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The value of running backs discussion....


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This is something that changes in cycles like many things in the league, the value of RBs and by value I mean draft capital, contracts etc

There might not be another position in football that can immediately change your teams fortunes (other than QB).

In the current climate RBs are not valued draft or pay wise.

If you ask me the most important player on the Jets last year was Breece Hall.  Before he got hurt we were able to mask QB play and win games, almost as soon as he went out we went down the tubes. 

So you look at that and say, hey this guy has way more value than getting picked in the 2nd round.  But, he got hurt, just like RBs seem to do sooner or later they take more abuse than anyone and they get hurt and then only some of them can come back from the injury.  A guy like the guy we traded for, Robinson looked phenomenal in his first year, a true #1 RB probably then he gets hurt and looked awful when he came to us.

Then comes the pay scales, the lowest franchise tag numbers, lower contracts and teams being in no hurry to give really good players deals.  And when teams does give the RB a huge deal the guy gets hurt or fades. (Zeke Elliot, Todd Gurley)

So TL:DR....what do you all think of RB value in this league?

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I think the amount of time the average great RB stays on top is short enough, and usually early on in their career that teams generally will value longer lasting positions.

A great RB can obviously change the way an offense can operate, but unless you have a great one, 4th-5th rounders basically get the job done just as well.  So typically a great RB is seen as more of a luxury, and therefore have fallen out of favor in the first round.

Although when a generally well rounded team like PHI can end up in the superbowl, they can draft a Bijan Robinson, which if he is anything like Breece from last year would add another serious weapon to their offense.

I think having a great RB is great, but typically easier to fill than many of the other key positions in FA every year.

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Miles Sander rushed for 1,269 yards and 11 TD's in 2022.  Pretty great by my standards.

Hurts, the QB, added 760 and 13 of his own.  A sign of the QB-as-RB-substitute running Era we're in at current.

Clearly, the Eagles ground game was quite vital to their success in 2022.  

Joe Mixon rushed for 1,205 yards and 13 TD's in 2021.  Pretty great by my standard.

I think having a good running game still matters, even in this era.

With that said, the top rushers of 2022, Henry (Tenn. 7-10), Jacobs (Raiduhs, 6-11), Chubb (Clev. 7-10) did not help their teams overcome other more serious deficientcies.  4th was Sanders, as noted above.

We're in a passing-is-everything era, with the largest number of running-threat QB's ever, so indeed, the RB position has been devalued.

With that said, I still believe ball-control football with a dominant line and running game, with a solid Defense, can still win in this league.

But it would be going against the current trendy systems, no question.

All comes down to QB's.  Elite ones get to Super Bowls.  The Zach Wilson's don't.

So if you're not elite, you need to look for two things:  An elite QB to get, and/or another way to win. 

 

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3 minutes ago, Warfish said:

Miles Sander rushed for 1,269 yards and 11 TD's in 2022.  Pretty great by my standards.

Hurts, the QB, added 760 and 13 of his own.  A sign of the QB-as-RB-substitute running Era we're in at current.

Clearly, the Eagles ground game was quite vital to their success in 2022.  

Joe Mixon rushed for 1,205 yards and 13 TD's in 2021.  Pretty great by my standard.

I think having a good running game still matters, even in this era.

With that said, the top rushers of 2022, Henry (Tenn. 7-10), Jacobs (Raiduhs, 6-11), Chubb (Clev. 7-10) did not help their teams overcome other more serious deficientcies.  4th was Sanders, as noted above.

We're in a passing-is-everything era, with the largest number of running-threat QB's ever, so indeed, the RB position has been devalued.

With that said, I still believe ball-control football with a dominant line and running game, with a solid Defense, can still win in this league.

But it would be going against the current trendy systems, no question.

All comes down to QB's.  Elite ones get to Super Bowls.  The Zach Wilson's don't.

So if you're not elite, you need to look for two things:  An elite QB to get, and/or another way to win. 

 

And the thing is the Eagles let Sanders go without much fan fare and rumors are of mixon maybe going as well.

We may not have been a super bowl contender last year but I really think we would have made the playoffs with hall.

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7 minutes ago, Warfish said:

Miles Sander rushed for 1,269 yards and 11 TD's in 2022.  Pretty great by my standards.

Hurts, the QB, added 760 and 13 of his own.  A sign of the QB-as-RB-substitute running Era we're in at current.

Clearly, the Eagles ground game was quite vital to their success in 2022.  


A lot of RBs could have done what Sanders did last season on that team though.  Hence why the Eagles let him walk and he’s in Carolina right now. 

It’s not that the running game isn’t important.  It’s that RB tends to be a plug n play position and the injury rate is so high.  Investing heavily in any one RB almost always ends up regretfully.  Just look at McCaffrey-Carolina and Zeke-Dallas.  

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3 minutes ago, Beerfish said:

And the thing is the Eagles let Sanders go without much fan fare and rumors are of mixon maybe going as well.

We may not have been a super bowl contender last year but I really think we would have made the playoffs with hall.

Breece Hall is a generational player.  Miles Sanders and Mixon are solid running backs bbut not anyone on the level of a Breece Hall.

