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'07 RB Class, Who Do You Like?

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'07 RB Class, Who Do You Like?

Unread postby swerb » Fri Mar 23, 2007 11:52 am

I think it's pretty safe to say that the Browns are going to draft a RB in this year's draft.

You've got 8 Ball now. But with his injury and prison history, coupled with the fact that the Browns are on record as being in favor of having two guys to carry the load ... you need to bring another guy in here.

Droughns is gone. Vickers is your fullback. Jason Wright looked suprisingly effective at times last season, but even counting on him as the third back is at least a little ballsy. Jerome Harrison was exposed as a exhibition flash in the pan.

Maybe its APete #3. Maybe it's Bush or Hunt in rd 2 or 3. Maybe its one of the other guys in rd 4 or 5. But they're drafting a RB.

Who you got?

http://www.rotoworld.com/content/featur ... leid=27953

Draft '07: Running Backs

I'll begin this edition of our NFL Draft positions breakdown by admitting I'm partial to big running backs. As a Rams fan, there's nothing more pleasing than Steven Jackson (6-2/231) breaking off a 22-yard run and smartly hitting the deck before he takes a big blow from a strong safety, or sliding outside, catching a short dump from Marc Bulger, eluding two defenders, and trucking one for a gain of 18.

Larry Johnson (6-1/230) has been a man among boys. LenDale White (6-0/237) and Brandon Jacobs (6-2/245) should be shortly. Laurence Maroney (6-0/216) isn't recognized as a bigger back, but has good size. Rudi Johnson (5-10/225), Ronnie Brown (6-0/232), LaDainian Tomlinson (5-10/221), and Kevin Jones (5-11/221) aren't normally considered "big backs" either, but their centers of gravity are low and their bodies compact. If I'm looking to use an early pick in the NFL Draft on a halfback, I'm targeting one with pass-catching ability and a thick, strong body build.

It's why I was so disappointed to hear the recent news about Michael Bush. A phenom as a true junior (when he scored 24 times and averaged 5.6 YPC), Bush entered 2006 as the consensus top senior running back. At 6-2/243, this man is beyond the prototype. But he broke his leg in Week 1 after scoring three TDs against Kentucky, opted against a fifth-year medical redshirt, and entered the draft. It turns out his leg didn't heal properly, and he had surgery on Tuesday. As Gregg Rosenthal pondered, who could be responsible for this advice?

1. Adrian Peterson, Oklahoma

Overall Rank: 2
Ht/Wt: 6-2/217
Combine: 4.4 forty, 38.5-inch vertical, 10.7-foot broad jump
Pro Day: Performed position drills

Negatives: Peterson missed roughly four games in 2005 with a high ankle sprain and seven in 2006 with a broken collarbone. In his three-year college career, Peterson caught only 24 passes.

Positives: Peterson has ideal size and resembles a jaguar in the open field. He has the rare ability to make defenders whiff with six-to-eight yards of separation. An upright runner, he sees the field and runs patiently. Peterson has ideal power and speed. The word from his Pro Day was that Peterson focused on dispelling the notion he isn't an NFL-ready receiver and accomplished the feat.

Verdict: His injuries were fluky; Peterson has never had trouble with the ankle or collarbone before or since. I've heard it argued that Peterson is not a "special back" and may not deserve to go in the top ten. I completely disagree. It's possible Cleveland passes on him at No. 3, but in my mind that would be a mistake. There is next to no chance Atlanta will let him get past 8. Peterson will, at worst, be a competent two-down back as a rookie and a top-five runner down the road.

2. Michael Bush, Louisville

Overall Rank: 13
Ht/Wt: 6-2/243
Combine: injured
Pro Day: March 26 (not expected to participate)

Negatives: The injury is the biggest thing. Bush also lacks home-run speed, though he's extremely fast for his size. He has room to improve in short-yardage situations and is considered raw in pass protection.

Positives: Bush is quick enough to turn a corner and reach an NFL secondary despite not being able to outrun defensive backs. The nation's top-ranked prep safety and his high school's starting quarterback, Bush is remarkably athletic for his size. He's one of the draft's best receiving backs and considered an outstanding route runner.

