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Finball

Spending a top-20 pick on a RB is one of the worst decisions a team can make

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https://www.fieldgulls.com/2018/2/23/17041846/nfl-draft-running-back-2018-top-20-saquon-barkley-leonard-fournette-ezekiel-elliott

 

Quote

1. Rushing carries little value in the modern NFL

2. Highly-drafted RBs are not any better at rushing

3. First-round RBs have high bust rates

4. We are bad at evaluating running backs

5. RB rookie contracts are bad values

6. RBs are fragile

7. RBs have short shelf lives

8. RBs don’t change the fortunes of a franchise

 

I think all of thes have come up in Barkley discussions but here they are in one article.

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I think Colts trade down and pick up Chubb. Colts do need a RB with the status of Gore in question, but I think they pick up one in the later rounds.

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I posted a different excerpt from the Albert Breer article yesterday, but he did a nice breakdown illustrating the difference in value between RBs and other positions.

 

https://www.si.com/nfl/2018/02/22/free-agent-tampering-period-agents-players-mmqb

 

Quote

 

The point is, teams will consider taking a little less to fill a hole at those premium positions, rather than getting a blue-chip prospect at a spot they might be able to address with lower-end currency.

“There are a lot of receivers and a lot of running backs in the National Football League,” said one AFC exec. “There are only so many corners, only so many pass rushers, only so many quarterbacks and left tackles. And that’s why the highest paid guys are at those spots, and why they go so high in the draft. It’s because there’s a scarcity of them.

So it’s not that Nelson and Saquon aren’t two of the best, if not the best, players in the draft. It’s that there’s not a scarcity of those kinds of guys. It’s supply and demand in the draft, as well as just taking the best players. A lot of people say it’s just  ‘take the best player,’ but that’s not practical.”

To drive home the point, let’s pull Barkley and Chubb out of the group, and consider the decision that Colts GM Chris Ballard has to make with the third overall pick, if quarterbacks go 1-2 to the Browns and Giants. Generational running back or very good edge rusher?

The first thing you’ll ask, of course, is how good each player is. Second? Can we fill the hole those guys would plug later in the draft. Indianapolis picks again at 36 overall. So let’s look at the top 10 guys, based on where they were drafted, available at each position last year at 36.

 

• Running backs (draft position in parantheses): Dalvin Cook (41), Joe Mixon (48), Alvin Kamara (67), Kareem Hunt (86), D’Onta Foreman (89), James Conner (105), Samaje Perine (114), Tarik Cohen (119), Joe Williams (121), Donnell Pumphrey (132).

• Edge rushers: Tyus Bowser (47), Ryan Anderson (49), DeMarcus Walker (51), Tanoh Kpassagnon (59), Dwaune Smoot (68), Jordan Willis (73), Daeshon Hall (77), Tim Williams (78), Tarell Basham (80), Derek Rivers (83).

If you go deeper, you’re scratching for edge rushers (Deatrich Wise, Carl Lawson), while there continue to be productive backs (Jamaal Williams, Marlon Mack, Wayne Gallman, Aaron Jones). And if you want to go to the undrafted players, you’ll find Eagles Super Bowl hero Corey Clement among the backs.

As for Nelson, you can do the same thing with guards. Among the four starters in the Super Bowl at the position were a second-round pick, two third-rounders and a fourth rounder.

And to be clear, this isn’t to denigrate either Barkley or Nelson. Barkley embodies the 21st-century prototype at his position—a 230-pounder capable of playing on all three downs—and Nelson may be the best prospect at his spot in decades.

It’s just that some positions are harder to fill than others, and it’s just as our exec explained. It’s why quarterbacks get pushed way up the board. It’s why left tackles and corners and pass rushers do to a certain degree, as well. And it’s why a couple truly great prospects might get passed on by a few teams before they hear their names called in April.