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5 minutes ago, Beerfish said:

I mean you look at a guy like Derick Henry and he has totally carried the titans over the last 5 years or so.

It should be interesting to see where Bijan Robinson goes in this draft.

Henry is the best RB of this generation and he only required a # 45 overall pick.  While meanwhile the Titans haven’t won much of anything of significance out of a weak division.

Tells you a lot about where we stand with RBs in 2023.  

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35 minutes ago, Jetsfan80 said:


A lot of RBs could have done what Sanders did last season on that team though.  Hence why the Eagles let him walk and he’s in Carolina right now. 

It’s not that the running game isn’t important.  It’s that RB tends to be a plug n play position and the injury rate is so high.  Investing heavily in any one RB almost always ends up regretfully.  Just look at McCaffrey-Carolina and Zeke-Dallas.  

I REALLY want to disagree, but just look ay my guy Hall.  Hurt.  Right off the bat.  Broke my damned heart.

But Carter and Knight were no plug-and-plays, they're JAG's.

And without a QB, JAG's don't cut it. 

I'll say it again, without an elite QB, you have to find another way to win.  Even if it's not the usual route, or easy.

What other option, tank year after year and pray?  :(

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16 hours ago, Jetsfan80 said:


A lot of RBs could have done what Sanders did last season on that team though.  Hence why the Eagles let him walk and he’s in Carolina right now. 

It’s not that the running game isn’t important.  It’s that RB tends to be a plug n play position and the injury rate is so high.  Investing heavily in any one RB almost always ends up regretfully.  Just look at McCaffrey-Carolina and Zeke-Dallas.  

Yea, but like, if they take Bijan @ 10 - for that team with Hurts, Brown and DeVonte - that's dangerous, no?

I agree that RB's aren't particularly important, but there are a few true difference makers.

If Henry had a quarterback, if Brock Purdy didn't get injured in the NFC Championship maybe McCaff is in the SB not to mention Breece did some things last year that made a mediocre .500 team give us all playoff hopes.

Don't know a lot about this draft but if Bijan is what they say he is, that could be a game-changer for a team like the Eagles.

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6 minutes ago, Warfish said:

I REALLY want to disagree, but just look ay my guy Hall.  Hurt.  Right off the bat.  Broke my damned heart.

But Carter and Knight were no plug-and-plays, they're JAG's.

And without a QB, JAG's don't cut it. 

I'll say it again, without an elite QB, you have to find another way to win.  Even if it's not the usual route, or easy.

What other option, tank year after year and pray?  :(


Certainly it’s very, very nice to have a “special” RB vs a collection of JAGs.  But handing someone like Breece a mega contract at the end of his rookie deal will be fool’s gold, sadly.

Hence why I’m always down to take a RB in the middle rounds in every draft.  Try to build a pipeline of backs that aren’t just JAGs so you can constantly have a “next man up” mentality at the RB position.  

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Let’s not forget that AR has had a good run game for 3 years now. So to think we can get him and we’re good is poor thinking. I really would like us to bring in a tough between the tackles vet RB. That’s why I siding hate the idea of Zeke if he was really cheap. Carter didn’t impress me last year and really Bam just isn’t big enough for that role (regardless of his name). I think Hall will be healthier than some think. And we get close to the same guy we saw last year. But it would be smart to ease him in rather than give him 25 touches a game right away. 

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1 hour ago, Bobby816 said:

To say you don’t need a run game is false. The 2 teams combined for almost 300 rush yards and 4 TDs this last SB.

So running the ball matters.

It's a matter of where you get the resource though no?  The guy that made a huge difference for KC last year?  Isaish Pacheo, a rookie 7th rounder, while the guy many of us thought was going to brilliant for them got hurt and then fell down the depth chart.  (Clyde Edwards hillaire).

Also running QBs have a massive impact on running totals

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1 hour ago, bla bla bla said:

I feel bad for RBs, so impactful so quick but that's what makes them expendable.

I feel like the RB needs to be able to flex out as a receiver to extend their career and provide maximum value to their team. 

The bruiser backs just break down too quick.

The bolded part is what amazes me about Derrick Henry he has had a few injuries but he has lasted.  I never thought he'd last more than a couple years with his upright running style.

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2 hours ago, T0mShane said:

Catastrophic bust, second team, probably finished in the league at 27 years old. 

wouldn't argue that...

I guess i read the question behind your question (erroneously?) to be - who was the last high profile RB that made a difference in the SB?

The answer to that is LF - who showed for about 6 games in his career, all during the SB run. 

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3 hours ago, Joe W. Namath said:

Is there any data to support that a rb gets injured more then any other position?  They definately wear down quicker then other positions but Im not sure they get hurt or miss games more then any other position.

 

 

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https://www.thefalcoholic.com/2010/7/7/1467728/which-nfl-position-groups-suffer

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4 hours ago, T0mShane said:

Who was the last good running back to play in the Super Bowl?

I feel like you can say this about any position on the field other than QB.

Not that other positions didn't play a role - but the reason teams are winning Super Bowls is because of QB play.  Everything else is secondary....

A good running back can and will have a major influence in a teams success....

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