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View Poll Results: More important to team success:
an elite cornerback (Darrelle Revis) 30 56.60%
an elite running back (Adrian Peterson) 23 43.40%
Voters: 53. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-06-2013, 06:19 AM    (permalink
cmarq83
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It can never be a 1x1 comparison. Talent is talent and preferably a team would have both. Yes, I respect a guy like Revis and a guy like Peterson, but obviously if you get your hands on either of those guys they aren't the kind of players you ever should choose between in the first place because game changing elite talents shouldn't be let go (unless you're idiotic like the Jets).

Is Ladarius Webb more important to the Ravens on gamedays than Ray Rice? Is Trent Richardson more important than Joe Haden? What about Marshawn Lynch vs. Richard Sherman? Jonathan Joseph or Arian Foster? Doug Martin or Darrelle Revis?

It's hard to quantify because it varies depending on who your opponents are and how you use your RB's. I find it hilarious that people try to belittle the impact an elite RB can have on your team. If you're going to give a guy 350-400 touches and say, "Go do something with this" I damn well want the best possible player handling those touches.

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Old 07-06-2013, 01:16 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by Caulibflower View Post
Total nonsense.



You're just saying, "But what if they have a bad cornerback!" If they do, he's going to get picked on. No one's debating that. We're talking about having one or the other. Whatever team you add Revis to, you're going to have a cornerback on the other side that you hope can cover a wideout.
Outside of Peterson, who isn't in a committee and isn't behind a good OL that is actually a good (productive) RB? Look at what Mike Shanahan has been able to do. And the Patriots. I mean, how many years of slow ass Sammy Morris averaging 3.5+ YPC do you need?

No, you can't get an Adrian Peterson by just putting a bunch of crappy UDFAs on the field behind a good OL. What you can do is put up the yardage. And there are plenty of teams that have shown this. If RB was as valuable at CB, we wouldn't have a year where one doesn't go in round 1.

It's not a matter of whether you have bad corners or not. You will have bad corners. It's where the help comes from. When you have a corner who can cover a guy 1 on 1 effectively (especially guys who are in the top 15 WRs), then you can devote more help to defenders with either tougher assignments or ones who just suck more. A top flight corner can make a secondary.
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Old 07-06-2013, 01:38 PM    (permalink
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Well good thing we actually have a somewhat comparison in the past decade to look at.
The Denver Broncos chose to have an elite CB over an elite RB, and it worked out better for them.
Although, I would argue the Broncos had absolute **** at CB before they acquired Champ.
But if we are talking about having Adrian Peterson or Darrelle Revis, give me Adrian Peterson.
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Old 07-07-2013, 04:03 AM    (permalink
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I don't wanna dump on my guy, but Alfred Morris ran for over 1600 yards as a rookie and there are several guys every year who either are late round selections or UDFAs who could've put up at least 1200-1300 yards last season for the Skins.

It's so much easier to get production out of the RB position without elite talent.
Alfred Morris is a nice player and has a pro skillset, but physically he's no David Wilson, Doug Martin or Lamar Miller.

RB continues to be one of deepest positions EVERY draft, which is why I'd rather have Revis.

Revis not only locks up an opposing team's #1 WR, he gives you so much flexibility in coverages and allows your D to double another wideout with a corner and safety.

Revis allows a defense to lockdown any two WRs it chooses.

Also, I think Gerhart is a solid RB. Anyone backing up AD is going to look marginal in comparison.
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Old 07-07-2013, 04:20 AM    (permalink
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And the second-best corner in the league was a 5th rounder. I love Doug Martin, but I don't see anything particularly special about David Wilson or Lamar Miller. Especially Lamar Miller. I don't think he'll amount to anything. They've both got nice triangle numbers, but David Wilson is best suited as a "OW"-type player and Lamar Miller is just too soft to be a starting running back. We're not talking about prospects here, we're talking about presumably known commodities. I don't think either David Wilson or Lamar Miller would've had the same success in that offense. Think you would've definitely taken a platoon approach if that's who was on your backfield depth chart. Alfred Morris was a revelation. He just happened to be a perfect fit, like Terrell Davis back in the day. Schemes can't make any old player great, but certain schemes are made for certain types of players, and Alfred Morris is perfect what what the Redskins are running. It doesn't mean a run-of-the-mill second rounder could've or would've done the same thing.
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Old 07-07-2013, 05:15 AM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by FUNBUNCHER View Post
I don't wanna dump on my guy, but Alfred Morris ran for over 1600 yards as a rookie and there are several guys every year who either are late round selections or UDFAs who could've put up at least 1200-1300 yards last season for the Skins.

