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Old 05-03-2014   #28
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Default Re: Bob McGinn on 2014 NFL

Running backs have fallen out of favor

Quote:
Today, running backs have fallen so far out of favor that they can't even land in the first round, let alone lead off a draft. Last year was the first time since 1963 (then a 14-team draft) that no running back was chosen in the first round, and if projections are accurate there won't be any Thursday night, either.

"You don't have Adrian Petersons around much anymore in college," said Rick Reiprish, the New Orleans Saints' director of college scouting who is marking his 36th season of personnel work. "A running back would have to be super to be a first-round pick.

"The way the game's played, you don't see the big back that's going to pound at you all the time. You're going to get backs that are equally as good receivers as they are runners. That's just the way the game is."

The average of first-round running backs has decreased from 4.9 in the 1980s to 3.4 in the 1990s to 3.1 in the 2000s to 1.8 in the first four drafts this decade. The draft didn't expand to 32 picks per round until 2002, either.
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UNSUNG HERO
James White, RB, Wisconsin: Not big (5-9, 205), not fast (4.58) and not especially athletic. "But I do like him," said one scout. "Boy, he's smart and has a good feel for everything. As a third-down back I think he does all that stuff well. He doesn't make any big plays but just a smart, good football player. We got him in the fifth (round)."

SCOUTS' NIGHTMARE
Damien Williams, RB, ex-Oklahoma: Possesses the talent to be drafted in the third round but might be fortunate at this point just to get into a camp. Kicked off the team in November after messing up too many times. "He can be a three-down back," said one scout. "But there's something wrong with the kid."
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QUOTE TO NOTE
NFL personnel man: "When they had the draft two weeks after the Senior Bowl you had your best drafts. You went on what you saw in October and November and not what you saw in March and April. Also, the coaches couldn't get involved. We'd give them maybe 10 players to watch. Now there's so much second-guessing.

"It's just totally ridiculous but that's the National Football League. All they care about is money. Their excuse for the delay this year is they couldn't use the venue (Radio City Music Hall). Well, they can find some other venue. That's the sad thing about all of sports today. They don't care about fans."
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