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View Full Version : Why I am against taking RBs high in the draft


awtysst
01-18-2010, 05:48 PM
If you have seen any of my mock drafts over the last few years you will notice that I do not like to take RBs high. With the Texans in the 19th or 20th spot in the draft some people think we should go after Spiller, Best, or Dywer with our first pick. I have long maintained that is a bad move and now, I would like to explain to you why I feel this way.

The running back position is the most violent in the game. Numerous times per game the rb is hit and tackled by linebackers or Dlineman. The life of the average running back is far shorter than it is at any other position. But even beyond the average running back, good to outstanding running backs wear out quicker than other positions.

Lets look at an example: LaDainian Tomlinson. I would say he was an excellent running back? Wouldn't you? For six seasons he was a terror. Look at the stats:
2002: 1683
2003: 1645
2004: 1335
2005: 1462
2006: 1815
2007: 1474

These are HUGE numbers. Add in his receptions and tds and you can see he made a monster impact over 6 seasons. The problem is though that once he neared 30 his production went WAY down. Last year he only 1110 yds rushing and this year an anemic 730 yards. Even the excellent running backs wear out pretty fast.

So, lets say you are back in 2001. You have a crystal ball and can see the future. Would you take Tomlinson over: Richard Seymour, Steve Hutchinson, Casey Hampton, Reggie Wayne, or Todd Heap? In fact there were two other Pro Bowl RBs taken in the 2001 NFL draft: Michael Bennett and Deuce McCalister. They had great numbers for a while too. Would you take either of them over the before mentioned players. I would not.

So, my point is, even if you strike gold and select Tomlinson in the draft, in about 7 years or so, taking the DT, OG, WR, or TE may be a better move for your franchise. It certainly looks like it for the these teams.

I look forward to reading your comments and thoughts about this matter.

The Pencil Neck
01-18-2010, 08:29 PM
So what's so wrong with making a first or second round investment in a running back with the knowledge that you're just going to have to do it again in 3-5 years? If it helps to make your running game top notch, why not just accept that as a cost of doing business?

I'd even say that you should draft a running back almost every year, sometimes using a low draft choice and other times using a high one. I'd love to be in a position like the Cowboys where you've got Barber, Jones, and Choice and you're having to make a hard decision as to which one should be getting the most carries. Or a position like the Vikes where you've got a couple of guys that would be starters on most teams (even though they didn't actually draft Taylor.)

This isn't like a QB where, if you've got a couple of guys, you've got no guys and a controversy that splits the locker room. This is the RB where you've got to expect guys to go down and you want to have someone else just as good to plug in.

awtysst
01-18-2010, 09:31 PM
So what's so wrong with making a first or second round investment in a running back with the knowledge that you're just going to have to do it again in 3-5 years? If it helps to make your running game top notch, why not just accept that as a cost of doing business?

I'd even say that you should draft a running back almost every year, sometimes using a low draft choice and other times using a high one. I'd love to be in a position like the Cowboys where you've got Barber, Jones, and Choice and you're having to make a hard decision as to which one should be getting the most carries. Or a position like the Vikes where you've got a couple of guys that would be starters on most teams (even though they didn't actually draft Taylor.)

This isn't like a QB where, if you've got a couple of guys, you've got no guys and a controversy that splits the locker room. This is the RB where you've got to expect guys to go down and you want to have someone else just as good to plug in.

I think that high draft picks should be in positions where you can get a lot of years out of them. Sure the idea of having three great backs is great, but wouldn't it be better to have multiple really good DLineman? or DBs? That way you are always rotating guys in and out. You can keep guys fresh and not have a drop off in play. Then if you get to a point where you have too many good players in a position, you can trade high for additional picks. So, in essence, you continuously reload your supply. When the younger guys are ready, trade the older ones. As long as you pick smart in the draft, you will always be in good shape.

And you can't do that with Running backs, since they wear out too fast. I see the draft as a way to replenish your team and this is the way you do it.

WolverineFan
01-18-2010, 10:07 PM
I agree. I am against taking RB's in the 1st unless they are Adrian Peterson type quality. There is nobody in this draft with that kind of talent. Many of the RB's in the league that are successful right now were not drafted in the 1st round. RB is the easiest position to translate to from college to the pro's. I would rather draft a DB or D-Lineman.

The Pencil Neck
01-18-2010, 10:23 PM
I think that high draft picks should be in positions where you can get a lot of years out of them. Sure the idea of having three great backs is great, but wouldn't it be better to have multiple really good DLineman? or DBs? That way you are always rotating guys in and out. You can keep guys fresh and not have a drop off in play. Then if you get to a point where you have too many good players in a position, you can trade high for additional picks. So, in essence, you continuously reload your supply. When the younger guys are ready, trade the older ones. As long as you pick smart in the draft, you will always be in good shape.

And you can't do that with Running backs, since they wear out too fast. I see the draft as a way to replenish your team and this is the way you do it.

I've argued this from your side before and I believed that high-round RB's were unnecessary for several years for all the reasons you've given. The league has moved to more of your position on this. I mean, 15 years ago, there were a lot more RB's taken in the first couple of rounds than there are now. But you get really good RB's drafted low all the time now.

But I'm starting to think that getting a really talented RB every few years can have more bang for your buck because of the potency that it gives your offense. We probably would have been much better with a RB this season that allowed us to close out games. With the RB, I'm thinking that you draft high occasionally even when the position isn't a need just to stockpile that position and make absolutely sure that your running game will be top-notch. If you've got 1 good RB, draft a couple more. If you've got 3 good RB's, then don't draft one that year unless a great one falls to you.

The main thing about the draft is really just identifying your own needs and assigning weights to those needs. But I just think the RB should carry a higher weight than the NFL is currently giving to it.

This year, I want to shore up the interior of our offensive line, get a really good FS, and get at least one RB capable of starting. And not necessarily in that order.

