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View Full Version : "Why Bother Drafting a Running Back ?"


IDEXAN
12-04-2010, 10:16 AM
For any NFL team struggling with its ground game and considering a star college running back to draft early next year, the best advice might be not to waste a draft pick on a running back all together.
The NFL this year has more teams relying on undrafted running backs than at any time since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, with six different undrafted players currently leading their teams in rushing. Texans running back Arian Foster, who signed with Houston as a free agent after no team drafted him out of the University of Tennessee last year, leads the entire NFL in rushing, with 1,230 yards. That puts him on pace to break the all-time record for rushing yards in a season by an undrafted player, which is currently owned by Priest Holmes, who gained 1,615 yards for the Chiefs in 2002.

In New England, the 9-2 Patriots traded their former first-round running back Laurence Maroney early this season and have been led by a one-two punch of undrafted running backs, BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead.

In some places, like Tampa Bay, the undrafted rookie (LeGarrette Blount) became the starter simply by out-playing the established veteran (Cadillac Williams). In other cases teams have turned to undrafted running backs after a drafted RB suffered an injury: The Saints have been led by Chris Ivory, who has gained exactly 500 more yards than the highly drafted but injured Reggie Bush.

Talented running backs can be ignored at draft time because of everything from slow 40-yard dash times (Foster), character concerns (Blount) or because they went to little-known schools (Bills' Fred Jackson and Chargers' Mike Tolbert).
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703989004575653083793584278.html?m od=WSJ_LifeStyle_Sports_RightTopCarousel_1

ObsiWan
12-04-2010, 10:19 AM
Soooo... Ben Tate getting hurt in preseason was actually a blessing...???
:thinking:

it's not like we didn't draft a RB high...

ThaShark316
12-04-2010, 10:44 AM
Texans = Panthers-in-2009-like run game in 2011.

Wouldn't be shocked at all if Foster gets 1000 and so does Tate.

b0ng
12-04-2010, 10:51 AM
Soooo... Ben Tate getting hurt in preseason was actually a blessing...???
:thinking:

it's not like we didn't draft a RB high...

Ben Tate probably would not have usurped Mr. Foster even if he was completely healthy. Ben Tate getting hurt did more for Derrick Ward's career than anything else.

Brisco_County
12-04-2010, 11:26 AM
I'm in complete agreement with this article. Invest your draft picks in the offensive line. So many schools have runningbacks that could excel in the pros, but are unknown on draft day.

Have the low-round or UDFA backs compete in practice and camp, and you'll end up with a Blount, or if you're luckier, a Foster. Look at Michael Bush. He was undrafted because he broke his leg in the first game of his senior year, but before that he was a Heisman hopeful. That kind of thing happens every year.

Besides, runningbacks are like consumables. Use them for five years, and move on.

infantrycak
12-04-2010, 11:33 AM
You can't rely on luck and while there are several successful UFA RB's right now Foster is just the 8th or 9th UFA to go over 1000 yards. Planning on finding a UFA RB to lead the team would be pretty irresponsible. A better argument would be 1st round RB's aren't worth it.

ObsiWan
12-04-2010, 11:40 AM
Ben Tate probably would not have usurped Mr. Foster even if he was completely healthy. Ben Tate getting hurt did more for Derrick Ward's career than anything else.

Do you think that Foster would have been given the opportunity (spell that lots of 1st team reps) that presented itself if Tate had not been lost for the season?

I'm not so sure that he would have. Foster showed flashes at the end of last year yet we drafted Tate anyway.

I will agree with you on the Ward comment. It was clear that Slaton wasn't back to his '08 productivity so we needed a solid backup to Foster with experience in our system. Ward fit the bill quite nicely, thank you.

kiwitexansfan
12-04-2010, 11:54 AM
Texans = Panthers-in-2009-like run game in 2011.

Wouldn't be shocked at all if Foster gets 1000 and so does Tate.

If we don't abandon the run game....... assuming Kubiak is still coach.

Norg
12-04-2010, 11:59 AM
I still think we should of drafted maybe two CB and one less TE

TexanSam
12-04-2010, 12:08 PM
Texans = Panthers-in-2009-like run game in 2011.

