAN'T be taught or coached. Speed can never, ever be taught. You either have it, or not. Toughness can be instilled in a player, but it's extremely difficult to do so, usually players can take hits from the very beginning or simply can't. And agility is another thing that can improve a bit, but not much. You won't see Michael Turner becoming Chris Johnson, you won't see Dwayne Jarrett becoming Steve Smith, etc. Each player has a unique skill set, and while they can improve technique and football intelligence and things of that nature, you can't really improve most physical traits.

And a couple of us have already said it in this thread, the reason RB's appear to be falling is because of the direction in which the league is headed, where QB's and receivers are at a premium, with the league becoming pass-oriented. That being said, teams find themselves with holes at RB and then have to take them. Same thing for 4-3 defensive players. They aren't less talented, there's just a premium on 3-4 ones, and when a team needs a 4-3 player, they still take them.

Morton
01-16-2011, 05:00 PM
You can argue that premium talent isn't necessary for any position with each different winner.

According to the Saints, you don't RB's.
According to the Steelers, you don't need an O-line.
According to Giants, you don't need to score 20 points.
According to the Colts, you don't need a defense.
According to the Steelers, you don't need a QB.

Each team has a different philosophy and different schemes, but very, very, very few teams, if any, can legitimately say that RB isn't a very important position for them.


- Except that the Steelers do need a QB. Do you think they can win Super Bowls without Roethlisberger? Do you think they'd even be in the playoffs with Charlie Batch or Dennis Dixon?

- Except that the Colts do need a defense, but an unconventional one built to suit their offense. Without a first round pick invested in Dwight Freeney, for example, their Tampa-2 would not function and would fail to protect leads in passing situations.

- The Giants not scoring more than 20 points? Where did this come from? They scored 24, 21, 23, and 17 points in consecutive order in their 2007 playoff run.



Again, Superbowls are a team effort, not an individual performance. Your claims that a good RB won't win you a superbowl are just asinine, and ignorant. No single player can lead a team to a championship, never has happened, never will.


That's not what I'm arguing. What I was arguing is that because football is such a team sport, certain positions are even more irrelevant than others, and that RB is one of them. Don't you get this?


The vast majority? What are you talking about? Using the top rusher this year for the respective teams:

AFC
1. Patriots - UDFA
2. Steelers - 1st rounder
3. Colts - 1st rounder (2, in fact)
4. Chiefs - 3rd rounder
5. Ravens - 2nd rounder
6. Jets - FA

NFC
1. Falcons - FA
2. Bears - 2nd rounder
3. Eagles - 2nd rounder
4. Seahawks - Trade
5. Saints - UDFA
6. Packers - 2nd rounder

Since when is 5/12 the vast majority?

Steelers, Colts, Ravens, Bears, Eagles, and Packers all used a RB picked in the first two rounds, a big investment on a RB. Jamaal Charles was a third rounder, so he could be used in both your and my argument, but just for the sake of the argument I'll give it to you.


Now you're just twisting my examples and my words around. We're clearly talking about investing first round picks in running backs. I don't think it's terribly wrong to invest a second round pick in a running back.

My point was that only two backs (Addai and Mendenhall) were first round picks, and that both were not even spectacular enough that they couldn't be replaced by their team with a late round pick or free agent back without a dip in production.


That's 6 teams with a high round pick, and 6 teams without.

Now, out of the 5 remaining teams in the playoffs, only two don't have a RB drafted early, being the Patriots and Jets. The Jets do have a first rounder in Tomlinson and a third rounder in Green, who could also be considered a second rounder as he was the first pick of the third round.

So there are more teams left with a high round RB than without. Hmm, how about that.


Again, you have to remember that the Jets did not invest a first round pick into Tomlinson. From our perspective here of the playoff team's resources, he was merely a free agent. The importance to us is whether the Jets invested that first round pick into him.

And, anyway, my argument was about first round picks. You're completely ignoring the fact that I have been arguing about whether or not premium first round picks should be spent on running backs. Shonn Greene's late 2nd/ early 3rd round status is clearly not what we're discussing here.


Again, same argument I refuted above, you can say the same for any team. The Ravens don't need a QB, Colts don't need a defense, Saints don't need RB's, just because it worked once doesn't mean it'll work again.

