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I made this argument in 'take Mcfadden with a top 5 pick' thread


halsey
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No RB is worth a top 5 pick. Adrian Peterson was not taken with a top 5 pick. RB's are too easy to find and the most at risk for injury.

Look at all the good teams getting by with no name RB's this year: Tampa BayEarnest Graham), Green Bay(Ryan Grant), Indy got by with Kenton Keith when Addai was hurt, New England got by with Sammy Morris for a while when Maroney was hurt, Kansas City has gotten good production from Kolby Smith since Larry Johnson went down, Pittsburgh has the second leading rusher in the NFL who they found as an undrafted free agent.

Now look at all the 'stud' RB's who have dealth with injuries this year: Larry Johnson, Frank Gore, Steven Jackson, Ronnie Brown, Deuce Mcallister, Shaun Alexander, Rudy Johnson, Cedric Benson, Kevin Jones, Caddilac Williams, Joseph Addai, Laurence Maroney, Adrian Peterson, Ahman Green, Chris Brown, etc

^The fantasy footballing Maddeneers won't like that, but it's true. Drafting a RB with a top 5 pick is a bad move and if the Falcons drafted McFadden with a top 5 pick it would show they were more devoted to jersey sales and hype than what's best for building a competitive football team. Top 5 picks should be used on 'premium positions like lineman, QB's and maybe a CB. Positions that are much harder to fill with than finding a productive RB.

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atlbrave (12/6/2007)
Quick question. Why would you use players that weren't drafted in the top 5 to fit your argument? Half the guys you listed who have been hurt were taken in the latter part of the 1st and often times later than that.

Because it backs up my point that RB is the most prone position to injury in the NFL. I know that half those guys aren't top 5 picks, but they are 'stud' RB's that have been hampered by injuries this year. The point of drafting McFadden with a top 5 pick would be to get a stud RB. If the Falcons drafted a RB later and he got hurt, at least he wouldn't be signed to the monster contract a top 5 pick demands.

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and yes, I kow there are exceptions. A select few RB's are able to be productive and stay healthy year after year after year: Tomlinson, Emmitt Smith, Barry, Payton, Curtis Martin, etc. Too many, however, have short careers hampered by injuries. Also, good RB's need a line to open holes for them. Mcfadden has been running behind one of the best lines in college football at Arkansas. In the NFL a team that builds good line has an easy time finding a RB to plug in.

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Yeah, it's wrong. Here is the reply I made over there:

Yeah, about that...

8 out of the top 12 RBs this year in terms of rushing yardage were drafted in the first round. 11 out of the top 15 RBs were drafted in the first or second round. Here's a link and the list:

http://www.nfl.com/stats/categorystats?tab...=2&d-447263-n=1

1) Adrian Peterson 1-7 in 2007

2) Willie Parker UDFA

3) LaDanian Tomlinson 1-5 in 2001

4) Willis McGahee 1-23 in 2003

5) Brian Westbrook 3-91 in 2002

6) Joseph Addai 1-30 in 2006

7) Edgerrin James 1-4 in 1999

8) Clinton Portis 2-51 in 2002

9) Justin Fargas 3-96 in 2003

10) Thomas Jones 1-7 in 2000

11) Fred Taylor 1-9 in 1998

12) Jamal Lewis 1-5 in 2000

13) Marion Barber 4-109 in 2005

14) LenDale White 2-45 in 2006

15) Marshawn Lynch 1-12 in 2007

So, while some folks want to propagate the myth that it's easy to find productive backs much later in the draft, the reality is much different. A quick perusal of the above demonstrates that out of the 15 most successful backs in the NFL, all but two (87%) went on the first day. 9 of them (60%) were first rounders. And the "Don't ever draft a RB in the top 5" argument would mean San Diego should have stayed away from LaDanian Tomlinson.

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Quick calcs for the past 3 years: 12 out of the top 20 in 2006 rushing yardage were first round backs and 11 out of 20 in 2005. If we take 2007 out to the top 20, it too is 12 out of 20.

First round backs are the most successful in the league as a rule. Along with linebacker, it's the easiest position to scout.

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jidady (12/6/2007)
Quick calcs for the past 3 years: 12 out of the top 20 in 2006 rushing yardage were first round backs and 11 out of 20 in 2005. If we take 2007 out to the top 20, it too is 12 out of 20.