Wouldn't be shocked at all if Foster gets 1000 and so does Tate.

Tate is going to have to impress in the preseason just to get some carries. Derrick Ward has been pretty good as a backup this season

burro
12-04-2010, 12:22 PM
Tate is going to have to impress in the preseason just to get some carries. Derrick Ward has been pretty good as a backup this season

This. If something did happen to Foster, god forbid, I wouldn't feel too terrible about having Derrick Ward at the helm based on what we've seen from him this season. I wonder if anyone would be interested in trading for Tate. Getting my hopes up?

Carr Bombed
12-04-2010, 12:25 PM
:kubepalm:

The Texans invested a 2nd round pick in Ben Tate and he was a highly sought after prospect. LOL, if he's healthy he's getting carries over Derrick Ward, who was just signed as a stop gap, because Tate was hurt.

Tate has a ton of more talent than Derrick Ward and he's younger....

Norg
12-04-2010, 12:26 PM
Plllzzzz Derick ward or slaton is GOne to make room for tate

Tate will make this team no matter what

IDEXAN
12-04-2010, 12:38 PM
You can't rely on luck and while there are several successful UFA RB's right now Foster is just the 8th or 9th UFA to go over 1000 yards. Planning on finding a UFA RB to lead the team would be pretty irresponsible. A better argument would be 1st round RB's aren't worth it.
Valid comments all the way around.
Perhaps the lessons here are to draft your backs, if you draft any backs at all, no higher than the mid-rounds and use your high-round picks, certainly
first round picks, on positions like CB, OT, & Dline which are worth it.

burro
12-04-2010, 12:44 PM
:kubepalm:

The Texans invested a 2nd round pick in Ben Tate and he was a highly sought after prospect. LOL, if he's healthy he's getting carries over Derrick Ward, who was just signed as a stop gap, because Tate was hurt.

Tate has a ton of more talent than Derrick Ward and he's younger....

You know this how? How do we know that Tate isn't another Tony Hollings? We don't. What we do know is that Ward is averaging just over 6 yards a carry and has been fantastic in relief of Foster. Nobody gets their job just because they were expensive, he'll have to earn it and from what we've seen from Foster/Ward - it's going to be an uphill climb.

Maddict5
12-04-2010, 12:50 PM
:kubepalm:

The Texans invested a 2nd round pick in Ben Tate and he was a highly sought after prospect. LOL, if he's healthy he's getting carries over Derrick Ward, who was just signed as a stop gap, because Tate was hurt.

Tate has a ton of more talent than Derrick Ward and he's younger....

best player gets on the field, screw draft position- make tate earn it... everyones forgetting tate wasnt exactly blowing us all away before he got injured. ward has had success before and has done a fine job for us this year. plus you make it sound like he has no talent at all. i love arian but wards td run v the chiefs is still the top run of the yr in my book. you really want to bench a 'stopgap' thats averaging 5-6 yds a carry just to get somebody who you drafted fairly high on the foeld?? cos that doesnt sound like the smartest thing to do.

Maddict5
12-04-2010, 12:51 PM
burro beat me to it

IDEXAN
12-04-2010, 01:06 PM
You know this how? How do we know that Tate isn't another Tony Hollings? We don't. What we do know is that Ward is averaging just over 6 yards a carry and has been fantastic in relief of Foster. Nobody gets their job just because they were expensive, he'll have to earn it and from what we've seen from Foster/Ward - it's going to be an uphill climb.
Montgomery, Al ? Could be an Auburn guy or a 'Bama guy, but from the question I'm guessing the latter ?
OK Tate led the SEC in rushing one year, whereas Hollings was just primarily a Dback in the ACC who played int 4 games as a running back.
And of course a lot of NFL players get their job just because they're expensive (high draft picks), though they don't necessarily get to keep it if they don't perform.

Carr Bombed
12-04-2010, 01:12 PM
You know this how? How do we know that Tate isn't another Tony Hollings? We don't. What we do know is that Ward is averaging just over 6 yards a carry and has been fantastic in relief of Foster. Nobody gets their job just because they were expensive, he'll have to earn it and from what we've seen from Foster/Ward - it's going to be an uphill climb.

