From the "Battle Red Blog" - read their arguments for NOT Drafting Ryan Mathews

Discussion in 'College Football & the NFL Draft' started by IDEXAN, Apr 4, 2010.

  1. IDEXAN

    IDEXAN Hall of Fame

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    Where's the value in this pick? The average life-span of a running back is three-to-four years which is significantly shorter than any other position in the NFL. There's no guarantee that he would start over a healthy Steve Slaton. With his career 19 receptions at Fresno State, there's also no guarantee that he's more than a two-down running back. Is a two-down back-up running back any sort of value at pick 20 especially when our mid-pack defense has need for starters at defensive tackle and cornerback? The Texans need someone who is going to be an unquestioned starter and immediate contributer on the field for hopefully the next decade.

    Why are people even praising Mathews? Is it because of his rushing stats (1,808 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns) from 2009? Rick, don't be fooled by these stats. Mathews played in the WAC. Do you know what this means? He played in a conference where teams ran the spread and were built to defend the spread. A power-running team is going to accumulate impressive run totals when there's little resistance from sub-par teams.
    http://www.battleredblog.com/2010/4/3/1402867/an-open-letter-to-rick-smith-and#storyjump
     
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  2. stingray

    stingray Hall of Fame

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    But he wants Montario Hardesty? A back who only had one injury free year and a RB who couldn't beat out an undrafted Arian Foster? If the Texans drafted Montario then they would have to draft another RB in the following round like Anthony Dixon because I don't think they can take that gamble with his injuries as the only RB drafted.

    I don't mind not drafting Ryan in the first but I would rather draft Tate or Dwyer in the second. They are talented backs who can get 10-15 carries a game and strong enough to be the goal line backs and who also have injury free histories.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2010
  3. kiwitexansfan

    kiwitexansfan Site Contributor

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    I'm glad I'm not the only one not drinking the Mathews kool-aid.

    The more I think about it, the more I think I'd like to see secondary, DT, OL addressed before adding a RB.
     
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  4. rmartin65

    rmartin65 I'm Score

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    Yeah, I am getting his message, but he seems pretty inconsistent.

    I have not thought a lot about Mathews running out of a power scheme versus a bunch of defenses prepared for the spread. That is a good catch, and it will impact my rankings when I re-look at some of my film (tonight probably, maybe tomorrow). And I see what he was doing with the Wisconsin example, but you can't just take out a guy's run. Yardage is yardage, but it should be noted that he will not always get lucky enough to have a big run.

    But Hardesty is not the answer. One year as a starter, behind a guy who went undrafted. He had one season as a starter, and it was not even a spectacular season. He averaged 4.8 yards a carry, good, but not great. Hardesty is every bit the post season riser that Mathews is. After the season, he was projected as a 4th rounder. Now? 2nd or 3rd.

    I would even prefer Tate over Hardesty. Tate at least has potential, I think Hardesty is done growing as a player. And Tate is more athletic, in addition to having a better career/season.

    Toby Gerhart is still my guy though, in the second round.
     
  5. 76Texan

    76Texan Hall of Fame

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    Matthews is a good back who can make himself small in traffic.
    He has good vision and knows where the defenders are on the field.
    He did well against Wisconsin. He's also a good blocker, leveling a LB once.
    Also a good lead blocker on a couple of QB's keeper.
    He looked comfortable running behind a FB lead (but they don't do that much).
    Surprisingly, in both the Fresno St and Wisc games, they did not use him when they got backed up close to their own goal-line.

    As far as Hardesty is concerned, when Foster was still at Tenn, I watched and they looked very similar to me. I remember thinking, hmmm, maybe Hardesty is a little better overall... and he's a year younger, without the fumbling issue.
    He was used more in goal-line situations.

    It doesn't matter to me whether we take a RB or a CB in the first.
    But I imagine Kubiak tends not to go with the first option.
     
  6. kiwitexansfan

    kiwitexansfan Site Contributor

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    The more I think about it, the more I am looking at 4th Round RB prospects.

    I just think there is more positional value drafting secondary, OL and DT in those first three rounds.
     
  7. bckey

    bckey Hall of Fame

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    Just say no to Mathews in the 1st.
     
  8. The Pencil Neck

    The Pencil Neck Subscribed Contributor

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    There are, on average, about 22 running backs selected every year.

    About 3 of those are taken in the first round.

    Over a 5 year period, that means that you've got around 15 first rounders and 110 running backs taken overall.

    Of the top 10 running backs last year, almost all of them were first rounders. Out of the top 20 running backs last year, most of them were first rounders.

    If you want a great running game, you shouldn't bet on finding the one Terrell Davis out of the crowd of Larry Neds. You should get a running back early (assuming you don't reach.)

    If Ryan Mathews is available at our 20 spot, we should take him. But he's probably not going to be there.
     
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  9. Texan4Ever

    Texan4Ever Hall of Fame

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    IMO, I don't think there is a single running back worth taking in the first round this year. From CJ Spiller to Jahvid Best to Ryan Matthews, all of the top running backs (maybe with Dwyer as an exception) lack consistency. The Texans have other needs we need to address, and I doubt Kubiak will seriously consider drafting a running back in the first.

    We also need to improve our offensive line. If our offensive line can't open up holes and block for the running back it doesn't matter who we have, he won't go anywhere.
     
  10. bckey

    bckey Hall of Fame

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    I agree with this except for CJ Spiller. I don't want the Texans to draft him in the 1st round but he is first round material imho. The guy can score at anytime from anywhere on the field. He is more of a Reggie Bush type (but smaller) that could be very dangerous if used right. I just don't think he will be there at 20. But I wouldn't be too mad if he was and we took him. You can't ever get mad about bpa in the 1st round.
     