The Pencil Neck
01-18-2010, 10:41 PM
I agree. I am against taking RB's in the 1st unless they are Adrian Peterson type quality. There is nobody in this draft with that kind of talent. Many of the RB's in the league that are successful right now were not drafted in the 1st round. RB is the easiest position to translate to from college to the pro's. I would rather draft a DB or D-Lineman.

First off, I'm not saying it has to be 1st round. "High in the draft" means first two (maybe three) rounds to me.

Here's the top 10 rushers in the NFL this year:

Chris Johnson - 1st round
Steven Jackson - 1st round
Thomas Jones - 1st round
Maurice Jones-Drew - 2nd round
Adrian Peterson - 1st round
Ray Rice - 2nd round
Ryan Grant - Undrafted?
Cedric Benson - 1st round
Jonathon Stewart - 1st round
Rickey Williams - 1st round


Most of them drafted high. Even if you extend it out to the top 15 or top 20, most of the guys are drafted in the 1st round, then the 2nd and 3rd rounds and then the lower rounds start showing up.

Now, I'm a Connor Barwin fan and I think that was a good pick but how much better would our offense have been with Shonn Greene in that spot?

stingray
01-18-2010, 10:44 PM
First off, I'm not saying it has to be 1st round. "High in the draft" means first two (maybe three) rounds to me.

Here's the top 10 rushers in the NFL this year:

Chris Johnson - 1st round
Steven Jackson - 1st round
Thomas Jones - 1st round
Maurice Jones-Drew - 2nd round
Adrian Peterson - 1st round
Ray Rice - 2nd round
Ryan Grant - Undrafted?
Cedric Benson - 1st round
Jonathon Stewart - 1st round
Rickey Williams - 1st round


Most of them drafted high. Even if you extend it out to the top 15 or top 20, most of the guys are drafted in the 1st round, then the 2nd and 3rd rounds and then the lower rounds start showing up.

Now, I'm a Connor Barwin fan and I think that was a good pick but how much better would our offense have been with Shonn Greene in that spot?

You forgot Deangelo Williams...I think he was a first rounder also...

The Pencil Neck
01-18-2010, 10:45 PM
You forgot Deangelo Williams...I think he was a first rounder also...

He finished 13th. I was only doing the top 10.

Hervoyel
01-18-2010, 11:09 PM
Yes your RB is going to take a beating and likely be completely useless in 5-6 years. That's why he's the last piece of the puzzle you pick up. I look at the Texans and wonder how many more years Andre Johnson will play in the league. He's played 7 years already and this wonderful ride he's on could end in one play. Matt Schaub is putting up "should have gone to the Pro Bowl" numbers now. The offensive line could use a little help but they are capable of protecting him and a running game would go a long, long way toward keeping the pass rush from eating him alive.

It's time to draft a running back. Taking one in the first round this year would be (IMO) actually a little late. We could have picked up Benson in 2008 and not had to go through using a draft pick. We didn't and we won't likely get another shot at a franchise running back with so few miles on him again. We'll end up having to draft somebody and while I generally agree with the points you made to reach your conclusion I don't agree with never taking a RB early. There's a time to make that move and for the Texans it's very much now.

beerlover
01-19-2010, 01:03 AM
it happens at some point in a franchise history when a special player is there you take him regardless of position.

theanswer000
01-19-2010, 01:16 AM
what do we do when Dan Williams, Brian Price, C.J. Spiller, Dez Bryant are all on the board when we pick?:kingkong:

playa465
01-19-2010, 04:10 AM
what do we do when Dan Williams, Brian Price, C.J. Spiller, Dez Bryant are all on the board when we pick?:kingkong:

Strictly my opinions:
Dan Williams (Unless we get a FA but I doubt it since they went after A. Smith for the DL last year)
Dez Bryant (he is a game changer and would allow us to drop a few WRs)
C.J. Spiller (Best player left out of these 4)
Brian Price (Least of the 4 I want b/c I think he is the same as Amobi and wouldn't satisfy our need at the other DT spot)

Corrosion
01-19-2010, 04:58 AM
Now, I'm a Connor Barwin fan and I think that was a good pick but how much better would our offense have been with Shonn Greene in that spot?

Probably not that much better - The Texans OL couldnt push around a line consisting of grandmothers .... They did pretty well pass blocking but they cant get a yard when they absolutely have to. All too often defenses got penetration or just flat out stonewalled them on short yardage rushing plays.


Until they fix the interior OL it wont matter if they draft the next Earl Campbell ....

Corrosion
01-19-2010, 05:06 AM
Yes your RB is going to take a beating and likely be completely useless in 5-6 years. That's why he's the last piece of the puzzle you pick up.
Condensed

There's a time to make that move and for the Texans it's very much now.

I agree that RB is best left until the other things are in place due to shelf life.


I agree that there is a time to make that move.


Im not sure that I agree that now is that time because I think the majority of the troubles in the Texans ground attack are related to the interior OL.

Unless they can upgrade two of the three interior OL spots via draft or FA I'm not sold on the idea of an early round RB - especially in a draft devoid of "Special Players" at the position.

Honoring Earl 34
01-19-2010, 05:59 AM
Probably not that much better - The Texans OL couldnt push around a line consisting of grandmothers .... They did pretty well pass blocking but they cant get a yard when they absolutely have to. All too often defenses got penetration or just flat out stonewalled them on short yardage rushing plays.


Until they fix the interior OL it wont matter if they draft the next Earl Campbell ....

That would take years off your RB , because he would take a lot of hits . The ideal situation is like Franco Harris had it . He got his five yards then headed for the sideline .

Ole Miss Texan
01-19-2010, 09:45 AM
I'm in agreement with most of you. I'd pretty much only take a 1st rd running back in a few instances:

ELITE talent - By that I mean you know he's going to be an Adrian Peterson or Chris Johnson. A guy that can tote the rock a ton AND has the ability to take to the house in any give play... continually throughout the season.

