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View Full Version : Life and Death of the Warrick Dunn's


shylo3716
12-22-2011, 12:14 PM
I am fully aware of the NFL evolving to the bigger backs, but I would like to know will there be another Dunn, in the aspect of being a 1st Round everydown back(smurfs) to carry the load fulltime.

When Dunn came into the league he was measured in at 5'9'' 180 and happened to be the 1st RB off the board #12 overall to TB in the 97 draft over the likes of Antowain Smith & Corey Dillion who were larger backs.

It has been a massive drought on these type of backs in recent years, aside from Jahvid Best being selected #30 overall to Detroit in 2010.

A Perfect Score
12-22-2011, 12:26 PM
I am fully aware of the NFL evolving to the bigger backs, but I would like to know will there be another Dunn, in the aspect of being a 1st Round everydown back(smurfs) to carry the load fulltime.

When Dunn came into the league he was measured in at 5'9'' 180 and happened to be the 1st RB off the board #12 overall to TB in the 97 draft over the likes of Antowain Smith & Corey Dillion who were larger backs.

It has been a massive drought on these type of backs in recent years, aside from Jahvid Best being selected #30 overall to Detroit in 2010.

Uhhh...What?

Chris Johnson (#24)
CJ Spiller (#9)
Jahvid Best (#30)
Reggie Bush (#2)
Dexter McCluster (#36)
Darren McFadden (#4)
Felix Jones (#22)
DeAngelo Williams (#27)

That's just since 2006. I imagine that names like Lamar Miller will be added to this soon enough. In comparison, the "larger" running backs who have gone highly in the first round in the same time period are

Jonathon Stewart (#13)
Adrian Peterson (#7)
Beanie Wells (#31)
Marshawn Lynch (#12)
Laurence Maroney (#21)
Rashard Mendenhall (#23)
Knowshown Moreno (#12)
Donald Brown (#27)
Ryan Mathews (#12)
Mark Ingram? (#28)

So there's been 1(2) more "big" backs drafted early since 2006 then Warrick Dunn types, and some guys like Donald Brown and Ryan Mathews should barely qualify as power runners.

shylo3716
12-22-2011, 12:29 PM
Uhhh...What?

Chris Johnson (#24)
CJ Spiller (#9)
Jahvid Best (#30)
Reggie Bush (#2)
Dexter McCluster (#36)
Darren McFadden (#4)
Felix Jones (#22)
DeAngelo Williams (#27)

That's just since 2006. I imagine that names like Lamar Miller will be added to this soon enough. In comparison, the "larger" running backs who have gone highly in the first round in the same time period are

Jonathon Stewart (#13)
Adrian Peterson (#7)
Beanie Wells (#31)
Marshawn Lynch (#12)
Laurence Maroney (#21)
Rashard Mendenhall (#23)
Knowshown Moreno (#12)
Donald Brown (#27)
Ryan Mathews (#12)
Mark Ingram? (#28)

So there's been 1(2) more "big" backs drafted early since 2006 then Warrick Dunn types, and some guys like Donald Brown and Ryan Mathews should barely qualify as power runners.

Let me make myself clear, Spiller is the only guy to go ahead of the brolic types. I used Best as a reference, because he appears the smallest out of the bunch to go Round 1. Guys in Bold are fairly big IMO. Out of all those smurf-like guys listed, McCluster is the closest in reminIsce of size to Dunn.

CashmoneyDrew
12-22-2011, 12:56 PM
You have the strangest thread titles.

A Perfect Score
12-22-2011, 01:08 PM
Darren McFadden is, I suppose, "big" but he's certainly not thick nor is he a power runner. I would definitely consider him a speed back.

If I had to guess, I'd venture to say Chris Johnson is all of 180 pounds dripping wet (he's listed as 190, but no way do I buy that) at 5'10. He's got 2 inches on Dunn. Reggie Bush is similar, I'd be very shocked if he was above 200 pounds on gameday.

Raiderz4Life
12-22-2011, 01:10 PM
DMC does lean more as a speed runner but he will lower his shoulder and pop a few people. So he's more well rounded now than he was before.

shylo3716
12-22-2011, 01:21 PM
When I said Warrick Dunn types, again I'm referring to the 5'8''-5'9'' 180-185lb guys.

TimmG6376
12-22-2011, 01:36 PM
I don't recall Warrick Dunn being a "speed back". Not that he wasn't fast, but I remember him being pretty physical and running between the tackles quite a bit. I think that is why you don't see backs like him anymore. For him to stay healthy and play as long as he did was pretty remarkable and I don't think there are many guys of his stature that could do that.

shylo3716
12-22-2011, 01:39 PM
I don't recall Warrick Dunn being a "speed back". Not that he wasn't fast, but I remember him being pretty physical and running between the tackles quite a bit. I think that is why you don't see backs like him anymore. For him to stay healthy and play as long as he did was pretty remarkable and I don't think there are many guys of his stature that could do that.

