Originally Posted by Ole Miss Texan
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.