Verdict: I didn't adjust Bush's rank because of the surgery, as I still feel he'll be the second-best running back to come out of this draft. However, he likely will fall out of the first two rounds and possibly Day One altogether. Bush has the potential to be an every-down starter in the Steven Jackson mold, but like Jackson, may have to wait a year or two to get the chance.

3. Tony Hunt, Penn State

Overall Rank: 30
Ht/Wt: 6-2/233
Combine: 24 reps of 225
Pro Day: March 22

Negatives: Hunt isn't like Bush in that his marginal quickness limits him to being a between-the-tackles runner. He's not exceptionally fast and elected not to run at the Combine, which isn't a great sign, although he does plan to run Thursday.

Positives: He is an NFL-ready receiving back. Hunt is a blue-collar runner who averaged five yards-per-carry and scored 14 touchdowns against the best defenses in the nation as a senior. He stood out at the Senior Bowl, where he measured in nine pounds heavier and one inch taller than expected.

Verdict: Despite a marvelous senior year, Hunt is still underrated. He possesses all-down skills and has faced top competition. While it's not out of the question that he goes in the first, Buffalo would be a great fit if the Bills can't move up for Peterson and feel confident Hunt will fall to the middle of Round Two.

4. Marshawn Lynch, California

Overall Rank: 34
Ht/Wt: 5-11/215
Combine: 4.46 forty, 20 reps of 225, 35.5-inch vertical, 10.5-foot broad jump
Pro Day: Performed position drills

Negatives: Lynch was accused of sexually and domestically assaulting his ex-girlfriend in December. He was in the line of fire during a drive-by shooting in college. Of those who did the drill, Lynch's short shuttle at the Combine was markedly slower than every runner on this list. Despite an "official" 4.46, his forties were both in the 4.5s according to both Scout.com and the NFL Network. He was timed as slow as 4.55. Lynch struggled with nagging injuries at Cal and the latest word in league circles is that he has a bad back.

Positives: Lynch tore up Pac-Ten defenses, scoring 15 times as a junior and averaging 6.1 yards-per-carry. He is an effective receiver and explosive, though not elusive. Lynch isn't shifty, and could be a good fit for a zone-blocking scheme.

Verdict: I'm already wary of Pac-Ten running backs that aren't named Reggie Bush, let alone those with off-field issues, suspect speed, and injury questions. The argument has been made that Lynch's sexual assault accusation wasn't pursued, and is thus a non-issue. In a league set to suspend Pacman Jones for a full year, it won't be overlooked. Lynch is unlikely to be drafted in the top 20 and could fall well into the second round.

5. Antonio Pittman, Ohio State

Overall Rank: 51
Ht/Wt: 5-11/207
Combine: 4.4 forty, 16 reps of 225, 35.5-inch vertical, 10.3-foot broad jump
Pro Day: Weighed 210 after being listed at 195 in college

Negatives: Pittman is the smallest back touched on so far. He has room to grow as a receiver and isn't much of a slasher. Pittman is more a ground-and-pound runner, and could have a difficult time transitioning to the NFL with his size-style combo.

Positives: Despite his stature, Pittman is remarkably durable. Annually challenged for his starting job at OSU, he never relented and finished his junior year with 13 scores and a five yards-per-carry average. Pittman showed home-run speed at the Combine.

Verdict: Pittman's skill set is similar to Willis McGahee's, but unlike McGahee, he doesn't get knocked out of games. While Pittman will begin his NFL career as a situational back, he'll likely grow into a starter.

6. Brian Leonard, Rutgers

Overall Rank: 53
Ht/Wt: 6-1/226
Combine: 4.52 forty, 28 reps of 225, 34.5-inch vertical, 10.2-foot broad jump
Pro Day: Performed position drills

Negatives: Is he a fullback or a tailback? Leonard took a backseat to sizzling sophomore Ray Rice in 2006, playing on third downs, lead blocking, and carrying just 93 times after amassing roughly double that number the three seasons previous. He showed up to the Senior Bowl 12 pounds lighter than his college listing.