It's so much easier to get production out of the RB position without elite talent.
Alfred Morris is a nice player and has a pro skillset, but physically he's no David Wilson, Doug Martin or Lamar Miller.

RB continues to be one of deepest positions EVERY draft, which is why I'd rather have Revis.

Revis not only locks up an opposing team's #1 WR, he gives you so much flexibility in coverages and allows your D to double another wideout with a corner and safety.

Revis allows a defense to lockdown any two WRs it chooses.

Also, I think Gerhart is a solid RB. Anyone backing up AD is going to look marginal in comparison.
But does Morris put up even that amount of yardage on the Vikings team this past season? Peterson is one of the few backs that warrants being taken in the early first round of any draft. He is a once in a generation back like Ladainian Tomlinson, Walter Payton, or Emmit Smith. Peterson can essentially have success on any team. He is that special. How many backs could have carried the Vikings to the playoffs last season?
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Old 07-07-2013, 11:54 AM    (permalink
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the elite running back will most likely have a shorter career, but I think has a greater impact in the years he does play. I would say overall there is more importance at the CB position than the RB position. But if we look at the impact of AP and Revis when they are at 100%, I gotta go with AP. He is a one man offense. Revis gives great flexibility to his defensive coordinator and has a tremendous impact, but he can be avoided. Theres no way to stop the Vikings from handing the ball to AP. You can load the box to try to stop him, but that only opens the door for him to break long runs- plus it gives the offensive coordinator the same kind of flexibility that Revis gives to his defensive coordinator. With Revis, you can shade safety help elsewhere and blitz more. With AP, you can run effective play-action, get 1-on-1 matchups outside, and force safeties to cheat up - opening the door for the deep ball.
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Old 07-07-2013, 12:33 PM    (permalink
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For me I'd have to go with the RB as it is a more direct impact. Regardless of how good your CB is you can always pick on the other one or oddly enough just run on the opposition. I guess what I am saying is that it is easier to neutralize an elite CB than it is to neutralize an elite RB.
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oh please. as if canadians even know what beer is.
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Old 07-07-2013, 01:51 PM    (permalink
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since runningback career duration and injuries are being mentioned, what about revis?
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Old 07-07-2013, 01:56 PM    (permalink
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It just depends on team style. Both sides are correct. Running backs move the chains and having an Adrian Peterson would make it easier to build a great offense. The qb would have easier throws, more 1st down conversions, better red zone efficiency, etc. On the flip side, having a shutdown corner allows for more aggressive schemes and can really turn a good defense into an elite unit. A great pass rush and shutting down a team's number one option is a great way to win games.

I think that they are both key elements to creating blueprints for success. Its the old offense vs defense argument. I personally prefer offense, but that doesn't mean that if I had an elite corner that I wouldn't tailor my team around his talents.
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Old 07-07-2013, 02:44 PM    (permalink
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It just depends on team style. Both sides are correct. Running backs move the chains and having an Adrian Peterson would make it easier to build a great offense. The qb would have easier throws, more 1st down conversions, better red zone efficiency, etc. On the flip side, having a shutdown corner allows for more aggressive schemes and can really turn a good defense into an elite unit. A great pass rush and shutting down a team's number one option is a great way to win games.

I think that they are both key elements to creating blueprints for success. Its the old offense vs defense argument. I personally prefer offense, but that doesn't mean that if I had an elite corner that I wouldn't tailor my team around his talents.
But I think the question is what if you could only have one elite talent and the rest of your team is average. The guy I think of as far as running backs go is Barry Sanders. For most of his career he was the elite talent and a bunch of meh around him (save Herman Moore and maybe Brown) Revis is a good example of the CB argument though.

With that said no matter how good Revis is he can only take one guy away. If you go 3 wide there are still two WRs going against average CBs or a corner and a safety. Either way you can still schematically plan for one guy being shut down the whole game. You can't do that with a RB. You can stack 8 in the box and Barry, AP, and Sweetness are still going to get 5-6 yards.
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Old 07-07-2013, 03:53 PM    (permalink
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Alright, so we agree, if you have a great QB you're going to put enough points up.

Then the question becomes keeping the other team from scoring.

With Peterson you can hand him the ball and let him run the clock out. And with him and Rodgers/Brady you're almost guaranteed to score more points in the process.

There is absolutely zero question that I would trust that to keep the other team from scoring way more than I would trust a defense with one great corner.
This is a great point of emphasis that I missed earlier. In a distinct sense Adrian Peterson counts as a defensive player. You can use him to control the clock and maintain possession. With a defense, you're trying to keep the other offense from scoring. Revis can shut down half the field, Peterson can keep them off the field entirely.