:kubepalm:

Ben Tate was the best RB in the SEC. You know who else was highly productive in the SEC. Arian Foster.

I mean how is it going to be a uphill climb. Y'all act like Ward is entrenched in the backup spot. Ward only has 38 carries this year. Plus they spent a 2nd round pick on him....you know they aren't going to keep a 2nd round pick on the bench. He's going to get EVERY opportunity to claim that spot.

Dan B.
12-04-2010, 01:16 PM
Valid comments all the way around.
Perhaps the lessons here are to draft your backs, if you draft any backs at all, no higher than the mid-rounds and use your high-round picks, certainly
first round picks, on positions like CB, OT, & Dline which are worth it.

NFL teams know this. That's why CB's and tackles are among the highest paid positions in the NFL.

Carr Bombed
12-04-2010, 01:22 PM
best player gets on the field, screw draft position- make tate earn it... everyones forgetting tate wasnt exactly blowing us all away before he got injured. ward has had success before and has done a fine job for us this year. plus you make it sound like he has no talent at all. i love arian but wards td run v the chiefs is still the top run of the yr in my book. you really want to bench a 'stopgap' thats averaging 5-6 yds a carry just to get somebody who you drafted fairly high on the foeld?? cos that doesnt sound like the smartest thing to do.



I never said anything about benching anybody and I agree players should have to earn their snaps. My comment was based on the reality of today's NFL.....and no matter how much fans think players should "earn it". Teams DO NOT SIT HIGH DRAFT PICKS. (Did Kareem Jackson "earn it") If Ben Tate is healthy, he's going to get more carries than Derrick Ward, especially if this coaching regime is still here. If we clean house, then I can see where a new front office and coaching staff would make every player "earn it", because then they wouldn't have any investment in any current player.

And even then, Ben Tate will probably still get more carries than Ward. If you need a example of this.....see Thomas Jones and Shonn Greene. Thomas Jones was 4th in the league in rushing last season. Shonn Greene a second round pick, pushed him out the door.

burro
12-04-2010, 01:35 PM
:kubepalm:

Ben Tate was the best RB in the SEC. You know who else was highly productive in the SEC. Arian Foster.

I mean how is it going to be a uphill climb. Y'all act like Ward is entrenched in the backup spot. Ward only has 38 carries this year. Plus they spent a 2nd round pick on him....you know they aren't going to keep a 2nd round pick on the bench. He's going to get EVERY opportunity to claim that spot.

As well he should, as well should every player on a roster for that matter. That's what training camp and preseason is for. If Tate comes out in beast mode and does well (better than Ward) then so be it, but until then - I place him at third on the depth chart (at least he's ahead of Slaton, eh?).

Carr Bombed
12-04-2010, 01:45 PM
As well he should, as well should every player on a roster for that matter. That's what training camp and preseason is for. If Tate comes out in beast mode and does well (better than Ward) then so be it, but until then - I place him at third on the depth chart (at least he's ahead of Slaton, eh?).

Tate is going to have to fall on his face to not get the nod. He'll already be in front of Ward before camp even starts.

infantrycak
12-04-2010, 01:57 PM
Teams DO NOT SIT HIGH DRAFT PICKS. (Did Kareem Jackson "earn it")

That would explain UDFA Blount starting over 1st round pick Cadillac Williams.

PS - Thomas Jones was a 1st round pick. The Jets knew the only way to retain him to that team was a longer term contract than they wanted to give. Greene being drafted high was irrelevant. They drafted someone high because they knew they were going to dump Jones.

Carr Bombed
12-04-2010, 02:10 PM
That would explain UDFA Blount starting over 1st round pick Cadillac Williams.

PS - Thomas Jones was a 1st round pick. The Jets knew the only way to retain him to that team was a longer term contract than they wanted to give. Greene being drafted high was irrelevant. They drafted someone high because they knew they were going to dump Jones.

:) Cadillac Williams was a 1st round pick 6 years ago and already has proven he's not durable enough to be the main guy. Ben Tate was just drafted and hasn't gotten his shot yet. Not really comparable.