Correct! He had the grit of a back 6'0'' or better to be a smurf. Was not the type to be quick & bounce it back to the outside.

shylo3716
12-22-2011, 01:44 PM
Dunn is the toughest smurf known to mankind! Who would have thought this guy would have been an everydown back for many many years running between the tackles?

Vox Populi
12-22-2011, 02:34 PM
Nice revisionist history going on in here. Dunn was okay between the tackles, and wasn't a really physical runner at all. Once he started playing with Mike Vick he just made the most out of the opportunity of seeing teams completely forget about the middle of the field while they were in the process of ******** their pants making sure that Vick was contained. The reason Dunn was viewed as a good inside runner is because teams didn't actually defend the middle of the field like they normally did against teams that didn't have a run-first QB with 4.3 speed. The only team that didn't completely sell out to stop Vick and fail at it on a consistent basis was the Bucs because they actually managed to build a good tampa-2 defense before all of Dungy's disciples spread it all over the place. Warrick Dunn was a good player, but he got running lanes that no one other than Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson had the opportunity of benefiting from for an extended period of time.

TimmG6376
12-22-2011, 02:54 PM
He ran for over 1,000 yards in 1998 with the Buccaneers when his QB was Trent ******* Dilfer and again in 2000 with the great Shaun King. Not fair to say that Dunn just benefited from the threat of Mike Vick.

Vox Populi
12-22-2011, 03:19 PM
He ran for over 1,000 yards in 1998 with the Buccaneers when his QB was Trent ******* Dilfer and again in 2000 with the great Shaun King. Not fair to say that Dunn just benefited from the threat of Mike Vick.

And in neither year was Dunn relied on for tough yardage on a team that featured Mike Alstott. The Falcons definitely even picked up on this too when they drafted TJ Duckett the same year that they signed Dunn. Dunn is a great person, and was a good running back, but he wasn't a good inside runner because of his physicality.

ImBrotherCain
12-22-2011, 03:22 PM
When I said Warrick Dunn types, again I'm referring to the 5'8''-5'9'' 180-185lb guys.

So you are saying that backs like Warrick Dunn lived and died with Dunn... You have yet to give any other back past or present that fits this extremely specific category besides Best.

TimmG6376
12-22-2011, 03:31 PM
So he wasn't the guy you'd give it to on 3rd and 1 to blast through a goalline defense. I can accept that. But a lot of his yards did come up the middle and he was never afraid of contact. Broke quite a few tackles as well. He tried to finish runs, not avoid punishment. Probably lost most of those battles with 240lb linebackers, being shy of 190lbs, but the toughness and effort was there.

Abaddon
12-22-2011, 03:35 PM
ITT: People either completely miss the point of this thread, or hijack it to argue about Warrick Dunn. http://goallineblitz.co.uk/images/smilies/icon_facepalm.gif

To the OP, I very much doubt there'll be another Dunn-sized feature back drafted in Rd1 unless he just performs out of his mind not only in college, but at the Combine. Even then, falling to Rd2 wouldn't be a huge shock.

Will there be one this year? I would say that's a definite no. Demps could run in the 4.2 range and still get pushed down the board for being 5'7...if he's even that tall.

Abaddon
12-22-2011, 03:37 PM
Also, why the funk you put an apostrophe in "Dunns"?

A Perfect Score
12-22-2011, 06:36 PM
And in neither year was Dunn relied on for tough yardage on a team that featured Mike Alstott. The Falcons definitely even picked up on this too when they drafted TJ Duckett the same year that they signed Dunn. Dunn is a great person, and was a good running back, but he wasn't a good inside runner because of his physicality.

THE A TRAIN BABY! WOOOO! EVERYONE GET ON BOARD!

http://www.dholmes.com/nfl/nfl-buccaneers-super_bowl_xxxvii_alstott-mike-40-red-2003-stockpic1.jpg

What an animal. Still one of my favorite players of all time.

DraftSavant
12-22-2011, 06:38 PM
I remember Anthony ******* Thomas trying to steal the A-Train monicker. Smh.

A Perfect Score
12-22-2011, 06:39 PM
I remember Anthony ******* Thomas trying to steal the A-Train monicker. Smh.

GTFO with that ****. There is one A-Train, and it is Mike Alstott. I am ordering a custom Mike Alstott jersey AS WE SPEAK!

nobodyinparticular
12-22-2011, 06:42 PM
I am fully aware of the NFL evolving to the bigger backs, but I would like to know will there be another Dunn, in the aspect of being a 1st Round everydown back(smurfs) to carry the load fulltime.