Positives: Leonard showed he has change-of-direction skills at the Combine by running the 20-yard shuttle in 4.22 (Lynch had a 4.58). His forty time was terrific for his size and he showed plenty of quick-twitch athleticism. Leonard is a proven receiver and excels in short yardage.

Verdict: He's a tailback…a white tailback. Everything he's done in the postseason has helped Leonard's chances of eventually becoming an every-down running back in the NFL. A team will draft him to be a backup and provide a "change of pace," but no one should be surprised if the starter goes down and Leonard is successful in an all-down role.

7. Kenny Irons, Auburn

Overall Rank: 64
Ht/Wt: 5-11/203
Combine: 4.45 forty, 38-inch vertical, 10.3-foot broad jump
Pro Day: 17 reps of 225, performed position drills

Negatives: Irons is a shifty runner and not especially potent in short-yardage situations. He's coming off a major down year (893 yards, 4.5 YPC) that was marred by nagging injuries after entering the season as a possible first-round pick. Irons isn't a good receiver and needs a lot of work in pass protection.

Positives: His forty at the Combine answered a lot of questions about his long speed. Irons played through injuries in college and is a tough person. When healthy, Irons is very explosive and can be powerful in the open field.

Verdict: Irons is best suited for a running back by committee. He can be a lead back in time but has a long way to go to be an every-down performer. Irons grades out as a late second-round to third-round pick.

8. Lorenzo Booker, Florida State

Overall Rank: 71
Ht/Wt: 5-10.5/189
Combine: 4.46 forty, 26 reps of 225, 35.5-inch vertical, 10.1-foot broad jump
Pro Day: Performed position drills

Negatives: Booker was a massive recruit but, constantly in a committee and frequently injured, never fulfilled expectations at FSU. He lacks the build NFL teams seek in potential starting halfbacks, and Booker's slender figure is believed to have contributed to his injury history.

Positives: Booker is considered an NFL-ready pass blocker and has great hands, with explosion and elusiveness to make defenders miss after the catch. He can return kicks and has close to ideal speed.

Verdict: He's instant third-down help. Booker is unlikely to ever be an all-down carrier and may never be the primary back in a committee, but his home-run potential and versatility will lead him to hear his name called on the draft's first day.

9. Darius Walker, Notre Dame

Overall Rank: 83
Ht/Wt: 5-10/206
Combine: 4.56 forty, 19 reps of 225, 40.5-inch vertical, 10.3-foot broad jump
Pro Day: 4.56 and 4.57 forties

Negatives: Walker is small, lacks ideal speed, and is only mildly explosive with the football. He won't be a short-yardage option or of much special teams assistance in the pros.

Positives: After Peterson, Walker has arguably the best pure vision of any runner in the draft. He's a polished receiver who did his best work in college on draw runs. Walker is durable and smart. He can also jump very, very high.

Verdict: I like Walker best in a zone-blocking or draw-heavy scheme, and he'd make a lot of sense in Indianapolis as Dominic Rhodes' replacement. Walker could be had at the end of the third round.

10. DeShawn Wynn, Florida

Overall Rank: 111
Ht/Wt: 5-10/232
Combine: 4.48 forty, 31.5-inch vertical, 9.7-foot broad jump
Pro Day: 18 reps of 225, shed 15 pounds to 218

Negatives: Like Booker, Wynn was a huge recruit who failed to live up to expectations even though he was the Gators' clear-cut starter as a senior. Early in his career, Wynn's work ethic was questioned. With the starting job, his performance was wildly inconsistent. Wynn struggled with injuries at Florida and is a shifty back despite having the size of a punisher.

Positives: Wynn has ideal size and good speed. He's a better pass catcher than his college numbers would indicate. Wynn had a tremendous Combine and his stock is believed to be on the rise.

Verdict: I'd love to see Wynn in a one-cut offense even though the way he's run the last four years would seem ill-suited for that scheme. Wynn's Combine gives him a chance at being a first-day pick, but he's more likely to go in the fourth round to a team like St. Louis that can afford a gamble who may or may not make the final roster.