DOMINANT OL - I'm a big believer of building through the trenches on both Offense and Defense (for longterm success). A RB with a great OL can look like an all star. An elite RB (top 5-10 pick) may be able to mask some of a weak OL's deficiencies but a "1st / 2nd rd grade" RB probably can't on a consistent basis. IMO, an O-lineman is like a diesel... they take longer to get warmed up but once they do they'll last you forever. RB's can make the transition into the pros a lot quicker.

Theoretically, the earlier a player goes in the draft, the quicker they should be able to produce. Likewise, the later a player goes, the longer it takes them to get NFL game ready. I'd rather have the OL being groomed and learning the system while we're spending early picks on CB, LB, DL, etc. and then when the OL is ready get an early RB. Otherwise if you draft an early RB (that's not elite), you are having him run behind a mediocre OL so he can't produce as much, you're taking an O-lineman that theoretically takes longer to get game ready (prolonging the time of impact for the OL, thus RB to have open holes to run through) and your not addressing the other positions with 1st round calibre players that can make instant impact.

badboy
01-19-2010, 11:09 AM
If you have seen any of my mock drafts over the last few years you will notice that I do not like to take RBs high. With the Texans in the 19th or 20th spot in the draft some people think we should go after Spiller, Best, or Dywer with our first pick. I have long maintained that is a bad move and now, I would like to explain to you why I feel this way.

The running back position is the most violent in the game. Numerous times per game the rb is hit and tackled by linebackers or Dlineman. The life of the average running back is far shorter than it is at any other position. But even beyond the average running back, good to outstanding running backs wear out quicker than other positions.

Lets look at an example: LaDainian Tomlinson. I would say he was an excellent running back? Wouldn't you? For six seasons he was a terror. Look at the stats:
2002: 1683
2003: 1645
2004: 1335
2005: 1462
2006: 1815
2007: 1474

These are HUGE numbers. Add in his receptions and tds and you can see he made a monster impact over 6 seasons. The problem is though that once he neared 30 his production went WAY down. Last year he only 1110 yds rushing and this year an anemic 730 yards. Even the excellent running backs wear out pretty fast.

So, lets say you are back in 2001. You have a crystal ball and can see the future. Would you take Tomlinson over: Richard Seymour, Steve Hutchinson, Casey Hampton, Reggie Wayne, or Todd Heap? In fact there were two other Pro Bowl RBs taken in the 2001 NFL draft: Michael Bennett and Deuce McCalister. They had great numbers for a while too. Would you take either of them over the before mentioned players. I would not.

So, my point is, even if you strike gold and select Tomlinson in the draft, in about 7 years or so, taking the DT, OG, WR, or TE may be a better move for your franchise. It certainly looks like it for the these teams.

I look forward to reading your comments and thoughts about this matter.As we have discussed before I disagree with your position. Longevity for me is not the primary issue but bang for the buck. DE, DT, Oline, defensive backs and linebackers (both) and QB often do not exhibit their peak performance for 2-3 years. Running backs on the other hand usually hit the field running. I think more so than any other position, backs are more productive the first 3-4 years than the remainder. A RB, WR, QB and occasionally a tight end puts points on the board and brings fans to the stadium. For a team like ours for this last season and for next, we are positioned to become a fixture in the playoffs. Smith and Kubiac prior to the last two seasons identified Texans had PRIORITY needs of 1. getting a DE to free up Mario. We signed Antonio SMith and drafted Barwin 2. reducing turn overs. We did that very well despite RB fumble issues 3. stop the opponents running game. After, the first three games, our D pretty much shut the run down (despite my wish for a huge NT) 4. put a back on the roster that could move the pile, score in Red Zone and get the first down on short yardage. We have thrown one medically challenged free agent after another with minimal succcess. Super Slick Slaton was 3rd round that either outplayed his talent first year or was actually ony a good player but not great. I personally believe losing two starting guards and a pro bowl TE effected his season.

We have accomplished all of the four except the last. If we can get it resolved with a 7th rounder, fantastic. We did get a starting LB (Diles) there. To me the major problem with "getting (fill in the blank position)"later rounds is no guarantee that player will be there. There are differing opinions if Oline is problem or RB. Why is that an issue? Get both! We are in a unique position this off season to fill each weak spot with a significant improvement.

Vinny
01-19-2010, 11:18 AM
just a couple of comments....you don't draft a player based on what you think you will get out of him 8 years from now. You get a guy who can play up to his draft position since the money is obscene early in the draft. Most Coaches won't even be with the same teams 8 years from now.

If you have a force holding the ball, everybody is a better player. A dynamic feature back and elite QB's make the difference when two squads are otherwise evenly matched.

badboy
01-19-2010, 11:25 AM
I'm in agreement with most of you. I'd pretty much only take a 1st rd running back in a few instances:

ELITE talent - By that I mean you know he's going to be an Adrian Peterson or Chris Johnson. A guy that can tote the rock a ton AND has the ability to take to the house in any give play... continually throughout the season.

DOMINANT OL - I'm a big believer of building through the trenches on both Offense and Defense (for longterm success). A RB with a great OL can look like an all star. An elite RB (top 5-10 pick) may be able to mask some of a weak OL's deficiencies but a "1st / 2nd rd grade" RB probably can't on a consistent basis. IMO, an O-lineman is like a diesel... they take longer to get warmed up but once they do they'll last you forever. RB's can make the transition into the pros a lot quicker.

