gianmarco

Myth?

101 posts in this topic

We see this every year. RB values rise and fall based on what teams do in the draft. At times, it's warranted, but at times it is completely overblown. I looked back at just the past 5 years to show some RBs that have been drafted in the dreaded 2nd and 3rd rounds by teams. There are some definite stars there. There are also some monumental wasted picks. But more importantly, the high draft pick doesn't seem to ensure ANYTHING about how the RB will be used right away.

2006

2nd round -- LenDale White, MJD

3rd round -- Brian Calhoun, Jerious Norwood

Discussion -- Travis Henry was still in Tennessee when LenDale was drafted. Henry had 270/1211/7 that year. LenDale had 61 carries. The following year, Henry was traded opening the door for LenDale. The funny thing about that situation is 2007 which I'll get to below. Otherwise, we know how the rest went. As for MJD, he was drafted with Fred Taylor in town. Taylor still had 231/1146/5. That situation is a little unique bc Fred Taylor is a HOF talent and MJD is ultra-talented himself. As good as MJD is, he still didn't get the starting job until year 4 of his career. As for Calhoun, Kevin Jones was still in town but was coming off an injured year. Jones got hurt that year as well and Calhoun, the incredibly high 3rd round draft pick got all of 7 carries. As for Norwood, Atlanta had a 31 yo Warrick Dunn and that's it. As for the incredibly high 3rd round pick Norwood.......well he got all of 99 carries while Dunn had 286 carries. In that year, 4 RBs taken in the 2nd and 3rd round and NONE of the starters were affected by them.

2007

2nd round -- Kenny Irons, Chris Henry, Brian Leonard, Brandon Jackson

3rd round -- Lorenzo Booker, Tony Hunt, Garrett Wolfe

Discussion -- This is a laughable group. Kenny Irons came onto a team with Rudi Johnson and that's it. When Rudi got hurt that year, it was Kenny Watson who came in. I believe Irons was put on IR. As for Chris Henry, he was supposed to take over for the lazy LenDale. The buzz was crazy about how high he was taken. So, despite paying such a high price, he got all of 31 carries, 4th best on the team. The Rams used an incredibly high 2nd round pick on Leonard with S. Jackson in town. No threat. In GB, Brandon Jackson was supposed to be the starter. Ahman Green was gone, they used a 2nd round pick on the guy, and.........he got all of 75 carries As for the others: Booker was drafted on a team with the oft-injured Ronnie Brown. When Ronnie got hurt (again), it was Jesse Chatman who stepped in, not the highly regarded 3rd round pick Booker. Booker, well, he got all of 28 carries that year. Tony Hunt was drafted on a team with Brian Westbrook. He got all of 10 carries and 4 carries his first 2 years. For a 3rd round draft pick? And then there's Garrett Wolfe and his 3rd round draft status which got him 31 carries behind the disappointing Benson that year and even less with 15 carries the following year.

2008

2nd round -- Forte, Ray Rice

3rd round -- Kevin Smith, Jacob Hester, Jamaal Charles, Steve Slaton

Discussion -- This was obviously a very strong year for RBs where they were drafted. Forte was drafted on a team that had cut bait with Benson and he was coming in as the starter. It's not a surprise he got the number of carries he did. Ray Rice came onto a team with McGahee as the starter. As good as Rice is and considering his high draft pick, he got all of 107 carries as a rookie. Kevin Smith similarly to Forte was drafted as the starter on the team as they had no one else. No surprise he got the bulk of the carries. Hester was drafted as a FB using a "high" 3rd round pick. Charles was drafted on a team with Larry Johnson. Despite being the superior talent and outplaying LJ significantly, Charles got only 67 carries as a rookie while LJ had ~200 carries. Slaton was drafted onto a team with 31 year old Ahman Green as the starter. Slaton took the job and ran away with it.

Out of the above, Forte, Smith, and Slaton got a huge workload. But, only Slaton came onto a team with another "starter" and it was an old, injured A. Green that he took it from. The best talents there (Charles and Rice) still ended up sitting behind lesser starters and didn't displace them. So, only 1 starter lost his job to a 2nd/3rd round RB pick here.

2009

2nd -- LeSean McCoy

3rd -- Shonne Greene, Glen Coffee

Discussion -- McCoy was drafted onto a team with only Westbrook as a starter and was the heir apparent. When Westbrook went down, McCoy got the job. He managed 155 carries that year. Shonne Greene was drafted onto a team with Thomas Jones as the starter. Jones had 331 carries at the age of 31 and Greene only got 108. The following year, Jones left and LT came in. LT still ended up being the main ball carrier with 219 carries. Coffee was picked on the same team with Gore. He managed 83 carries his rookie season.

Out of this small group, only McCoy displaced the starter and it was due to injury.

2010

2nd round -- Toby Gerhart, Ben Tate, Montario Hardesty

Discussion -- Gerhart was drafted on a team with AP. Yes, Minnesota used a SECOND ROUND PICK on a RB when they had AP on the team. Not surprisingly, Gerhart only got 81 carries. Tate and Hardesty both got hurt.

So, what does this all mean? First of all, I think the value of 2nd and 3rd round picks and how teams use them is VERY overstated. They've been used on RBs like Gerhart, Hester, Booker, Wolfe, and Calhoun to name a few. These guys were never slated to be starters or main ball carriers. In other words, just because a team takes a RB in the 2nd round or 3rd round doesn't mean that they intend on using them as major players. Second of all, even if the guys are talented and ARE intended to be used as starters at some point in the team's future, it rarely happens in their first year and the incumbent starters have retained their jobs the vast majority of the time. And it's not as if we're talking about all-world starters that are keeping these guys on the bench. Guys like McGahee, Larry Johnson, Warrick Dunn, LenDale White, and others were keeping these "high" draft picks on the bench.

Out of those 5 years, only TWO RBs that were supposed to be the starter lost their jobs to a 2nd/3rd round RB. Ahman Green and Brian Westbrook. And on both occasions, they lost their job due to injury. The only other way one of those RBs drafted above got the job was when they were specifically drafted as the starter (Kevin Smith and Forte)

Why did I post this? Well, every year we get enamored with the new shiny toys. And every year there's this speculation how these guys are going to come in and take the starting job. The reality is that it just doesn't happen.