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Old 07-07-2013, 04:20 PM    (permalink
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Couldn't that just mean Philip Rivers isn't 'regressing' as much as people say he is, or be interpreted as how bad Ponder is? Or maybe just speak to how many big plays AP made that resulted in quick scores, and hence giving the ball back? He had 27 runs over 20 yards, more than twice as many as the next-highest running back. (CJ Spiller with 12) The point is that an elite running back can help you control the ball better, and when Minnesota needed to control the ball, AP is a great player to have.
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Old 07-07-2013, 04:24 PM    (permalink
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But I think the question is what if you could only have one elite talent and the rest of your team is average. The guy I think of as far as running backs go is Barry Sanders. For most of his career he was the elite talent and a bunch of meh around him (save Herman Moore and maybe Brown) Revis is a good example of the CB argument though.

With that said no matter how good Revis is he can only take one guy away. If you go 3 wide there are still two WRs going against average CBs or a corner and a safety. Either way you can still schematically plan for one guy being shut down the whole game. You can't do that with a RB. You can stack 8 in the box and Barry, AP, and Sweetness are still going to get 5-6 yards.
I agree then. Adrian Peterson carried the entire team on his back. How many championships did Nnamdi win in Oakland, Revis win with the Jets, or Champ Bailey with the Broncos/Redskins? The closest player would be Deion Sanders and he was a mercenary who just joined loaded teams. Perfect routes and perfect throws can still beat a good corner. Comeback routes like the ones that Drew Brees and Colston use are largely unstoppable.

On a team of one elite and the rest average, I'll go with the elite RB.
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Old 07-07-2013, 04:25 PM    (permalink
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This entire topic is for the win.

The only way this even becomes a contest is if you qualify "elite RB" as only AP. If you substitute ANY other RB into this discussion I'm not sure a single person would vote for him.

I mean honestly Caulib given the "elite" tag if you discount AP and Revis would you still lean so heavily towards "elite RB" over "elite CB"?

Counting AP as a defensive player is flat out stupid. That's like claiming Revis is an offensive player because he takes away half the field forcing turnovers to other players giving the offense a short field. Can we stick with simply counting individual merits? :P

Also as mentioned multiple times here. You can get 1600 yards from a non-elite RB you cannot take away half the field with a non-elite CB.
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Old 07-07-2013, 04:58 PM    (permalink
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This entire topic is for the win.

The only way this even becomes a contest is if you qualify "elite RB" as only AP. If you substitute ANY other RB into this discussion I'm not sure a single person would vote for him.
Ok, then let's make it Marshawn Lynch and not Peterson, and you can't pick Revis, either. Which cornerback do you prefer? Pick anyone in the league besides Revis.

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I mean honestly Caulib given the "elite" tag if you discount AP and Revis would you still lean so heavily towards "elite RB" over "elite CB"?
Yes, that's my entire point. Now, for the Seahawks it's kind of a wash because our secondary is already so deep, and I happen to think Christine Michael could be awesome. But if I was the Jet, say, I would rather have Marshawn than Richard Sherman. And if I'm not allowed to pick players form my own team, I'd say I'd rather have Doug Martin or Arian Foster than Charles Tillman.

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Counting AP as a defensive player is flat out stupid. That's like claiming Revis is an offensive player because he takes away half the field forcing turnovers to other players giving the offense a short field. Can we stick with simply counting individual merits? :P
I was clearly talking about the point of defense being to prevent an opponent from scoring, and if people are going to talk about Revis' very presence taking away half the field and keeping the opposing offense from using that half, you might as well consider how giving a special runner the ball at the end of a close game can keep the other team from using either half of the field.