Thomas Jones was a vet and was a 1st round pick for another team 11 years ago and you just said that the Jets parted ways over possible contract disputes. Which is my point....money is the driving factor in alot of NFL decisions and not production on the field. The minute Shonn Greene was drafted in the second round, Thomas Jones' days were numbered.

burro
12-04-2010, 02:47 PM
Tate is going to have to fall on his face to not get the nod. He'll already be in front of Ward before camp even starts.

I guess I just don't understand how with Ward doing 6 yards a carry (even in limited action, that's no easy feat). It would say a good deal about the Texans organization if Ward's reward for being serviceable is to be demoted because the other guy was drafted high.

Carr Bombed
12-04-2010, 02:50 PM
It's actually alot easier to average 6 ypc with limited carries. It's alot harder to do that if you get a increased workload.

sometexansfan
12-04-2010, 03:16 PM
best player gets on the field, screw draft position- make tate earn it... everyones forgetting tate wasnt exactly blowing us all away before he got injured. ward has had success before and has done a fine job for us this year. plus you make it sound like he has no talent at all. i love arian but wards td run v the chiefs is still the top run of the yr in my book. you really want to bench a 'stopgap' thats averaging 5-6 yds a carry just to get somebody who you drafted fairly high on the foeld?? cos that doesnt sound like the smartest thing to do.

:kubepalm:

Seriously? The guy only got 2 carries in one preseason game! Kinda hard to blow anyone away with such a limited opportunity.

stingray
12-04-2010, 03:20 PM
We have no idea what kind of a back Ben Tate will be in the NFL. But he will get his shot as he should. And I tend to think that he will get the nod over D. Ward, that's just my hunch.

Doppelganger
12-04-2010, 03:20 PM
Tate is going to have to impress in the preseason just to get some carries. Derrick Ward has been pretty good as a backup this season

I think Ward is only on a 1 yr deal. I would think he would rather sign with a team where he has a chance to start than here.

Maddict5
12-04-2010, 05:45 PM
:kubepalm:

Seriously? The guy only got 2 carries in one preseason game! Kinda hard to blow anyone away with such a limited opportunity.

and plenty of training camp before that

Maddict5
12-04-2010, 05:56 PM
:) Cadillac Williams was a 1st round pick 6 years ago and already has proven he's not durable enough to be the main guy. Ben Tate was just drafted and hasn't gotten his shot yet. Not really comparable.

Thomas Jones was a vet and was a 1st round pick for another team 11 years ago and you just said that the Jets parted ways over possible contract disputes. Which is my point....money is the driving factor in alot of NFL decisions and not production on the field. The minute Shonn Greene was drafted in the second round, Thomas Jones' days were numbered.

:yawn:

oh right- one example to back your point up..and thats kinda countered by the jets letting greene play second fiddle to an ageing f/a acquisition who was outperforming

also larry johnson-priest holmes, faulk-jackson, maroney-sammy morris/whoever the pats put out, pierre thomas-bush, etc etc.....

also with regards kareem not having to earn it, we had no other options to put out there at that pt and he was the best of a bad lot.. as soon as someone better came along- even a cut from another team in allen (much like ward) kareem started sitting more. molden, despite being a fairly high pick has been put out there too

beerlover
12-04-2010, 06:10 PM
call BS - just because Texans went from the outhouse to the penthouse in rushing with UDFA does not mean you can beat 31 other teams to the RB every 8 or 9 years. what happens if Foster goes down with injury? does Ward carry the load & make the same impact?

honestly its more about the development of this offensive line, they don't near enough credit, still you can pick those guys up late or as UDFA as well. The mistake the Texans make is drafting need over BPA, see Okoye & Jackson, neither a RB.

mexican_texan
12-04-2010, 06:25 PM
In my mind, we drafted Arian Foster in the first round and Kareem Jackson was undrafted. My mind is a happier place than reality.

Maddict5
12-04-2010, 06:35 PM
btw i forgot to mention udfa arian (and ward for that matter) starting over 3rd rd pick steve slaton! a bit more relevant than what the jets are doing right?

