If the NFL in 2012 is a passing league, what does that mean about drafting running backs? We'll tell you what it means: sit back and let one fall to you in the later rounds because they just aren't worth a very high pick.
Think about it. How many game-changing stud RBs have been taken in the last 5 years, and how many of them have been worth a R1 pick????!!!!! We'll tell you: ONE, Adrian Peterson. And even AP fumbles and has been hurt too often for that pick to be completely worth it either.
THE PROBLEM IS TWO-FOLD:
1) Running backs obviously are less important given the rules enforcement, which favors passing
2) Running backs get hurt more often because of the massive linemen and speed of the game
2a) With so many RBs getting hurt, platooning is a necessary dynamic, further lessening the impact of any individual RB
Let's look at the RBs who have been drafted in R1 in the past 5 years.
2007: Adrian Peterson, Marshawn Lynch
2008: Darren McFadden, Jonathan Stewart, Felix Jones, Rashard Mendenhall, Chris Johnson
2009: Knowshon Moreno, Donald Brown, Beanie Wells
2010: CJ Spiller, Ryan Matthews, Jahvid Best
2011: Mark Ingram
Chris Johnson is an excellent RB, but even he is getting pounded by too many carries. The physical abuse of the NFL is simply overwhelming for the best of these guys. So you have to get a RB in the middle or later on in the draft. Reese and the Giants have figured this out. They leverage later round picks like Jacobs R4, Bradshaw R7, Ward (Jets Practice Squad), Brown R4, Scott R7. This is precisely what you have to do- don't waste high resources (ie Round 1) on a Running back. There are plenty of these guys later on who you'll be able to pick up.
Wonder likes more than a few RBs in this draft for value. Names of some are Martin, Turbin, Pierce, Rainey, Polk. He particularly likes mid-rounders Ronnie Hillman and Cyrus Gray for the Giants. But there are enough guys on his list, many of which will work.
I have done my draft but won't post it. I will however give my work to one of my pals.
I will say this. I hear)(read) what Wonder thinks through Andy's posts but find it very strange that he seems to talk about depth yet no one is rated higher than a 3 at any position.
I am more blunt and will share this,
Most teams with a top 20 pick are looking to trade down!! No one seems to mention what is obvious to me. This draft is about as weak as any I can remember.
You have two potential franchise players at qb which is why Indy and Washington are going to take them. Washington gave away the farm and griffen is anything but a sure thing. It is just as likely he will be Vince Young as he will be great. He is smart(very) and he is mature. The questions remain can he do it on this level as he surely will have to tone down the scrambling if he wants to win.Then,the fact that it's the skins means he will take a pounding if Shanahan uses him too much.
The Redskins are a poor team except when they play the Giants as their 0-line,running game and receivers are lacking and they gave away ant chance of building around this kid.
It will be interesting to see .
Indianapolis waited too long to rebuild an aging team and when Peyton went down they were toast.
The fact that a legendary GM was anything but legendary for the last dew years as the Colts made the cardinal sin of laying the whole show on one man. They drafted very poorly ans you got a prime lesson in always looking to today and when tomorrow comes you are sol.
Now luck is interesting. A prototypical top qb who went to a school that built itself around him on offense which is why two OL and Fleener will go in round one.
The big deal to me is that Jim Harbaugh says he is the "real deal" which,coming from Harbaugh means a lot. Harbaugh went on to say that he is Not looking forward to playing against Luck which is quite the compliment.
Poe,Fletcher,and a few others are interesting as they are big,agile men. None are sure bets but at least there are skills.
I have many things I do to ratre players and the draft. The most telling thing for me was the lack of a great team in 2011. Alabama and LSU had rock solid D which is why you will see a number of players from that side of the ball going early. The same can be said about Alabama so,look for that.
Neither team could score so,only a couple will go early with the good but not great tunning back a top 5 pick.
The rest is a like throwing darts blindfolded which makes me laugh as so many try and make lemonade where the lemons are second rate.
I don't like the receivers much but the kid who caught Griffens passes would fit well in N.Y. as he has the speed and could be the one piece that the Giants have lacked . He can bust it and he can return kicks. Can he do it on this level? Will his body hold up?will the Giants get a shot to draft him? Stay Tuned
I've been on board for a long time with the notion of not drafting an RB in Round 1, Andy, for many of the same reasons you've listed. For the most part, I think if you build a great O Line, you can plug a lot of guys in at RB and you'd have success. But Greg Cosell recently wrote a piece for the NFL Films Blog that has me questioning the wisdom of writing off Rd 1 RBs as a rule. I really recommend giving it a read. He's as good as it gets when it comes to evaluating prospects and breaking down game tape. I've pasted the link below:
I have the same opinion on questioning the wisdom of picking a RB in round 1. The changing nature of the game is the biggest reason. You also need a good, solid OL for a decent running attack...not sure our line, as it stands, is built for that.
The contrary opinion would be the average effective life of a RB is 5 years. Eli has about 5 prime years left. If there was a time to pick a RB high(er), it might be now.
Of the options, Martin has NYG written all over him (not flashy, solid citizen, multi-dimensional--though not spectacular in any area, decent blocker, etc.).
@psffur I'd love to see the giants get kendall wright from baylor to replace mm. Jernigan sucks... I know its too early to say it but he does. I'd also like to see us nab Cyrus from the aggies as he is an every down work horse type of back that can catch the ball out of the backfield. Another guy and big 12 bias I may be but broyles is a Steve smith slot type guy that can get open and runs great routes. Oklahoma's whole season went through this guy and when he was injured they suffered moving the ball on offense. Other than that we need o line and i don't want either Stanford prospect as I believe there is too much bust potential with either of those picks as they came from a great system with great coaching and a great qb plus if they're there after harbaugh has a chance at them then u know something is up. Put up your draft rankings if they're already done Pete.
@10Miles I would love Martin but I think he will go early in the 2nd round...might even sneak in at the end of the first. He won't be there when we pick unfortunately.