Theoretically, the earlier a player goes in the draft, the quicker they should be able to produce. Likewise, the later a player goes, the longer it takes them to get NFL game ready. I'd rather have the OL being groomed and learning the system while we're spending early picks on CB, LB, DL, etc. and then when the OL is ready get an early RB. Otherwise if you draft an early RB (that's not elite), you are having him run behind a mediocre OL so he can't produce as much, you're taking an O-lineman that theoretically takes longer to get game ready (prolonging the time of impact for the OL, thus RB to have open holes to run through) and your not addressing the other positions with 1st round calibre players that can make instant impact. Does this apply to 2010 Texans? I think not. We have two solid if not great OTs, our RG for next season will probably be veteran Briesel or 2nd year Caldwell who now has starter experience. Our center will be Myers regardless of who we draft, until Kubiac is comfortable that Myers play calling for the line is replaceable. I don't see Caldwell there but is possible. Pitts has a good chance of being back and if healthy probably has lost little. IMO, we should have a seasoned Oline for backs to run behind as did Slaton his rookie season. It is time to draft a big back like Gerhart or Dwyer. They each stand out above their competition at "big back". Neither will be available imo when we draft in 2nd round but neither will Iupati. If FS Earl Thomas is not there #20, we should draft Gerhart (mine) or Dwyer as other possible backs may not be there "later". Glen Coffee anyone? Asamoah from Illinois, Johnson from Alabama or Mitch Petrus are guards who will be there in 2nd round and can handle ZBS. I can see either as a starter ala Duane Brown if Pitts or another FA not signed.

Ole Miss Texan
01-19-2010, 11:41 AM
[/B] Does this apply to 2010 Texans? I think not. We have two solid if not great OTs, our RG for next season will probably be veteran Briesel or 2nd year Caldwell who now has starter experience. Our center will be Myers regardless of who we draft, until Kubiac is comfortable that Myers play calling for the line is replaceable. I don't see Caldwell there but is possible. Pitts has a good chance of being back and if healthy probably has lost little. IMO, we should have a seasoned Oline for backs to run behind as did Slaton his rookie season. It is time to draft a big back like Gerhart or Dwyer. They each stand out above their competition at "big back". Neither will be available imo when we draft in 2nd round but neither will Iupati. If FS Earl Thomas is not there #20, we should draft Gerhart (mine) or Dwyer as other possible backs may not be there "later". Glen Coffee anyone? Asamoah from Illinois, Johnson from Alabama or Mitch Petrus are guards who will be there in 2nd round and can handle ZBS. I can see either as a starter ala Duane Brown if Pitts or another FA not signed.
I think, barring a trade down, we're going to get a playmaker in the 1st round (FS,CB,RB...maaaybe WR) or we're going to get a DT. I don't know how the front office veiws the pressure of this being Kubiak's contract year but as fans we feel the urgency that they get the running game going at all costs (screw ANY development players, each early draft pick must make a huge contribution). I don't think we're going OL with the #20 pick, I really don't. I think the FO is desperate to add another gamechanger to this team.

I think you're dead on with our OL situation though. Brisiel/Pitts/Myers/Caldwell. If we could add a bonafide starter through FA, it frees up our draft SO much. I think if they franchise/extend Dunta, it frees up the Draft A LOT. Our OL/Running Game should be better next year than this year, strictly due to the assumption Brisiel/Pitts will be healthy.

I think if there wasn't this added pressure of year 5 for Kubiak, our draft would go in a different direction. I'm afraid (no, anxious) of this draft... yet optimistic though that we're going to add some real players early in the draft and possibly in FA.

The Pencil Neck
01-19-2010, 11:56 AM
People are talking about DEs and LBs and drafting them high... and I know this isn't the greatest stat to use and that there are a zillion mitigating circumstances... but let's look at where the top 10 sackers were drafted.

Elvis Dumerville - 4th round
Jared Allen - 4th round
Dwight Freeney - 1st round
LaMarr Woodley - 2nd round
Will Smith - 1st round
Trent Cole - 5th round
Andre Carter - 1st round
Brian Orakpo - 1st round
Demarcus Ware - 1st round
Julius Peppers - 1st round

Still a lot of high draft picks, but there's more of a showing for the lower rounds.

Linebackers and linemen (both OL and DL) generally have longer careers than running backs but they can also be developed more. Running backs can usually come in and be starting the first year. A really good running back can make a moderate line look good... and vice versa.

Ole Miss Texan
01-19-2010, 12:11 PM
People are talking about DEs and LBs and drafting them high... and I know this isn't the greatest stat to use and that there are a zillion mitigating circumstances... but let's look at where the top 10 sackers were drafted.

Elvis Dumerville - 4th round
Jared Allen - 4th round
Dwight Freeney - 1st round
LaMarr Woodley - 2nd round
Will Smith - 1st round
Trent Cole - 5th round
Andre Carter - 1st round
Brian Orakpo - 1st round
Demarcus Ware - 1st round
Julius Peppers - 1st round

Still a lot of high draft picks, but there's more of a showing for the lower rounds.

Linebackers and linemen (both OL and DL) generally have longer careers than running backs but they can also be developed more. Running backs can usually come in and be starting the first year. A really good running back can make a moderate line look good... and vice versa.
Like you said, there's a ton of circumstances to look at. What players do they have around them? What defense strategy is the DC using?

Another thing is, looking at the players career stats, what sort of trend can be extrapolated? Do DE's drafted early have higher sack totals earlier in their career than those drafted mid-late round? This MAY help reflect a player's (or what round he was selected in) development.

Jared Allen has produced since his first season. But I would suspect that the avg. 4th round DE may take a few years before becoming acclimated to the NFL. I'd put any 5 year veteran on equal footing regardless of what round he was selected in. Early in their careers, I'd suspect a 1st/2nd round DE would consistently outproduce a 4th/5th round DE, with all else equal. I think the round they go in partly displays what the GM believes their length to impact (LTI) is... or how long/short they believe that player will produce for the team.

badboy
01-19-2010, 12:20 PM
I think, barring a trade down, we're going to get a playmaker in the 1st round (FS,CB,RB...maaaybe WR) or we're going to get a DT. I don't know how the front office veiws the pressure of this being Kubiak's contract year but as fans we feel the urgency that they get the running game going at all costs (screw ANY development players, each early draft pick must make a huge contribution). I don't think we're going OL with the #20 pick, I really don't. I think the FO is desperate to add another gamechanger to this team.