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Also as mentioned multiple times here. You can get 1600 yards from a non-elite RB you cannot take away half the field with a non-elite CB.
What stats are you looking at? Exactly two running backs topped that mark last year, and just because one was a rookie who was drafted in the 6th round doesn't mean he's not, or isn't going to be, an elite player. Richard Sherman, drafted in the 5th round last year, was being talked about as one of the league's best corners by the end of his rookie season, too, it's just that a cornerback's stats don't really pop out as much as setting the Washington Redskin's franchise record for rushing yards and it took him the first half of that season to get established. Far too much is being made of the fact that Alfred Morris was drafted in the 6th round. His season doesn't show in any way whatsoever that running backs are more fungible than ever, it shows that he was wildly underrated by the scouting community.
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Old 07-07-2013, 05:00 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by njx9 View Post
it can mean all sorts of things, but it definitively shows that AD isn't basically another defender, and that a great running back alone has no demonstrable effect on your ability to play ball control.
This is getting taken way further than I meant it to. It was a pretty abstract point to begin with. Saying that Revis takes away a side of the field is in a distinct sense "ball control." It's about a player dictating where an offense can go. If Peterson can keep the ball away from an offense, that is also dictating where the ball can go. No, he's not a "defensive player."
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Old 07-07-2013, 05:14 PM    (permalink
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Ok, then let's make it Marshawn Lynch and not Peterson, and you can't pick Revis, either. Which cornerback do you prefer? Pick anyone in the league besides Revis.
If I can steal Richard Sherman or Marshawn Lynch away from the Seahawks, I'm taking Sherman.
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Old 07-07-2013, 05:16 PM    (permalink
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If I can steal Richard Sherman or Marshawn Lynch away from the Seahawks, I'm taking Sherman.
For what team?
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Old 07-07-2013, 05:30 PM    (permalink
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Its just more obvious the impact a great running back can have on a game. When AD goes for 170 and 2td it gets noticed, but Revis holding a #1 WR to 1 catch won't. Eliminating a great WR can be a major issue for some offenses while other like the Pats and Saints can work around it. Others would struggle.

The value that an elite CB gives you isn't what he directly does, but instead what he allows you to do defensively. It still takes a great DC to be able to harness the benefits.

Out of the 64 starting corner spots in the NFL how many players would you say are good to great starters? and of the 32 RB spots?
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Old 07-07-2013, 05:34 PM    (permalink
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Take the best RB vs the best CB in any decade I think the RB wins every time. 90's is pretty close.

OJ Simpson > Jimmy Johnson
Walter Payton > Mike Haynes
Barry Sanders > Dion Sanders
LT = Champ Bailey
AP > Revis
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Old 07-07-2013, 05:47 PM    (permalink
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Its difficult because of the Nnamdi "dream team" factor too. A lot of player's successes come from scheme. If a team has a decent pass rush and can afford to play press man coverage then it changes a lot of things. How good are Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner if they weren't on the Seahawks? How good are Adrian Peterson and Arian Foster on different teams?

Good coaching > Great Running back > Great Cornerback

running backs score points and directly win games, but coaches put them in position to succeed.
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Old 07-07-2013, 07:22 PM    (permalink
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This entire topic is for the win.

The only way this even becomes a contest is if you qualify "elite RB" as only AP. If you substitute ANY other RB into this discussion I'm not sure a single person would vote for him.

I mean honestly Caulib given the "elite" tag if you discount AP and Revis would you still lean so heavily towards "elite RB" over "elite CB"?

Counting AP as a defensive player is flat out stupid. That's like claiming Revis is an offensive player because he takes away half the field forcing turnovers to other players giving the offense a short field. Can we stick with simply counting individual merits? :P

Also as mentioned multiple times here. You can get 1600 yards from a non-elite RB you cannot take away half the field with a non-elite CB.
I completely agree with the bolded part(s).
If the RB in question is Adrian Peterson, then yes, I would take him over any CB in the game, including Revis.
However, that is more of a testament to how AP is truly an amazing once-in-a-generation RB.

If it where any other RB in the NFL, I would take an equally skilled CB over him every single time, and not think twice about it.

If you combine the average shelf life of an RB, the fact that they are more susceptible to injuries, and the evolution of the passing game in the NFL (Which have reduced the importance of the RB position, as well as magnified the importance of the CB position), the combination of an elite CB/average RB is clearly superior to the elite RB/average CB combo imo.

This is also the reason, why I fully agree with the second highlighted part of the post. If I were a GM for an NFL team, I would literally never invest my premium ressources (1st round draft picks/big money contracts) in the RB position, given how its been proven time and time again, that you are able to find productive RBs in the later rounds of the draft.

I looked at the rushing totals for the 39 leading RB s last season, and divided those players into 3 groups, depending on which round they where drafted in. The numbers where as follows:
1st round RBīs: (17 players)
Last year this group gained 15.792 yds on 3540 rushing attempts for an average of 4.46 ypc. Equally distributed thats 929 yds rushing pr player last year.

2nd Round RBīs: (5 players)
I chose to divide the 2nd round RBīs into a group of its own, to have a buffer between the two main categories of players. It is a borderline premium draft pick, with which a team would expect to select a future starter. One thing to note about this groups production from last year, is that Maurice Jones-Drew and LeSean McCoy missed considerable amounts of playing time due to injuries. Otherwise the groups output likely would have been significantly higher.
Anyway, the group produced 4289 yds on 1006 rushing attempts for an average of 4.26 ypc, and an average rushing total of 857 yds pr player.