First round backs are the most successful in the league as a rule. Along with linebacker, it's the easiest position to scout.

You're not gonna come in to my thread and move the goal posts. I said top 5 pick and you are spinning what I said to make it as if I said "do not spend a first round pick on a RB." Sorry,that doesn't work on me.

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halsey (12/6/2007)
jidady (12/6/2007)
Yeah, it's wrong. .

:laugh: I post a list saying RB's are worth spending a top 5 pick on a you post a list in which 14 of 15 guys were not aquired with a top 5 pick. Tomlinson is the exception, not the rule.

Are you blind, or just stupid? 3 of them were taken Top 5, and 6 taken Top 10. We get the fact that you don't like Running backs. Now quit trying to force feed the issue down our throats, because no one cares.

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"I post a list saying RB's are worth spending a top 5 pick on a you post a list in which 14 of 15 guys were not aquired with a top 5 pick. Tomlinson is the exception, not the rule."

You've forgotten your own post. You said: "Look at all the good teams getting by with no name RB's this year: (list excluded)" followed by "Now look at all the 'stud' RB's who have dealth with injuries this year:".

Stud RBs are by definition first round picks. What you did with this reply is move away from facts since they didn't support your supposition. Now, you're focusing on top 5 picks since you think you might have better luck there. Alas, you're wrong there as well:

That's a different argument that you had just made, but if you want to explore the productivity of top 5 backs still active, the list goes back to 1999.

Edgerrin James 3-time Pro Bowler

Ricky Williams Pro Bowler with 1,800 yard season

Jamal Lewis Pro Bowler with 2,000 yard season

LaDanian Tomlinson 4-time Pro Bowler

Ronnie Brown: leading the NFL in yards from scrimmage when injured this year

Cadillac Williams: Offensive ROY in 2005

Cedric Benson: massive disappointment

Reggie Bush: Already has 2,300 yards from scrimmage in career

The top 5 aspect is of course arbitrary because there are some backs intentionally excluded by such a determination. Even ignoring that, a top 5 RB is one of the safest plays on draft day. Guys with grades good enough to justify that rarely fail. Benson, Curtis Enis and Kijana Carter (who was undone by injuries as your supposition would declare) are the only top 5 RBs since 1990 to fail...and it's still too soon to offer final judgment on Benson.

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jidady (12/6/2007)
"I post a list saying RB's are worth spending a top 5 pick on a you post a list in which 14 of 15 guys were not aquired with a top 5 pick. Tomlinson is the exception, not the rule."

You've forgotten your own post. You said: "Look at all the good teams getting by with no name RB's this year: (list excluded)" followed by "Now look at all the 'stud' RB's who have dealth with injuries this year:".

Stud RBs are by definition first round picks. What you did with this reply is move away from facts since they didn't support your supposition. Now, you're focusing on top 5 picks since you think you might have better luck there. Alas, you're wrong there as well:

That's a different argument that you had just made, but if you want to explore the productivity of top 5 backs still active, the list goes back to 1999.

Edgerrin James 3-time Pro Bowler

Ricky Williams Pro Bowler with 1,800 yard season

Jamal Lewis Pro Bowler with 2,000 yard season

LaDanian Tomlinson 4-time Pro Bowler

Ronnie Brown: leading the NFL in yards from scrimmage when injured this year

Cadillac Williams: Offensive ROY in 2005

Cedric Benson: massive disappointment

Reggie Bush: Already has 2,300 yards from scrimmage in career

The top 5 aspect is of course arbitrary because there are some backs intentionally excluded by such a determination. Even ignoring that, a top 5 RB is one of the safest plays on draft day. Guys with grades good enough to justify that rarely fail. Benson, Curtis Enis and Kijana Carter (who was undone by injuries as your supposition would declare) are the only top 5 RBs since 1990 to fail...and it's still too soon to offer final judgment on Benson.