  11. Texan4Ever

    Texan4Ever Hall of Fame

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    Maybe I'm wrong about this, but I doubt Spiller will ever rush for 1,000+ yards. Like you said, he is a Reggie Bush-type of player, he can rack up a lot of all-purpose yards but that's all. He would be a good pickup in the 2nd or 3rd however.
     
  12. Ole Miss Texan

    Ole Miss Texan Hall of Fame

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    Now go take a look at those 1st round RB's and see how many are still with the team that drafted them AND helped their "team" be a Top 10 rushing team.

    It doesn't do much good for you if that 1st rounder is with another team or didn't push your team into the top 10 in the league. I'd rather the Texans be Top 10 in rushing than have a guy that ranked in the top 20. Of all the teams and systems, the Texans place more value in a team rushing threat (runningback by commitee) than having a single RB rush for a lot of yards.
     
  13. beerlover

    beerlover Site Contributor

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    I'm having a real hard time understanding some peoples projections, yours included :fingergun:
     
  14. Texan4Ever

    Texan4Ever Hall of Fame

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    He only rushed for 1,000+ yards once in college. Find me a player who was able to become a multiple 1,000+ yard rusher who hadn't done it at least two or three times in college. He is simply put, not a workhorse running back and can't pick up the tough yards. If he can't do it in college what makes you think he'll be able to do it in the pros?
     
  15. JB

    JB Old Curmudgeon

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    Terrell Davis
    & I believe
    Chris Johnson
     
  16. The Pencil Neck

    The Pencil Neck Subscribed Contributor

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    The top 10 rushing teams were:

    1. Jets (with Jones a first rounder on his second team)
    2. Titans (with Johnson a first rounder on his first team)
    3. Panthers (with Stewart and Williams 2 first rounders on their first teams)
    4. Dolphins (With Ricky Williams a first rounder on his second team and Ronnie Brown a first rounder on his first team)
    5. Ravens (with Ray Rice a second rounder)
    6. Saints (Running back by committee with Pierre Thomas an UDFA as the main back)
    7. Cowboys (with Marion Barber a 4th rounder)
    8. Browns (with Jerome Harrision from the 5th round and Jamal Lewis from the first)
    9. Bengals (with Cedric Benson a 1st rounder on his second team)
    10. Jaguars (with Maurice Jones-Drew a 2nd rounder)

    So that's 10 teams with 7 first rounders (I'm counting Brown and Williams), 2 2nd rounders, a 4th, a 5th and a UDFA.

    So, even looking at it like this, to me it looks like a first round running back is an important piece of the puzzle.

    We aren't getting a 1st round running back via FA and I doubt we're getting one via a trade. That leaves drafting one.

    But, like you said, it's as much about the threat of the run as how well the team runs. So just having a guy that's a threat back there is what's important. And that means a guy preferably from the first round and if worse comes to worst, the second. Otherwise, you're playing Russian Roulette.
     
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  17. rmartin65

    rmartin65 I'm Score

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    Those are some nice stats, but it does not mean every 1st round back is gold. There are busts at the position. it all depends were you have players ranked.
     
  18. The Pencil Neck

    The Pencil Neck Subscribed Contributor

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    My point was not that all 1st round picks are gold. There are plenty of examples of 1st round picks that busted. BUT a significantly higher percentage of 1st round backs perform compared to backs chosen later. (I'm going to do a separate post on this.)

    My point was that the majority of strong running attacks are based on a 1st round back. Sometimes that 1st round back needs a change of scenery to get going and sometimes that 1st round back performs right where he was originally drafted.

    IF we want to have a respectable running game, we can't live by the old creed that running backs break too early and often to be worth a 1st round pick. We can't live by the belief that we can draft a running back in the later rounds and he'll turn into Terrell Davis or Priest Holmes.
     
  19. The Pencil Neck

    The Pencil Neck Subscribed Contributor

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    I chose the year 2000 as a basis for this exercise. It gives enough time so that most of these running backs are toast and out of the game.

    In 2000, there were 25 running backs taken:

    1st round - 5
    2nd round - 0
    3rd round - 4
    4th round - 4
    5th round - 4
    6th round - 3
    7th round - 5

    (I'm leaving out Dante Hall because he wasn't really a running back.)

    All of the probowls for this class came from the first round.

    The first round averaged:
    7.8 seasons per player
    2.6 teams per player
    109 games played
    6819 yards rushing over their career
    1 pro bowl each (although the probowls only came from 3 players)

    ALL the other rounds combined averaged:
    4.15 seasons per player
    2.0 teams per player
    51 games played
    784 yards rushing over their career
    0 pro bowls.

    Two of the non-first round players are still playing: Sammy Morris and Terrelle Smith (a fullback who has played with 4 teams). The 1st rounders still playing are Thomas Jones and Jamal Lewis. Of the non first rounders, 3 never saw the field. The 1st rounder that had the shortest career of the 1st rounders was Trung Canidate.

    Of the non first rounders, two of the guys that actually made some yards were Reuben Droughns (3602) who got most of his yardage with the Broncos and... Mike Anderson (4067) who also got his yardage with the Broncos, a team known for squeezing yards out of later round backs.

    In that 2000 draft, there were 2 first round players who could be considered busts: Ron Dayne and Trung Canidate. The other three first rounders were: Jamal Lewis, Thomas Jones, and Shaun Alexander.

    So, yeah, first rounders sometimes bust. But late rounders usually have much less fruitful careers. They're just not considered busts because nothing was really expected of them.
     
  20. awtysst

    awtysst Draft Guru

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    Yeah but in college you only play 12 or 13 games whereas in the NFL you play 16. If you can avg 62.5 ypg you will reach 1000 yards rushing.
     

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