So let's look at 2011:

2nd round: Ryan William, Mikel LeShoure, Shane Vereen, Daniel Thomas

3rd round: DeMarco Murray, Steven Ridley, Alex Green

Discussion: With the exception of Thomas (if Brown and Ricky leave), all of those RBs are going onto team with established starters. Now, you guys may not think much of these starters (Beanie, Felix, BJGE, Grant/Starks, Best), but they don't necessarily need to be anything special based on the history of the last 5 years. There's already all this talk how Murray will be the guy in Dallas and Williams is putting Beanie on the bench and Best will now be the COP guy.

While I'm not saying these guys will never amount to anything (which I'm not), I just want to warn some of you that might have these lofty expectations that these guys will come in and take jobs right away. Similarly, owners of Beanie, Felix, Best, and even BJGE or the GB guys don't need to panic just yet. Eventually the best player is going to be the one that ends up with the most carries in the long run (most of the time). But in that 1st year, even the better players often take a backseat. Most importantly, these guys aren't going to be given anything just because a team used a "high" draft pick in the 2nd or 3rd round on these guys. History over the last 5 years shows that teams simply don't use that as a measure to how much playing time a RB should get. In fact, it looks to be completely irrelevant unless the RB is coming onto a team without a starter and they were drafted to actually be the starter. The ONLY guy that seems to be the case for this year is Daniel Thomas and that's only based on the speculation that Ronnie and Ricky are gone.

Edited by gianmarco
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be patient on the 2nd n 3rd rounders.

They might take 1 year to steal the carries.

Good job

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Outstanding post. You always hear the myth too that RB is the easiest position to break into as well. There is some truth to that if you are coming into a situation where the OL almost always wins the battle. The RB can just aim for the hole and it's there. But most OLs aren't dominant. Additionally, the RB position now has to be an expert at picking up the numerous blitzing schemes. As a rookie, they usually are very bad at this.

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be patient on the 2nd n 3rd rounders. They might take 1 year to steal the carries. Good job

Again, I'm not saying these guys won't go on and be the main ball carriers in the future. The main point of this was all this talk about Best, Beanie, Felix, BJGE, etc. being relegated to backups and the rookies coming in and taking the job. It's highly unlikely in every one of those situations. And unless these rookies are actually better than the starters, it won't happen down the road either. The main reasoning that I keep seeing for this is "look at what the teams invested in them". Based on what I pointed out above, what the team invested is COMPLETELY irrelevant. Being a 2nd or 3rd round pick doesn't guarantee playing at all. In fact, if there's a starter ahead of the, it's very likely they will NOT get playing time even if they are ultra-talented (Charles, Rice, MJD).

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be patient on the 2nd n 3rd rounders. They might take 1 year to steal the carries. Good job

Again, I'm not saying these guys won't go on and be the main ball carriers in the future. The main point of this was all this talk about Best, Beanie, Felix, BJGE, etc. being relegated to backups and the rookies coming in and taking the job. It's highly unlikely in every one of those situations. And unless these rookies are actually better than the starters, it won't happen down the road either. The main reasoning that I keep seeing for this is "look at what the teams invested in them". Based on what I pointed out above, what the team invested is COMPLETELY irrelevant. Being a 2nd or 3rd round pick doesn't guarantee playing at all. In fact, if there's a starter ahead of the, it's very likely they will NOT get playing time even if they are ultra-talented (Charles, Rice, MJD).
I agree with you. I think Best is still the man to have in Detroit, and I've got a soft spot for beanie, and heck Addai is still holding Off Donlad Brown

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be patient on the 2nd n 3rd rounders. They might take 1 year to steal the carries. Good job

Again, I'm not saying these guys won't go on and be the main ball carriers in the future. The main point of this was all this talk about Best, Beanie, Felix, BJGE, etc. being relegated to backups and the rookies coming in and taking the job. It's highly unlikely in every one of those situations. And unless these rookies are actually better than the starters, it won't happen down the road either. The main reasoning that I keep seeing for this is "look at what the teams invested in them". Based on what I pointed out above, what the team invested is COMPLETELY irrelevant. Being a 2nd or 3rd round pick doesn't guarantee playing at all. In fact, if there's a starter ahead of the, it's very likely they will NOT get playing time even if they are ultra-talented (Charles, Rice, MJD).
I do think you have to look at these things situationally.For instance, Beanie is not exactly entrenched in ARI, and there wasn't a talent in this RB class that would have been worth the top 5 selection they had in the first round. I think in that particular case it's a reason to put less weight on Williams second round selection.Best is a second year player that spent most of his first year beat up. I think if he's healthy then he is the guy. If not then you will see a fair amount of Leshoure.In Dallas, who really knows what they are thinking. With Barber, Jones, Choice and now Murray on the roster, it's anyone's game. People believe Barber will be gone. So it's a three horse race, and you would have to think the rookie is bringing up the rear.In New England I think they will continue to use a committee system. The first question that needs to be answered is if the team is going to resign BJGE. You don't know a thing until you know that, and then if he's there he's the lead back in the committee, unless Woodhead is because the game plan dictates that it is so.

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I agree with your overall premise, but still think you need to look at each RB's situation differently. I do disagree with who you are lumping into your "established starter" definition though and that obscures what we can gleam from this. For example:

Guys like McGahee, Larry Johnson, Warrick Dunn, LenDale White, and others were keeping these "high" draft picks on the bench.

LJ, McGahee & Dunn were all studs with numerous years of good performance during their careers before injuries/father time caught up to them. Same thing with Greene vs Jones, Greene vs LT, Henry vs Lendale and you might could argue that for Kevin Jones who was highly thought of after a studly first season. You denegrate some of those "high" draft picks for not being able to take away the jobs from these guys, however, you are discounting the talent levels of those same aging vets because we have seen where they are now in the twilight of their careers. At the time, they may have had some question marks but most were still entrenched veterans with a history of solid to elite production.That is as opposed to unproven/question mark guys like the Wells/Best's/BJGE's we are looking at this year, even if these guys are "established starters." None of those guys have put up elite to even the kind of production in their careers that compares to many of the guys mentioned above, IMO. Felix probably is the closest thing to an established veteran but he is looking like a career RBBC guy.

