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Kensat's 2009 Rookie RB rankings (predraft)

Postby Kensat30 » Fri Apr 24, 2009 11:43 pm

Link to last year:
http://www.fantasyfootballcafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=385071

1. Beanie Wells (A-)
Running style comparison: Fred Taylor

Strength: Strong north-south runner with good vision, footwork, and cutting ability. Has
the patience and burst to hit the hole at the right time. Has the strength to get yardage
on broken plays and will never go down easily. Big RB build that is suited for a large
workload.

Weakness: Not very explosive. Decent quickness to the hole, but no long speed to outrun
defenders at the second level. Could be paired with a change of pace runner and replaced on
3rd downs. Not a plodding big man like Rudi Johnson, but also not a fast big man like
Steven Jackson.

Verdict: Potential franchise RB
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2. Knowshon Moreno(A-)
Running style comparison: Willis McGahee

Strength: Decisive runner. Hits the hole with authority and takes the sure gain over the
potential homerun. Won't be brought down by arm tackles. Excellent vision at the line of
scrimmage. Dependable pass catcher on swings, screens, and outs. Can potentially be used on
all three downs. Ideal size.

Weakness: Lacks the burst necessary to become an elite RB in the NFL. Long speed is
just average. Seeks contact and lowers the shoulder rather than trying to juke or outrun
defenders. Could be an injury risk due to running style.

Verdict: Potential franchise RB
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3. Donald Brown (B)
Running style comparison: Deuce McAllister

Strength: Has the ability to turn losses into gains. Follows his blockers and lets plays
develop. Can make defenders miss in the open field. Runs through arm tackles and is tough
to bring down. Makes good reads at the line of scrimage. Solid pass catcher.

Weakness: Tendency to dance behind the line too much. Doesn't have elite speed and will not
hit many homeruns. Runs big, but he may be too small for that running style in the NFL.
Doesn't shy from contact and will take some hard hits.

Verdict: Potential opening day starter
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4. Andre Brown (B-)
Running style comparison: Ronnie Brown

Strength: Extremely tough to bring down. Runs through arm tackles without losing much speed
and can utilize the stiff arm. Gets down the field quickly. Good short yardage runner that
won't dance before hitting the hole. Excellent pass catcher than can run routes in the open
field. Good size.

Weakness: Too slow to be an elite RB in the NFL. Cuts can be awkward and his stride is too
short. Can be easily tripped up from behind.

Verdict: Potential starter
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5. Shonn Greene (B-)
Running style comparison: Rudi Johnson

Strength: Perhaps the best vision for a RB in the draft. Follows his blockers and waits for
plays to develop. Doesn't break many tackles, but he will use his body to gain extra
yardage and always seems to fall forward. Gets in and out of cuts very smoothly and has
subtle quickness. Powerful enough to run through arm tackles and surefooted enough to
bounce out of tackles. Big enough to be goalline threat in the NFL.

Weakness: Not fast enough to be an elite player in the NFL. Lacks the ability to translate
big holes into long runs. Doesn't try to outrun defenders and sometimes seems to give up on
the play at the second level. In a league with so many talented RBs, may find it difficult
to get a role right away. Workmanlike ability that won't blow anybody away on paper.

Verdict: Potential starter
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6. Rashad Jennings (B-)
Running style comparison: Shaun Alexander

Strength: Runs with the most determination of anyone in the class. Good combination of
size, speed, and power. Shifty north-south runner with good wiggle. Gets to full speed
quickly. Isn't brought down easily and can maintain speed through contact. Hits the hole
with authority.

Weakness: Runs with his head down at times and tries to initiate contact. Doesn't have good
top end speed. Can get caught running upright and take some big hits. Bounces it outside
more often than he should.

Verdict: Potential Starter
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7. Kory Sheets (C+)
Running style comparison: Ahmad Bradshaw

Strength: Fast and has the ability to break some long runs. Talented pure runner that can
make people miss. Stays on his feet when hit. Good hands out of the backfield. Perhaps the
single most underrated RB in this class.

Weakness: Slows down at times when making cuts. Not a very powerful runner. Character
issues could drop his draft stock and lowers my grade for him.