When Dunn came into the league he was measured in at 5'9'' 180 and happened to be the 1st RB off the board #12 overall to TB in the 97 draft over the likes of Antowain Smith & Corey Dillion who were larger backs.

It has been a massive drought on these type of backs in recent years, aside from Jahvid Best being selected #30 overall to Detroit in 2010.

I would put Napoleon Kaufman in this mold as well, taken in the 1st round 2 years earlier in 1995.

DraftSavant
12-22-2011, 06:43 PM
I would put Napoleon Kaufman in this mold as well, taken in the 1st round 2 years earlier in 1995.

I ******* loved that guy growing up.

Caulibflower
12-22-2011, 06:49 PM
So you are saying that backs like Warrick Dunn lived and died with Dunn... You have yet to give any other back past or present that fits this extremely specific category besides Best.

Yeah... this is essentially what I was going to ask. You're implying that it used to be normal for teams to take tiny running backs with high picks. Who do you even have in mind, besides Warrick Dunn? If anything, he was something of an anomaly himself. And then you see Reggie Bush and Chris Johnson, both "thin" backs, taken in the first in the last few years. If there's a dynamic player there, teams take them. Percy Harvin, CJ Spiller... None of those guys are over 200 lbs. It's not that teams are avoiding drafting them, it's literally just that running backs tend to be heavier than that.

But fun fact - the 49ers drafted the 5'9" 170 lb Dexter Carter #25 in 1990 and he sucked.

jrdrylie
12-22-2011, 06:58 PM
How has no one mentioned Maurice Jones-Drew? That guy is 5'6 in high heels I know he was a second rounder. But he is proof that Dunn sized guys can be featured backs.

Caulibflower
12-22-2011, 07:01 PM
How has no one mentioned Maurice Jones-Drew? That guy is 5'6 in high heels I know he was a second rounder. But he is proof that Dunn sized guys can be featured backs.

Really? He easily has 30 pounds on Warrick. If not 40. I think there were reports of him being 215 or 220 at some point. I know I've heard him on NFLN and such talking about dropping weight over the course of his career.

A Perfect Score
12-22-2011, 07:02 PM
How has no one mentioned Maurice Jones-Drew? That guy is 5'6 in high heels I know he was a second rounder. But he is proof that Dunn sized guys can be featured backs.

Because he isn't a Dunn sized back, nor is he remotely similar as a runner. Neither is Ray Rice. Both of those guys are power runners who are built like minitanks and utilize their low center of gravity to their advantage. Mojo probably has 25 pounds on Dunn. Dunn was a slashing, speed runner who would occasionally show some break tackle ability. Mojo is already a much better football player then Dunn ever was.

jrdrylie
12-22-2011, 07:04 PM
Really? He easily has 30 pounds on Warrick. If not 40. I think there were reports of him being 220 at some point. I know I've heard him on NFLN and such talking about dropping weight over the course of his career.

He is 208. I know MJD is a more powerful runner. I'm talking more about his height.

Caulibflower
12-22-2011, 07:06 PM
He is 208. I know MJD is a more powerful runner. I'm talking more about his height.

I know he's listed at 208. But I've also seen him on TV, talking to Rich Eisen or somebody, talking about nutrition and how he was at like 215 during the offseason or some ****. At any rate, I think this discussion is more about skinny running backs than short ones. MJD just isn't built like Warrick Dunn, and doesn't run like him, either.

jrdrylie
12-22-2011, 07:09 PM
Because he isn't a Dunn sized back, nor is he remotely similar as a runner. Neither is Ray Rice. Both of those guys are power runners who are built like minitanks and utilize their low center of gravity to their advantage. Mojo probably has 25 pounds on Dunn. Dunn was a slashing, speed runner who would occasionally show some break tackle ability. Mojo is already a much better football player then Dunn ever was.

So I can't mention MJD but you can mention McFadden, who is 6'2? Jones-Drew is a hell of a lot closer to being a Dunn-sized player than McFadden is.

A Perfect Score
12-22-2011, 07:23 PM
So I can't mention MJD but you can mention McFadden, who is 6'2? Jones-Drew is a hell of a lot closer to being a Dunn-sized player than McFadden is.

I was going more for playing style, but sure, get all bent out of shape about it. And McFadden is definitely closer to Dunn's weight then Mojo is, not to mention the fact that he's actually quite similar to Dunn in his ability to identify and explode through lanes rather then run through people, like MJD. But sure, get all bent out of shape over it pal.

norcalgsr
12-23-2011, 01:36 AM
Teams don't trust smaller backs in a feature role and most are going with a committee now anyway. RB just aren't as valuable as they once were.