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I don't have much to add, but I really enjoyed reading your write-up. Nice Job!

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GREAT post. This is a very specific (and well done) extension of a broader conversation about our tendency to overvalue draft picks, particularly as it relates to their real impact on NFL franchises. In a recent ESPN podcast, a group of analysts went through the 2005 draft and read through each round, as well as what the post draft assessments were. What was fascinating was two-fold...

In looking at each round, it FELT like it was a HORRIBLE draft, because you were hard pressed to pick out many impact players, and it was a lot easier to look at people drafted who never made a major impact and think, "bust" than it was to find guys that lived up to their projected draft slot. But more interestingly, the post draft analysis of both who the "winners" were from a team perspective AND the draft picks (particularly the later round guys) that were poised to make an immediate impact were, at best, off base and at worse, comically poor in retrospect.

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Belichek spent TWO high picks on RB's. I can't see BJGE finishing the year as the starter, even if he's resigned.

The OPs post is a good reminder to be patient with rookie runners. It definately helps alleviate the myth that RBs break in quickly, but every situation really is differant.

Add to that the fact that this year may be misleading. Most years there are 2 or 3 elite guys who go in the 1st. This year, there were 8 or 9 guys who would go in the late first or early second most years. The QUANTITY of decent backs in this draft depressed their actual draft positions a bit. Williams and Thomas, specifically, would have been 1st rounders (likely late) in some of these past drafts. Similarly, some of the 2nd/3rd round backs in some recent drafts might have gone much later in a draft with more viable RB options in it.

ETA: What I'm getting at is that there's good reason to expect a little bit more impact from this year's crop, although it would still be silly to expect more than 3 or 4 of them to have any real impact in year 1....and good luck saying with certainty WHICH 3 that will be.

Edited by renesauz

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Similarly, owners of Beanie, Felix, Best, and even BJGE or the GB guys don't need to panic just yet.

Great post and analysis--and this point bears repeating. Every year, we get the same sort of overenthusiasm--and overpanic. While there's no shame in being excited for new players, the perceived and hoped-for impact is almost always greater than the actual. The only caveat I'd add is that as commented plenty of times elsewhere, RBs are increasingly devalued by draftniks, and a lack of elite talent pushes them downwards in the draft--particularly in this draft, where for example you had a lot of QB and a lot of QB-heavy teams, but a lot of RB and few RB-needy teams. To some extent, the second round may become the new first round, and we need to remember to evaluate individual talent and fit rather than simply draft position. Edited by lyon812

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I agree with your overall premise, but still think you need to look at each RB's situation differently. I do disagree with who you are lumping into your "established starter" definition though and that obscures what we can gleam from this. For example:

Guys like McGahee, Larry Johnson, Warrick Dunn, LenDale White, and others were keeping these "high" draft picks on the bench.

LJ, McGahee & Dunn were all studs with numerous years of good performance during their careers before injuries/father time caught up to them. Same thing with Greene vs Jones, Greene vs LT, Henry vs Lendale and you might could argue that for Kevin Jones who was highly thought of after a studly first season. You denegrate some of those "high" draft picks for not being able to take away the jobs from these guys, however, you are discounting the talent levels of those same aging vets because we have seen where they are now in the twilight of their careers. At the time, they may have had some question marks but most were still entrenched veterans with a history of solid to elite production.That is as opposed to unproven/question mark guys like the Wells/Best's/BJGE's we are looking at this year, even if these guys are "established starters." None of those guys have put up elite to even the kind of production in their careers that compares to many of the guys mentioned above, IMO. Felix probably is the closest thing to an established veteran but he is looking like a career RBBC guy.
When Calhoun came in, Kevin Jones was far from "established". He only had 2 years under his belt, one of which he was injured for.When Chris Henry came in, LenDale was far from "established". He only had 1 year under his belt when he was a backup to HenryWhen Booker came in, Ronnie was far from "established". He only had 2 years under his belt, both of which he was partially injured for.When Garrett Wolfe came in, Benson was far from "established". He only had 2 years under his belt, both of which he was a backup to T. Jones.As for some of the others:LJ had 158 carries and a 3.5 ypc the year before Charles came in. The team was very displeased with him yet he remained the starter over Charles.Warrick Dunn was 31 years old. 286 carries in Norwood's rookie year.Sure, some of those guys had numerous years of excellent years, but father time/injury had caught up with them by the time the rookies came in and were clearly not as effective as they had been. This goes for LJ, Fred Taylor, Dunn, Green, and McGahee. We're not talking about these guys coming in during Dunn's prime or LJ's prime. You also say that some of these guys aren't "entrenched". Felix Jones is going on his 4th year in the league and his workload has increased each year. He had 230+ touches last year. Beanie is going into his 3rd year. He had 190 touches his rookie year and last year missed time due to injury. He's a 22 year old 1st round pick who is built like a prototypical bell cow ball carrier. He's no less established than Kevin Jones or LenDale or Ronnie was. Similarly Jahvid Best was a 1st round pick last year.There is a BIG difference between RBs drafted in the 1st round and a team's intent to use them and a RB drafted beyond the 1st round. RBs that are drafted in the 1st round by a team ARE expected to be the main ball carrier at some point. There is a huge contrast between that and RBs drafted in round 2 or later. Look at the following list of RBs drafted in the 1st round over the last 5 years (before last year since that remains to be seen still):Ronnie BrownCedric BensonCadillacBushMaroneyDeAngeloAddaiADPLynchMcFaddenStewartFelix JonesMendenhallChris JohnsonMorenoBeanieDonald BrownWith only a couple exceptions, every one of those RBs has either been a major ball carrier for their team or been given the chance to be. That's why they were drafted that high. Some were given multiple attempts despite multiple failures (Benson, Maroney, Bush). Only Donald Brown on that list has not been given a chance and doesn't look to be getting one any time soon. And notice that 2 of the RBs on that list are guys that everyone is expecting to be replaced: Beanie and Felix. And this before they've been given a real chance to justify their 1st round draft pick. For that reason, it seems HIGHLY unlikely to me that Arizona and Dallas are going to give up on their 1st round picks that easily in favor of 2nd/3rd round picks when history shows the opposite from both aspects. I didn't include last year because we only have 1 year of data, but Best goes on that list too. The one guy without a real "established" role that doesn't have the pedigree is BJGE. But, they have employed a RBBC approach for quite some time now and have been very effective running the ball. I wouldn't be surprised if both Vereen and BJGE put up nice #'s there. Sure, you can try and make arguments for or against each situation, but the bottom line is that using the reason "but this guy was a 2nd or 3rd round pick" as a reason why a rookie will come in and supplant whomever is there is a poor one. Their best bet of taking over the starting job is actually outplaying who is there. And I don't see Beanie/Best/Felix as being the inferior RBs on their respective teams and I doubt their teams do either based on where they drafted those guys. Edited by gianmarco

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Similarly, owners of Beanie, Felix, Best, and even BJGE or the GB guys don't need to panic just yet.

