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  • Small Backs?

    Why the high ratings for these mini sized backs who will likely turn out to be just third down specialists?

    To me, the top backs should be guys like Mathews, Gerhart and Tate.

    If you look at the leading rushers in the NFL over the years, most of the leaders have been bigger guys. Eg. In 2003, ALL top ten rushers were 220+. And last year the only real small guy was Johnson. Even he is 200 pounds.
    All the other leading rushers are 210-240 range and generally stocky guys. Best and CJ are about 195-198 pumped up on weights, etc.

  • #2
    I agree with the view of Spiller as the top back in this class. With his speed, and the ability to easily play at 200 pounds since he's already 196, I can see him being a Chris Johnson-type player.

    However, I'm not so high on Best, and I'd personally take a back like Tate before I took a chance on him.

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    • #3
      It's the new age running back, they might not lead in rush yards but rather in total yards. With a more pass oriented NFL these guys become the new model of running backs in this league.

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      • #4
        unless it's RB vs S... there's no running over defenders in the NFL... it's very rare... better to not get touched than to try to run someone over... even guys who do it (Brandon Jacobs, Shonn Greene) get hurt sooner or later. in other words Spiller's size isn't a problem if he's fast enough to avoid tacklers.
        my shoes hurt

        Why Me? The Bob Lamonta Story

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        • #5
          New Age RBs?

          Originally posted by Favre4ever View Post
          It's the new age running back, they might not lead in rush yards but rather in total yards. With a more pass oriented NFL these guys become the new model of running backs in this league.

          OK I agree there is a role in today's NFL for change of pace third down scatbacks who can catch the ball. Guys like Reggie Bush, Sproles, etc.

          But to say this will be the norm is hard to believe. 90% of the leading rushers are STILL 210+ and I cant see that changing if you still need RBs to move the chains.
          Johnson seems to be the exception rather than the rule based on recent history.

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          • #6
            Size is overrated in terms of everything but staying healthy for backs. Small backs don't have a problem moving the ball or running "between" the tackles as much as people want to pretend, just the majority can't stay healthy.
            Originally posted by SNIPER26
            fwiw, i amz deunks ofs myt ass. ilo vez drinmoinz befotre i post. wha t a hreat ideas.z.

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            • #7
              Although I'm not much of a Kansas fan (like you couldn't guess), I think that Jake Sharp could be a real nice pick up for a team looking for a tough, speed guy out of the backfield. He's a 4.3 guy slowed by a leg injury his senior season. http://www.youtube.com/user/dwid1984#p/u/4/GWdUHKL0HlQ

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Saints-Tigers View Post
                Size is overrated in terms of everything but staying healthy for backs. Small backs don't have a problem moving the ball or running "between" the tackles as much as people want to pretend, just the majority can't stay healthy.
                Big backs realistically get hurt enough that if size does matter, it's not by much. It's just a preference. For example, I don't see the Colts getting a big back like Gerhart because he'll likely be most effective getting 25-30 carries a game and wearing down defenses which ultimately takes plays away from Manning.

                Spiller and Best have roles in the NFL, they just need to go to a team that wants their specific abilities rather than a team that just needs a running back period.

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                • #9
                  Small backs

                  Originally posted by Bengalsrocket View Post
                  Big backs realistically get hurt enough that if size does matter, it's not by much. It's just a preference. For example, I don't see the Colts getting a big back like Gerhart because he'll likely be most effective getting 25-30 carries a game and wearing down defenses which ultimately takes plays away from Manning.

                  Spiller and Best have roles in the NFL, they just need to go to a team that wants their specific abilities rather than a team that just needs a running back period.
                  I agree 100% they have specialist roles but do not merit first round picks IMO.
                  Full time RBs should rate higher than 3rd down backs. I think these guys are getting boosted by a combination of Johnson's NFL success, which I believe is an exception combined with promo from talking heads like Kiper and McShay, who is a bit of an idiot IMO.