Later round RBīs/3.-7. Round and UDFAs. (17 players)
Last year this group rushed for 15.576 yds on 3585 rushing attempts for an average of 4.35 ypc, and an average rushing total of 916 yds pr player.
All in all, the numbers are extremely similar, albeit with a very slight edge to the 1st round RBīs.

However, if you take Petersons amazing season out of the equation, the edge actually goes to the Frank Gores, Ahmad Bradshaws and Arian Fosters of the world.
Without AP s rushing totals, the 1st round RBīs ”only” rushed for 13.695 yds on 3192 rushing attempts for an average 4.29 ypc, and a rushing total of 855 yds pr player.
(I usually never do this when looking at stats, but since my point is that besides the superhuman manbeast that is Adrian Peterson you can find equally productive RBīs in the later rounds of the draft, I think it serves a purpose in this particular situation.)

Long story short, I would much rather invest my premium ressources in what is generally considered a premium position (CB), when history shows that I can indeed find (highly) productive players at another position widely considered to be less important (RB).
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Old 07-07-2013, 07:40 PM    (permalink
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Touchdowns count for something as well. Peterson is a yardage and touchdown machine. That and he has been remarkably consistent and durable throughout the majority of his career.
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Old 07-07-2013, 08:33 PM    (permalink
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I completely agree with the bolded part(s).
If the RB in question is Adrian Peterson, then yes, I would take him over any CB in the game, including Revis.
However, that is more of a testament to how AP is truly an amazing once-in-a-generation RB.

If it where any other RB in the NFL, I would take an equally skilled CB over him every single time, and not think twice about it.

If you combine the average shelf life of an RB, the fact that they are more susceptible to injuries, and the evolution of the passing game in the NFL (Which have reduced the importance of the RB position, as well as magnified the importance of the CB position), the combination of an elite CB/average RB is clearly superior to the elite RB/average CB combo imo.

This is also the reason, why I fully agree with the second highlighted part of the post. If I were a GM for an NFL team, I would literally never invest my premium ressources (1st round draft picks/big money contracts) in the RB position, given how its been proven time and time again, that you are able to find productive RBs in the later rounds of the draft.

I looked at the rushing totals for the 39 leading RB s last season, and divided those players into 3 groups, depending on which round they where drafted in. The numbers where as follows:
1st round RBīs: (17 players)
Last year this group gained 15.792 yds on 3540 rushing attempts for an average of 4.46 ypc. Equally distributed thats 929 yds rushing pr player last year.

2nd Round RBīs: (5 players)
I chose to divide the 2nd round RBīs into a group of its own, to have a buffer between the two main categories of players. It is a borderline premium draft pick, with which a team would expect to select a future starter. One thing to note about this groups production from last year, is that Maurice Jones-Drew and LeSean McCoy missed considerable amounts of playing time due to injuries. Otherwise the groups output likely would have been significantly higher.
Anyway, the group produced 4289 yds on 1006 rushing attempts for an average of 4.26 ypc, and an average rushing total of 857 yds pr player.

Later round RBīs/3.-7. Round and UDFAs. (17 players)
Last year this group rushed for 15.576 yds on 3585 rushing attempts for an average of 4.35 ypc, and an average rushing total of 916 yds pr player.
All in all, the numbers are extremely similar, albeit with a very slight edge to the 1st round RBīs.

However, if you take Petersons amazing season out of the equation, the edge actually goes to the Frank Gores, Ahmad Bradshaws and Arian Fosters of the world.
Without AP s rushing totals, the 1st round RBīs ”only” rushed for 13.695 yds on 3192 rushing attempts for an average 4.29 ypc, and a rushing total of 855 yds pr player.
(I usually never do this when looking at stats, but since my point is that besides the superhuman manbeast that is Adrian Peterson you can find equally productive RBīs in the later rounds of the draft, I think it serves a purpose in this particular situation.)

Long story short, I would much rather invest my premium ressources in what is generally considered a premium position (CB), when history shows that I can indeed find (highly) productive players at another position widely considered to be less important (RB).
If you look at that list of top rushers, outside of Bradshaw, Morris, and Foster every RB who was any good was picked in the top 3 rounds. Doing a composite average doesn't work because there are plenty of middling 1st and 2nd round CB's to go along with the mega-studs as there are at RB. Thus if you weighted the Haden's, Peterson's, and Revis's of the world with the Davis's, Jammer's, and Wilson's of the world you'd probably get similar results. There just isn't an easy quantifiable method of comparison.

Also the top half of the 3rd is a good spot for RB's. If you shifted your average to take out the 3rd round from your "late round selections", or even just the top 75 picks you'd exclude Gore, Charles, Ridley, Pierce, and Murray, making the comparison utterly laughable.

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