:laugh: keep trying to move the goal posts. My very first sentece was that RB's were not worth a top 5 pick. Ronnie Brown, Reggie Bush, Caddilac Williams and Ricky Williams has not been worth a top 5 pick, not matter how you try to spin. That's alll you fantasy footballers can do: Spin and twist stats. and check your facts about RB's since 1990: Blair Thomas, Garrison Hearst, Ronnie Brown, Ricky Williams, Cadillac Williams, Cedric Benson. None of those guys were worth top 5 picks. and this is 2007. The best teams have better passing offenses than running offenses. A rebuilding team has no business starting with a RB when thier O-line and Qb suck, and thier defense needs help at D-tackle and DB. That's just wrong in today's NFL. That's fantasy football thinking not winning real games in the NFL thinking.

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"keep trying to move the goal posts. My very first sentece was that RB's were not worth a top 5 pick."

Yes but see, you didn't stop talking. That means the rest of it is also included in a conversation. No, really.

"Ronnie Brown, Reggie Bush, Caddilac Williams and Ricky Williams has not been worth a top 5 pick, not matter how you try to spin."

It would be easier if we had this discussion in only one place, but I had coincidentally once again just refuted this line of thinking.

"Anywho, Reggie Bush and Ricky Williams were supposed to be great propects too and they weren't good values."

This is a perception versus reality situation. Williams turned himself into a laughing stock, but he has been a fine NFL player. He's averaged 1,500 yards from scrimmage during his career. Reggie Bush is an Eric Metcalf type rather than the extremely overhyped Gayle Sayers I tried to warn people he wouldn't be, but he's still got 2,300 yards from scrimmage after 28 games. He's going to wind up with more yardage than Edge had after his first two full NFL seasons (2,406). He just doesn't walk on water as predicted by some.

"RB's are just too easy to find. Look at Indy. They replaced James without losing a step. Minnesota went 2-0 when Peterson was down this year because they just plugged Taylor right in."

Keith: 4.3 YPC

Addai: 4.8 YPC

Taylor (whom I like and feel has always been underrated): 4.8 YPC

Peterson: 6.5 YPC

There are systems where the talent of the back is irrelevant. We ran one the last few years. In a conventional scheme rather than the Gibbs' zone blocking scheme, though, talent almost always wins out. In fact, a perfect example of what talent can do comes from Miami.

Ronnie Brown: 5.1 YPC

All other Dolphins RBs: 3.9 YPC

Brown was averaging an ungodly 142 yards a game before he got hurt. During that period, Miami's total offense averaged 337 YPG. They didn't have a single game under 270 yards in those 7 games. They haven't had a 270 yard game since he's been out. They've averaged an unconscionable 209 YPG in his absence. That 128 YPG difference is eerily close to what he was doing on his own. He was the proverbial one man gang for them on offense. That's what a top 5 back can do for a dreadful team.

"That's alll you fantasy footballers can do: Spin and twist stats. and check your facts about RB's since 1990: Garrison Hearst"

He was a two-time Pro Bowler with a 2,100 yard season on his resume before he had the gruesome injury.

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jidady (12/6/2007)[hr

"That's alll you fantasy footballers can do: Spin and twist stats. and check your facts about RB's since 1990: Garrison Hearst"

He was a two-time Pro Bowler with a 2,100 yard season on his resume before he had the gruesome injury.

This is what i'm talking about. You're spinning. He didn't have those Pro Bowl seasons with the team that picked him. When he was surrounded by a bad offense he could do squat. When the 49ers got him and and plugged him in he was productive. Tha'ts why teams should build the line and find a QB first. You surround a RB with a bad line and no passing game to keep defenses honest and he'll just get killed.

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"This is what i'm talking about. You're spinning."

Seriously, your accusing me of this is cracking me up. There's no one else around at this hour of the night, so there is no point in your posturing. I'm not buying what you're selling there, so it's just a waste of typing for you...unless you want to keep amusing me, in which case I thank you, kind sir.

"He didn't have those Pro Bowl seasons with the team that picked him."

I'm not sure what relevance you believe that has. It's not the player's responsibility to make smart personnel decisions. It's up to him to play well. Harrison had the most rushing yardage of any Cardinals player in 11 years, a mark that would stand for *another* 11 years until Edge finally topped it last year. If you're damning him for only having the best rushing season in 22 years for the Cardinals, I think it's pretty clear we're not going to line up on how we valuate football players. He was a Duce Staley type of guy in Arizona, a fine player at a time where they didn't have many of those. As was the case with Steve Young, the 49ers gleefully took advantage of the ineptitude of another front office, punishing them for letting their best player go.