Verdict: Backup runner with starting RB potential.
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8. Cedric Peerman (C+)
Running style comparison: Maurice Jones Drew

Strength: Low center of gravity and good balance. Good acceleration and has the ability to
break away into the open field. Good pass catcher. Compact runner that will break arm
tackles. Decent vision, hits the hole quickly and runs downhill.

Weakness: Runs small for his size. Doesn't appear to have the ability to be a featured RB
in the NFL. Will be drafted for his versatility and ability on kickoff returns.

Verdict: 3rd down RB with RB1A potential.
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9. Mike Goodson (C-)
Running style comparison: Chris Johnson

Strengths: Excellent balance and determination. Keeps his feet moving and fights through
tackles despite his small frame. Good acceleration through the hole and adequate long
speed. Natural playmaker with a lot of raw talent.

Weakness: Not as fast as Chris Johnson and will have a hard time breaking away at the next
level. Tendency to look for big plays instead of taking the sure gains. Another guy with
character concerns. Could have used more seasoning in college.

Verdict: Backup runner with RB1A potential.
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10. Lesean McCoy (D+)
Running style comparison: Reggie Bush

Strength: Shifty runner with good cutback ability and juke moves. Good acceleration at the
point of attack and above average long speed. Solid pass catching ability. Potential
homerun hitter.

Weakness: Not fast enough to consistently outrun defenders to the corner in the NFL. Goes
down easily and will get arm tackled and outright overpowered at times. Balance is
questionable, slows down when making cuts. Small build, may not be trusted to touch the
ball more than 15 times a game. Not explosive or talented enough to make a fantasy impact
with limited touches.

Verdict: Hybrid RB/WR that will be used as a RB1B.
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11. James Davis (D+)
Running style comparison: Ricky Williams

Strength: Decisive one cut runner that gets to full speed quickly. Good acceleration into
the hole. Sees the field well at the line of scrimmage. Adequate pass catcher. Good size
and speed.

Weakness: Tendency to run east-west at the 2nd level. Doesn't break many tackles. Has poor
balance and runs with an awkward lean at times. Doesn't keep feet moving while being
tackled. Draft stock fell considerably after his Senior year.

Verdict: Backup RB that could produce in the right system.
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12. Jeremiah Johnson (D)
Running style comparison: Marshawn Lynch

Strength: Elusive runner. Can make defenders miss and extend plays. Solid pass catcher who
can beat his man in the open field. Follows his blockers down the field. Good stiff-arm and
toughness.

Weakness: Classic East-West runner that tries to bounce everything to the outside. Not fast
enough to be a homerun threat. Too much stutter and not enough stride. Will find it a lot
more difficult to break long runs in the NFL.

Verdict: Backup runner that could surprise if given the opportunity.
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13. Javon Ringer (D)
Running style comparison: Tatum Bell
Strength: Runs with determination and will fight for extra yards. Keeps his legs moving
through tackles and makes the good reads at the line. Quick RB, good cutter. Good
pass-catcher.

Weakness: Not big enough, not fast enough, and not powerful enough to be a featured RB in
the NFL. Carried the load in college, but will not be asked to do so in the pros. Will
struggle to break many tackles at the next level. Will get arm tackled on occasion. Not
fast enough to be an outside threat. Not strong enough to be used in short yardage. Will
have a hard time getting on the field.

Verdict: 3rd down and change of pace RB.
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Re: Kensat's 2009 Rookie RB rankings (predraft)

Postby TheDiplomats » Sat Apr 25, 2009 9:45 am

Shouldn't LeSean McCoy be a bit higher? I was never that high on the guy, but putting him out of the top 5 for rookie RBs is something I don't agree with. I also don't like your comparisons for Wells or Moreno. I think Wells is more like Jamal Lewis and Moreno is more like Westbrook. Just my 2 cents. ;-D Aside from that, I like the order they are in for the most part.
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Re: Kensat's 2009 Rookie RB rankings (predraft)

Postby Free Bagel » Sat Apr 25, 2009 12:45 pm

TheDiplomats wrote:Shouldn't LeSean McCoy be a bit higher? I was never that high on the guy, but putting him out of the top 5 for rookie RBs is something I don't agree with.


McCoy's stock has taken a huge fall since his awful pro-day. I know a lot of people don't put too much stock into the numbers but even people that don't were affected by his, that's how bad it was.

