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ztboiler

Wondering if RB draft depth is overstated?

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I'm starting to wonder if the strength of this running back class is at the top (4 guys) and if there might be a huge dropoff to ordinary after that.  I kind of took for granted what the pundits (and even some of the GM's) have been saying, but the second tier of backs this year looks like the second tier does every year...ordinary rotation or match up backs.

 

We need to draft a back, obviously, but I'm not sure we should expect much more than any other year from a running back in the 4th....

 

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48 minutes ago, ztboiler said:

I'm starting to wonder if the strength of this running back class is at the top (4 guys) and if there might be a huge dropoff to ordinary after that.  I kind of took for granted what the pundits (and even some of the GM's) have been saying, but the second tier of backs this year looks like the second tier does every year...ordinary rotation or match up backs.

 

We need to draft a back, obviously, but I'm not sure we should expect much more than any other year from a running back in the 4th....

 

 

Yeah, it's more of a crap shoot the longer you wait.  Obviously there are exceptions like Howard last year.

 

I think by time you get to the 4th you're not looking at 3 down backs.  Maybe we get someone who's better than Ferguson at what he's supposed to do.  

 

I'm hoping we only take one O player, a RB, and he's an impact player.  That probably won't happen after the 3rd.  

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Typically beyond round 2, your 3-down backs go down in quality, IMO. Yeah, Giovani Bernard was drafted in Round 3 and excelled but would he do the same things that Jeremy Hill could do if he was given 20-25 carries as opposed to 10-15 carries? That is the continual question that you ask about backs available later in the draft. Unless the back has great receiving and/or pass protection skills to go with his running skills, he is not even in the Round 1 conversation in the modern NFL.

 

Besides, in the NFL, how many RBs do you really see playing 3 downs? That is a legitimate question to ask. Outside LeVeon Bell, Zeke, and David Johnson, you always had plenty of breathers with the #2 and #3 back on the depth chart and situational runners like our own Robert Turbin as well.

 

So, even if it is not drafting for a primary back, we will definitely find a high quality situational role playing RB in rounds 3 and later if we do end up waiting. Whether that back can become primary back or not, only time and his strength training on an NFL regimen will tell. You never know if guys like Samaje Perine can carry on their production at the next level or just be 2 down backs but those are the kinds of chances you will have to take if you wait a bit. The pool of backs with the POTENTIAL for being a starting RB is higher this year in rounds 3 and 4 than in years past. However, that is all we can go by, POTENTIAL. The RB position longevity is low for a reason because they will be subject to much stronger and faster LBs at the next level with their hits. That is why it is so hard to project.

 

My point is, when in doubt about their projection, wait with that position in the draft. That is my take on the RB position. 

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I don't think the RB class is deep, it's front-heavy. More backs than usual will go in the first 2 rounds, but after that the talent is mostly Meh. Whereas, with CBs, thereally will still be plenty of great prospects in the 3rd and beyond.

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2 hours ago, chad72 said:

Typically beyond round 2, your 3-down backs go down in quality, IMO. Yeah, Giovani Bernard was drafted in Round 3 and excelled but would he do the same things that Jeremy Hill could do if he was given 20-25 carries as opposed to 10-15 carries? That is the continual question that you ask about backs available later in the draft. Unless the back has great receiving and/or pass protection skills to go with his running skills, he is not even in the Round 1 conversation in the modern NFL.

 

Besides, in the NFL, how many RBs do you really see playing 3 downs? That is a legitimate question to ask. Outside LeVeon Bell, Zeke, and David Johnson, you always had plenty of breathers with the #2 and #3 back on the depth chart and situational runners like our own Robert Turbin as well.

 

So, even if it is not drafting for a primary back, we will definitely find a high quality situational role playing RB in rounds 3 and later if we do end up waiting. Whether that back can become primary back or not, only time and his strength training on an NFL regimen will tell. You never know if guys like Samaje Perine can carry on their production at the next level or just be 2 down backs but those are the kinds of chances you will have to take if you wait a bit. The pool of backs with the POTENTIAL for being a starting RB is higher this year in rounds 3 and 4 than in years past. However, that is all we can go by, POTENTIAL. The RB position longevity is low for a reason because they will be subject to much stronger and faster LBs at the next level with their hits. That is why it is so hard to project.

 

My point is, when in doubt about their projection, wait with that position in the draft. That is my take on the RB position. 

 

Bernard was a high second rounder.  I remember they did Hard Knocks his rookie year.  

 

But I get your point.

 

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You don't really want a dominant RB when your QB is the dominant player, right?  That's why AP in his prime had to be the focus because they didn't have the franchise QB.  Elliot and Dak worked out because DAk is not a dominant passing threat yet.  Luck needs a guy that can pick up blitzes, block, catch in the flat and get tough yards, get first downs.  Ballard said it's a passing league.

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24 minutes ago, LockeDown said:

You don't really want a dominant RB when your QB is the dominant player, right?  That's why AP in his prime had to be the focus because they didn't have the franchise QB.  Elliot and Dak worked out because DAk is not a dominant passing threat yet.  Luck needs a guy that can pick up blitzes, block, catch in the flat and get tough yards, get first downs.  Ballard said it's a passing league.

