McFadden, Gholston have look of NFL busts Posted: September 5, 2008
Few players selected in the 2008 NFL draft displayed better measurable skills than Arkansas running back Darren McFadden and Ohio State end/linebacker Vernon Gholston. Both ran fast at the NFL Scouting Combine in February, with McFadden clocking in at 4.33 seconds in the 40-yard dash and Gholston crossing the tape in less than 4.7 seconds, remarkable for a 266-pound man.
I could not wait to study both on tape, anticipating that I would be evaluating two players who would make immediate and long-term impacts in the NFL. In the case of McFadden, I was led to believe he was as good as, or even better than, the Vikings' Adrian Peterson, who led the NFC in rushing and shattered the NFL single-game rushing record in '07. I watched game after game, eight in all, and struggled to find the attributes that would project McFadden as being a big success in the NFL.
I agree with Gholston. He's this year's Chris Henry (TEN), in terms of being just flat out physically gifted. He has extraordinary measurables for his frame. Much like Chris Henry. But there is just something about the way he plays that I don't think he will ever amount to much. His instincts just aren't there most of the time.
As for McFadden, I think he will be a hit and miss type back. There will be some games where he looks like the next Jim Brown, and other games where he looks like he shouldn't even be on a roster. The one thing that has always struck me with DMC is his body type. He has that long, lean frame that won't hold up. Think Chris Brown. I wouldn't touch him with a 10 ft. pole in a fantasy draft. I'll take my chances with a much more versatile CJ4.24 5 rounds later.
All in all, I think Gholston will be a flat-out bust. But I don't think DMC will be. He won't have #4 overall value, but he won't be a bust.
Sorry but thats just jumping the gun, people get so impatient these days, forget 3 years you don't even get a REAL NFL game, if you don't kill it in the pre-season your a bust Time and time again guys have proven that wrong, Mario Williams caught all the flack in the world, Tedd Ginn was bashed for being a top 10 pick, now its completely different for both players...While I agree those 2 are good bust candidates, I thought Gholston was before because he's too stiff and lazy as hell, he would of been better in a 4-3 with his hands in the ground...I still am going to give him time to let that athleticism turn into production, its just silly and pointless to throw around the word "bust" with players who have yet to play a real game, I can't believe that article would even come out with something like this before week 8.
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I've had McFadden in the bust category ever since all of his pre-draft hype started. I think he will show flashes of brilliance and then have games where he does nothing, like Roger That was alluding to in his post.
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Yeah, this is one of the fears with McFadden, that and a lack of elusiveness. There have been RBs who've done pretty well who weren't known for their ability to break through tacklers. Shaun Alexander comes immediately to mind. Point being is that given the right circumstance both McFadded and Ghoulston can do well. Sometimes busts are a product of the talent and systems around them too.
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I'm sure this is coming from the same type of person who said Reggie Bush would be a massive stud at the pro level and Matt Leinart has the leadership skills of someone with a veteran presence. Whatever. Talk to me about how much of a bust someone is after at least a couple of full seasons.
fantasizing wrote:Maybe Im just a novice, but can someone show me some videos of some RBs that have great lateral acceleration and "shiftiness". I want to dissect exactly what this guy is talking bout.
Well, I would start with the best ever when it comes to elusiveness, shiftiness, and lateral acceleration:
He's talking about balance, more than anything. The ability to change direction, bounce off blockers, run through arm tackles, and do it all quickly. Big bruising backs break tackles by running through them - small or just average size backs use body lean and balance. You'll notice in some of the highlights, Barry's shoulders essentially run in a straight line while his lower body darts back and forth dodging tacklers.
Too many RBs become big name backs because they run through gaping holes and poor tackling in college and are able to run away from everyone with speed alone. In the NFL, when LBs are in the sub 4.5s and cornerbacks and safeties are bigger and good tacklers, you need to make quick decisions and make unblocked tacklers miss quickly before you get run down from behind.
The argument against some of these so called 'straight line' backs is that they run until something is in their way...then they either just run into someone, fall down too easily, don't have good vision to make quick decisions, and tend to hesitate or 'bounce' too much trying to find that wide open path through which they can run full speed.
I don't know if McFadden falls into this category or not - I've heard both opinions and haven't seen enough of him to make an opinion myself. But I know vision and balance can make even the slowest backs successful, or at least average - the same cannot be said for speed. I don't recall any RB that could attribute his success to his speed. Michael Bennett is someone I know well because he played at Wisconsin - he was a track star and is ridiculously fast, but he runs out of control with poor balance. Someone touches him and he falls down like a 3 yr old on a steep hill.