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Kensat's 2010 rookie RB rankings

Postby Kensat30 » Sun May 02, 2010 5:18 am

1. (A) Jahvid Best - Best is bar none the best RB in this
class, no question in my mind. Jumps off the tape as a
difference maker at RB. Speed, acceleration, cutting, open
field moves, vision, deceptive tackle breaking ability,
amazing receiving talent and route running. The only
blemishes on this guy are his size and the nasty concussion.
Guy is still very young and doctors have cleared him to
play, the concussion is not a big concern for me. The size
issue? Personally, I think we're looking at the next Brian
Westbrook right here. Pass on this guy and you will regret
it.

2. (A-) Ryan Matthews - Solid all around runner. Reminiscent
of Michael Turner without the massive bulk. Quick feet, good
acceleration, best vision in this class. Good cutting
ability for his size, effective north/south runner, breaks
tackles. The one main drawback to this guy is that he lacks
the elite speed. He played against inferior talent in
college and I worry that Matthews will not be able to turn
the corner in the NFL. Timed faster than he plays. I don't
see Matthews as a true 3 down RB, but nonetheless could
easily become a top10 fantasy producer. He's better than
Rudi Johnson ever was, that's for sure. For me, Matthews
grades out just slightly lower than Johnathon Stewart did a
couple years ago.

3. (B+) CJ Spiller - Elite speed and acceleration. Great
open field moves. Downright dangerous in open space. My
worry is that Spiller will get swallowed up in the NFL when
he doesn't get that open space. Tends to hesitate and
stutter step in crowded situations. Similar player to Jahvid
Best, but he is leaner, doesn't break as many tackles, isn't
as fluid, not as quick to decide at the line of scrimmage,
and not as good a receiver. Should be a successful RB and
win a starting position in the NFL, but may struggle to
become that 2000+ yard all purpose or 10+ TD guy. Could
surprise and become the guy that I expect Best to be.

4. (B+) Ben Tate - The most underrated RB in this class.
Strong, fast, aggressive RB. Finds the hole and gets his
yards. The best short yardage runner in this class. Similar
player to Matthews, although not as sharp in his cuts or as
quick. Good tackle breaking ability. This guy is a more
athletic version of Shonn Greene. Guys drafting at 4 or 5
this year might be getting the steal of the rookie draft in
Tate. Not far fetched to see Ben Tate as the best fantasy RB
of the 2010 class when all is said and done.

-----

5. (C) James Starks - Extremely fluid runner. Solid cutter,
good quickness at the line of scrimmage, excellent
tackle breaking ability. Measurables are average, but his
ability is above average. Lacks elite speed. I'm surprised
scouts didn't grade Starks out higher than they did. Guy looks
like a player to me. Guy plays up to his 4.5 speed and that
should be fast enough to give him a chance in the NFL. Guy
downright outclassed the talent around him at the college level.
May have to get lucky to get a shot to start in the NFL, but I
believe he has the ability to hang onto a job for a few years
if put in that position. One question mark: guy is so smooth
out there, does it just comes natural or is he just lazy/careless.

6. (C) Dexter McCluster - Playmaker. Some of the best hands
I've ever seen in a RB prospect. Fast guy. Real fast. But
he's not Chris Johnson fast and he's got chicken legs. Best
case scenario, guy works his way into the lineup as a hybrid
RB who can get up near 100 receptions. I counted out Steve
Slaton as a rookie because I believed he was a 3rd down RB
at best, and I almost feel the same way about McCluster. Who
knows, guy could surprise...People said the same things
about Desean Jackson and how he didn't fit the mold of NFL WR,
but look where that guy is now. McCluster has the same type of
talent. But then again, RB is a far cry from WR in the NFL. Will
this guy last in the NFL at 170, or will he maintain his speed if
he can get his weight up to even 180? Hard to see this guy
succeeding as a starting NFL RB. Says something about his
talent that this guy is near the top my 2nd tier, but its also
evidence of the lack of depth at rookie RB this year.


7. (C-) Deji Karem - I haven't seen very much of this guy,
but what I've seen I like. Guy is an MJD clone. Built low,
tough to tackle, excellent speed and acceleration. Little
bit on the small side and hasn't faced elite competition,
but intriguing talent nonetheless. I almost want to rank
this guy right up there with Starks as the best of the rest,
but I believe he will have a steeper hill to climb to get a
chance in the NFL simply because of his status as a relative
unknown. Put an asterisk on this guy and don't be surprised
if you recognize his name as a fantasy sleeper if he gets a
chance to play.


8. (C-) Johnathon Dwyer - I really don't want to like Dwyer.
Runs slow at times, flat footed, bit of a plodder, and he
bullied inferior players in college. Guy runs like a FB with
flashes of HB ability. That's the reason he fell in the
draft. I think a lot of teams question his desire and his
commitment, its frustrating to see him his ability on and
off from play to play. Looks a lot of Ron Dayne at this point.
A year ago this guy would have been ranked up there with
the top tier RBs. At one point in time this guy was a beast
and he still shows flashes of that. If this guy were to get serious
and regain his form, if he finds the desire to be the best,
and if he gets the opportunity to play, maybe this guy can
grab a starting position. If I thought that outcome was
likely, this guy would be in the top tier rather than at the
bottom of the second tier.

