Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Mahatma's Post Combine Player Rankings: RBs

The big event in the NFL off-season is the draft and this year makes no exception. As we wind our way to the draft, I’ll try to give SUS nation the low down on the major players involved and which round you’ll likely see some of your favorite college stars end up. Naturally, things have changed since we last talked draft. The combine came and went with only the various universities and colleges pro days left to come. I read somewhere that 80% of where players are drafted is based on their regular season performance. The other 20% is for BS like the combine and the pro days.

I will attempt to rank the players by position in an attempt for wannabe draft gurus to check where players of note can be found. Of course this is all purely subjective and probably wrong. Teams come in with new systems and coaches every year and various draft boards are all over the place. Fuck it, i'm as qualified as Kiper.


Overall, the RB class this year is so so. While no elite runners in this class, there are some talented players up top with a couple sleepers mixed in towards the middle and late rounds. At first glance, these players do not match up with the overall talent out of last year's class especially with just the combine as a reference. The combine came and knocked down a few of the top guys due to slow 40 times and that could be troubling for teams seeking some RB support early. The 3 big studs in the draft had disappointing combine.

Wells, not known for a speed merchant anyway, ran an above average 4.59/4.52. For a "3 yards a cloud of dust" back that's pretty good but the problem lays in that Wells is injury prone and not a real receiver out of the backfield. He still has outstanding vision and is a real load to bring down in open field. Wells shows good quickness and agility to the hole, along with the ability to make the first cut and turn it up field when he sees an opening. He has good film speed once he gets his momentum moving, and is not just a player that runs between the tackles. When healthy he is a guy that you can give the ball 30 times a game but has a relatively short shelf life due to the punishment he will take which might scare off a few teams.

McCoy is my favorite back in the draft and would arguably be my top pick if I needed a RBand no it's not the Pitt homer in me talking. Armed with shifty and quick feet, if he has a seam, he's gone. Furthermore, McCoy he might be the best receiver in this draft class as he was the Pitt offense throughout his college career both running and receiving. Problem with him is he is currently banged up and didn't run in the combine. Still I envision a 4.4 speed likely. McCoy's issues also involve size and the concern whether or not he can handle the 30+ carries a game. That concern is retarded for the simple fact that unless you have injuries, no RB in the game carries the ball that many times. McCoy isn't the best blocker either.

Moreno was the unanimous 2nd best rb in the draft until he had a complete dogshit combine. Throughout college, Moreno ran hard between tackles and made quiet a bit of tacklers whiff. He was a big play waiting to happen on every carry. Quick and shift, Moreno has very good acceleration and showed enough speed (until the combine) to run away from defenders in the open field Moreno has also been a factor as a receiver, which will be a must for a back of his size to see the field as much as possible. Size concerns and low 40 time are his primary concerns. It shouldn't matter much though as Moreno did much of his talking on the field and on film.

Brown and Greene were productive college rushers in Connecticut and Iowa and eluded much of the nation's spotlight. Both are highly productive players with Brown getting the edge here in explosiveness. Both should be 2nd rounders and fixtures in the new running back by committee craze.

The following are all over the place and on everyone's board. There are your share of big backs (Hill, Coffee, Jennings, Foster) and guys with a bit more speed (Davis, Johnson, Brown, Ringer) not really any speed merchants so far and that will likely change for various pro days. Still I like the talent of this group and feel that many will become consistent performers in the NFL including a lot of the day 2 guys but still no way comparing to McFadden, Stewart, Johnson, Mandenhall, Jones, Forte, Smith, Slaton, and the rest of last year's GODLIKE class.

1) Chris Wells / Ohio State / 1st

2) Lesean McCoy / Pittsburgh / 1st - 2nd

3) Knowshon Moreno / Georgia / 1st - 2nd

4) Donald Brown / UConn/ 2nd - 3rd

5) Shonne Greene / Iowa / 2nd - 3rd

6) Javon Ringer / Michigan State / 3rd

7) James Davis / Clemson/ 3rd – 4th

8) Andre Brown / NC State / 5th

9) Rashard Jennings / Liberty/ 5th - 6th

10) Glen Coffee / Alabama/ 5th - 6th

11) Ian Johnson / Boise State / 5th - 6th

12) Jeremiah Johnson / Oregon / 5th - 6th

13) PJ Hill/ Wisconsin / 5th - 6th

14) Marlon Lucky/ Nebraska / 6th

15) Arian Foster / Tennessee / 6th

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