 

 

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From the OP's article:

Quote

 

2. Highly-drafted RBs are not any better at rushing

If rushing were valuable (it’s not), a natural question would be the extent to which highly-drafted RBs are better at rushing than other RBs. I used Pro Football Reference to look at the average yards per carry of all RBs drafted in the top 20 since 2004, when a heightened emphasis on illegal contact increased the efficiency of the passing game. Since then, the 17 RBs drafted in the first 20 picks have carried the ball 18,991 times for an average of 4.2 yards per carry. NFL teams combined have rushed the ball 195,381 times for an average of...4.2 yards per carry. Of the 17 players drafted in the top 20, only 7 have at least 4.3 career yards per carry. With an enormous sample size, there is no difference between these RBs and everyone else.

 

Quote

4. We are bad at evaluating running backs

...

First, you cannot know ahead of time if a given prospect is the next Marshawn Lynch. If you think you can, we have mountains of evidence that you are wrong: we have a nearly 20,000 carry sample size of top 20 RBs not being any better than league average. 

 

 

These thoughts well illustrate why I'm beginning to cringe every time someone talks about Saquon Barkley like he's the next 'whoever.' It's a mistake to fall in love with a guy's potential to the extent that you ignore this kind of data.

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Yeah and Emmitt Smith and Barry Sanders both went Top 20 and many regard those 2 as the 2 best ever. I will stop here because these type of threads I can rip to shreads. I can list 20 Pass Rushers that stunk that got drafted in the Top 20 so if someone says taking Barkley is stupid I can counter it. Goodnight.

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Not sure I agree with every point, but, on balance,  I agree with the vast majority if this.

 

That said....  I suspect we know a poster or two who might try to argue/debate this...

 

In 3.... 2....  1.....         :peek:

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I think if he's the best player at that point in the draft, you take him. I believe every position on the field is just as important as the next. 

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2 minutes ago, NewColtsFan said:

Not sure I agree with every point, but, on balance,  I agree with the vast majority if this.

 

That said....  I suspect we know a poster or two who might try to argue/debate this...

 

In 3.... 2....  1.....         :peek:

No need to argue it, Barry Sanders and Emmitt Smith are the best 2 RB's over the last 30 years, both were Top 20 picks. This will be my last Post on this Thread. We will Draft Chubb anyway IMO and I am fine with it.

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4 minutes ago, 2006Coltsbestever said:

Yeah and Emmitt Smith and Barry Sanders both went Top 20 and many regard those 2 as the 2 best ever. I will stop here because these type of threads I can rip to shreads. I can list 20 Pass Rushers that stunk that got drafted in the Top 20 so if someone says taking Barkley is stupid I can counter it. Goodnight.

 

Please notice your two examples, Smith and Sanders, are not only two Hall of Famers...  they were both drafted in the early 90's...    that's 25 years ago.

 

The NFL has changed dramatically since then with rules favoring passing over running.

 

Sorry....    but this is not a relevant argument...

 

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1 minute ago, NewColtsFan said:

 

Please notice your two examples, Smith and Sanders, are not only two Hall of Famers...  they were both drafted in the early 90's...    that's 25 years ago.

 

The NFL has changed dramatically since then with rules favoring passing over running.

 

Sorry....    but this is not a relevant argument...

 

My last Post in this thread = I think Barkley has that potential so to me it is relevant and too many others it is as well.

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The Eagles won a SB with a committee at running back. Blount was undrafted, Ajayi was traded with a 4th. We don't need a RB at 3, but I won't complain if we get Barkley though...

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43 minutes ago, 2006Coltsbestever said:

Yeah and Emmitt Smith and Barry Sanders both went Top 20 and many regard those 2 as the 2 best ever. I will stop here because these type of threads I can rip to shreads. I can list 20 Pass Rushers that stunk that got drafted in the Top 20 so if someone says taking Barkley is stupid I can counter it. Goodnight.

Thank you! 