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                  • #10
                    Speed kills my man.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by golota View Post
                      I agree 100% they have specialist roles but do not merit first round picks IMO.
                      Full time RBs should rate higher than 3rd down backs. I think these guys are getting boosted by a combination of Johnson's NFL success, which I believe is an exception combined with promo from talking heads like Kiper and McShay, who is a bit of an idiot IMO.
                      It's not because of Johnson. I mean, Johnson had to get hype from somewhere to get drafted in the 1st himself.

                      Speed backs have been a part of the NFL since the league started. Some people say the league goes in cycles, where teams get bigger defenses players to tackle big backs, then teams get small backs to out run the big defensive players so teams then switch to smaller defensive players to catch the small backs and then the cycle repeats itself.

                      I think it's likely just a matter of what's available. Spiller happens to be the back with the most talent in this draft (or at least we believe that to be true now) and so some teams don't really have an option.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by golota View Post
                        I agree 100% they have specialist roles but do not merit first round picks IMO.
                        CJ spiller has over 20 career TD of 50 yards or more. He has 30 career TD. When he scores it's usually a big play. That's why he's a blue chip player... the word "game changer" gets thrown around alot but Spiller is a real game changer.
                        my shoes hurt

                        Why Me? The Bob Lamonta Story

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                        • #13
                          Spiller

                          Originally posted by bitonti View Post
                          CJ spiller has over 20 career TD of 50 yards or more. He has 30 career TD. When he scores it's usually a big play. That's why he's a blue chip player... the word "game changer" gets thrown around alot but Spiller is a real game changer.
                          All experts pick Spiller as a first rounder and most project him to be a specialist on third down and as a returner. Scott Wright projects him going to SF as a backup to Gore and return man/3rd down back.

                          why would a team in their right mind pay a guy first round money (millions) to be a backup or third down back even though I acknowledge his utility as a specialist.

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                          • #14
                            It's really just due to two changes in the league over the past few years. First of all, it's now a passing league; nine of the top twelve passing teams were in the playoffs last year while only three of the twelve teams in the playoffs were in the top twelve for rushing but not for passing. If you want to win consistently in the league, and consistently win playoff games you have to have an explosive passing game. Smaller, more explosive backs are simply more valuable in the passing game, since they are more dangerous when you get them the ball in space, and speed helps them get open on passing patterns that aren't dump-offs to the flat and screens.

                            Secondly, it's now a running back by committee league almost top to bottom. Excepting a small handful of teams who have a true elite back who is equally valuable in all parts of the game, teams tend to cycle between short yardage backs, third down backs, and one "workhorse" back whose job it is to get 4 yards on 1st and 10. Competent NFL workhorse backs, don't necessarily command premium picks since they can be had later (Ryan Grant was undrafted and traded for a 6th round pick, Ray Rice and Maurice-Jones Drew were second round picks, Jamal Charles was a third round pick). So when you're looking to spend a premium pick on a back, you aren't necessarily looking for the guy who can get 4 yards on 1st and 10, since you can get that guy later on. You're looking for a guy who will make the most plays, and that guy isn't necessarily a classic RB. Since you really won't be playing one RB most of the game (while you will be playing 1 LT, and 1 QB, 1 NT, etc. most of the time), the position is really only worth spending premium picks on if you think that the guy can make a major difference on any given play. Pretty much every single running back on your roster these days is going to be a specialist for some situation or another unless you have one of those rare backs that can do everything (e.g. Chris Johnson), so you might as well pick the specialist that's going to make the biggest difference.
                            Last edited by PossibleCabbage; 03-04-2010, 03:47 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by golota View Post
                              All experts pick Spiller as a first rounder and most project him to be a specialist on third down and as a returner. Scott Wright projects him going to SF as a backup to Gore and return man/3rd down back.

                              why would a team in their right mind pay a guy first round money (millions) to be a backup or third down back even though I acknowledge his utility as a specialist.
                              why would a team pay #2 money to Reggie Bush? Cause he's a difference maker and now has a ring to prove it. On my board Spiller's a top 10 pick.
                              my shoes hurt

                              Why Me? The Bob Lamonta Story

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