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Old 04-07-2005   #1
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Default Article stating that one of the top 3 RBs could drop

This article lends a little credit to the mocks that have Cedric Benson falling to us.

http://proxy.espn.go.com/nfl/draft05...odd&id=2031874

While this year's running back class is being touted as one of the best in more than a decade, most NFL teams would rather go with a proven veteran commodity. That's why we could still see Travis Henry (Bills), Shaun Alexander (Seahawks) and even Edgerrin James (Colts) dealt between now and the end of draft weekend. There are only a few teams in need of a No. 1 running back the Dolphins, Buccaneers, Cardinals and possibly the Bears, who might be looking for an upgrade over Thomas Jones.

Even if you count the Bears as the fourth team in search of a starting running back, six running backs (Henry, Alexander, James, Auburn's Ronnie Brown and Carnell Williams and Texas' Cedric Benson) are essentially fighting for four spots. That's why the agents for the top three running-back prospects in this year's class are starting to get nervous.

For a team like the Buccaneers, a deal for Alexander or James would make a lot of sense. Theoretically, the Bucs could get a proven veteran running back both players would fit coach Jon Gruden's versatile scheme while also potentially acquiring an extra pick in a later round as part of the deal. That would give the Bucs the answer they are looking for at running back, plus an extra draft selection to address some of their other pressing needs, such as OLB, WR, SS and OG.

If Seattle hasn't traded Alexander by April 23, don't assume that a deal won't get done. In fact, unless the Seahawks get a deal they can't refuse between now and then, they'd rather wait until draft day to make a move. That's when they have the most leverage because of teams' panicking while on the clock. If the Seahawks can find a draft-day suitor in the Dolphins (pick No. 2), Bears (No. 4) or Buccaneers (No. 5), it would allow them to deal the disgruntled Alexander for a top-five pick, ensuring them one of the elite running backs in this year's class.

What's worrisome for Brown, Williams and Benson, however, is that the Cardinals (No. 8) could address their running back need in a trade with the Bills, and a team such as the Colts could trade James for a top-five pick. The Colts would likely use that pick on a defensive prospect. Even if two of the top three running backs do wind up coming off the board in the first five picks, the possibility exists that the third running back prospect could experience a free fall.

The Cardinals and Bills continue to work on a swap of L.J. Shelton for Henry. The Bills reportedly want a little bit more to sweeten the deal, possibly a swap of second-round picks. That would result in the Bills' moving up to No. 44 and the Cardinals down to No. 55. In that scenario, cornerback becomes the most important position to address early on for the Cardinals.

Miami's Antrel Rolle would be the team's first choice, but if he's gone (presumably two picks earlier to the Titans), the Cardinals would have a difficult decision to make between West Virginia's Adam Jones and Auburn's Carlos Rogers at pick No. 8. The trade would benefit the Bills just as much. It would allow them to fill their biggest need with Shelton's taking over as a starting tackle opposite Mike Williams. Also, without a first-round pick, the move up to No. 44 would give them a better chance to find an impact player at defensive tackle or cornerback.

As the draft nears, there seem to be increasing concerns regarding Benson and Oklahoma DE Dan Cody. Both have undeniable first-round talent, which explains why NFL scouts graded them so highly during their fall evaluation process. But now that teams are meeting as a complete staff with coaches, physicians, trainers, scouts and personnel officials all in one room, the red flags that both of these prospects carry are becoming more prevalent as draft boards are being finalized.

Cody, who notched 20 sacks in his last two seasons as a Sooner, is a fine athlete with great instincts and a non-stop motor. The two concerns that keep coming up are his clinical depression and lack of a base necessary to hold his ground as an every-down defensive end in the NFL. Cody is on medication to treat his depression and it has seemingly had no effect on his play, but teams are understandably squeamish about paying first-round money to a player with that condition.

It's easy to study Benson on film and project Stephen Davis-type production at the NFL level. However, his lack of versatility and top-end speed make him a good fit only for a team using a north-south power running scheme, such as the Panthers and Ravens. There are some questions regarding his passion for the game and teams wonder if he has the potential to follow in the footsteps of his idol, Ricky Williams.

Character is an issue after an arrest for possession of marijuana in 2002 and a separate charge for misdemeanor trespassing in 2003. Durability has to be considered, even though he held up well in college, because he has loads of mileage on his legs 561 carries his last two years. Age is also a minor concern, as he played two years in the Dodgers (MLB) farm system before enrolling at Texas as a freshman in 2001.

The Falcons are a lot higher on LOT Kevin Shaffer than many people think. They also feel that the safety position is secure with SS Bryan Scott and FS Keion Carpenter as starters, with newly acquired free agents Ronnie Heard and Rich Coady providing good depth and special-teams help. With that in mind, the team must be targeting the defensive tackle and wide receiver positions on day one, after not addressing those two glaring areas of weakness during the free-agency period.