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Setting aside all the other fallacies that go along with bringing up Emmitt Smith and Barry Sanders in every conversation about Barkley...

 

It's like you guys don't even allow for the possibility that Barkley doesn't turn out to be as good as Emmitt Smith and

Barry Sanders. And it's more likely that Barkley is out of the league in three years than it is that he becomes all all time great.

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56 minutes ago, 2006Coltsbestever said:

Yeah and Emmitt Smith and Barry Sanders both went Top 20 and many regard those 2 as the 2 best ever. I will stop here because these type of threads I can rip to shreads. I can list 20 Pass Rushers that stunk that got drafted in the Top 20 so if someone says taking Barkley is stupid I can counter it. Goodnight.

Just the sheer amount of good running backs out number the amount of good pass rushers tremendously. The chances of getting a good pass rusher are a lot less that a good RB.

It's not a point of countering anything. You bring up Sanders and Smith and they don't have any bearing on today's NFL.

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1 hour ago, Superman said:

I posted a different excerpt from the Albert Breer article yesterday, but he did a nice breakdown illustrating the difference in value between RBs and other positions.

 

https://www.si.com/nfl/2018/02/22/free-agent-tampering-period-agents-players-mmqb

 

 

 

Yep, this is another article I liked as to how pass rushers in the draft perform and drop off with subsequent rounds:

 

https://www.stampedeblue.com/2018/2/6/16962028/nfl-draft-is-there-a-best-round-to-draft-a-pass-rusher-defensive-end-qb-hits-sacks

 

The drop off in pass rushing quality is higher than the drop off in RB quality, historically, in a nutshell.

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17 minutes ago, Superman said:

Setting aside all the other fallacies that go along with bringing up Emmitt Smith and Barry Sanders in every conversation about Barkley...

 

It's like you guys don't even allow for the possibility that Barkley doesn't turn out to be as good as Emmitt Smith and

Barry Sanders. And it's more likely that Barkley is out of the league in three years than it is that he becomes all all time great.

OK for fun would you would be willing to bet me who will have the better career between Chubb and Barkley. I will take Barkley, you call the bet. If taking a RB at 3rd (or Top 3) is silly than you call the bet. I am willing to take it.

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18 minutes ago, crazycolt1 said:

Just the sheer amount of good running backs out number the amount of good pass rushers tremendously. The chances of getting a good pass rusher are a lot less that a good RB.

It's not a point of countering anything. You bring up Sanders and Smith and they don't have any bearing on today's NFL.

Edge was Great too he went Top 5 so was Faulk - both played for us and into the 2000's. I wasn't going to Post in this Thread anymore but cant help it because people seem to think RB's don't matter.

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46 minutes ago, NextGenerationLuck said:

Take Chubb or Nelson in the first (if we trade back, definitely no to taking Nelson 3rd overall) then draft Sony in the 3rd round 

 

Sony Michel will likely be long gone by the third round.    He will likely go in the 2nd round and if not, stands a better chance of going in the FIRST than the third..

 

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1 hour ago, 2006Coltsbestever said:

Yeah and Emmitt Smith and Barry Sanders both went Top 20 and many regard those 2 as the 2 best ever. I will stop here because these type of threads I can rip to shreads.

This is some really flawed logic.  I could say that Bruce Smith and Joe Greene were top 5 picks and are among the best DLs of all time, which would counter your argument.

 

Quote

I can list 20 Pass Rushers that stunk that got drafted in the Top 20 so if someone says taking Barkley is stupid I can counter it. Goodnight.

I can also list several RBs that got drafted in the top 20 that stunk.  Trent Richardson, Ron Dayne, William Green

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Just now, NewColtsFan said:

 

Sony Michel will likely be long gone by the third round.    He will likely go in the 2nd round and if not, stands a better chance of going in the FIRST than the third..