Great post and analysis--and this point bears repeating. Every year, we get the same sort of overenthusiasm--and overpanic. While there's no shame in being excited for new players, the perceived and hoped-for impact is almost always greater than the actual. The only caveat I'd add is that as commented plenty of times elsewhere, RBs are increasingly devalued by draftniks, and a lack of elite talent pushes them downwards in the draft--particularly in this draft, where for example you had a lot of QB and a lot of QB-heavy teams, but a lot of RB and few RB-needy teams. To some extent, the second round may become the new first round, and we need to remember to evaluate individual talent and fit rather than simply draft position.
This keeps being repeated as well as to how this year's RB's would have ranked higher in other years. I say that's nonsense. First of all, who's to say that's the case or not. Secondly, if a guy is TRULY a 1st round talent, he's going to be picked in the 1st round despite need. Period. Look no further than 2007. There was a GLUT of talented RBs that year. Yet FIVE different RB's were drafted in the 1st round : McFadden, Stewart, Felix, Mendenhall, and Chris Johnson. If the above is true, why didn't these teams just wait until the 2nd round to grab these guys since there were so many? By the way, that year also included Ray Rice, Charles, Forte, and Kevin Smith. So those weren't even the only good RBs that year. So I'm sorry, but I don't buy the idea that these guys would otherwise be 1st round picks. They weren't. They certainly weren't special enough that teams at the end of the 1st said "man, I've GOT to have this guy". That's what a 1st round caliber RB is. This class was deep in terms of RBs, but it certainly wasn't deep in terms of ELITE RBs. These guys are just like all the other 2nd and 3rd round RBs in years past. A few might pan out and be superstars like in the past (Rice, Charles, MJD) and most will flame out and be completely insignificant (Jackson, Irons, etc.). This year is not some kind of exception, IMO. The 2nd round RBs were just that: 2nd round RBs. Edited by gianmarco

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It might have been said but it seems that teams are waiting until later and later to take RB's these last few years so a 3rd rounder now might not be the same as a 3rd rounder 7-10 years ago. I have no facts or data just an observation.

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It might have been said but it seems that teams are waiting until later and later to take RB's these last few years so a 3rd rounder now might not be the same as a 3rd rounder 7-10 years ago. I have no facts or data just an observation.

Not only is that not the case, it seems to be the exact opposite:

Draft history

In terms of 1st rounders, it's pretty consistent. Most year's average 3-4 RBs taken in the 1st round. But it seems like there are more RB's being taken in the 2nd/3rd rounds than previous years.

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http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-running-backs-no-longer-in-high-demand-on-draft-day-2011-4

I think it is a byproduct of the RBBC mentality. It is rare for a RB to stay injury free all season. Coaches do not like having only one starting RB with significant reps with the #1 offense. If the workload is diminished, so is the importance as a role player. This means a fall on draft day.

If RB's are falling in the draft, other positions have to be rising. I feel like OL/DL/CB tend to be drafted higher.

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I'm currently working on a project I've been wanting to dig into for a few years now, looking in detail, player by player, at drafts from 1994 forward (the first year the NFL went to just 7 rounds) and then how the players' careers progressed, with the objective of answering to my own satisfaction a number of questions for QB, RB, WR, TE.

I've long wanted to really understand average career longevity and productivity, fantasy point career curves, bust rates, etc. by round (portion of round for 1st and 2nd rounders) and lots of related questions that fall out of those basics. Value of rookie picks. Improved dynasty rankings. How things have changed over those 17 years given new league rules and improved medicine/training. And many others. Gian's great question above s/b a part of it.

Some of you may be familiar with my previous Quality Years Remaining (QYR) stuff, and I've been meaning to revisit and refine this for a few years now. I finally have the time this off season I think. I hope. Not as much going on -- thank you lockout!

Whether this ends up an FBG article (or articles) or I just post it here, you'll know when I have something. I won't keep it to myself. I will want the critique so that version 2.0 can be better. In fact now that I think of it, I may just post a request at some point so that folks like my friend Gian and others can tell me what questions they would like this kind of study to answer.

Wish me luck. I'm already 20 hours into it and feel like I'm just in the baby stages.

Edited by Couch Potato
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I think we're exaggerating a little, in that in most of those situations, I don't think many of those backs were expected by their teams or by us, to be immediate starters when they were drafted.

Lendale White - maybe, but Henry was fairly well established;

MJD - Taylor was a borderline Hall of Famer; MJD was only expected to be a change of pace back;

Brian Calhoun - was tiny and quick was only expected to be a change of pace back;

Jerious Norwood - I think there was an equal split on this one given Dunn' age, but Dunn was a stud in his time;

Kenny Irons - meh, Rudi was a solid option, maybe Irons has his believers - injuries derailed his career;

Chris Henry - workout warrior that many felt the Titans reached on;

Brian Leonard - a tweener RB/FB and no one expected him to replace Steven Jackson who was in his prime;

Brandon Jackson - there was genuine hype on him but turned out to be a bust

Lorenzo Booker, Tony Hunt, Garrett Wolfe - two CoP options and a RB/FB tweener;

2008 class - well documented, no need for discussion.