11. Nebraska RB Brandon Jackson – 5-11/210…all-down prospect caught 33 passes, scored 11 TDs in '06…disappointing 4.57 forty…history of shoulder issues

12. Alabama RB Kenneth Darby – 5-11/215…major down year as senior…workhorse with reliable hands…unimpressive computer numbers (4.64 forty)

13. Arizona RB Chris Henry – 6-0/233…outstanding size-speed combo…raw prospect is more a track athlete…straight-ahead runner like Justin Fargas

14. Louisville RB Kolby Smith – 5-11/215…seven TDs, 5.7 YPC after Michael Bush's injury…lacks ideal elusiveness…solid 4.51 forty…likely NFL backup

15. Fresno State RB Dwayne Wright – 6-0/225…poor (4.68) speed…downhill type, polished receiver…strong senior year…tore patellar tendon in '04

Others: Curtis Brown (BYU), Alonzo Coleman (Hampton), Selvin Young (Texas), Garrett Wolfe (Northern Illinois), Ramonce Taylor (Texas), Alvin Banks (James Madison), Tyrone Moss (Miami FL), Ronnie McGill (North Carolina), Steve Baylark (UMass), Thomas Clayton (Kansas State), Nate Ilaoa (Hawaii)

Note: Le'Ron McClain (Alabama), Jason Snelling (Virginia), Cory Anderson (Tennessee), Deon Anderson (Connecticut), Brad Lau (Boise State), Obi Oluigbo (Michigan), Jackie Battle (Houston), and Brandon Hancock (USC) will be classified as fullbacks
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Re: '07 RB Class, Who Do You Like?

Unread postby Birdieman » Fri Mar 23, 2007 12:16 pm

1) QB
2) CB
3) RT
4) Chris Henry

Those first 3 positions are locks to me, and Henry may not be there. In that case I wait til next year and take Ray Rice, or if we're still in the top 3, McFadden.
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Unread postby Guest » Fri Mar 23, 2007 12:49 pm

Bush is having another surgery. Saw it on ESPN the other day.
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Unread postby furls » Fri Mar 23, 2007 4:28 pm

Really not much there, I guess for the value, my pick is Tony Hunt.
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Unread postby jfiling » Fri Mar 23, 2007 6:26 pm

Hunt in the second doesn't sound bad at all. If he falls out of the first, he'd be my choice.
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Unread postby Dozen » Fri Mar 23, 2007 7:52 pm

I'll take AP :mrgreen:
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http://www.youtube.com/TheSportsHole


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Unread postby rawdawgexpress » Sat Mar 24, 2007 3:58 am

"He's a tailback…a white tailback."

Hilarious.
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Unread postby HoodooMan » Sat Mar 24, 2007 8:16 am

Who you got?

Unless someone like Antonio Pittman or Darius Walker falls further than they should (like the 5th round), for me it's Adrian Peterson in round one, Danny Ware in the 6th, 7th, or as a UDFA, or no one.
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Unread postby furls » Sat Mar 24, 2007 10:13 am

Unless someone like Antonio Pittman or Darius Walker falls further than they should (like the 5th round), for me it's Adrian Peterson in round one, Danny Ware in the 6th, 7th, or as a UDFA, or no one.


Peterson is good, but he is not top five picks good, and therefore is not worth the pick. The league is bleeding decent backs, so much so that it is rapidly becoming one of the least expensive spots on the roster. I can see no reason to spend the pick and the $$ on Peterson.
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Don't waste

Unread postby jb » Sun Mar 25, 2007 9:25 am

Look, if you pass on A Pete this draft and you don't more slots, for God's sake, do NOT waste a pick on a guy expecting him to start later.

Just don't.

Fix the GD lines on both sides of the ball, but especially the OL.

Get a real CB .

Grab the "Franchise QB" if Phil thinks Brady is That Guy - assuming JmK is taken.

But don't draft a second rate RB or QB. Just don't. No more Clark-tacular skilled position picks in round 3. They don't have the talent. In rounds 3 and 4, you can either draft severly flawed skilled position players, or the 3rd or 4th best RT's and OG's and 3 - 4 DE's in the draft.

It's all about value.