I think you're dead on with our OL situation though. Brisiel/Pitts/Myers/Caldwell. If we could add a bonafide starter through FA, it frees up our draft SO much. I think if they franchise/extend Dunta, it frees up the Draft A LOT. Our OL/Running Game should be better next year than this year, strictly due to the assumption Brisiel/Pitts will be healthy.

I think if there wasn't this added pressure of year 5 for Kubiak, our draft would go in a different direction. I'm afraid (no, anxious) of this draft... yet optimistic though that we're going to add some real players early in the draft and possibly in FA.You nail it. I see going for impact players (RB, CB or FS) or players that increase potential of impact players (LG) early.

badboy
01-19-2010, 12:23 PM
People are talking about DEs and LBs and drafting them high... and I know this isn't the greatest stat to use and that there are a zillion mitigating circumstances... but let's look at where the top 10 sackers were drafted.

Elvis Dumerville - 4th round
Jared Allen - 4th round
Dwight Freeney - 1st round
LaMarr Woodley - 2nd round
Will Smith - 1st round
Trent Cole - 5th round
Andre Carter - 1st round
Brian Orakpo - 1st round
Demarcus Ware - 1st round
Julius Peppers - 1st round

Still a lot of high draft picks, but there's more of a showing for the lower rounds.

Linebackers and linemen (both OL and DL) generally have longer careers than running backs but they can also be developed more. Running backs can usually come in and be starting the first year. A really good running back can make a moderate line look good... and vice versa.Now name all the teams that wanted to draft a LB or DE or RB or whatever in each round but could not because the player had already been drafted. Get what you want when you KNOW the guy is there.

disaacks3
01-19-2010, 12:54 PM
Yes your RB is going to take a beating and likely be completely useless in 5-6 years. That's why he's the last piece of the puzzle you pick up. I look at the Texans and wonder how many more years Andre Johnson will play in the league. He's played 7 years already and this wonderful ride he's on could end in one play. Matt Schaub is putting up "should have gone to the Pro Bowl" numbers now. The offensive line could use a little help but they are capable of protecting him and a running game would go a long, long way toward keeping the pass rush from eating him alive.

It's time to draft a running back. Taking one in the first round this year would be (IMO) actually a little late. We could have picked up Benson in 2008 and not had to go through using a draft pick. We didn't and we won't likely get another shot at a franchise running back with so few miles on him again. We'll end up having to draft somebody and while I generally agree with the points you made to reach your conclusion I don't agree with never taking a RB early. There's a time to make that move and for the Texans it's very much now.

just a couple of comments....you don't draft a player based on what you think you will get out of him 8 years from now. You get a guy who can play up to his draft position since the money is obscene early in the draft. Most Coaches won't even be with the same teams 8 years from now.

If you have a force holding the ball, everybody is a better player. A dynamic feature back and elite QB's make the difference when two squads are otherwise evenly matched.

These two are where I'm at. It's obvious that the Texans aren't nearly as effective at the RB-by-committee that the old Denver teams were. I'm still in the NEED vs. BPA mode for this particular draft. The Texans aren't trying to simply be competitive anymore, they're trying to "get over the hump". It takes a playmaker to do that - Complaining about an RB being less useful 5-6 years down the road is stating the obvious (in most cases), but if it gets you to the playoffs NOW, then it's the right move.

Hervoyel
01-19-2010, 12:55 PM
I agree that RB is best left until the other things are in place due to shelf life.


I agree that there is a time to make that move.


Im not sure that I agree that now is that time because I think the majority of the troubles in the Texans ground attack are related to the interior OL.

Unless they can upgrade two of the three interior OL spots via draft or FA I'm not sold on the idea of an early round RB - especially in a draft devoid of "Special Players" at the position.

I can respect that take. We just disagree on where the line is.

After watching the Texans try to put together a line for most of a decade I've concluded that I'm looking for something to happen that's never going to happen. Who's "set" on their OL across the board in this league? Almost nobody I'd wager. Everyone's working a rookie in here or a free agent in there. Everybody loses a player in camp or during the season. Everybody's trying to get more out of the offensive line.

I watched the best running back I ever saw play behind a line that wasn't even as good as the one the Texans field these days. That was of course Earl Campbell but his line was just absolute garbage and no amount of fond memories can wipe that memory away. After Earl was almost entirely used up the Oilers got serious about drafting offensive linemen in a big, big way and before long put together what might very well be the best line I'll ever see play football in my lifetime. Then I watched a bunch of lesser backs do very little behind that line. R&S offense or not Mike Rozier, Alonzo Highsmith, Allen Pinkett, and Lorenzo White all looked pretty damned ordinary back there.

The way I see it the Texans line is good enough to get the job done in terms of personnel. You put a guy back there with some vision and some burst and you can make trouble for people. Slaton proved that in 2008 and Arian Foster drove home the concept over the last three weeks of 2009. Our running game is functional as it is with a back playing the system correctly. Now Foster was an UDFA but he looked pretty good back there. Not much speed but he made the cuts and he got the yards.. Slaton was a 3rd and appeared to be getting his running game back but just couldn't stop putting the ball on the ground. They're guys with obvious flaws but they're solid runners (when Slaton isn't fumbling).

I want to see what a legitimate franchise running back does behind this line. I predict that with a real back this group (assuming Pitts and Brisiel come back) are more than enough line to get it done. Nothing is absolute or without an exception to the rule but I think more often than not a great running back can go a long way towards hiding an offensive lines warts. At the same time I don't think there's a line in the world that can make a bad running back look good. It just doesn't happen.

That running back has to have something to begin with in order to take advantage of what he's given. He has to have some quality to leverage be it speed, "burst", vision, strength, what have you. We'll never get that guy though if we spend forever looking for the perfect replacement for every imperfect lineman we have.

badboy
01-19-2010, 01:33 PM
I can respect that take. We just disagree on where the line is.

After watching the Texans try to put together a line for most of a decade I've concluded that I'm looking for something to happen that's never going to happen. Who's "set" on their OL across the board in this league? Almost nobody I'd wager. Everyone's working a rookie in here or a free agent in there. Everybody loses a player in camp or during the season. Everybody's trying to get more out of the offensive line.