I mean, he was putting up numbers on par with guys that weighed 50-60 pounds more than him. Numbers that were the worst of the last decade for a RB near his size in many of the important drills.
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Re: Kensat's 2009 Rookie RB rankings (predraft)

Postby Kensat30 » Mon Apr 27, 2009 4:23 am

TheDiplomats wrote:Shouldn't LeSean McCoy be a bit higher? I was never that high on the guy, but putting him out of the top 5 for rookie RBs is something I don't agree with. I also don't like your comparisons for Wells or Moreno. I think Wells is more like Jamal Lewis and Moreno is more like Westbrook. Just my 2 cents. ;-D Aside from that, I like the order they are in for the most part.


I based my rankings purely on fantasy potential. Most of what goes into that is talent-based, but very little of the "true" NFL value of a player factors in. I don't care so much if a RB can be shifted around as a slot WR, wildcat QB, punt returner, etc. if that ability won't help him to become a feature RB and fantasy relevant. Only guys with massive undeniable talent like MJD, Westbrook, and Leon Washington can get extra fantasy value from their special teams ability IMO. Reggie Bush is in a unique situation to have the role he does and lot of that is based on where he was drafted and the hype that surrounds that player. At the same time, Bush does have unique abilities at the RB position and I just don't think McCoy does. All those specialized guys that I mentioned, who have such extraordinary ability, only get that added boost in fantasy value because that ability serves as a showcase for the coaches.Smart coaches find a way to get the ball in that guys hands.


McCoy strikes me as a guy who will play a role for a team, but never develop into anything special. He is the clear case of the tweener RB, and at this point in time there is no model in the NFL for an offense that can support a player like that. There is no "3-4 offense". Made me scratch my head when the draft pundits initially came out and called this guy the 2nd or 3rd most talented RB in the draft, when for me he is clearly a highly specialized player and not even an elite talent at that. McCoy's horrendous workout numbers simply confirmed what I had been thinking all along. This guy is tremendously overrated for what he is. Reggie Bush holds a lot of value for his NFL team, although the injury problems definitely downgrade that value, but you have to realize that a guy like Reggie Bush is like the Jim Brown of his particular skillset. And even with the skills, Bush holds only marginal fantasy value in non-ppr type leagues(which my rankings are based on). McCoy is like a crude imitation clay model of the type of player Reggie Bush is.

I think Philly has given up on trying to find a "feature RB" to push Westbrook into a part-time role and instead have drafted themselves a poor mans replacement in case Westbrook goes down. McCoy will do ONE single thing better than Westbrook, and that is to play football when Westbrook is injured. I think at this point, McCoy's value has been greatly enhanced based purely on the offense he has inherited. Philly has one of the few "flexible" offenses in the league that can utilize a guy like McCoy. He could potentially have a lot of value as soon as this year if Westbrook gets injured and/or starts hitting the wall. I still don't think McCoy will ever develop into the guy though. Westbrook does everything that a guy like McCoy can do but better. And the real reason that Westbrook is so successful is that he can do those things and he can also do what normal RBs do just as well.
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Re: Kensat's 2009 Rookie RB rankings (predraft)

Postby LS2throwed » Mon Apr 27, 2009 10:46 am

McCoy is hardly a "poor mans westbrook", remember Westbrook barely broke a 4.6 in the 40, was undersized out of college, and was a 3rd round pick, just because he's had success now doesn't mean McCoy is a poor mans version of him..He's alot like Westbrook, what makes him such a good fit is that he's an excellent receiver out of the backfield and in Andy Reid's system that's worth alot.


People too often look at Westbrook and think he's some talent that has never come around before, he had to work hard to get to teh type of player he is now and McCoy looks like he could be on that same path...It took Westbrook 5 years before he rushed for over 1000 yards, he didn't start his career on fire, or as a great inside runner, or as a huge guy, all those things developed with time, and I see all the same similiarities in McCoy.
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Re: Kensat's 2009 Rookie RB rankings (predraft)

Postby gatorman1122 » Mon Apr 27, 2009 11:40 am

Excellent list as usual, Kensat. I might switch places for a few players here and there, but it's a pretty solid list just like last year.
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Re: Kensat's 2009 Rookie RB rankings (predraft)

Postby Kensat30 » Mon Apr 27, 2009 12:55 pm

LS2throwed wrote:McCoy is hardly a "poor mans westbrook", remember Westbrook barely broke a 4.6 in the 40, was undersized out of college, and was a 3rd round pick, just because he's had success now doesn't mean McCoy is a poor mans version of him..He's alot like Westbrook, what makes him such a good fit is that he's an excellent receiver out of the backfield and in Andy Reid's system that's worth alot.