 

Can’t you just let a man dream 

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Just now, NewColtsFan said:

 

Sony Michel will likely be long gone by the third round.    He will likely go in the 2nd round and if not, stands a better chance of going in the FIRST than the third..

 

I think Guice will be gone too but he could be there early in Round 2 if we are lucky because I think we take Chubb in the 1st.

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3 minutes ago, 2006Coltsbestever said:

Edge was Great too he went Top 5 so was Faulk - both played for us and into the 2000's. I wasn't going to Post in this Thread anymore but cant help it because people seem to think RB's don't matter.

Check out the first 2 bullet points of the OP

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4 minutes ago, 2006Coltsbestever said:

OK for fun would you would be willing to bet me who will have the better career between Chubb and Barkley. I will take Barkley, you call the bet. If taking a RB at 3rd (or Top 3) is silly than you call the bet. I am willing to take it.

 

I knew you couldn't quit us... ;)

 

And this is the other main fallacy. I still haven't started banging the table for Chubb. You've commissioned Barkley's HOF bust already. For me, it's not about Barkley vs. Chubb. Me saying 'I don't want a RB at #3' isn't an endorsement of Chubb at #3, and it doesn't mean I'm convinced Chubb will have a better career than Barkley.

 

Not taking Barkley at #3 is entirely about Barkley.

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6 minutes ago, 2006Coltsbestever said:

people seem to think RB's don't matter.

 

Red herring. It's not that RBs don't matter. It's about the amount of resources a team should invest in a RB.

 

No one is saying kickers don't matter, but no one wants a kicker in the first round, either.

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1 minute ago, Superman said:

 

I knew you couldn't quit us... ;)

 

And this is the other main fallacy. I still haven't started banging the table for Chubb. You've commissioned Barkley's HOF bust already. For me, it's not about Barkley vs. Chubb. Me saying 'I don't want a RB at #3' isn't an endorsement of Chubb at #3, and it doesn't mean I'm convinced Chubb will have a better career than Barkley.

 

Not taking Barkley at #3 is entirely about Barkley.

Actually who would you take at 3 or would you trade down and do something different?

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4 minutes ago, 21isSuperman said:

This is some really flawed logic.  I could say that Bruce Smith and Joe Greene were top 5 picks and are among the best DLs of all time, which would counter your argument.

 

I can also list several RBs that got drafted in the top 20 that stunk.  Trent Richardson, Ron Dayne, William Green

I get that 21, I was just throwing out 2 Great examples. You can counter me I can counter you and so on.

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Just now, 2006Coltsbestever said:

I get that 21, I was just throwing out 2 Great examples. You can counter me I can counter you and so on.

My point is that you saying "a couple great RBS were early first round picks" isn't a strong counter to the points posted in the article above

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9 minutes ago, 2006Coltsbestever said:

Edge was Great too he went Top 5 so was Faulk - both played for us and into the 2000's. I wasn't going to Post in this Thread anymore but cant help it because people seem to think RB's don't matter.

Just how many rings did Edge or Faulk bring us?

No one said RBs don't matter. What was said that having an elite RB does not bring as much to a team than having a great pass rusher. No more, no less.

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5 minutes ago, Superman said:

 

I knew you couldn't quit us... ;)

 

And this is the other main fallacy. I still haven't started banging the table for Chubb. You've commissioned Barkley's HOF bust already. For me, it's not about Barkley vs. Chubb. Me saying 'I don't want a RB at #3' isn't an endorsement of Chubb at #3, and it doesn't mean I'm convinced Chubb will have a better career than Barkley.

 

Not taking Barkley at #3 is entirely about Barkley.

You should take him on this, but make the criteria of "better career" be career salary. Even if Barkley hits his top projections and Chubb hits his 50th percentile projection, it's very likely Chubb will be more highly valued by the league for his career. 

