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Old 10-09-2009, 02:11 PM   #1
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The Last 30 Years of top 10 Drafted Running Backs

Year Overall Pick Name Team Boom/Bust

1980 1 Billy Sims Lions Boom
1980 5 Charles Dickey Colts Bust
1981 1 George Rogers Saints Boom
1981 3 Freeman McNeil Jets Solid
1982 7 Darren Nelson Vikings Bust
1982 9 Gerald Riggs Falcons Solid
1982 10 Marcus Allen Raiders Hall of Fame
1983 2 Eric Dickerson Rams Hall of Fame
1983 3 Curt Warner Seahawks Boom
1983 8 Michael Haddix Eagles Bust
1986 1 Bo Jackson Bucs Boom
1986 10 Keith Byars Eagles Solid
1987 3 Alonzo Highsmith Oilers Solid
1987 4 Brent Fullwood Packers Bust
1989 2 Barry Sanders Lions Hall of Famer
1989 7 Tim Worley Steelers Bust
1989 9 Sammie Smith Dolphins Bust
1990 2 Blair Thomas Jets Bust
1992 9 Tommy Vardell Browns Bust
1993 3 Garrison Hearst Cardnials Solid
1993 10 Jerome Bettis Rams Boom
1994 2 Marshall Faulk Colts Hall of Famer
1995 1 Ki-Jana Carter Bengals Bust
1996 6 Lawrence Phillips Rams Bust
1996 8 Tim Biakabutuka Panthers Bust
1998 5 Curtis Enis Bears Bust
1998 9 Fred Taylor Jaguars Boom
1999 4 Edgerrin James Colts Hall of Famer
1999 5 Ricky Williams Saints Solid
2000 5 Jamal Lewis Ravens Solid
2000 7 Thomas Jones Cardinals Solid
2001 5 LaDainian Tomlison Chargers Hall of Famer
2005 2 Ronnie Brown Dolphins Solid
2005 4 Cedric Benson Bears Bust
2005 5 Carnell Williams Bucs Solid
2006 2 Reggie Bush Saints Boom
2007 7 Adrian Peterson Vikings Hall of Famer
2008 4 Darren McFadden Raiders Bust


From 1980 to 2009 38 running backs have been drafted in the top ten. By my subjective opinion there have been 7 hall of famers, 7 Boom players (did make or should make multiple pro bowls), 10 Solid players (maybe 1 pro bowl but consistent starter) and 14 busts. That means about only 18 percent chance in the last 30 years you get a hall of fame running back in the top ten and another 18 you get a multiple pro bowl type player. Aside from that in eight years not a single running back was drafted in the top ten. In the 1980ís there were three, four if you count what Bo Jackson should have been. In the 1990ís there were two potential hall of famers Faulk and James.

I think we get so caught up in the hype Reggie got coming out of USC that we forget to compare him as just a NFL player drafted at his position high in the draft. There are so many players I would rate lower than Reggie at contributing to their teamís success on the field drafted around the same position over the last thirty years. Compare Reggie to the running backs drafted in this decade like Ronnie Brown, Carnell Williams, Darren McFadden, Cedric Benson, Thomas Jones, and Jamal Lewis where would you rank Reggie? This type of comparison accounts for the draft cost and the salary cap costs to the team drafting the player. Out of this Decade there are two clear potential Hall of Famers LT and Adrian Peterson, maybe we expected Reggie to be up there in that top two but letís appreciate what we do have rather than what we donít. I know these sports arguments have been made on numerous other threads, but I thought the draft data would be unique. So merge if you will.

Thanks.
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Old 10-09-2009, 02:17 PM   #2
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McFadden is not a bust
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Old 10-09-2009, 02:18 PM   #3
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and Edge is not a hall of famer.
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Old 10-09-2009, 02:22 PM   #4
Wait till next year?
 
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Why isn't Edge a Hall of Famer? Look at the yards he has over his career. He certainly has the numbers for it.
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Old 10-09-2009, 02:24 PM   #5
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i wouldn't call Cedric Benson a bust, he's going really well this season.
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Old 10-09-2009, 02:25 PM   #6
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McFadden is not a bust
Yes, too soon to tell.
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and Edge is not a hall of famer.
No, he's not a first ballot, but I think he'll make it some day.
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Old 10-09-2009, 02:25 PM   #7
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its possible jerome bettis can be be in the hall of famer discussion..
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Old 10-09-2009, 02:27 PM   #8
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It's too early to call anything on the last 6 on your list. Benson is running well in his 4th season, and if he is still starting in 2 years you can't call that a bust.

I also wouldn't project even Faulk to HOF until there's a vote. Just leave it as good.

Finally, there needs to be something other than bust for cases like Hearst and Carter where you have catastrophic injuries.
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Old 10-09-2009, 02:30 PM   #9
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i wouldn't call Cedric Benson a bust, he's going really well this season.
I was about to post that but then I think you have to look at it from the standpoint of the team that drafted him.

He was absolutely a bust for the Bears and his draft status.
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Old 10-09-2009, 02:30 PM   #10
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Change Reggie from "boom" to "solid" and the argument becomes alot more legitimate in my opinion. If Ronnie Brown and Garrison Hearst are "solid" I'm not sure how you can argue Bush as being a step above. In fact even calling them equals is being pretty nice to Bush.
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Old 10-09-2009, 02:32 PM   #11
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Years in the league at boom/bust/solid would be a decent data point.
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Old 10-09-2009, 02:37 PM   #12
wait, what?
 
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Quote:
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its possible jerome bettis can be be in the hall of famer discussion..
this and I would agree too early to tell on mcfadden,

Otherwise excellent analysis.
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Old 10-09-2009, 02:42 PM   #13
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Jerome bettis is going to the hall of fame.. McFadden is going to be darn good. i do think Edge is a borderline HOF guy. Benson is no bus, and Bush is no boom. Both are okay to solid... Jamal Lewis and Garrison hearst were both way more than just solid.
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Old 10-09-2009, 02:44 PM   #14
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Interesting post seeing the draft picks over the years, but I have to disagree with your opinion on several of backs in more recent history. I'm not a Reggie hater, I actually like the kid a lot and think he's still got a lot of potential, but going by your descriptions of HoF, boom, solid, bust, you it'd be hard to label him as anything but solid for the time being. I 100% agree though that the only reason people hate on Reggie is because everyone expectations were ridiculously high. He's definitely made his share of mistakes, but whether as a "decoy" or actually making plays, he's also been a solid contributer with the limited opportunities he's given.

As for McFadden, the kid plays for one of, if not THE worst pass offense teams in the league. All teams do is stack 8-9 guys in the box to stop the run and watch Russell throw incomplete passes. You can't really label the guy a bust this early in his career when he's on a team in that condition. Get the Raiders even a halfway decent passing attack or trade him to a legitimate team, and I think you'd see a much more impressive back.
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