You don't really know how Pittsburgh's defense is built, right? There are only three 1st round starters for us right now, 4 if you count Ziggy Hood who is starting for an injured Aaron Smith.

Smith - 4th round
Hampton - 1st round
Keisel - 7th round

Harrison - UDFA
Farrior - FA
Timmons - 1st round
Woodley - 2nd round

Taylor - 4th round
Clark - FA
Polamalu - 1st round
McFadden - 2nd round

Steelers take players that fit their scheme, not just big name players. And it's the same for offense. Not just because a player is selected high in the draft is he going to be good, and not just because he's selected high in the draft does it mean he'll benefit the team more.

Selecting first rounders on positions you already have great players for, and good replacements for as well, isn't really smart.

I'd rather have the team focus on rebuilding the weakest part, the O-line, this year.


You say you would fortify the trenches, but Pittsburgh won a SB with an atrocious offensive line, so why invest in it? If they won with pieces of **** as starters, then everybody can do it and drafting offensive linemen top 10 is just stupid.


The point is that, whether they want to invest in O-Line, or D-Line, or LBer, or QB, or even CB or FS, ANYTHING WOULD BE BETTER THAN INVESTING IN RB.

I don't care if they spend it on a stud center (Maurkice Pouncey), a stud safety (Troy Polamalu), a stud linebacker (Lawrence Timmons), or a stud nose tackle (Casey Hampton)...

investing in other positions will benefit them far more in the long run than wasting a pick on a running back.


No, Mendenhall was a key contributor all season long, one of the main reasons the team went 3-1 in the first 4 games. He was the league's 7th best rusher and helps take the pressure off of the passing game.


Mendenhall was a league-average back who produced roughly 4.0 yard per carry, which is easily replicated by nearly any back you can pick up in free agency or in the late rounds of the draft. Just take a look at all of the UDFAs and other late round picks who stepped up this year and produced 4.0 yards per carry or higher.

The key analysis to make here is what could they have had instead of Mendenhall. They could have had a 4.0 ypc back at any point in the draft, really. Why waste a first round pick on that?


He was, most definitely, not a wasted pick. Again, just because Pittsburgh lucked out and hit on an UDFA who was good for four years doesn't mean that's the norm. Quite the contrary, it's the exception.


It is the norm, however. Look at the league and all of the backs out there producing at a 4.0 ypc clip or higher.

- Peyton Hillis
- Arian Foster
- Benjarvis Green Ellis
- Michael Turner
- Jamaal Charles
- Chris Ivory
- LeGarette Blount
- Ahmad Bradshaw
- Brandon Jacobs
- Ryan Torain
- Matt Forte
- Shonn Greene
- Ladanian Tomlinson
- Brandon Jackson

None of these backs, all of whom contributed heavily for their teams, were selected by that team with a first round pick.





Again, incorrect assertion. Mendenhall is a key contributor, and thus was not a wasted pick and the team will not win in spite of having him. Saying a team wins in spite of a key contributor makes no sense. It's like saying the Patriots are winning in spite of Wes Welker, or the Packers are winning in spite of Greg Jennings, or the Bears are winning in spite of Matt Forte.

Those are all guys that were key components of victories and crucial elements throughout the season.


I'm saying that they are winning in spite of wasting a first round pick on Mendenhall. They could have the exact same effect right now, if they had instead simply forfeited their Mendenhall pick and plugged a late round pick or UDFA into their offense.

Literally, the Steelers would win roughly the same number of games. Because 4.0 yards per carry is so common and so easy to replicate.

And none of the examples you cited are examples of first round picks. For a counterpoint, for instance, consider Troy Polamalu. The Steelers, we know, are a far worse defense without Polamalu in the lineup. Why? Because Polamalu is a defensive player worthy of his first round status. Because he has a set of not-easily-replicated skills that cannot be simply mimicked by a replacement level player. The same cannot be said for Rashard Mendenhall.


Statistically, no, but anyone who watches a bit of football knows that this is often the case. First round RB's simply have better vision and ability than later round RB's, at least during their first years. It's the reason they're first rounders. Guys like McFadden, CJ2K, Peterson, they don't always need an elite line to succeed, they create yardage for themselves.


Some may have better vision and ability, some do not. It's all a crapshoot. And for a position of such little importance in the grand scheme of offense as RB, gambling on these things is a bad idea.