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3 minutes ago, 21isSuperman said:

My point is that you saying "a couple great RBS were early first round picks" isn't a strong counter to the points posted in the article above

Did you really want me to list like 10 RB's haha. My mind thought of those 2 but Faulk and Edge went Top 5 and they weren't too bad for us.

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Also too, people may think I think having a Great Pass Rusher isn't better than having a Great RB. That is false. If you give me Reggie White or Bruce Smith than I am all in over almost any RB that has played. When I look at Chubb and Barkley - I don't see Reggie White vs Barry Sanders, I see Joey Bosa vs Barry. OK, I may be jumping the gun on Barkley, dude might not be Great, but he wont be Trent Richardson trust me.

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1 minute ago, 2006Coltsbestever said:

Did you really want me to list like 10 RB's haha. My mind thought of those 2 but Faulk and Edge went Top 5 and they weren't too bad for us.

No they were not bad player for us at all. But how many wins did he bring us over what Freeney and Mathis brought us? 

WE can go back and forth on this all day long but the bottom line for the Colts right now is we need pass rushing more than a great RB. That is where this team stands. We have seen first hand at what having a power house offense can do without a defense to match. Luck's first 3 seasons shown we can win games with a strong offense but we have learned over the last 3 seasons is we need a defense that can hold leads.

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2 minutes ago, crazycolt1 said:

No they were not bad player for us at all. But how many wins did he bring us over what Freeney and Mathis brought us? 

WE can go back and forth on this all day long but the bottom line for the Colts right now is we need pass rushing more than a great RB. That is where this team stands. We have seen first hand at what having a power house offense can do without a defense to match. Luck's first 3 seasons shown we can win games with a strong offense but we have learned over the last 3 seasons is we need a defense that can hold leads.

If I thought Chubb would be like Freeney or Mathis than I would say forget Barkley. I don't though. Do you think Chubb can be that?

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16 minutes ago, stitches said:

You should take him on this, but make the criteria of "better career" be career salary. Even if Barkley hits his top projections and Chubb hits his 50th percentile projection, it's very likely Chubb will be more highly valued by the league for his career. 

Barkley will have the better career, I would still do the bet.

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1 minute ago, 2006Coltsbestever said:

If I thought Chubb would be like Freeney or Mathis than I would say forget Barkley. I don't though. Do you think Chubb can be that?

I have no clue. I do know if we don't get a pass rush we are not going to win games. We can have two Barkley's on our roster and the wins still would not come. We can not keep this mindset of building strong offenses and keep putting the defense on the back burner. Ballard did put most the draft picks on the defense last year but we didn't come out of it with pass rushing. The most important position on the defense. Without a pass rush the rest of the defense have their hands tied because they cant do their jobs at 100%. Every defense in the league is geared at having a pass rush.

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1 minute ago, 2006Coltsbestever said:

If I thought Chubb would be like Freeney or Mathis than I would say forget Barkley. I don't though. Do you think Chubb can be that?

 

That seems to be the issue with this draft.

 

- Is Chubb a great pass rusher worth the # 3 pick?

- Can't take a RB & waste the value

- Can't take a G & waste the value

- Is Fitzpatrick a C or a S?

- Don't need a QB (knock on wood)

 

So if the Colts can't trade down, and still get a 'top player' (that isn't worthy of # 3 overall), they still gotta do something...

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2 minutes ago, crazycolt1 said:

I have no clue. I do know if we don't get a pass rush we are not going to win games. We can have two Barkley's on our roster and the wins still would not come. We can not keep this mindset of building strong offenses and keep putting the defense on the back burner. Ballard did put most the draft picks on the defense last year but we didn't come out of it with pass rushing. The most important position on the defense. Without a pass rush the rest of the defense have their hands tied because they cant do their jobs at 100%. Every defense in the league is geared at having a pass rush.

Well I am on record saying if we take Chubb I would be ok with it. I just think Barkley is by far the best player in the Draft. If the Browns or Giants don't take Barkley I would be shocked but they may both go QB's.

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