"Tha'ts why teams should build the line and find a QB first. You surround a RB with a bad line and no passing game to keep defenses honest and he'll just get killed."

Well, we've bounced around to another discussion, but I'm first in line on the "win in the trenches" march. Unfortunately, I'm also first in line for the "Always draft BPA, particularly in the first round" march, and that means we're back on McFadden, the only guy with a 99 from Scouts, Inc. Reaching for a less talented OT to fill a need is what fools do. McKay himself says this in The Draft.

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jidady (12/6/2007)
"This is what i'm talking about. You're spinning."

Seriously, your accusing me of this is cracking me up. There's no one else around at this hour of the night, so there is no point in your posturing. I'm not buying what you're selling there, so it's just a waste of typing for you...unless you want to keep amusing me, in which case I thank you, kind sir.

"He didn't have those Pro Bowl seasons with the team that picked him."

I'm not sure what relevance you believe that has. It's not the player's responsibility to make smart personnel decisions. It's up to him to play well. Harrison had the most rushing yardage of any Cardinals player in 11 years, a mark that would stand for *another* 11 years until Edge finally topped it last year. If you're damning him for only having the best rushing season in 22 years for the Cardinals, I think it's pretty clear we're not going to line up on how we valuate football players. He was a Duce Staley type of guy in Arizona, a fine player at a time where they didn't have many of those. As was the case with Steve Young, the 49ers gleefully took advantage of the ineptitude of another front office, punishing them for letting their best player go.

"Tha'ts why teams should build the line and find a QB first. You surround a RB with a bad line and no passing game to keep defenses honest and he'll just get killed."

Well, we've bounced around to another discussion, but I'm first in line on the "win in the trenches" march. Unfortunately, I'm also first in line for the "Always draft BPA, particularly in the first round" march, and that means we're back on McFadden, the only guy with a 99 from Scouts, Inc. Reaching for a less talented OT to fill a need is what fools do. McKay himself says this in The Draft.

Agree with everything youve stated jidady... We simply cannot pass up on a talent like DMC(unless offered a kings ransom) especially when rebuilding. We need the BEST TALENT AVAILABLE and guys coordinators need to game plan for...

Yes we need OT's/QB/DT's etc etc, but you dont pass on the No1 prospect in the draft and reach at a position of need. That = trouble

Halsey, you plain and simply have it ##### around backwards... McKay will draft BPA, and if DMC is there, get used to seeing him in black and red. Clean up the spilled milk on draft day, cos it wont be worth crying over ;)

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I tend to agree with you on taking McFadden in the top 5. I actually think that some RB's are woth that high of a pick. Peterson was worth it in my mind despite not going that high.

I think b/c of the lack of big talent and names at the senior RB position, I think there will be other juniors that come out. Besides McFadden I think James Davis, Jonathan Stewart, Rashad Mendenhall and Felix Jones are all possibilities to come out early. These guys will not be in the top 5 and would all provide the same on field production to the Falcons.

McFadden would be the big name to get people back to the dome, but when talking about providing an 1100 to 1200 yard rusher, they could all do the same. If the Falcons have the chance to trade down, I would take it. I will say that McFadden would be hard to pass up if he is sitting there. Depends on what Petrino thinks, is this just a bigger version of Norwood or can he actually pound the ball? He is very high cut, nothing but legs and arms.

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I am not convinced that we will even be able to select McFadden, but I don't

agree with the premise of halsey's argument. There are clearly running backs

that warrant a top-5 pick. I understand his contention that we've got needs

with our offensive line, quarterback, defensive line, kicker, and linebacker, but

I would submit that McFadden is one of those special running backs that would

clearly warrant a top-5 selection.

If you've got a chance for a player like a Marshall Faulk, O.J. Simpson,

Barry Sanders, LaDainian Tomlinson, Eric Dickerson, Tony Dorsett, and yes

Darren McFadden, you do it.

As for the Atlanta Falcons, our running game has been pretty bad the past

couple of years when you get beyond YKW's performance. Our weak running

game has also hurt our passing game and our red zone productivity.

I agree that running back is a position that can really hurt you should injury

occur. We were simply not the same team when Jamal Anderson went down

both years.