Lesean McCoy - was drafted to be the heir apparent, not necessarily to replace Westbrook that year;

Shonn Greene - Jets though he was BPA, still liked what they had in Jones - in playoffs that year Greene was the star;

Glen Coffee - no one thought he was beating out Gore;

Toby Gerhart, Ben Tate, Montario Hardesty - Gerhart was drafted strictly as a backup - other guys we're not sure what may have happned without injury (but my guess is those teams did draft those guys to start since they really had no one in place that they knew they could rely on)

In 2011 while there may be a few rougue posters that think DeMarco Murray is going to be a starter for the most part, no one is really making any outrageous claims. I think the main places where people see opportunity is:

Miami - obvious since they have no one else

NE - BJGE is a hard runner, but not all that dynamic - Vereen may or may not have been drafted to start, but most likely to at least have a role

Arizona - the incumbants haven't proven anything - most expect a wide open competion. I think Whis expects that as well

Washington - People don't beleive in Torain (who was a sixth round pick) - I think Helu was drafted to at least compete, but its not a given who will start in Washington.

Given those situations, it's not outlandish to at least expect the drafted backs to competer for a role.

Edited by Dr. Octopus

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be patient on the first rounders too

copy/paste from another thread:

IND spent a first round pick on Joseph Addai and didn't he become the man right away?

NE spent a first round pick on Laurence Maroney and didn't he become the man right away?

NO spent a first round pick on Deuce McAllister and didn't he become the man right away?

AZ spent a first round pick on Beanie Wells and didn't he become the man right away?

ATL spent a first round pick on TJ Duckett and didn't he become the man right away?

STL spent a first round pick on Steven Jackson and didn't he become the man right away?

CAR spent a first round pick on DeAngelo Williams and didn't he become the man right away?

CHI spent a first round pick on Cedric Benson and didn't he become the man right away?

SD spent (traded up to) a first round pick on Ryan Mathews and didn't he become the man right away?

CAR spent a first round pick on Jonathan Stewart and didn't he become the man right away?

DAL spent a first round pick on Felix Jones and didn't he become the man right away?

NO spent a first round pick on Reggie Bush and didn't he become the man right away?

PIT spent a first round pick on Rashard Mendenhall and didn't he become the man right away?

SEA spent a first round pick on Shaun Alexander and didn't he become the man right away?

OAK spent a first round pick on Darren McFadden and didn't he become the man right away?

STL spent a first round pick on Trung Candidate and didn't he become the man right away?

CLE spent a first round pick on William Green and didn't he become the man right away?

AZ spent a first round pick on Thomas Jones and didn't he become the man right away?

MIA spent a first round pick on Ronnie Brown and didn't he become the man right away?

BUF spent a first round pick on CJ Spiller and didn't he become the man right away?

NYG spent a first round pick on Ron Dayne and didn't he become the man right away?

BAL spent a first round pick on WIllis McGahee (and his one heathy leg) and didn't he become the man right away?

IND spent a first round pick on Donald Brown and didn't he become the man right away?

CIN spent a first round pick on Chris Perry and didn't he become the man right away?

KC spent a first round pick on Larry Johnson and didn't he become the man right away?

don't know whether Knowshon Moreno or Michael Bennett were the sole RB for their team that produced fantasy stats, but i can think of 8 since 2000 that basically were ... LT, ADP, Kevin Jones, Jamal Lewis, Lynch, Caddy, CJohnson, Best (and he lasted one year as "The Man")

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say what you want about Kenny Irons... he had the second* funniest quote ever by a RB

he told a reporter he played Water Polo and when asked the position he said "Right Water"

(* ... #1 alltime funniest was Arian Foster telling the media at SEC media days that he would only do interviews in Pteradactyl his senior season)

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I think we're exaggerating a little, in that in most of those situations, I don't think many of those backs were expected by their teams or by us, to be immediate starters when they were drafted. Lendale White - maybe, but Henry was fairly well established;MJD - Taylor was a borderline Hall of Famer; MJD was only expected to be a change of pace back;Brian Calhoun - was tiny and quick was only expected to be a change of pace back;Jerious Norwood - I think there was an equal split on this one given Dunn' age, but Dunn was a stud in his time;Kenny Irons - meh, Rudi was a solid option, maybe Irons has his believers - injuries derailed his career;Chris Henry - workout warrior that many felt the Titans reached on;Brian Leonard - a tweener RB/FB and no one expected him to replace Steven Jackson who was in his prime;Brandon Jackson - there was genuine hype on him but turned out to be a bustLorenzo Booker, Tony Hunt, Garrett Wolfe - two CoP options and a RB/FB tweener;2008 class - well documented, no need for discussion.Lesean McCoy - was drafted to be the heir apparent, not necessarily to replace Westbrook that year;Shonn Greene - Jets though he was BPA, still liked what they had in Jones - in playoffs that year Greene was the star;Glen Coffee - no one thought he was beating out Gore;Toby Gerhart, Ben Tate, Montario Hardesty - Gerhart was drafted strictly as a backup - other guys we're not sure what may have happned without injury (but my guess is those teams did draft those guys to start since they really had no one in place that they knew they could rely on)In 2011 while there may be a few rougue posters that think DeMarco Murray is going to be a starter for the most part, no one is really making any outrageous claims. I think the main places where people see opportunity is:Miami - obvious since they have no one elseNE - BJGE is a hard runner, but not all that dynamic - Vereen may or may not have been drafted to start, but most likely to at least have a roleArizona - the incumbants haven't proven anything - most expect a wide open competion. I think Whis expects that as wellWashington - People don't beleive in Torain (who was a sixth round pick) - I think Helu was drafted to at least compete, but its not a given who will start in Washington.Given those situations, it's not outlandish to at least expect the drafted backs to competer for a role.