If it were as easy as you say it is, then no one would draft RB's. At all. And unfortunately, speed, toughness, and agility are three of the things that CAN'T be taught or coached. Speed can never, ever be taught. You either have it, or not. Toughness can be instilled in a player, but it's extremely difficult to do so, usually players can take hits from the very beginning or simply can't. And agility is another thing that can improve a bit, but not much. You won't see Michael Turner becoming Chris Johnson, you won't see Dwayne Jarrett becoming Steve Smith, etc. Each player has a unique skill set, and while they can improve technique and football intelligence and things of that nature, you can't really improve most physical traits.


The point is that speed is more common than alot of other traits. There are tons of fast, shifty kids out there. All it takes is some training and weight room discipline and you have yourself an adequate running back.

The only reason teams draft RBs in the first round is because they are stupid. Period.


And a couple of us have already said it in this thread, the reason RB's appear to be falling is because of the direction in which the league is headed, where QB's and receivers are at a premium, with the league becoming pass-oriented. That being said, teams find themselves with holes at RB and then have to take them. Same thing for 4-3 defensive players. They aren't less talented, there's just a premium on 3-4 ones, and when a team needs a 4-3 player, they still take them.

Adequate RBs were always prominent in later rounds. It's not just a generational thing.

49erNation85
01-16-2011, 05:07 PM
I don't see the steelers drafting a QB lol

Mr. Goosemahn
01-16-2011, 05:50 PM
Fine dude, I'm not gonna convince you, you're not gonna convince me, we'll just keep our opinions.

Docta
01-17-2011, 01:26 AM
There were 17 quality RB's in the 2008 draft class. Rashard Mendenhall, Chris Johnson, Jamaal Charles, Darren McFadden, Jonathan Stewart, Peyton Hillis, Ray Rice, Matt Forte, Felix Jones, Ryan Torain, Tim Hightower, Steve Slaton, Tashard Choice, and Justin Forsett, plus the undrafted players Mike Tolbert, BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead.

You shouldn't have to waste a 1st round pick on a RB. Picks like Adrian Peterson were smart, but he's a dime a dozen.

Halsey
01-17-2011, 01:34 AM
Another thing about RBs in today's NFL is that there doesn't seem to be much of correlation between having an elite RB and winning. 4 of the top 5 rushers this year didn't even make the playoffs. Sure, every team wants an Adrian Peterson or Chris Johnson, but they're almost luxuries compared to the value of positions like QB, pass rushers, left tackles, etc.

SchizophrenicBatman
01-17-2011, 01:44 AM
WR is the same way

its really

1. QB
2. Defense
3. OL
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
4. Offensive skill positions

Halsey
01-17-2011, 01:58 AM
I feel that some pass catchers are quite valuable in today's NFL. A guy who can demand extra attention and help spread defenses out is very valuable. It doesn't do much good to have a top pass catcher without a quality starting QB, as we saw with Arizona and Miami, but once a team has a quality starting QB they need to get him quality pass catchers.

JPP90
01-17-2011, 02:11 AM
Its a team sport, period. Look at Seattle for proof...a 7-9 team knocking off a what, 12-4?...in playoff football. They did it with a 1st round RB that is largely disappointing in Marshawn Lynch. However, today NE stunk up the joint with thwir UDFA duo. You can argue that if they had Adrian Peterson, they'd have had a better chance to win today and I think that was the point Goosehaun was trying to make. I've seen the "sleeper" pick blow up in a teams face before. 2004 draft...Steven Jackson waas consensus #1 RB. Dallas was operating with Troy Hambrick and had a big need at RB. Jackson dropped to Dallas and it waas assumed they'd snatch him right up. But Bill Parcells had a hunch...Julius Jones was better. Traded out of the 1st round and later took Jones 2nd round. Parcells should have grabbed Jackson.

Unless of course you wanna argue that Parcells could have drafted Michael Turner 3rd round instead. In which case id tell you I could have won the Power Ball if Id guessed the correct numbers.

Halsey
01-17-2011, 02:18 AM
Yeah, Seattle won that game all because of Marshawn Lynch. We'll just ignore the annoying little detail that Seattle had 4 passing TDs in that game.

