"Why Bother Drafting a Running Back ?"

Discussion in 'Texans Talk' started by IDEXAN, Dec 4, 2010.

  1. IDEXAN

    IDEXAN Hall of Fame

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    For any NFL team struggling with its ground game and considering a star college running back to draft early next year, the best advice might be not to waste a draft pick on a running back all together.
    The NFL this year has more teams relying on undrafted running backs than at any time since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, with six different undrafted players currently leading their teams in rushing. Texans running back Arian Foster, who signed with Houston as a free agent after no team drafted him out of the University of Tennessee last year, leads the entire NFL in rushing, with 1,230 yards. That puts him on pace to break the all-time record for rushing yards in a season by an undrafted player, which is currently owned by Priest Holmes, who gained 1,615 yards for the Chiefs in 2002.

    In New England, the 9-2 Patriots traded their former first-round running back Laurence Maroney early this season and have been led by a one-two punch of undrafted running backs, BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead.

    In some places, like Tampa Bay, the undrafted rookie (LeGarrette Blount) became the starter simply by out-playing the established veteran (Cadillac Williams). In other cases teams have turned to undrafted running backs after a drafted RB suffered an injury: The Saints have been led by Chris Ivory, who has gained exactly 500 more yards than the highly drafted but injured Reggie Bush.

    Talented running backs can be ignored at draft time because of everything from slow 40-yard dash times (Foster), character concerns (Blount) or because they went to little-known schools (Bills' Fred Jackson and Chargers' Mike Tolbert).
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB100...l?mod=WSJ_LifeStyle_Sports_RightTopCarousel_1
     
  2. ObsiWan

    ObsiWan Site Contributor

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    Soooo... Ben Tate getting hurt in preseason was actually a blessing...???
    :thinking:

    it's not like we didn't draft a RB high...
     
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  3. ThaShark316

    ThaShark316 #28

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    Texans = Panthers-in-2009-like run game in 2011.

    Wouldn't be shocked at all if Foster gets 1000 and so does Tate.
     
  4. b0ng

    b0ng Ooops

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    Ben Tate probably would not have usurped Mr. Foster even if he was completely healthy. Ben Tate getting hurt did more for Derrick Ward's career than anything else.
     
  5. Brisco_County

    Brisco_County Texans worthy

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    I'm in complete agreement with this article. Invest your draft picks in the offensive line. So many schools have runningbacks that could excel in the pros, but are unknown on draft day.

    Have the low-round or UDFA backs compete in practice and camp, and you'll end up with a Blount, or if you're luckier, a Foster. Look at Michael Bush. He was undrafted because he broke his leg in the first game of his senior year, but before that he was a Heisman hopeful. That kind of thing happens every year.

    Besides, runningbacks are like consumables. Use them for five years, and move on.
     
  6. infantrycak

    infantrycak Mod. Staff Member

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    You can't rely on luck and while there are several successful UFA RB's right now Foster is just the 8th or 9th UFA to go over 1000 yards. Planning on finding a UFA RB to lead the team would be pretty irresponsible. A better argument would be 1st round RB's aren't worth it.
     
  7. ObsiWan

    ObsiWan Site Contributor

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    Do you think that Foster would have been given the opportunity (spell that lots of 1st team reps) that presented itself if Tate had not been lost for the season?

    I'm not so sure that he would have. Foster showed flashes at the end of last year yet we drafted Tate anyway.

    I will agree with you on the Ward comment. It was clear that Slaton wasn't back to his '08 productivity so we needed a solid backup to Foster with experience in our system. Ward fit the bill quite nicely, thank you.
     
  8. kiwitexansfan

    kiwitexansfan Site Contributor

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    If we don't abandon the run game....... assuming Kubiak is still coach.
     


  9. Norg

    Norg -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

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    I still think we should of drafted maybe two CB and one less TE
     
  10. TexanSam

    TexanSam Hall of Fame

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    Tate is going to have to impress in the preseason just to get some carries. Derrick Ward has been pretty good as a backup this season
     
  11. burro

    burro almost sentient

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    This. If something did happen to Foster, god forbid, I wouldn't feel too terrible about having Derrick Ward at the helm based on what we've seen from him this season. I wonder if anyone would be interested in trading for Tate. Getting my hopes up?
     
  12. Carr Bombed

    Carr Bombed Hall of Fame

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    :kubepalm:

    The Texans invested a 2nd round pick in Ben Tate and he was a highly sought after prospect. LOL, if he's healthy he's getting carries over Derrick Ward, who was just signed as a stop gap, because Tate was hurt.

    Tate has a ton of more talent than Derrick Ward and he's younger....
     
  13. Norg

    Norg -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

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    Plllzzzz Derick ward or slaton is GOne to make room for tate

    Tate will make this team no matter what
     
  14. IDEXAN

    IDEXAN Hall of Fame

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    Valid comments all the way around.
    Perhaps the lessons here are to draft your backs, if you draft any backs at all, no higher than the mid-rounds and use your high-round picks, certainly
    first round picks, on positions like CB, OT, & Dline which are worth it.
     
  15. burro

    burro almost sentient

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    You know this how? How do we know that Tate isn't another Tony Hollings? We don't. What we do know is that Ward is averaging just over 6 yards a carry and has been fantastic in relief of Foster. Nobody gets their job just because they were expensive, he'll have to earn it and from what we've seen from Foster/Ward - it's going to be an uphill climb.
     
  16. Maddict5

    Maddict5 Hall of Fame

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    best player gets on the field, screw draft position- make tate earn it... everyones forgetting tate wasnt exactly blowing us all away before he got injured. ward has had success before and has done a fine job for us this year. plus you make it sound like he has no talent at all. i love arian but wards td run v the chiefs is still the top run of the yr in my book. you really want to bench a 'stopgap' thats averaging 5-6 yds a carry just to get somebody who you drafted fairly high on the foeld?? cos that doesnt sound like the smartest thing to do.
     
  17. Maddict5

    Maddict5 Hall of Fame

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    burro beat me to it
     
  18. IDEXAN

    IDEXAN Hall of Fame

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    Montgomery, Al ? Could be an Auburn guy or a 'Bama guy, but from the question I'm guessing the latter ?
    OK Tate led the SEC in rushing one year, whereas Hollings was just primarily a Dback in the ACC who played int 4 games as a running back.
    And of course a lot of NFL players get their job just because they're expensive (high draft picks), though they don't necessarily get to keep it if they don't perform.
     
  19. Carr Bombed

    Carr Bombed Hall of Fame

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    :kubepalm:

    Ben Tate was the best RB in the SEC. You know who else was highly productive in the SEC. Arian Foster.

    I mean how is it going to be a uphill climb. Y'all act like Ward is entrenched in the backup spot. Ward only has 38 carries this year. Plus they spent a 2nd round pick on him....you know they aren't going to keep a 2nd round pick on the bench. He's going to get EVERY opportunity to claim that spot.
     
  20. Dan B.

    Dan B. Hall of Fame

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    NFL teams know this. That's why CB's and tackles are among the highest paid positions in the NFL.
     

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