 

Not necessarily, Pittsburgh seems to be doing just fine. Drafting a high-end stud RB helps a QB just as much as drafting OL. Luck will have a much easier time carving defenses when they actually have to play honest 

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1 hour ago, masnerj said:

 

Not necessarily, Pittsburgh seems to be doing just fine. Drafting a high-end stud RB helps a QB just as much as drafting OL. Luck will have a much easier time carving defenses when they actually have to play honest 

I have to disagree with you. The QB nor the RB cant do a good job without a pretty decent O-line.

Luck does not have a quick delivery so he needs the o-line to do a lot better job that they have in the past.

A RB can't do much when he is met in the backfield and or don't have the running lanes opened for him.

Pittsburgh and Dallas have very good o-lines and it shows.

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I've been watching a lot of backs today. There are quite a few good ones, I think. Not an extraordinary amount of elite talents, and not all of them are every down backs. But I think there are a few specialty backs and change backs down the board that can fit a good pro offense. 

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2 hours ago, Superman said:

I've been watching a lot of backs today. There are quite a few good ones, I think. Not an extraordinary amount of elite talents, and not all of them are every down backs. But I think there are a few specialty backs and change backs down the board that can fit a good pro offense. 

That fits the descriptions of most drafts to me....

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15 hours ago, ztboiler said:

That fits the descriptions of most drafts to me....

 

Overall, yes. The fact that there are five good to great backs at the top of the list is a factor. Fournette, Cook, Kamara, McCaffrey and Mixon have the potential to be special in the NFL. There are some electric specialists. The ordinary two down backs can carve out a nice career if they latch on and play well. 

 

I do think this is a deeper RB draft than usual, and it starts up top. It's not historic or anything, but when we look back, I think it can be special.

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I think it's fairly deep.  Again, there aren't going to be 10 1st round picks.  That's not what I'm saying.  What I AM saying is you can get a guy that can help you all the way down to the 4th round.  We don't need an every-down RB right now.  We are going to throw the ball most of the time.  We need a guy that can run it 10-15 times a game, can catch when needed, and can block, and that's really AFTER Gore leaves which is next year at the earliest.  We don't need a Fournette type that is a workhorse and can run it 25+ times.  That's NOT our offense and our OL isn't that type of OL, at least not yet.

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3 hours ago, Superman said:

 

Overall, yes. The fact that there are five good to great backs at the top of the list is a factor. Fournette, Cook, Kamara, McCaffrey and Mixon have the potential to be special in the NFL. There are some electric specialists. The ordinary two down backs can carve out a nice career if they latch on and play well. 

 

I do think this is a deeper RB draft than usual, and it starts up top. It's not historic or anything, but when we look back, I think it can be special.

I can follow along with that reasoning. 2 more guys at the top end is noticeably different...but I don't see that much more out of the mid to late round backs than an average draft would produce.

 

I guess the reason I bring it up originally is because there is this overtone that you don't want to fail to get a back from this class.  I think that only applies to specific players who should be off the board by the time we are picking RBs.

 

After that, they all look a lot like Vick Ballard or Robert Turbin to me...not that there is anything wrong with that.  I'd love to have a healthy VB right now.

 

One of the second tier guys might emerge as a David Johnson type, which would be great, but that's a lot to hope for.  We need a back, and I'm sure we'll take one...but if we end up drafting more defense instead then that's OK by me too.

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1 hour ago, ztboiler said:

I can follow along with that reasoning. 2 more guys at the top end is noticeably different...but I don't see that much more out of the mid to late round backs than an average draft would produce.

 

I guess the reason I bring it up originally is because there is this overtone that you don't want to fail to get a back from this class.  I think that only applies to specific players who should be off the board by the time we are picking RBs.

 

After that, they all look a lot like Vick Ballard or Robert Turbin to me...not that there is anything wrong with that.  I'd love to have a healthy VB right now.

 

One of the second tier guys might emerge as a David Johnson type, which would be great, but that's a lot to hope for.  We need a back, and I'm sure we'll take one...but if we end up drafting more defense instead then that's OK by me too.

 

You nailed it. I see several Vick Ballard level prospects, which is good. Ballard should have been the real deal, it's only because of injury that he didn't make it. He could easily have been a 3 year starter, and held on as a committee back for another 3+ years. 

 

I don't agree with the thinking that it would be a failure not to come away with a back in this year's draft. Outside of the top five or six, none of them are special. And my personal valuation of RBs -- considering the way they're used in the league, how quickly they hit their peak, and how sharply they fall off -- means that I don't see any of them as franchise changing players that you should be disappointed about missing out on. Just stack good drafts, the positional stuff will work itself out. The only position I agree with targeting is QB.

 

I do think some team is going to come away with a great value on Joe Mixon. Assuming he doesn't get into some serious trouble at some point, I think he'll be a really good pro back, and it's starting to look like he won't go until Day 3. 

