Originally Posted by awtysst
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:
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.