JPP90
01-17-2011, 02:30 AM
Yeah, Seattle won that game all because of Marshawn Lynch. We'll just ignore the annoying little detail that Seattle had 4 passing TDs in that game.

At what point did I say they won that game "all because" of Marshawn Lynch?

Halsey
01-17-2011, 02:49 AM
Speaking of Steven Jackson, great RB and all, but what has he ever won? That's what I'm talking about. There doesn't seem to be much correlation between have a 'stud RB' and winning. Yeah, running the ball is important, but it doesn't require having Adrian Peterson or Steven Jackson. I don't see a single RB left in the playoffs that strikes me as elite or great or whatever label you want to apply. Every team should try to have good RBs, but I just don't think it's all that important for teams to have elite talent at the position. Passig on Steven Jackson doesn't strike me as a franchise changing mistake by the Cowboys.

yo123
01-17-2011, 02:59 AM
Speaking of Steven Jackson, great RB and all, but what has he ever won? That's what I'm talking about. There doesn't seem to be much correlation between have a 'stud RB' and winning. Yeah, running the ball is important, but it doesn't require having Adrian Peterson or Steven Jackson. I don't see a single RB left in the playoffs that strikes me as elite or great or whatever label you want to apply. Every team should try to have good RBs, but I just don't think it's all that important for teams to have elite talent at the position. Passig on Steven Jackson doesn't strike me as a franchise changing mistake by the Cowboys.

Doesn't matter. You need a solid QB to win. But find me the last SB winning team who isn't at least effective running the ball? Look at those Adrian Peterson teams. They always had a clear disadvantage as a team, mostly QB and sometimes defense. The running game is still important and always will be. When a prospect like AD comes and is such a sure thing as a playmaker/gamebreaker you take him. The only prospect that has come out recently that is remotely like him that I would take in the first is McFadden btw. For the most part RB's taken in the first are a joke I agree, but AD is a gamebreaker and the only way he doesn't get to the playoffs is when the team has unbelievably bad QB play (T-Jack, 2010 Favre) Hell we MADE THE PLAYOFFS with T-Jack once, what does that tell you?

You're not going to find any sane person who says RB is one of the most important positions on a team, but you also have to factor in how much a defense has to gameplan for you and how much that individual RB actually impacts a game. AD impacts the game like no other RB does in today's game and pretty much any RB ever. Not saying he's the best RB ever but as far as impacting a game he's up there.

JPP90
01-17-2011, 03:03 AM
Speaking of Steven Jackson, great RB and all, but what has he ever won? That's what I'm talking about. There doesn't seem to be much correlation between have a 'stud RB' and winning. Yeah, running the ball is important, but it doesn't require having Adrian Peterson or Steven Jackson. I don't see a single RB left in the playoffs that strikes me as elite or great or whatever label you want to apply. Every team should try to have good RBs, but I just don't think it's all that important for teams to have elite talent at the position. Passig on Steven Jackson doesn't strike me as a franchise changing mistake by the Cowboys.

They're just a piece of the puzzle, but having an elite RB gives you an added element if you have balance. Pretty hard for Jackson to win much with Marc Bulger and a bush league defense. Its amazing with the offensive lines he's had to work with how he's been so productive. RBs don't decide games...in fact, if their team falls behind they're taken out of the game completely. Steven Jackson on the Cowboys...now that could have been something. You cannot take a special talent at RB like Adrian Peterson and downgrade him because other teams have uncovered good RBs later in the draft. Hindsight is 20/20...NFL teams don't think with this logic...they understand how important RB is. When there are backs worth taking early, they get taken early.

Halsey
01-17-2011, 03:08 AM
Doesn't matter. You need a solid QB to win. But find me the last SB winning team who isn't at least effective running the ball?

Don't twist my argument, please. I never said teams don't need to run the ball. I just think RBs can be found easier than many other positions and it doesn't require an elite RB to win.

yo123
01-17-2011, 03:24 AM
Don't twist my argument, please. I never said teams don't need to run the ball. I just think RBs can be found easier than many other positions and it doesn't require an elite RB to win.

Doesn't always. But an elite RB just flat out makes you better. AD made the playoffs with Tarvaris Jackson. Do I honestly need to say more? Elite RB's just flat out make the team better.