But you're actually proving my point with the above. I completely agree with you that most of those RBs weren't drafted to get carries their first year. Yet that's what many are expecting you to believe about the 2nd round RBs this year. The argument is that "there's no way a team paid a 2nd round pick on a RB that isn't going to get a lot of carries". That is simply false. As you pointed out, teams used 2nd and 3rd round picks on tweeners, COP backs, and guys that simply weren't that good. That seems like an awfully high pick for a COP RB or a tweener, but what it really means is that, teams don't necessarily only use their 2nd/3rd round picks on guys that are going to get substantial playing time on offense. Thus, just because Arizona used a 2nd round pick on Ryan Williams doesn't mean that they expect him to be the main ball carrier now. For all we know, he's going to be the COP back and will be replacing Hightower while Beanie remains the main starter. Same goes for Murray. Same goes for LeShoure. Not only that, but there were plenty of times where it was expected beyond the 1st year and it still didn't happen. 1st round RBs are almost always given the chance at some point. There are LOTS of 2nd/3rd round RBs that don't ever get that opportunity unless they earn it. Many seem to think that they will eventually get the shot because of being drafted so high when in reality the 2nd/3rd round just isn't that high for teams to feel that committed to.As to whether or not they were expected by us, that's revisionist history. A lot of those guys we now look at as completely insignificant were going in the 1st and 2nd rounds of rookie drafts. I'm looking at a 2006 rookie draft from one of my leagues:2.5 Jerious Norwood2.6 Brian CalhounHere's a 2007 rookie draft:1.4 Michael Bush1.5 Chris Henry1.6 Brandon Jackson1.9 Kenny Irons2.2 Lorenzo Booker2.9 Brian Leonard3.5 Tony Hunt3.9 Garrett WolfeSimilar things for 2008 (with the monster class). Back then, these guys were looked at much the same way some of the guys from this year are. In retrospect, it looks foolish. But don't get caught up in 20/20 hindsight and say we all knew better back then. We didn't. Edited by gianmarco

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i like the idea of grabbing a bunch of them to improve your odds. However, you don't really want to ever give away an established player for these guys unless you are rebuilding even then value has to be right

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In 2011 while there may be a few rougue posters that think DeMarco Murray is going to be a starter for the most part, no one is really making any outrageous claims. I think the main places where people see opportunity is:

Miami - obvious since they have no one else

NE - BJGE is a hard runner, but not all that dynamic - Vereen may or may not have been drafted to start, but most likely to at least have a role

Arizona - the incumbants haven't proven anything - most expect a wide open competion. I think Whis expects that as well

Washington - People don't beleive in Torain (who was a sixth round pick) - I think Helu was drafted to at least compete, but its not a given who will start in Washington.

Given those situations, it's not outlandish to at least expect the drafted backs to competer for a role.

Also, the above isn't true:

(TheHuddle) Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray will challenge RB Felix Jones for the starting running back position, and there is no reason why Murray should not expect to win the job.

(KFFL) Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray will challenge RB Felix Jones for the starting running back position, and there is no reason why Murray should not expect to win the job because Jones has been a disappointment in his career so far.

I'll also add that some of the comments you're making about some of those situations could have been applied to some of them in the past that I listed above as well. We keep thinking this year is somehow unique and it's not.

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Good analysis, gianmarco. You obviously put a ton of thought into this, and I largely agree with you.

But do you think the labor situation changes your premise at all for this year only? Seems possible that with the normal free-agency routine thrown into chaos, teams may end up leaning on rookies more than they would in a normal year.

(Assuming, of course, that we don't see a quick settlement.)

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Good analysis, gianmarco. You obviously put a ton of thought into this, and I largely agree with you.But do you think the labor situation changes your premise at all for this year only? Seems possible that with the normal free-agency routine thrown into chaos, teams may end up leaning on rookies more than they would in a normal year.(Assuming, of course, that we don't see a quick settlement.)

I'd think teams would rely on rookies less, not more. Even an average established vet will be trusted a lot more than a more talented rookie who has not had the requisite offseason time to grasp playbooks, be proficient in pass protection, etc. The known vs. the unknown. If anything, rookies this year will be more delayed in assimilation than in past years.

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Yet that's what many are expecting you to believe about the 2nd round RBs this year. The argument is that "there's no way a team paid a 2nd round pick on a RB that isn't going to get a lot of carries". That is simply false.

People are only going to make that argument (for the most part) when it appears to be likely though, i.e. where the incumbant(s) are either not very talented (Torain) or have failed when presented with opportunities in the past (Wells). Like I said this year I think teams like Arizona, NE and Miami likely did draft running backs with the intentions that those backs should at least compete for carries this year. In other instances it may have been for depth or future production.You seem to be up in arms because some one speculated that Ryan Williams will end up getting the bulk of carries in Arizona (just throwing that one out there, not saying that is your specific beef). Would it be different if some one speculated that Beanie Wells will finally surpass Tim Hightower this year? That's what people do during the offseason.Sure if the only reason they give to support their position that Arizona spent a second round pick on Williams then it isn't a very strong argument. However if they just use it as a piece of the puzzle it helps to support the argument. In many of those past instances, maybe the team did draft those backs with the intent to replace incumbants, but it just didn't work out that way because the incumbant stepped up or the "replacement" failed to take the reigns.

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As to whether or not they were expected by us, that's revisionist history. A lot of those guys we now look at as completely insignificant were going in the 1st and 2nd rounds of rookie drafts.

After the first couple of picks in rookie drafts there are going to be a lot of failures - it happens with WRs and QBs as well.

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In 2011 while there may be a few rougue posters that think DeMarco Murray is going to be a starter for the most part, no one is really making any outrageous claims. I think the main places where people see opportunity is:

Miami - obvious since they have no one else

NE - BJGE is a hard runner, but not all that dynamic - Vereen may or may not have been drafted to start, but most likely to at least have a role

Arizona - the incumbants haven't proven anything - most expect a wide open competion. I think Whis expects that as well

Washington - People don't beleive in Torain (who was a sixth round pick) - I think Helu was drafted to at least compete, but its not a given who will start in Washington.

Given those situations, it's not outlandish to at least expect the drafted backs to competer for a role.

Also, the above isn't true:

(TheHuddle) Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray will challenge RB Felix Jones for the starting running back position, and there is no reason why Murray should not expect to win the job.

(KFFL) Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray will challenge RB Felix Jones for the starting running back position, and there is no reason why Murray should not expect to win the job because Jones has been a disappointment in his career so far.

I'll also add that some of the comments you're making about some of those situations could have been applied to some of them in the past that I listed above as well. We keep thinking this year is somehow unique and it's not.
Isn't every player in camp going to challenge for a starting spot?

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I'll also add that some of the comments you're making about some of those situations could have been applied to some of them in the past that I listed above as well. We keep thinking this year is somehow unique and it's not.