As for the marketing, how many jerseys sold doesn't matter to me, but filling up

the dome during home games with screaming Falcon Fans wearing those jerseys

does. Living here in Louisiana, most of my friends who are Saints fans will attribute

much of there success last year to a hostile home field due to the excitement

of signing Reggie Bush, which completely sold out the Superdome. Obviously,

his all-purpose yards and large number of receptions was also a factor.

Go Falcons!!!

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halsey (12/6/2007)
No RB is worth a top 5 pick. Adrian Peterson was not taken with a top 5 pick. RB's are too easy to find and the most at risk for injury.

Look at all the good teams getting by with no name RB's this year: Tampa BayEarnest Graham), Green Bay(Ryan Grant), Indy got by with Kenton Keith when Addai was hurt, New England got by with Sammy Morris for a while when Maroney was hurt, Kansas City has gotten good production from Kolby Smith since Larry Johnson went down, Pittsburgh has the second leading rusher in the NFL who they found as an undrafted free agent.

Now look at all the 'stud' RB's who have dealth with injuries this year: Larry Johnson, Frank Gore, Steven Jackson, Ronnie Brown, Deuce Mcallister, Shaun Alexander, Rudy Johnson, Cedric Benson, Kevin Jones, Caddilac Williams, Joseph Addai, Laurence Maroney, Adrian Peterson, Ahman Green, Chris Brown, etc

^The fantasy footballing Maddeneers won't like that, but it's true. Drafting a RB with a top 5 pick is a bad move and if the Falcons drafted McFadden with a top 5 pick it would show they were more devoted to jersey sales and hype than what's best for building a competitive football team. Top 5 picks should be used on 'premium positions like lineman, QB's and maybe a CB. Positions that are much harder to fill with than finding a productive RB.

Well the thing is if we did a redraft today Peterson would certaintly go first overall. The top 2 RBs in the NFL right now were selected in the top 10 (LT and AD).......man it feels supid saying that about a rookie but it's true. Peterson only fell because GMs weren't sure who well he'd bounce back from injury (I think we all know now)

Above average-good rbs are a dime a dozen and they can work for a team that has talent at every other position.

Elite rbs are rare and they can carry a team. We don't have talent at every other position like most of the teams you mentioned so we need a workhorse that can carry us to victory. I mean look at the Vikings....outside of AD they don't have much talent on that offense but they have been beating the brakes off people lately.

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There is a pretty consistent myth that productive running backs can be found everywhere because guys play a good week, but that's all it is, a week, sometimes a few more, not consistent production at all. A franchise back is well worth a top 5 pick if he is the complete package, because the whole point is that he gives a consistent weapon usable in all situations. DMC is a monster threat, everywhere on the field, that can do anything expected of a running back and much more. The risk with any top pick and any player in the NFL is injury, and of course running backs are high risk, but the risk of a great running back getting hurt is no worse than we have seen of other positions, such as offensive and defensive linemen, being complete busts never worth putting on the field.

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There are elite talents at the position. One RB you forgot to include (although it may pre-date your sample) is Marshall Faulk. While Peterson wasn't officially drafted Top 5, he was considered a Top 5 talent. Ronnie Brown did seem to have turned a corner this season, and obviously there is LT.

Recent years does not suggest this and the NFL has changed a great deal in the last 15 years. I can't deny that of all the positions, RB is the most disposable. However, elite talents are elite talents. Whether they are RB's, DT's, OT's, WR's. Busts and booms do not discriminate by position.

For every Jonathan Ogden there is a Robert Gallery

For every LaDainian Tomlinson there is a Cedric Benson

For every Braylon Edwards there is a Mike Williams

For every Tommie Harris there is a Jimmy Kennedy

In reality, the busts outnumbers the booms - but it's a lot easier to fail that to succeed and to thrive.

The risk for drafting an RB this high is that he can't turn out to be just good...he has to be elite for the pick to justify itself. If he bangs out 1200 yards on 300 carries, OK that's good production, but you were drafting for 1500 yards.

The one fallacy in your argument about FF thinking versus real football thinking though is that I'm sure real football thinking requires assembling a team past the purvue of just your first round draft choice. Because a team doesn't draft a certain position in Round 1, is not an indication of neglect. Neglect is not drafting a position for multiple years on Day 1...which the Falcons have been guilty of on the O-Line.