Rey
12-04-2010, 06:42 PM
call BS - just because Texans went from the outhouse to the penthouse in rushing with UDFA does not mean you can beat 31 other teams to the RB every 8 or 9 years. what happens if Foster goes down with injury? does Ward carry the load & make the same impact?

honestly its more about the development of this offensive line, they don't near enough credit, still you can pick those guys up late or as UDFA as well. The mistake the Texans make is drafting need over BPA, see Okoye & Jackson, neither a RB.

Gonna have to agree here.


Only thing is that I don't think that they've completely neglected talent to go after a position of need.

When Okoye came out he was supposed to be a stud.

Texanmike02
12-04-2010, 07:36 PM
[QUOTE=Brisco_County;1599916]. Look at Michael Bush. He was undrafted because he broke his leg in the first game of his senior year, but before that he was a Heisman hopeful./QUOTE]

I'm not saying I disagree with your theory but Bush was drafted in the 4th round I think.


Mike

JB
12-04-2010, 07:43 PM
[QUOTE=Brisco_County;1599916]. Look at Michael Bush. He was undrafted because he broke his leg in the first game of his senior year, but before that he was a Heisman hopeful./QUOTE]

I'm not saying I disagree with your theory but Bush was drafted in the 4th round I think.


Mike


I think he is saying that after his Junior year, he was on the Heisman watch, until he got injured. Iirc, he was being talked about as a top 10 pick

ObsiWan
12-04-2010, 08:55 PM
call BS - just because Texans went from the outhouse to the penthouse in rushing with UDFA does not mean you can beat 31 other teams to the RB every 8 or 9 years. what happens if Foster goes down with injury? does Ward carry the load & make the same impact?

honestly its more about the development of this offensive line, they don't near enough credit, still you can pick those guys up late or as UDFA as well. The mistake the Texans make is drafting need over BPA, see Okoye & Jackson, neither a RB.
QFT
I was wondering if anyone was going to give them their due.

And speaking of UDFA RBs, where's Jeremiah Johnson now days?

Houston_Fanatic
12-04-2010, 11:37 PM
QFT
I was wondering if anyone was going to give them their due.

And speaking of UDFA RBs, where's Jeremiah Johnson now days?

released by the Redskins on Oct 27th......

waived from the Panthers practice squad 2 days ago.....

http://www.kffl.com/player/20815/nfl

BullNation4Life
12-05-2010, 01:32 AM
You know this how? How do we know that Tate isn't another Tony Hollings? We don't. What we do know is that Ward is averaging just over 6 yards a carry and has been fantastic in relief of Foster. Nobody gets their job just because they were expensive, he'll have to earn it and from what we've seen from Foster/Ward - it's going to be an uphill climb.

Hmmm, then how did Kareem Jackson become a starter on this team? No way in hell he earned it....

just wondering....

ZachLV27
12-05-2010, 05:09 AM
You can't rely on luck and while there are several successful UFA RB's right now Foster is just the 8th or 9th UFA to go over 1000 yards. Planning on finding a UFA RB to lead the team would be pretty irresponsible. A better argument would be 1st round RB's aren't worth it.

2009 1st round selections

12 - Knowshown Moreno
27 - Donald Brown
31 - Chris Wells

2008 1st round selections

4 - Darren McFadden
13 - Jonathan Stewart
22 - Felix Jones
23 - Rashard Mendenhall
24 - Chris Johnson

2007 1st round selections

7 - Adrian Peterson
12 - Marshawn Lynch

Pretty much every single one of these guys are starting running backs right now. Picking a running back in the first round might not be 100% guaranteed to bring you a star player, but looking at these guys I'd say you have a better chance at getting a starter then you do most other positions.

Maddict5
12-05-2010, 07:31 AM
Hmmm, then how did Kareem Jackson become a starter on this team? No way in hell he earned it....

just wondering....

because there was nobody better to do it. our other options were brice mccain, mcmanis and molden. as soon as there was an alternative (and a cheap one at that in jason allen), hes taken alot of kareems PT

beerlover
12-05-2010, 10:50 AM
because there was nobody better to do it. our other options were brice mccain, mcmanis and molden. as soon as there was an alternative (and a cheap one at that in jason allen), hes taken alot of kareems PT

they (Texans) would have been far better off franchising Dunta & bringing Kareem along more slowly with early success playing in nickle situations while learning tricks of trade from a vet.

thunderkyss
12-05-2010, 11:54 AM
call BS - just because Texans went from the outhouse to the penthouse in rushing with UDFA does not mean you can beat 31 other teams to the RB every 8 or 9 years. what happens if Foster goes down with injury? does Ward carry the load & make the same impact?

honestly its more about the development of this offensive line, they don't near enough credit, still you can pick those guys up late or as UDFA as well. The mistake the Texans make is drafting need over BPA, see Okoye & Jackson, neither a RB.