I watched the best running back I ever saw play behind a line that wasn't even as good as the one the Texans field these days. That was of course Earl Campbell but his line was just absolute garbage and no amount of fond memories can wipe that memory away. After Earl was almost entirely used up the Oilers got serious about drafting offensive linemen in a big, big way and before long put together what might very well be the best line I'll ever see play football in my lifetime. Then I watched a bunch of lesser backs do very little behind that line. R&S offense or not Mike Rozier, Alonzo Highsmith, Allen Pinkett, and Lorenzo White all looked pretty damned ordinary back there.

The way I see it the Texans line is good enough to get the job done in terms of personnel. You put a guy back there with some vision and some burst and you can make trouble for people. Slaton proved that in 2008 and Arian Foster drove home the concept over the last three weeks of 2009. Our running game is functional as it is with a back playing the system correctly. Now Foster was an UDFA but he looked pretty good back there. Not much speed but he made the cuts and he got the yards.. Slaton was a 3rd and appeared to be getting his running game back but just couldn't stop putting the ball on the ground. They're guys with obvious flaws but they're solid runners (when Slaton isn't fumbling).

I want to see what a legitimate franchise running back does behind this line. I predict that with a real back this group (assuming Pitts and Brisiel come back) are more than enough line to get it done. Nothing is absolute or without an exception to the rule but I think more often than not a great running back can go a long way towards hiding an offensive lines warts. At the same time I don't think there's a line in the world that can make a bad running back look good. It just doesn't happen.

That running back has to have something to begin with in order to take advantage of what he's given. He has to have some quality to leverage be it speed, "burst", vision, strength, what have you. We'll never get that guy though if we spend forever looking for the perfect replacement for every imperfect lineman we have.Well said.

Hervoyel
01-19-2010, 02:24 PM
Hey I want to add that I'm not saying that Corrosion (or anyone else here) is saying that we should just keep building the offensive line forever. I didn't say that and don't mean that. I mean that if you see a guy you want to have in your backfield sitting there on draft day then you take him if you've got your line "more or less" established. You don't waste that pick on a RB if you have nobody to block for him but if you're ok then get the back you want without regrets.

And yeah you keep trying to get better on the line just like everywhere else but you can do that with a 2 or a 3 this year and use the 1 on your RB if you see someone there you like. Next year we probably start working Caldwell in as a regular starter somewhere in the interior. We aren't done improving the line (nobody is ever done). We're just at a normal pace like the rest of the league where we try and improve one position a year, maybe two.

JB
01-19-2010, 05:37 PM
I can respect that take. We just disagree on where the line is.

After watching the Texans try to put together a line for most of a decade I've concluded that I'm looking for something to happen that's never going to happen. Who's "set" on their OL across the board in this league? Almost nobody I'd wager. Everyone's working a rookie in here or a free agent in there. Everybody loses a player in camp or during the season. Everybody's trying to get more out of the offensive line.

I watched the best running back I ever saw play behind a line that wasn't even as good as the one the Texans field these days. That was of course Earl Campbell but his line was just absolute garbage and no amount of fond memories can wipe that memory away. After Earl was almost entirely used up the Oilers got serious about drafting offensive linemen in a big, big way and before long put together what might very well be the best line I'll ever see play football in my lifetime. Then I watched a bunch of lesser backs do very little behind that line. R&S offense or not Mike Rozier, Alonzo Highsmith, Allen Pinkett, and Lorenzo White all looked pretty damned ordinary back there.

The way I see it the Texans line is good enough to get the job done in terms of personnel. You put a guy back there with some vision and some burst and you can make trouble for people. Slaton proved that in 2008 and Arian Foster drove home the concept over the last three weeks of 2009. Our running game is functional as it is with a back playing the system correctly. Now Foster was an UDFA but he looked pretty good back there. Not much speed but he made the cuts and he got the yards.. Slaton was a 3rd and appeared to be getting his running game back but just couldn't stop putting the ball on the ground. They're guys with obvious flaws but they're solid runners (when Slaton isn't fumbling).

I want to see what a legitimate franchise running back does behind this line. I predict that with a real back this group (assuming Pitts and Brisiel come back) are more than enough line to get it done. Nothing is absolute or without an exception to the rule but I think more often than not a great running back can go a long way towards hiding an offensive lines warts. At the same time I don't think there's a line in the world that can make a bad running back look good. It just doesn't happen.

That running back has to have something to begin with in order to take advantage of what he's given. He has to have some quality to leverage be it speed, "burst", vision, strength, what have you. We'll never get that guy though if we spend forever looking for the perfect replacement for every imperfect lineman we have.

:goodpost:

Corrosion
01-19-2010, 07:20 PM
I can respect that take. We just disagree on where the line is.

After watching the Texans try to put together a line for most of a decade I've concluded that I'm looking for something to happen that's never going to happen. Who's "set" on their OL across the board in this league? Almost nobody I'd wager. Everyone's working a rookie in here or a free agent in there. Everybody loses a player in camp or during the season. Everybody's trying to get more out of the offensive line.

I watched the best running back I ever saw play behind a line that wasn't even as good as the one the Texans field these days. That was of course Earl Campbell but his line was just absolute garbage and no amount of fond memories can wipe that memory away. After Earl was almost entirely used up the Oilers got serious about drafting offensive linemen in a big, big way and before long put together what might very well be the best line I'll ever see play football in my lifetime. Then I watched a bunch of lesser backs do very little behind that line. R&S offense or not Mike Rozier, Alonzo Highsmith, Allen Pinkett, and Lorenzo White all looked pretty damned ordinary back there.