So you don't think that Daniel Thomas, Shane Vereen, Ryan Williams or Roy Helu have any shot at seeing the bulk of carries this season?People that speak in absolutes come across as foolish imo, so I agree anyone that claims that all of those guys will surely be starting this season (and specifically if they only back it up with draft position) are not seeing the big picture. However speculation based on facts and opinions is what we do in this hobby. :shrug:

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I'll also add that some of the comments you're making about some of those situations could have been applied to some of them in the past that I listed above as well. We keep thinking this year is somehow unique and it's not.

So you don't think that Daniel Thomas, Shane Vereen, Ryan Williams or Roy Helu have any shot at seeing the bulk of carries this season?People that speak in absolutes come across as foolish imo, so I agree anyone that claims that all of those guys will surely be starting this season (and specifically if they only back it up with draft position) are not seeing the big picture. However speculation based on facts and opinions is what we do in this hobby. :shrug:
I wouldn't say that have no shot whatsoever, but based on all the stuff I posted up above, I think the chances that they receive the bulk of the carries in their rookie year, barring injury to the starter ahead of them, is very very minimal. If you believe otherwise, I'd be interested in seeing any examples of it happening in the past. I only went back 5 years but there were 0 instances where a RB drafted in the 2nd or 3rd round got the majority of the carries when there was a RB in place already.

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As to whether or not they were expected by us, that's revisionist history. A lot of those guys we now look at as completely insignificant were going in the 1st and 2nd rounds of rookie drafts.

After the first couple of picks in rookie drafts there are going to be a lot of failures - it happens with WRs and QBs as well.
You completely missed the point. You listed guys as "tweeners" and COP backs in the lists I provided above. If that's all they were viewed as, they would never have been drafted in the 1st and 2nd round of rookie drafts. But they were. Back then, they were viewed as more than that, hence where they were picked. Now, in hindsight, we say "they were only tweeners or COP backs". Point being, we may be looking back on this class in a few years and saying Williams and Murray are nothing more than COP backs.

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I'll also add that some of the comments you're making about some of those situations could have been applied to some of them in the past that I listed above as well. We keep thinking this year is somehow unique and it's not.

So you don't think that Daniel Thomas, Shane Vereen, Ryan Williams or Roy Helu have any shot at seeing the bulk of carries this season?People that speak in absolutes come across as foolish imo, so I agree anyone that claims that all of those guys will surely be starting this season (and specifically if they only back it up with draft position) are not seeing the big picture. However speculation based on facts and opinions is what we do in this hobby. :shrug:
I wouldn't say that have no shot whatsoever, but based on all the stuff I posted up above, I think the chances that they receive the bulk of the carries in their rookie year, barring injury to the starter ahead of them, is very very minimal. If you believe otherwise, I'd be interested in seeing any examples of it happening in the past. I only went back 5 years but there were 0 instances where a RB drafted in the 2nd or 3rd round got the majority of the carries when there was a RB in place already.
Just from the list above I see Matt Forte, Kevin Smith and Steve Slaton who all lead their teams in rushing as rookies. All had other RBs already on the teams they went to.Tate and Hardesty could very well have done the same, we can't really know what would have happened if they didn't blow out knees in camp.The rest on the list above had establised backs in place (except for Brandon Jackson) - the ones I listed from this years class, not so much. I'm not saying that any of them will lead their teams in carries, but some likely will. Right now it seems Thomas is a lock to do so (that may change though). After that my guess is that Williams and Vereen have the best shot (although I do think BJGE and Wells will have big roles as well).

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Yet that's what many are expecting you to believe about the 2nd round RBs this year. The argument is that "there's no way a team paid a 2nd round pick on a RB that isn't going to get a lot of carries". That is simply false.

People are only going to make that argument (for the most part) when it appears to be likely though, i.e. where the incumbant(s) are either not very talented (Torain) or have failed when presented with opportunities in the past (Wells). Like I said this year I think teams like Arizona, NE and Miami likely did draft running backs with the intentions that those backs should at least compete for carries this year. In other instances it may have been for depth or future production.You seem to be up in arms because some one speculated that Ryan Williams will end up getting the bulk of carries in Arizona (just throwing that one out there, not saying that is your specific beef). Would it be different if some one speculated that Beanie Wells will finally surpass Tim Hightower this year? That's what people do during the offseason.Sure if the only reason they give to support their position that Arizona spent a second round pick on Williams then it isn't a very strong argument. However if they just use it as a piece of the puzzle it helps to support the argument. In many of those past instances, maybe the team did draft those backs with the intent to replace incumbants, but it just didn't work out that way because the incumbant stepped up or the "replacement" failed to take the reigns.
I disagree that that's the only time people are going to make the arguments. That's whole point of my post. Every year, there are guys being drafted into similar spots and the excitement gets everyone all ready to pronounce the young guy as the new heir apparent and that he'll be taking over the job and running with it. And, for the most part, that doesn't turn out to be the case. I'm not "up in arms" about anything. All of this talk this year about how some RBs lost big this year and reading some of the clips from rotoworld, etc. got me thinking how likely it was going to be to happen this year. When I went back and looked, it was pretty overwhelming that it won't. I am NOT saying these guys aren't talented or will never amount to anything. I'm saying that it's very unlikely, based on the last 5 years that I looked at, that any of these 2nd round RBs are going to get the bulk of the carries no matter how good they are. You're more than welcome to disagree, but the "evidence" I put up top states that is so. I did not look further back and if you'd like to, it would be great. I'd be curious to learn of any examples that proves the opposite.I think the following are some things to take from the info I presented above:1) With very few exceptions, 1st round RBs are going to be given every chance to succeed eventually. It may not be the first year, but they very rarely just get replaced without ever being given the shot to shoulder the load2) With very few exceptions (none that I can find), 2nd/3rd round RBs will sit behind an incumbent starter. This is irregardless of how old, talented, or effective that incumbent starter is3) You WILL have to wait for 2nd/3rd round RBs if they are talented enough. It may not be apparent in year 1 that they will get the job. 4) Teams are NOT so invested in 2nd/3rd round RBs that they will always be given a chance to succeed. There is a huge list of guys that, due to injuries or lack of talent, never put it together. Teams don't seem to feel that invested that they give them a shot no matter what. This is in stark contrast to RBs drafted in the 1st round5) In the end, talent rises to the top. There are 2nd/3rd round RBs that can be elite (Rice, Charles) and there are 1st round RBs that fail (Maroney, Brown). But, if a RB is drafted after the 1st round, his best chance of succeeding is actually being talented enough to clearly surpass the incumbent starter. 6) If you own a RB on a fantasy team, having their team draft a RB "high" (in the 2nd round or 3rd round) is NOT a death sentence or necessarily an indication that the team is looking to change starters. If you believed in Beanie Wells or Jahvid Best or Felix Jones before the 2011 NFL draft, there's no reason to not still believe in them.