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People always throw out the "but he's the most talented player" argument. You hear that EVERY YEAR about some RB or WR. EVERY YEAR. Not because anyone can really compare them to the talent of the best O-lineman, D-lineman, DB, etc but because they are the most exciting positions to watch and sell tickets. Prove to me that Mcfadden is more talented than Dorsey, Chris Long, Jake Long, Sedrick Ellis, Matt Ryan, James Laurenitas, etc, etc. Prove to me that he's more talented. Show me what it is that makes him more talented. Fantasy numbers? Highlights?

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FalcsForLife (12/6/2007)
halsey (12/6/2007)
No RB is

Well the thing is if we did a redraft today Peterson would certaintly go first overall. The top 2 RBs in the NFL right now were selected in the top 10 (LT and AD).......man it feels supid saying that about a rookie but it's true. Peterson only fell because GMs weren't sure who well he'd bounce back from injury (I think we all know now)

Above average-good rbs are a dime a dozen and they can work for a team that has talent at every other position.

Elite rbs are rare and they can carry a team. We don't have talent at every other position like most of the teams you mentioned so we need a workhorse that can carry us to victory. I mean look at the Vikings....outside of AD they don't have much talent on that offense but they have been beating the brakes off people lately.

Nop, Peterson certainly wouldn't. Maybe he would, but teams don't draft for 1 year. Peterson has already been hurt once. There's no guarentee he'll last long in the NFL. Teams knew he was an elite RB prospect with durability issues. He didn't last till pick 7 because teams doubted his ability when healthy.

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If you watch the games objectively, you might be inclined to say that McFadden is the most talented player in the draft. That ain't gonna happen. I think what you can't argue agianst is that McFadden is just as talented as Long, Ellis, Laurinitus, etc....and if those guys are worth a TOP 5 pick then so is DMC.

The simple fact is the Falcons need LOTS of players in the draft and free-agency to get the personnel that Petrino/Zimmer need. With that being said, they could take Long(either one), DMC, Ellis, Laurinitus, Dosrey, etc.....with their TOP 5 pick and be smart/lucky to have any of them.

From reading this post, I don't think any number of stats or quotes from "Football Experts" would convince you that McFadden is the best player in the draft. So why bother posting them.;)

I'm not a scout, coach, or GM so I can't say for sure who is the best player in the draft. But in my humble opinion, if DMC is available when the Falcons pick, they should take him and feel very lucky to have him.

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halsey (12/6/2007)
People always throw out the "but he's the most talented player" argument. You hear that EVERY YEAR about some RB or WR. EVERY YEAR. Not because anyone can really compare them to the talent of the best O-lineman, D-lineman, DB, etc but because they are the most exciting positions to watch and sell tickets. Prove to me that Mcfadden is more talented than Dorsey, Chris Long, Jake Long, Sedrick Ellis, Matt Ryan, James Laurenitas, etc, etc. Prove to me that he's more talented. Show me what it is that makes him more talented. Fantasy numbers? Highlights?

I don't know if this reply was in my response, but if it was...

Nowhere in the post does it suggest that McFadden is the best talent in the draft, just that he is an elite talent - which to further clarify means that he should be considered in the highest of tiers, but that would include the Dorsey's and Long's of the draft.

But to a deeper point, even if McFadden were unquestionably the most talented player in the draft, for the purposes of this discussion we'll call him Bo Jackson Jr. In college he averaged 200 yards/game at a 10 YPC clip. He was 6'2 225 and ran a 4.15 40. He was part 100m Olympic Champion, part Pamplona Bull. If I'm gauging your stance correctly, he is still not not worthy of a Top 5 pick because of the propensity in the NFL to find talent at this position via other mediums.

To me, there are levels of pedigree that you come in with. I'd be hard-pressed to find an RB coming into the NFL with a higher pedigree than McFadden. Not just that but given the type of impact an Adrian Peterson has had in MIN, I see them as similar talents. Will McFadden come in and average 6+ YPC? Don't know...but he has energized that entire franchise. That counts for something. If McFadden comes in and can be a 1400-1500 yard RB in year 1 (for whichever team he winds up with) how is that a bad thing?

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