The way I see it the Texans line is good enough to get the job done in terms of personnel. You put a guy back there with some vision and some burst and you can make trouble for people. Slaton proved that in 2008 and Arian Foster drove home the concept over the last three weeks of 2009. Our running game is functional as it is with a back playing the system correctly. Now Foster was an UDFA but he looked pretty good back there. Not much speed but he made the cuts and he got the yards.. Slaton was a 3rd and appeared to be getting his running game back but just couldn't stop putting the ball on the ground. They're guys with obvious flaws but they're solid runners (when Slaton isn't fumbling).

I want to see what a legitimate franchise running back does behind this line. I predict that with a real back this group (assuming Pitts and Brisiel come back) are more than enough line to get it done. Nothing is absolute or without an exception to the rule but I think more often than not a great running back can go a long way towards hiding an offensive lines warts. At the same time I don't think there's a line in the world that can make a bad running back look good. It just doesn't happen.

That running back has to have something to begin with in order to take advantage of what he's given. He has to have some quality to leverage be it speed, "burst", vision, strength, what have you. We'll never get that guy though if we spend forever looking for the perfect replacement for every imperfect lineman we have.

I pretty much agree with you - thing is that I see three glaring holes on the OL.

I really dont see Pitts coming back , Brisiel wasnt a world beater prior to his injury and likely wont be as effective post injury and Myers although he gets to the second level very well just cant hold the point of attack.

I really think they need to address at least two of those three at some point during this offseason - If they do and get a top flight back too - all the better. If they dont , then we will likely see nest years rushing attack be just as anemic as the past seasons.

Im not sure looking at this RB class that there is a really special player to be had. There are some good ones but they all have their faults. If the Texans are going to spend a #1 on a RB I'd like it to be a special player , not just a good one.

steelbtexan
01-19-2010, 08:21 PM
I can respect that take. We just disagree on where the line is.

After watching the Texans try to put together a line for most of a decade I've concluded that I'm looking for something to happen that's never going to happen. Who's "set" on their OL across the board in this league? Almost nobody I'd wager. Everyone's working a rookie in here or a free agent in there. Everybody loses a player in camp or during the season. Everybody's trying to get more out of the offensive line.

I watched the best running back I ever saw play behind a line that wasn't even as good as the one the Texans field these days. That was of course Earl Campbell but his line was just absolute garbage and no amount of fond memories can wipe that memory away. After Earl was almost entirely used up the Oilers got serious about drafting offensive linemen in a big, big way and before long put together what might very well be the best line I'll ever see play football in my lifetime. Then I watched a bunch of lesser backs do very little behind that line. R&S offense or not Mike Rozier, Alonzo Highsmith, Allen Pinkett, and Lorenzo White all looked pretty damned ordinary back there.

The way I see it the Texans line is good enough to get the job done in terms of personnel. You put a guy back there with some vision and some burst and you can make trouble for people. Slaton proved that in 2008 and Arian Foster drove home the concept over the last three weeks of 2009. Our running game is functional as it is with a back playing the system correctly. Now Foster was an UDFA but he looked pretty good back there. Not much speed but he made the cuts and he got the yards.. Slaton was a 3rd and appeared to be getting his running game back but just couldn't stop putting the ball on the ground. They're guys with obvious flaws but they're solid runners (when Slaton isn't fumbling).

I want to see what a legitimate franchise running back does behind this line. I predict that with a real back this group (assuming Pitts and Brisiel come back) are more than enough line to get it done. Nothing is absolute or without an exception to the rule but I think more often than not a great running back can go a long way towards hiding an offensive lines warts. At the same time I don't think there's a line in the world that can make a bad running back look good. It just doesn't happen.

That running back has to have something to begin with in order to take advantage of what he's given. He has to have some quality to leverage be it speed, "burst", vision, strength, what have you. We'll never get that guy though if we spend forever looking for the perfect replacement for every imperfect lineman we have.

The teams that are still playing have invested heavily in their OL.

Jets Woody Fa Faneca FA Mangold 1st rd pick Moore (dont know) Ferguson 1st rd pick

Colts Deim and Ugoh were high picks, Saturday is the exception to the rule They signed one of their G's in FA. Plus Manning could make any OL look good.

Minny. McKinney 1st rd pick Hutchinson FA (highest contract ever signed by a G) Sullivan 4th rd pick Herrrera (dont know) Loadholt 2nd rd pick.

Dont know about the Saints

As for Campbell that he didn't have a good OL is a mis conception. his OL was this.

Leon Gray All pro (one of the greatest OL of his time) OG Bob Young former pro bowler (later became Oilers OL coach) C Carl Mauck Leader of the OL and one of the toughest OL you could ever have. OG John Schumacher an average OG but a good and tough run blocker. RT Conway Hayman A very underrated RT IMO.

Also when you factor in Tim Wilson who was the best blocking FB of his time and they ran a 2 TE set with Mike Barber above Avg run blocker and Dave Casper who was a great blocking TE you can see why they had success running the ball. Not taking anything away from Earl because he was the best RB I have ever seen for a 6/7 yr period.

If I told you that the Texans could finally fix their OL problems by trading a 3rd rd pick for Chris Kuper and spending a 1st rd pick on Iupati would you be willing to do that? The OL would be set for the next 8-10 yrs. Next years draft is the one that you want to spend a high draft pick. Ingram,Royster,etc.

I'm not saying dont take a RB this year. Take one in the middle rds and get the franchise RB after your OL is set next year.

Thoughts

infantrycak
01-19-2010, 08:34 PM
If I told you that the Texans could finally fix their OL problems by trading a 3rd rd pick for Chris Kuper and spending a 1st rd pick on Iupati would you be willing to do that? The OL would be set for the next 8-10 yrs. Next years draft is the one that you want to spend a high draft pick. Ingram,Royster,etc.

I'm not saying dont take a RB this year. Take one in the middle rds and get the franchise RB after your OL is set next year.

Thoughts

This wasn't directed to me but for my two cents, this seems like a variation of the need v. BPA debate.

At #20 what are you going to get?

