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OT: to draft a RB or not?


harris5214

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If the problem was our RB's either not hitting the hole or not one of them was a reliable 3rd-down receiving back, then definitely yes. It's not that we couldn't stand to have a more talented/more complete back in there. But a big name, in either the draft or free agency, doesn't necessarily cure all that ails a running game. Just ask a Cardinals fan. Take a look at some of the high-profile guys drafted recently:

2006

  • Reggie Bush - he's got all-world talent & no one denies it. Still a rookie & he'll make his mark before long. But a talent like this doesn't come around too often, so even if he was tearing up the league already he'd be a bad example.
  • LenDale White - can't beat out Travis Henry
  • Joseph Addai - is doing well, but it's nice to have Peyton Manning there to stretch the defenses. Hard to truly gauge, since lots of guys would be successful in his situation. Even so, Dominic Rhodes is still technically their starter.
  • Maurice Drew - probably too short to be the kind of back most here are looking for.
  • Brian Calhoun - had zero impact before going on IR
  • Leon Washington - the guy some seek to replace as starter
  • Jerious Norwood - probably will be a very good full-time RB. Still is behind Warrick Dunn.
  • Jerome Harrison - has done nothing & is 3rd-string.
  • Wali Lundy - easily the biggest surprise of this crew. But you don't bank on a 6th-round surprise at HB if you're looking to find your new full-time starter.

2005

  • Ronnie Brown - very mediocre without decent OL play &/or the QB stretching the field. If you seek a HB who succeeds despite these team shortcomings, he's fallen short.
  • Cadillac Williams - see Ronnie Brown
  • Cedric Benson - has been a total flop. Lazy, unmotivated, and the Bears look much worse whenever he steps onto the field.
    • these three were taken with top-4 draft picks. None has had the impact hoped for at this point.

    [*] JJ Arrington - was so good that the Cardinals put an end to his starting days after 1 season.

    [*] Eric Shelton - do I need to write anything?

    [*] Frank Gore - a nice surprise despite having the IQ of a potato chip

    [*] Vernand Morency - is no full-time RB

    [*] Ryan Moats - same

    [*] Maurice Clarett - hahahahaha

    [*] Marion Barber - is a good short-yardage back. But even Parcells' less than stellar feelings towards Julius Jones don't vault him into the starting role.

    [*] Brandon Jacobs - can't fault a guy for not beating out Tiki Barber. He could be the real deal. A gigantic beast with speed. We'll see if he's too tall when he gets the full-time job next year.

    [*] Ciatrick Fason, Manuel White, Alvin Pearman, Darren Sproles, Damien Nash, Justin Green - haven't done much of anything

    [*] Cedric Houston - jury is still out. The guy who would be the odd man out if we drafted someone high anyway.

2004

  • Stephen Jackson - an excellent RB. Not incredible, but a team could do a whole lot worse than having this guy on the squad.
  • Chris Perry - is it too late to use the "bust" word considering he was a first-rounder? An ok 3rd-down back when he's healthy.
  • Kevin Jones - above average talent, hasn't been able to put it together for a full season 3 years into his career, though he's having his best year so far.
  • Tatum Bell - first he couldn't supplant Mike Anderson. Then Ron Dayne was outperforming him in preseason. Then an undrafted Mike Bell took his job. Then he got it back & got hurt. Basically he's not what he was drafted to be, or not yet anyway.
  • Julius Jones - can't get the tough short yards & comes out of the game for Barber in those situations
  • Greg Jones - looked really good before he got hurt. Shame.
  • Mewelde Moore - Minnesota liked him so much they went out & took Baltimore's backup to be their starter
  • Cedric Cobbs - zero
  • Michael Turner - another big surprise, or certainly seems to be the real deal. Would be starting if the best RB in the game wasn't already on the team.

2003

  • Willis McGahee - a more than adequate full-time starter
  • Larry Johnson - is just awesome. Everyone knows it's coming they still can't stop him.
  • Tony Hollings - bust
  • Musa Smith - anyone wish we had him?
  • BJ Askew - umm...
  • Chris Brown - can't stay on the field & then lost his job to Travis Henry
  • Justin Fargas - stinks on ice
  • Artrose Pinner - sucks
  • Domanick Davis - good when he's healthy, which isn't very often
  • Onterrio Smith - yeah, I really wish we had the whizzinator
  • Quentin Griffin - if you'd have trouble running behind the Denver OL, you'd have trouble running anywhere. Can't hold onto the ball.
  • Lee Suggs - whatever. Not a full-time back since he's only healthy part-time.

Out of all these players, the ones in red represent the players we'd likely have no complaints with at this stage in their respective careers.

So before you get all giddy thinking this guy or that guy is a sure-thing & would succeed even with a mediocre OL and a QB who doesn't stretch the defense and a FB/TE combo who couldn't block my wife, consider that it takes more than talent to succeed unless you get a one-of-a-kind freakish player.

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I always say BAP is the way to go, rather than "filling the need". But sometimes you just get lucky, and get both in one instant. And this year that guy could very well be this man - - - -

Marshawn Lynch RB Cal

08.29.lynch.CHEN.jpg

If this guy is somehow still on the board when we pick, he should be our guy. We can fill some of our holes on defense in free agency.

We're not filling the RB hole (and a gaping hole it is) in free agency.

Dont laugh when I say this, but Marshawn Lynch is very similar to Ladanian Tomlinson, very similar. The way they make cuts and run is almost identical, and Lynch is also a threat in the passing game catching passes out of the backfield. He could be a Ladanian Tomlinson lite, which would be a huge steal in the middle of the 1st rd.

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I like Cedric Houston.

My perfect world would be to get Michael Turner reunited with BShott here and have Leon & Cedric as the 2 & 3.

Of course, however, getting Turner would cost us at least a high draft pick since he's a RFA.

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Our RB situation is fine for now. We have much more pressing needs on the defensive and offensive lines. I think Lynch is good but RBs need a good o-line infront of them. Look at James in Arizona. I think our committee can do fine as our line improves. We need to find a RT and an OG. The only RB I would take is Peterson and we won't be in position to take him anyway.

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Leon has some talent (speed and good moves), but probably won't be a full time starter in the NFL. We could go with a RBBC or time-share, but I'm not convinced that either Barlow or Houston can be good enough for that to be truly successful.

So, yes, I would love a good RB in the draft. But if we do draft one, it must be a damn good one. Not on of those middle round longshots. We have plenty of other holes to fill.

The running game would be much better if it got some help (a good runblocking o-lineman, or maybe a good lead blocking fullback). But our defence still lacks a D-line. And our secondary could also use some help.

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Our RB situation is fine for now. We have much more pressing needs on the defensive and offensive lines. I think Lynch is good but RBs need a good o-line infront of them. Look at James in Arizona. I think our committee can do fine as our line improves. We need to find a RT and an OG. The only RB I would take is Peterson and we won't be in position to take him anyway.

I mostly agree with this. A team whose running game is powered by a dominant OL is more injury-proof than a team with 1 superstar in the backfield. Put a top OL together and THEN put a RB there if needed, not the other way around.

We haven't seen what Leon or Cedric can do with an above-average OL, or an above-average QB either for that matter. They've only been given opportunity when the OL was either in shambles last year for Houston or 4/5 rookies/scrubs for either in the first half this year.

See what we've got first before we pass on a top RT/RG/big DE.

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