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Jeremy McNichols, Aaron Jones, Donnel Pumphrey and Tarik Cohen. Guys that might not even be drafted. And could become pro bowlers. There's a good couple of well known "late round" backs too. I think it's a deep class. 

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I'm high on Samaje Perine in the 3rd round as a back who can:

 

Pick up first downs on third and short.

Stop blitzing LB'S.

Catch an occasional pass.

Break an occasional 15-20 yard run.

 

I haven't seen to much discussion about him.  I'd like to read others thoughts.

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On 3/4/2017 at 6:37 PM, LockeDown said:

You don't really want a dominant RB when your QB is the dominant player, right?  That's why AP in his prime had to be the focus because they didn't have the franchise QB.  Elliot and Dak worked out because DAk is not a dominant passing threat yet.  Luck needs a guy that can pick up blitzes, block, catch in the flat and get tough yards, get first downs.  Ballard said it's a passing league.

 

It's not a question of having a dominate RB so much as you need an RB that compliments your offense.

 

As others mentioned the Steelers have a dominate RB, but he compliments the offense and is a pretty good pass catching back.

 

That's actually the type of player the Colts need.  Someone who is decent at running between the tackles but can compliment the pass game and be special in that part of the game.

 

Whereas a guy like Fournette who is a great between the tackles runner but isn't really special in the pass game doesn't compliment the offense that well.  

 

That's not to say that a great between the tackles runner can't help the Colts, it's more of an issue that they don't compliment the primary weapon (The QB).  Once it becomes clear that it's a pass play, a guy like Fournette is either a blocker or just a checkdown guy.  

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On 3/4/2017 at 6:37 PM, LockeDown said:

You don't really want a dominant RB when your QB is the dominant player, right?  That's why AP in his prime had to be the focus because they didn't have the franchise QB.  Elliot and Dak worked out because DAk is not a dominant passing threat yet.  Luck needs a guy that can pick up blitzes, block, catch in the flat and get tough yards, get first downs.  Ballard said it's a passing league.

This is completely false.  Our offense was great with Manning and Edge before he was hurt.  Elway had great RB's that were found deep in the draft or undrafted but they still balanced the offense.  You want to have a better balance which then allows your QB the luxury of play action and better play calling.  

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1 hour ago, DaColts85 said:

This is completely false.  Our offense was great with Manning and Edge before he was hurt.  Elway had great RB's that were found deep in the draft or undrafted but they still balanced the offense.  You want to have a better balance which then allows your QB the luxury of play action and better play calling.  

Wrong.  Manning to Harrison set the all time QB/WR record for a reason.  Because Manning was the leader and passing came first, not running. Edge was a willing blocker, team player and great complimentary piece who was a great RB.  You obvioiusly misunderstood what I was saying.  

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11 minutes ago, LockeDown said:

Wrong.  Manning to Harrison set the all time QB/WR record for a reason.  Because Manning was the leader and passing came first, not running. Edge was a willing blocker, team player and great complimentary piece who was a great RB.  You obvioiusly misunderstood what I was saying.  

You are missing the point here.  Manning to Harrison was a great duo and this was helped but the play action ability and because a D had to play honest against us due to Edge leading the league in rushing his first two years.  Leading the league in rushing helped balance our offense and yes we ran the ball as well.  He was a willing blocker as any RB needs  to be.  Le'Veon Bell will still block for Ben because it is needed.

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On 3/4/2017 at 10:54 AM, ztboiler said:

I'm starting to wonder if the strength of this running back class is at the top (4 guys) and if there might be a huge dropoff to ordinary after that.  I kind of took for granted what the pundits (and even some of the GM's) have been saying, but the second tier of backs this year looks like the second tier does every year...ordinary rotation or match up backs.

 

We need to draft a back, obviously, but I'm not sure we should expect much more than any other year from a running back in the 4th....

 

 

Apologies that I'm so late in commenting on such a good post.

 

 I think you're spot on right, ZTB!    

 

I think the class is excellent,  but perhaps not quite as great as it was viewed 6 months ago.    Very few of the RB's enjoyed a last season as good as the one's the had before. 

 

PLUS.....

 

As far as the Colts need go,   many of the mid-round quality backs I think are more complimentary backs and NOT lead or primary backs.    I'm not sure we will find our replacement for Frank Gore in the 4th round.   I think we might,  but I'm not as confident that it's as much of a lock as I thought it was 6 months ago.     I think we might find an excellent complimentary back,  but I don't think that's what we're hoping for.

 

For those reason,   I think it's possible that Ballard will draft a RB in the 3rd round.    Possible,  although still not likely. 

 

Great post, ZTB,  really glad you made this thread....   :thmup:

 

:colts:

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On ‎3‎/‎4‎/‎2017 at 9:06 PM, Superman said:

I've been watching a lot of backs today. There are quite a few good ones, I think. Not an extraordinary amount of elite talents, and not all of them are every down backs. But I think there are a few specialty backs and change backs down the board that can fit a good pro offense. 

 

I like Mack from S.Fla.

 

He has his faults But he can be a Big Play guy. A bunch of TD runs(I think 8) of 40 yards or more. He would be a good compliment to a strong inside rb.

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