Garrett Wolfe was suppose to be the next Dunn. Right now Jacquizz Rodgers has the best chance to be a smurf feature back. Kendall Hunter? Dion Lewis? Maybe?

Keep your eye on John White, Utah next year. He's 5'8", 186lbs and can run between the tackles.

Don't know why small backs don't get featured more. Look at all those 6'+, 200lb+ backs who can't stay healthy. If a guy is talented, give him the rock until he drops.

Abaddon
12-23-2011, 02:15 AM
I was going more for playing style...

Then you failed miserably. McFadden is a scatback until he reaches the second level. Then, he pretty much operates like a FB. That's one of the reason the putz can't stay healthy.

ImBrotherCain
12-23-2011, 07:53 AM
How about we all just agree to disagree and call this thread a fail.

ATLDirtyBirds
12-23-2011, 08:34 AM
Nice revisionist history going on in here. Dunn was okay between the tackles, and wasn't a really physical runner at all. Once he started playing with Mike Vick he just made the most out of the opportunity of seeing teams completely forget about the middle of the field while they were in the process of ******** their pants making sure that Vick was contained. The reason Dunn was viewed as a good inside runner is because teams didn't actually defend the middle of the field like they normally did against teams that didn't have a run-first QB with 4.3 speed. The only team that didn't completely sell out to stop Vick and fail at it on a consistent basis was the Bucs because they actually managed to build a good tampa-2 defense before all of Dungy's disciples spread it all over the place. Warrick Dunn was a good player, but he got running lanes that no one other than Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson had the opportunity of benefiting from for an extended period of time.


Warrick's more physical and was a better player than you are making him out to be, but you correct about how much Michael Vick aided our running attack. I still miss our awesome ZBS with Vick at the helm.


Warrick was one of my favorites. Tremendous person off the field too.

Miaoww
12-24-2011, 01:42 AM
Chris Rainey reminds me of Warrick Dunn. Very fast, good change of direction, slight build yet breaks some tackles.

Saints-Tigers
12-24-2011, 03:38 AM
This thread sort of implies that there were guys like Warrick Dunn and it's a dying breed, when Dunn was basically one of a kind.

I still never understood the reason why short running backs seem to drop, due to size concerns, when they are clearly built powerfully(Mojo, etc).

shylo3716
12-24-2011, 09:23 AM
Chris Rainey reminds me of Warrick Dunn. Very fast, good change of direction, slight build yet breaks some tackles.

Love this comparison!

OSUGiants17
12-24-2011, 10:41 AM
When I said Warrick Dunn types, again I'm referring to the 5'8''-5'9'' 180-185lb guys.

You realize how specific you're trying to get, right? In a era filled with steroids, HGH, and all sorts of other stuff to make you big it's tough to find guys like that who can even succeed due to being small. So maybe it is the "death of the Warrick Dunns", but is it really for the worse? The smaller backs now-a-days are a little bit bigger than Dunn and are much better because of that. Speed backs are much more well rounded and I have no problem with that at all. Look at the bigger backs too, even they aren't what they used to be, they are much faster and less bowl you over. The game is changing ever so rapidly and gone are the days of the backs with one skill, you need to be big, fast and strong. I would much rather have an average height and weight back who is well rounded in all facets of the game over a small, under-sized speedster or a big-lug who is only going to bowl you over and never outrun you.

BaLLiN
12-24-2011, 11:12 AM
wasn't Clinton Portis like 185 when he first entered the league?

Saints-Tigers
12-24-2011, 11:58 AM
wasn't Clinton Portis like 185 when he first entered the league?


He was 204 at the combine...

norcalgsr
12-24-2011, 12:45 PM
This thread sort of implies that there were guys like Warrick Dunn and it's a dying breed, when Dunn was basically one of a kind.

I still never understood the reason why short running backs seem to drop, due to size concerns, when they are clearly built powerfully(Mojo, etc).

It's not about being short. It's being short AND lightweight.

And Dunn isn't one of a kind. For his career, he only averaged 14.7 rushes and 2.8 receptions per game. He never topped 200 carries in any college season.

shylo3716
12-24-2011, 01:04 PM
It's not about being short. It's being short AND lightweight.

And Dunn isn't one of a kind. For his career, he only averaged 14.7 rushes and 2.8 receptions per game. He never topped 200 carries in any college season.

Finally!!!!! Someone sees where I was going with this.

Powerhouse22112
12-25-2011, 12:22 AM
Danny Woodhead to some degree??? Woodhead is listed between 5'7"-5'9" depending on what site you look on and is probably in the 180-190 lb. range. He can run between the tackles and has some degree of power.