People too often look at Westbrook and think he's some talent that has never come around before, he had to work hard to get to teh type of player he is now and McCoy looks like he could be on that same path...It took Westbrook 5 years before he rushed for over 1000 yards, he didn't start his career on fire, or as a great inside runner, or as a huge guy, all those things developed with time, and I see all the same similiarities in McCoy.


Westbrook isn't the player he is because he is fast. The 4.6 forty time for him is inconsequential. I called McCoy a poor man's Westbrook because he does SOME of the things Westbrook can do, and not because they are similar players or have similar talent levels. Go to youtube and look at McCoy's highlights and then look at Westbrook's. The differences become glaring quickly.

Westbrook breaks tackles despite his size. Pound for pound Westbrook is one of the most powerful guys in the NFL. McCoy doesn't share those same traits. On tape McCoy plays like a scatback, but he doesn't show the elite speed. The workout numbers just revealed my suspicions for the guy. Westbrook plays like a franchise RB. He makes NFL players miss in the open field regularly, he powers through NFL tacklers, and keeps his balance when cutting and after getting hit. McCoy can't do a lot of things as well as Westbrook if even at all at the college level. And this a guy who relied on speed on a lot of his runs at the college level. When McCoy goes to make cuts he gets awkward and he looks sloppy because his balance is not as good as it needs to be. You'll see this guy with his head pointed down towards the turf because he stumbles a lot. You'll see this guy windmilling his body because his center of gravity isn't low enough. And you'll see this guy telegraph his movements to defenders right before he makes them. Brian Westbrook is the most precise and balanced cutter in the NFL today. Guy doesn't just run past linebackers because he is fast, it's because he has that coiled up explosiveness that he can release in a moments notice and bursts through and around those guys.

Bottomline, McCoy is too slow to be a scatback in the NFL and as a pure runner he is lacking in several categories. I do think he has above average receiving skills though. And in a system that can highlight that specific attribute he has a better chance to succeed. Even in that case though, like I said earlier, a more talented guy like Reggie Bush is still only marginally relevant in that scenario. Westbrook can catch passes, but he is a pure RB.
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Re: Kensat's 2009 Rookie RB rankings (predraft)

Postby LS2throwed » Mon Apr 27, 2009 5:33 pm

Yea but that's Westbrook right now, my point was that he wasn't this same person coming out of Villanova as a 3rd rounder, his highlights looked very similiar to McCoy, and prospect wise they are very similiar, if anything you would give the nod to McCoy coming out...I know Westbrook has got to be a dominant back over time, but it took a few years before he was there, and people had many reservations and doubts about him as a player.


Westbrook wasn't this spectacular player he is now when he came out, and neither is McCoy, but he certainly has every chance to be just as good and as explosive, if not better if he works at it.
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Re: Kensat's 2009 Rookie RB rankings (predraft)

Postby Kensat30 » Mon Apr 27, 2009 8:05 pm

LS2throwed wrote:Yea but that's Westbrook right now, my point was that he wasn't this same person coming out of Villanova as a 3rd rounder, his highlights looked very similiar to McCoy, and prospect wise they are very similiar, if anything you would give the nod to McCoy coming out...I know Westbrook has got to be a dominant back over time, but it took a few years before he was there, and people had many reservations and doubts about him as a player.


Westbrook wasn't this spectacular player he is now when he came out, and neither is McCoy, but he certainly has every chance to be just as good and as explosive, if not better if he works at it.


Westbrook wasn't on the map as a rookie, I agree. But McCoy has never shown us that he is an explosive player like Westbrook did when he started returning all those punts for TDs and scoring a TD in every game on less than 10 touches. You could grade every player on the "what-if" they develop, but you have to go on what they have shown up until this point. McCoy does get a boost now that he has gone to Philly, but you can't just assume this guy will develop skills at some point in the future that he doesn't currently have.
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