I repped you... I agree for the most part, but the line was playing as well (if not better) last year (towards the end of the season). Slaton & Chris Brown are proof that we need both. A good line, & a good back.

thunderkyss
12-05-2010, 12:00 PM
they (Texans) would have been far better off franchising Dunta & bringing Kareem along more slowly with early success playing in nickle situations while learning tricks of trade from a vet.

What was Kareem going to learn from Dunta? How to flap his arms & deliver menacing looks to referees? Because that's about all he's got.

Reeves was the only cover corner on the roster. He should have been starting, KJack could have learned from Reeves... cover technique... while maintaining his physical play.

thunderkyss
12-05-2010, 12:05 PM
I still think we should of drafted maybe two CB and one less TE

We did draft 2 CBs........ KJack & McManis.

beerlover
12-05-2010, 12:09 PM
you know I've been watching alot of College Football with special attention paid to DB's & they just don't referee the game same. there is a lot of bumping, pushing & banging going on past five yards. so the transition to the NFL is much more difficult than this staff determined it would be. Early on Kareem got flagged for several holding, illegal contact penalties so they pushed him back off scrimmage in more of a tampa 2 prevent defense giving up huge cushions to throw to wide open underneath WR's. People can say what they want about Dunta post injury but his back peddle & tehnique was sound, he could flip his hips & run with receiver for a second or two before seperation which at least put pressure on the QB to make perfect throw into a much tighter window than they are required to make against this secondary.

steelbtexan
12-05-2010, 01:37 PM
The Lions need a RB to compliment Best.

I wonder if they would consider trading Tate for Lions 3rd rd pick. It should be a high 3rd rd pick and the Texans would't be losing much value 15-17 spots on the Tate pick.

Rey
12-05-2010, 01:48 PM
The Lions need a RB to compliment Best.

I wonder if they would consider trading Tate for Lions 3rd rd pick. It should be a high 3rd rd pick and the Texans would't be losing much value 15-17 spots on the Tate pick.

That's a pretty steep price to pay for a RB coming off injury that has never played a down of meaningful NFL football.

Why wouldn't they just keep their third rounder and draft a RB?

TheRealJoker
12-05-2010, 02:19 PM
There are success stories in the late rounds or undrafted at every position. The New England Patriots are successful personnel-wise BECAUSE they don't care WHERE they pick, just how many picks they have to use in the NFL crapshoot... err I mean draft.

thunderkyss
12-05-2010, 02:54 PM
The Lions need a RB to compliment Best.

I wonder if they would consider trading Tate for Lions 3rd rd pick. It should be a high 3rd rd pick and the Texans would't be losing much value 15-17 spots on the Tate pick.

We'll have to make a move & sign Ward to a long term deal.

He is not a Texans after 2010, unless we do. If you trade away Tate, that leaves us with Foster & Slaton.

TexCanada
12-05-2010, 02:59 PM
The Lions need a RB to compliment Best.

I wonder if they would consider trading Tate for Lions 3rd rd pick. It should be a high 3rd rd pick and the Texans would't be losing much value 15-17 spots on the Tate pick.

What would be the benefit of this? If Tate becomes even a decent RB we will be set at that position for a few years (barring injuries of course).

TheRealJoker
12-05-2010, 03:41 PM
What would be the benefit of this? If Tate becomes even a decent RB we will be set at that position for a few years (barring injuries of course).

Exactly. If anything, Slaton is keeping Tate's roster spot warm. Slaton does not get any carries now that Foster and Ward have taken off. But maybe Tate is good enough to be worked into the rotation so we can have Earth/Wind/Fire in Houston?

I don't see Slaton as a Texan in 2011.