The problem Atlanta could have, however, is that the top two DTs (FSU's Travis Johnson and USC's Shaun Cody) and the top five WRs (Michigan's Braylon Edwards, USC's Mike Williams, South Carolina's Troy Williamson, Oklahoma's Mark Clayton and UAB's Roddy White) should all be gone by pick No. 27. Reaching for a second-round prospect such as Wisconsin DT Anttaj Hawthorne or Georgia's Reggie Brown is bad business.
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Old 04-07-2005   #2
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This might be a stupid question, but if one of the top 3 RB's falls to us, do you take him?
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Old 04-07-2005   #3
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I would.

Cedric is Ricky Williams II
Carnell is LaDanian
Brown reminds me of Bo Jackson.

But it depends on who is off the board at this point. Or who is on the board at the point we would be willing to trade up to.
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Old 04-07-2005   #4
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at this point I think it depends on who we like. Despite being from Texas.. if Cedric has personality and motivation issues (as this article suggests).. then we may not take him even if he does drop to us.. or we might use him as trade bait for a trade down.

If Williams falls.. I dunno.. he is DD part deux. same abilities.. same injury problems. if Brown falls I think we jump on him.
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Old 04-07-2005   #5
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Other than Brown, we don't need a back, and even he might not be worth using a 1st on for us. I see the others as an oportunity to trade down with someone.
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Old 04-07-2005   #6
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I didn't read all of the article, but here is my take on the top 3 RB's in the draft and the first 13 teams to pick...and remember thses are just my thoughts and opinions, everyone go easy on me as I am sure I forgot some stuff in some places...

1. San Francisco - the 49'ers keep changing their minds on what they want to do with their first pick, the last I have heard they wanted to trade down, but if they stay put I could honestly see them take a QB, RB, OR a WR with this spot, but since they don't even know what they want at this point, I will guess the 49'ers will pick QB with the first pick if they deceide to keep it. I say 49'ers choose QB here.

2. Miami - I could see Miami taking a QB, RB, or a WR at this spot if they stay put, but more than likely I think they will choose RB here. I say Miami chooses RB here.

3. Cleveland - After signing Rueben Droughns and Trent Dilfer this offseason, the Browns will not be drafting RB or QB with this spot, I have a feeling Romeo could take a WR with this spot but I have a feeling Romeo will use this spot to add talent to his defense. I say Cleveland chooses Derrick Johnson here.

4. Chicago - After signing Muhsin Muhammad this offseason, I don't see them drafting WR at this spot, I think the Bears will be drafting QB or RB at this spot. If I was in charge of drafting for the Bears, I would draft QB at this spot if one of the top two QB's fell to this spot. But, I don't run the Bears organization and all signs are pointing that the Bears will most likely draft RB with this spot. I say Chicago chooses RB here.

5. Tampa Bay - The Bucs could use a little bit of help everywhere, but if I am Jon Gruden and one of the top two QB's falls to this spot, I snatch him up. I say Tampa Bay chooses QB here.

6. Tennessee - This is an easy one. Tennessee will either trade down to stockpile picks or take a WR or a CB with this spot. I say Tennessee chooses CB here.

7. Minnesota - Another easy one. Minnesota uses the pick they got from the Raiders for Randy Moss to draft a #1 WR to replace him. Minnesota chooses WR here.

8. Arizona - Arizona could pick RB here or CB with this spot. I say they pick CB with this pick due to the signing of Kurt Warner this offseason and their 2 1st round WR's in the past 2 drafts. I say they sign a free agent RB and draft a CB with this pick.

9. Washington- Another easy one. Washington drafts CB with this pick after the loss of Smoot and Bailey. They have no need for a RB. Washington picks CB with this pick.

10. Detroit - Another tough one. Detroit has no immediate need at WR, no real need at RB, and no need at QB (yet anyway). The Lions seem pretty solid all around, I could see them choose DE, LB, or even OL or WR with this pick. Detroit chooses DE with this pick.

11. Cowboys - Dallas has no need for RB. Dallas is switching to the 3-4 this season. Dallas chooses DE with this pick.

12. Chargers - Another easy one. Chargers have their RB, TE, and QB in place. All they need is a young #1 WR to complete their offensive arsenal. The Chargers leading WR last season was Keenan McCardell with 393 yards, and he is not getting any younger after finishing his 13th season. San Diego chooses WR with this pick.