2008 - Mendenhall or CJ v. Chilo Rachal
2007 - Kenny Irons v. Joe Staley or Ben Grubbs
2006 - Maroney or DeAngelo v. Davin Joseph or Nick Mangold
2005 - Arrington or Shelton v. Chris Spencer or Login Mankins

That's forcing a comparison of two needs and discounting the squeals of draftniks around the globe on how some would have been reaches at #20. Still seems like you have to let quality overcome need at some point or you are going to be screwed no matter how you rank the higher need.

steelbtexan
01-19-2010, 09:16 PM
This wasn't directed to me but for my two cents, this seems like a variation of the need v. BPA debate.

At #20 what are you going to get?

2008 - Mendenhall or CJ v. Chilo Rachal
2007 - Kenny Irons v. Joe Staley or Ben Grubbs
2006 - Maroney or DeAngelo v. Davin Joseph or Nick Mangold
2005 - Arrington or Shelton v. Chris Spencer or Login Mankins

That's forcing a comparison of two needs and discounting the squeals of draftniks around the globe on how some would have been reaches at #20. Still seems like you have to let quality overcome need at some point or you are going to be screwed no matter how you rank the higher need.

The only 1st rd to 1st rd comparisons are Maroney DeAngelo vs Spencer and Mangold. They are pretty = IMO

What I'm saying is while we need a RB this year is the year to finally fix the OL. The RB's are much better in the 2010 draft IMO.

This is if I'm understanding what you're saying.

Check out my thread in the mock draft section and tell me what you think.

infantrycak
01-19-2010, 09:33 PM
What I'm saying is while we need a RB this year is the year to finally fix the OL. The RB's are much better in the 2010 draft IMO.

This is if I'm understanding what you're saying.

I'm just saying I hear or see a lot of discussion about RB or OL in the abstract. To me that's only good for an ideal world of equal talent. At some point no matter what position you'd like to pick you have to concede the talent difference if the actual talent in the draft stacks up that way.

awtysst
01-19-2010, 09:37 PM
what do we do when Dan Williams, Brian Price, C.J. Spiller, Dez Bryant are all on the board when we pick?:kingkong:

Trade down. We can get additional picks and better value.

steelbtexan
01-19-2010, 09:52 PM
I'm just saying I hear or see a lot of discussion about RB or OL in the abstract. To me that's only good for an ideal world of equal talent. At some point no matter what position you'd like to pick you have to concede the talent difference if the actual talent in the draft stacks up that way.

I believe that if a OL like Bulaga or Iupati falls to the Texans they are> than any RB Dwyer or Spiller in this draft. IMO

The OL I mentioned can be high level starters for 8-10 yrs imo.

I see Spiller more in the Reggie Bush mold. A dynamic game changer but has very little substance. I like Dwyer alot but given the choice I would take the OL.

The Texans are lucky in that this draft is very deep in the DB's (best S class that I've seen) and OL (at the top) and DL (thoughout) IMHO

disaacks3
01-20-2010, 02:31 PM
what do we do when Dan Williams, Brian Price, C.J. Spiller, Dez Bryant are all on the board when we pick?:kingkong:
I doubt they all would be. As things look right now, IF it fell that way, I'd be sorely tempted to take Spiller @20. the consensus (right now, pre-combine) is that he won't last till 20.

beerlover
01-20-2010, 03:38 PM
I doubt they all would be. As things look right now, IF it fell that way, I'd be sorely tempted to take Spiller @20. the consensus (right now, pre-combine) is that he won't last till 20.

guess that makes me a contrarian :winky:

http://www.texanstalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=68712

Corrosion
01-20-2010, 05:21 PM
I'm just saying I hear or see a lot of discussion about RB or OL in the abstract. To me that's only good for an ideal world of equal talent. At some point no matter what position you'd like to pick you have to concede the talent difference if the actual talent in the draft stacks up that way.

Of course if there is a player on the board who grades out significantly higher at a different position - you take that player.

In cases where the talent of the players is equal you take the player who best fills a need or best fits your system.

infantrycak
01-20-2010, 05:30 PM
Of course if there is a player on the board who grades out significantly higher at a different position - you take that player.

In cases where the talent of the players is equal you take the player who best fills a need or best fits your system.

Sure, my comments were made in the context of two camps arguing RB v. OL with virtually no discussion of who the specific prospects were. That's the wrong way to analyze things.

Ole Miss Texan
01-20-2010, 07:55 PM
It's also good to look at the quality/quantity of the positions for the Draft.

I think if Kubiak feels there are few really good RB's and not much after that, he will look to draft one early. However, if there's a decent number of backs that they grade out relatively even, then he may wait to get better value in a later round. This goes for most of the positions, if not all of them.

Combination of BPA, Need and Draft Depth.

steelbtexan
01-20-2010, 09:03 PM
It's also good to look at the quality/quantity of the positions for the Draft.

I think if Kubiak feels there are few really good RB's and not much after that, he will look to draft one early. However, if there's a decent number of backs that they grade out relatively even, then he may wait to get better value in a later round. This goes for most of the positions, if not all of them.

Combination of BPA, Need and Draft Depth.

This is why I believe the Texans wont be drafting a S in the 1st rd.

This is the deepest S class I've seen in a while.

A starting caliber S can be found in the 3rd/4th rd in this years draft.

Stuckey/R.Johnson for example

ArlingtonTexan
01-20-2010, 09:14 PM
It's also good to look at the quality/quantity of the positions for the Draft.

I think if Kubiak feels there are few really good RB's and not much after that, he will look to draft one early. However, if there's a decent number of backs that they grade out relatively even, then he may wait to get better value in a later round. This goes for most of the positions, if not all of them.

Combination of BPA, Need and Draft Depth.

I don't rep, but this is quality posting in the sense that it captures major factors which determine a selection. Example during the Duane Brown draft there was not another guy thought to be a LT candidate taken for nearly 3 rounds (a couple ORT taken in round 3). basically while at first glnce he was a "reach" if the Texans were going to address the LT position they had to do it in the first round.