Don't feel like you want AP ? Wait for McFadden next year cause we're still about a 6 win team so long as we have Frye and the OL isn't complete.


BTW - Can I just say that if Davis were here, is there any doubt we draft Wynn in round 2?
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Unread postby furls » Sun Mar 25, 2007 9:34 am

Wait for McFadden next year cause we're still about a 6 win team so long as we have Frye and the OL isn't complete


the '08 draft is just much better at RB. Regardless of where the Browns pick in '08 they should be able to get an elite back, a back that is going to be in AP's league. This year's RB draft is very weak, so you can either pay the premium for AP or wait until next year.

Next year you have:

McFadden
Rice
Slaton
Hart

I think all 4 of these backs are better than Lynch and McFadden and Slaton could be in Peterson's league. I am not sure, I think we will know more after this year, but next year's draft at RB is shaping up very nicely. I say wait until then, where even if the Browns had a miracle ten win season (yes that would be a miracle) you would still expect one of these guys to be there.
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Unread postby jb » Sun Mar 25, 2007 10:05 am

Furls wrote:
Wait for McFadden next year cause we're still about a 6 win team so long as we have Frye and the OL isn't complete


the '08 draft is just much better at RB. Regardless of where the Browns pick in '08 they should be able to get an elite back, a back that is going to be in AP's league. This year's RB draft is very weak, so you can either pay the premium for AP or wait until next year.

Next year you have:

McFadden
Rice
Slaton
Hart

I think all 4 of these backs are better than Lynch and McFadden and Slaton could be in Peterson's league. I am not sure, I think we will know more after this year, but next year's draft at RB is shaping up very nicely. I say wait until then, where even if the Browns had a miracle ten win season (yes that would be a miracle) you would still expect one of these guys to be there.


U like Hart on Sunday?

Not me. I think he's like a famous O-Town old school hip hop artest and not tall enough.

Slaton and McFadden are the bomb.

Rice doesn't play at the level that makes me get all excited.
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Unread postby swede » Wed Mar 28, 2007 7:39 am

Re-watched some tapes yesterday. Hunt looks a lot like the post-stabbed version of William Green.
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Unread postby swerb » Wed Mar 28, 2007 8:51 am

swede wrote:Re-watched some tapes yesterday. Hunt looks a lot like the post-stabbed version of William Green.

Stabbed?

Come on swede, he fell on that knife when moving some boxes down the stairs.

Remember?
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Unread postby swede » Wed Mar 28, 2007 3:47 pm

he fell on that knife when moving some boxes down the stairs.
Forgot about that one LOL: Happens to me all the time.

Remember the Green we saw at the end of his tenure ? The guy who just hesitated or ran in to someone. A long way from " Run William run ! ". You looked at him and went: dude, who stole your instincts ?!!

That´s Hunt for me.
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Unread postby furls » Wed Mar 28, 2007 4:30 pm

U like Hart on Sunday?


Hart is a good single-cut back with good vision. He does a good job finding the hole, generally does not go down on first contact, is pretty good at avoiding the brunt of a shot (nobody ever really seems to hit him perfectly square), and runs in a "pro style" zone blocking system.

I think he translates pretty well to the NFL and will be at worst a second round pick next year, more likely a first.
Coming from a Wolverine, we're the football equivalent of a formerly abused wife of a meth addict who just remarried the safe nice guy. We're just glad we have someone who's aware that it's a rivalry and that tackling on defense is integral. Baby steps.

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Unread postby furls » Wed Mar 28, 2007 4:36 pm

Really not much there, I guess for the value, my pick is Tony Hunt.


That is what I said about Hunt, it was hardly a screaming, emphatic endorsement. It was more a statement about the lack of RBs in this years draft. It is a bad year for RBs and if you draft one, you are going to pay a premium.

I can't help but think that one of the guys in the list from 5-10 will be as good as any of the guys in the top 10, but Ill be damned if I can tell you which one.
Coming from a Wolverine, we're the football equivalent of a formerly abused wife of a meth addict who just remarried the safe nice guy. We're just glad we have someone who's aware that it's a rivalry and that tackling on defense is integral. Baby steps.

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