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As to whether or not they were expected by us, that's revisionist history. A lot of those guys we now look at as completely insignificant were going in the 1st and 2nd rounds of rookie drafts.

After the first couple of picks in rookie drafts there are going to be a lot of failures - it happens with WRs and QBs as well.
You completely missed the point. You listed guys as "tweeners" and COP backs in the lists I provided above. If that's all they were viewed as, they would never have been drafted in the 1st and 2nd round of rookie drafts. But they were. Back then, they were viewed as more than that, hence where they were picked. Now, in hindsight, we say "they were only tweeners or COP backs". Point being, we may be looking back on this class in a few years and saying Williams and Murray are nothing more than COP backs.
I think you're missing my point - after the "studs" are picked in a rookie draft, people will reach for anything that's left. List all the picks from round 2 and round 3 of those drafts. What exactly were people passing on to grab these backs? This year people will draft backs like Kendell Hunter, Jacquizz Rodgers and DeMarco Murray as well simply because some one already took Mark Ingram and Daniel Thomas.

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I'll also add that some of the comments you're making about some of those situations could have been applied to some of them in the past that I listed above as well. We keep thinking this year is somehow unique and it's not.

So you don't think that Daniel Thomas, Shane Vereen, Ryan Williams or Roy Helu have any shot at seeing the bulk of carries this season?

People that speak in absolutes come across as foolish imo, so I agree anyone that claims that all of those guys will surely be starting this season (and specifically if they only back it up with draft position) are not seeing the big picture. However speculation based on facts and opinions is what we do in this hobby. :shrug:

I wouldn't say that have no shot whatsoever, but based on all the stuff I posted up above, I think the chances that they receive the bulk of the carries in their rookie year, barring injury to the starter ahead of them, is very very minimal.

If you believe otherwise, I'd be interested in seeing any examples of it happening in the past. I only went back 5 years but there were 0 instances where a RB drafted in the 2nd or 3rd round got the majority of the carries when there was a RB in place already.

Just from the list above I see Matt Forte, Kevin Smith and Steve Slaton who all lead their teams in rushing as rookies. All had other RBs already on the teams they went to.

Tate and Hardesty could very well have done the same, we can't really know what would have happened if they didn't blow out knees in camp.

The rest on the list above had establised backs in place (except for Brandon Jackson) - the ones I listed from this years class, not so much. I'm not saying that any of them will lead their teams in carries, but some likely will. Right now it seems Thomas is a lock to do so (that may change though). After that my guess is that Williams and Vereen have the best shot (although I do think BJGE and Wells will have big roles as well).

The bolded is simply incorrect.

Chicago did NOT have another RB when they drafted Forte. He was easily the projected starter.

Detroit did NOT have another RB when they drafted K. Smith. He was easily the projected starter.

Slaton got the job when A. Green got injured in preseason, if I'm not mistaken. He would be the only one if that is incorrect.

Edited by gianmarco

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Chicago did NOT have another RB when they drafted Forte. He was easily the projected starter.Detroit did NOT have another RB when they drafted K. Smith. He was easily the projected starter.Slaton got the job when A. Green got injured in preseason, if I'm not mistaken. He would be the only one if that is incorrect.

Chicago has Cedric Benson (they cut him after the draft), they also had the other Adrian Peterson.Detroit also had Rudi Johnson.Yes Slaton took over for Ahman Green (and held the job).Now you're creating new parameters.

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Chicago did NOT have another RB when they drafted Forte. He was easily the projected starter.Detroit did NOT have another RB when they drafted K. Smith. He was easily the projected starter.Slaton got the job when A. Green got injured in preseason, if I'm not mistaken. He would be the only one if that is incorrect.

Chicago has Cedric Benson (they cut him after the draft), they also had the other Adrian Peterson.Detroit also had Rudi Johnson.Yes Slaton took over for Ahman Green (and held the job).Now you're creating new parameters.
--Umm, Benson was cut in June. The point is that, heading into the season, he was the clear starter and thus got all the carries he did. He didn't get the carries by outplaying another RB on the team that was designated to be the starter. And lol@the other Adrian Peterson. Like I said, Forte had NO ONE in front of him for carries and thus got the carries.--The Lions didn't pick up Rudi Johnson until 1 week before the start of the season. He was a Bengal until the final preseason game and then he was cut. Kevin Smith was the starter all along heading into the season. Rudi Johnson was only brought in as a backup. Again, Smith didn't "win" the job from anyone as it was his all along (like Forte)--I already stated that Slaton took the job only because of injury to Green. I went back and checked and that is indeed the case. In fact, he missed all of the preseason and was almost cut. There was no one else and thus Slaton took the job. I'm not creating any new parameters. I already said that aside from not having a starting RB ahead of them (neither Forte nor Smith did) or taking over for an injured player (McCoy and Slaton), it did not occur in the players I listed above.Similarly, the ONLY RB who falls under the category above is Daniel Thomas IF Miami gets rid of Ronnie and Ricky. Best, Beanie/Hightower, Felix, and BJGE are the starters on their teams. They are just as established as Ronnie, Benson, and LenDale were at the time. Edited by gianmarco

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I did a long-term study on how players drafted between 1985 and 2000 fared, and the numbers for 2nd and 3rd round RBs are extremely sobering.

Of the 49 2nd round RBs selected between 1985 and 2000, 31 never recorded a VBD point. Another 4 scored less than 50 career VBD points (50 VBD points is one good season). So only about 30% of 2nd round RBs made a significant fantasy impact.

Of the 50 3rd round RBs selected between 1985 and 2000, 38 never recorded a VBD point and another 4 scored less than 50 career VBD points. So only about 15% of 3rd round RBs made a significant fantasy impact.

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