13. Houston - the last of the top 3 RB's could very easily fall to us here at the 13th spot...

Overall, I have 2 QB's, 2 RB's, 1 LB, 3 CB's, 2 WR's, and 2 DE's taken before us. I know these are just my opinions and thoughts, but it could happen. With that being said, when it is our turn to draft at the #13 spot, one of the top 3 RB's in this year's draft could be sitting in our lap...
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Old 04-07-2005   #7
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I said one of the top RBs would fall months ago...Most likely, if Benson doesn't go 2nd or 4th overall, he'll fall out of the top 10 because he doesn't really fit in anybody's scheme...
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Old 04-07-2005   #8
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I thought majority of people had Benson ranked as their #1 RB?
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Old 04-07-2005   #9
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He may very well be the best RB prospect in the draft, but he doesn't fit in anyone's scheme...Out of the teams that may draft a RB (Miami, Chicago, Tampa, Minny, and Arizona) he would be a good fit in Miami and Chicago...
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Old 04-07-2005   #10
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He may very well be the best RB prospect in the draft, but he doesn't fit in anyone's scheme...Out of the teams that may draft a RB (Miami, Chicago, Tampa, Minny, and Arizona) he would be a good fit in Miami and Chicago...
You think that MINNESOTA could draft a RB? With their stable of RB's? Onterrio Smith, Michael Bennett, Moe Williams, and Mewelde Moore? I am thinking they go WR and defense with their 7th and 18th picks...
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Old 04-07-2005   #11
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I went over this in another thread, but if Minnesota stays put at 7 and Mike Williams, Edwards, and DJ are gone, they could revert to a BPA philosophy and take a RB...IMO, their RBs looked good because of Randy Moss...Everytime Moss was on the field, teams would focus on stopping him and keep him double and somtimes even triple covered, leaving the run open...That's a big reason why guys like Mewelde Moore could come in and look good...Life after Moss will prove that not only did trading him hurt their passing game, but it will hurt their run game too...Onterrio Smith has plenty of issues, Bennett is on the trading block, Moe Williams is old, and Moore is unproven...
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Old 04-07-2005   #12
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I went over this in another thread, but if Minnesota stays put at 7 and Mike Williams, Edwards, and DJ are gone, they could revert to a BPA philosophy and take a RB...IMO, their RBs looked good because of Randy Moss...Everytime Moss was on the field, teams would focus on stopping him and keep him double and somtimes even triple covered, leaving the run open...That's a big reason why guys like Mewelde Moore could come in and look good...Life after Moss will prove that not only did trading him hurt their passing game, but it will hurt their run game too...Onterrio Smith has plenty of issues, Bennett is on the trading block, Moe Williams is old, and Moore is unproven...
Andre Johnson was double teamed a lot last season and non of our RB's looked that good...
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Old 04-07-2005   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texan279
Andre Johnson was double teamed a lot last season and non of our RB's looked that good...
By the end of the season when AJ was consistently being double teamed, DD's production went up...If you want to pin-point a game, look at the Denver game, when DD's YPC went up from the 2.5 average he had the couple of weeks prior to 3.7 and AJ's reception number dropped from 9 to 3...To be honest, I'm not sure exactly what it means, but I found it interesting that DD seemed to thrive as AJ's production was declining...
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Old 04-07-2005   #14
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Quote:
By the end of the season when AJ was consistently being double teamed, DD's production went up...If you want to pin-point a game, look at the Denver game, when DD's YPC went up from the 2.5 average he had the couple of weeks prior to 3.7 and AJ's reception number dropped from 9 to 3...To be honest, I'm not sure exactly what it means, but I found it interesting that DD seemed to thrive as AJ's production was declining...
All of the Vikings RB's averaged more than 4.4 YPC except for Bennett who averaged 3.9 YPC and that was with Moss only playing 13 games.
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Old 04-07-2005   #15
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But when Moss was injured, all of their RBs production dropped off, except for Onterrio Smith who is one strike away from getting a major suspension due to the league's substance abuse policy...Tice has been rumored to want to focus much more heavily on the run game this next season, and their OC is a former O-Line coach...I just think the writing is on the wall...The point may very well be moot, though, because they'll probably trade up for Edwards or Williams...
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Old 04-07-2005   #16
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DC_ROCK-Cedric is Ricky Williams II
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well that cant be good
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Old 04-07-2005   #17
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he is Ricky Williams II.. all the way down to his Marijuana habit and lack of motivation it seems.
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Old 04-09-2005   #18
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It would not surprise me if no RBs were taken in the top 10. Last year S. Jackson was thought to be a top 10 pick. He went 24th. Teams are just not using high picks on backs any more. This year it will be real easy for a team to find a good RB in 2 or 3
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Old 04-10-2005   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texan279
You think that MINNESOTA could draft a RB? With their stable of RB's? Onterrio Smith, Michael Bennett, Moe Williams, and Mewelde Moore? I am thinking they go WR and defense with their 7th and 18th picks...
as Vikings GM here is a little inside information- if the Vikings don't pick up a RB in the first that they may send the 49th pick to Bufflo for Travis Henry. They want to get tougher at that posititon.
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Old 04-10-2005   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bottle-O-Bud
Man if the front office picks a RB with all our problems......
RB is one of our trouble areas...I don't see how anyone could have a problem with improving the team...
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