JPP90
01-17-2011, 03:27 AM
You've gotta sort through and find the guys that can actually the load and who is just a rotational guy. Any guy that exclusively carries the ball for his team and averages 4 ypc to me is worth a 1st round pick. Ingram, Leshoure, Thomas and Murray have that potential. Everyone else is either a rotational back or a major roll of the dice. Now ita nice when you have everything humming and you can ride guys like Pierre Thomas to the Super Bowl but the reality is if Drew Brees gets hurt and Chase Daniel starts...their UDFA RB gets 8 in the box and goes nowhere. The good ones like Peterson and Chris Johnson see 8 in the box and still churn out Pro Bowl seasons. Ask yourself, how much worse would the Titans be with Ringer playing instead of Johnson? You think Ringer would have 1000 yards with 8 men in the box? A good RB is always valuable. James Starks is a nice RB but he doesn't possess much else other than slightly better burst through a hole than Brandon Jackson had, that I can see so if Aaron Rodgers isn't there with the threat of the pass, he isnt doing much when those holes close up and he has to make something happen on his own. That's when its nice to be a special RB.

yo123
01-17-2011, 03:32 AM
. Any guy that exclusively carries the ball for his team and averages 4 ypc to me is worth a 1st round pick.

See to me that's not true. To be worth a first round pick you have to average 4.5-5 YPC at the minimum, no matter what your offensive line is. 4.0 YPC guys are a dime a dozen.

JPP90
01-17-2011, 03:38 AM
See to me that's not true. To be worth a first round pick you have to average 4.5-5 YPC at the minimum, no matter what your offensive line is. 4.0 YPC guys are a dime a dozen.

Keep in mind I said exclusively carry the ball for your team. That means the rare guy now like CJ or AD. And excludes guys like Bradshaw that don't carry it as much and live off of breaking 1 or 2 big runs. If you can average 4 ypc, that means when I give you ball you're gonna get me at least 4 yards more times than not, and that will get me first downs. 2-3 won't.

yo123
01-17-2011, 03:41 AM
Keep in mind I said exclusively carry the ball for your team. That means the rare guy now like CJ or AD. And excludes guys like Bradshaw that don't carry it as much and live off of breaking 1 or 2 big runs. If you can average 4 ypc, that means when I give you ball you're gonna get me at least 4 yards more times than not, and that will get me first downs. 2-3 won't.

But that includes guys like the Jets version of Thomas Jones, and looking back I just couldn't justify using a first round pick on him. I know Leon Washington got some carries here and there but he was still top 5 in the league in carries a few years ago.

JPP90
01-17-2011, 03:47 AM
But that includes guys like the Jets version of Thomas Jones, and looking back I just couldn't justify using a first round pick on him. I know Leon Washington got some carries here and there but he was still top 5 in the league in carries a few years ago.

I absolutely believe Thomas Jones is worth a 1st round pick. He was productive everywhere but Arizona and they just quit on him too soon. The drop-off at RB in Chicago and NY when he left was tremendous. He's an underrated back. Idk about top 10 but I think Thomas Jones has carved out a nice career fitting of a 1st round RB.

yo123
01-17-2011, 03:50 AM
I guess that's just where we have to disagree. Thomas Jones did in New York what I think a normal mid round pick could have done. To me with a great o-line you should be able to pick up 4.2 YPC if you have a decent burst and decent enough vision to find the wide open hole. Personally I think the 1st round should be reserved for AD/McFadden type prospects so I guess I fall somewhere in between of this argument.

JPP90
01-17-2011, 04:06 AM
I guess that's just where we have to disagree. Thomas Jones did in New York what I think a normal mid round pick could have done. To me with a great o-line you should be able to pick up 4.2 YPC if you have a decent burst and decent enough vision to find the wide open hole. Personally I think the 1st round should be reserved for AD/McFadden type prospects so I guess I fall somewhere in between of this argument.

A mid round pick did fail to replace him..Shonn Greene. Greene was supposed to replace Jones. He couldn't. LT couldn't either. Literally LT and Greene need to combine carries in order to produce a semblance of a running game. Thomas Jones is definently missed in NY.

For the other part there, id say top half of the 1st rd, I agree. I never said Jones should be even a top 15 pick but anywhere from 16-32 I wouldn't argue. Not elite just very productive and dependable.