9. (C-) Charles Scott - Cannot be arm-tackled. Excellent balance,
good acceleration, no nonsense north/south runner. This is
a guy that doesn't jump off the page, but can get things done.
Hits the hole with a vengeance and gets up to his subpar top
speed quickly. Doesn't really juke or cut, more like he picks a
lane and runs through it. I like him as a goaline RB. Guys is similar
to Brandon Jacobs without the monsterous size and a little more
athleticism.
------

10. (D) Anthony Dixon - Upright runner. Decent speed, decent
tackle breaker, decent vision, marginal NFL talent. This guy
doesn't really make that much of an effort to cut or juke
once he gets past the line of scrimmage. Shows a tendency to
try to play "big". These types of players don't last long in
the NFL. I think this guy has a role as a backup RB, and
backup RBs sometimes will get a chance to start. I seriously
doubt Dixon has the talent to ever be stick and become "the
guy" somewhere. Not enough measurables and not enough
talent.

11. (D-) Montario Hardesty - Not impressed in the slightest.
Does not have NFL speed. Guy is clumsy. Doesn't cut well,
does not break enough tackles for his size, timed faster
than he plays. Guy can be a chain mover, but chain movers
have a hard time getting on the field. This guy is destined
to be the third best RB on whatever NFL team he is playing
for. Guy plays like a FB.

12. (D-) Toby Gerhart - Another FB. No imagination, no cuts,
not enough speed to be a player in the NFL. This guy is a
injury replacement backup RB in the short term, and in the
long term he is the answer to a trivia question. Avoid.

13. (D-) Joe McKnight - Poor man's Reggie Bush. Will be
lucky to be slotted into even a third down role. Has some
speed, but doesn't have the size or the lateral agility to
make good use of it. Doesn't have the skills to even compete
for a starting position and may not even make it as a
scatback. Avoid.
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Re: Kensat's 2010 rookie RB rankings

Postby moochman » Sun May 02, 2010 8:51 am

Nice work, Kensat. I think Rookie RB success after the first handful of upper tier players is almost more a product of their environment than measurables, especially when it comes to 40 times. Gerhart's not enough speed 40 time is better than the decent speed 40 of Dixon, and a tick off of Starks. While the kid may have looked like a FB running, he did do something Best could not do-produce in big games. Sometimes there are backs that are football players, and could be that Gerhart falls into that category. Not saying I like his chances better than Best's or many of the other backs, but that you may have been a bit harsh in your evaluation of this guy. He will play for a team in need of a back to give APF a breather and is very good at running the ball. He bears keeping an eye on.
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Re: Kensat's 2010 rookie RB rankings

Postby bungle613 » Sun May 02, 2010 12:37 pm

Good work again Kensat. Can't say I agree with all of it but at this point, it is opinions. I am glad to see Hardesty down so far. I am not sold on him either although for some reason he seems to have been anointed to a RB1(a) with Harrison.

Quick question... Blount would be off your list? And from what I have read McCluster should be a WR in the NFL.
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Re: Kensat's 2010 rookie RB rankings

Postby mattb47 » Sun May 02, 2010 12:57 pm

I'm glad someone agrees with me on the quality of talent that Jahvid Best has...I don't know if I'd place him purely at the top but he's definitely further up there than people seem to want to give him credit for. The guy is unbelievable and I think Detroit is going to be very happy they ended up with him.

I disagree with you a good deal on Gerhart...that guy is just a football player and he's got excellent speed for a back his size and running style and I think that he will be a solid NFL back at the very least. You will not want to be in charge of trying to tackle Minnesota RBs next season...

I don't think Hardesty is the most talented back out there but I think you still have him a little low...he's got solid skills although he's not really great at any one thing and he's going to be given an opportunity in Cleveland to win some carries there as they clearly don't view Harrison as an every down type of player. Apparently they liked him a lot there and so you know he'll have his chances.

Good list though...it's obvious you put time into it and that is always greatly appreciated whether I agree with all of it or not.
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Re: Kensat's 2010 rookie RB rankings

Postby TheDiplomats » Sun May 02, 2010 10:11 pm

I don't agree with your assessment of Hardesty at all. Clumsy runner? Maybe we aren't watching the same guy. The guy is incredible when it comes to planting his feet and changing direction. He also has a pretty nasty spin move to boot. He churned out 1300 yards behind a patchwork TEN OLine with bum knees in the SEC. He may lack top flight speed, but he is a very capable runner and receiver out of the backfield. I think talent wise, he is only behind Best and Spiller and is on par with Mathews and Tate. He will probably end up with 150-200+ carries this year so we will see if he turns out to be a good one or not. My gut tells me he will.

Also, the reason Starks was graded so poorly is because his pad level is WAY to high when he runs. If he learns to run with a lower pad level, then he could be a good one. Otherwise he'll just be out of the league in 2 years.

Good list all in all though. I agree with most of your assessments, particularly with Dwyer and McKnight.
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Re: Kensat's 2010 rookie RB rankings

Postby Kareighuis » Sun May 02, 2010 11:38 pm

Kensat30 wrote:1. (A) Jahvid Best
2. (A-) Ryan Matthews
3. (B+) CJ Spiller
4. (B+) Ben Tate
-----
5. (C) James Starks
6. (C) Dexter McCluster
7. (C-) Deji Karem
8. (C-) Johnathon Dwyer
9. (C-) Charles Scott
------
10. (D) Anthony Dixon
11. (D-) Montario Hardesty
12. (D-) Toby Gerhart
13. (D-) Joe McKnight


For rankings focusing on 2010, rather than long term like dynasty, I think situation is more important than talent. Given that, I can't rank Spiller over Tate.
Similarly, I can't see Scott being ranked behind so many backups or 3rd stringers. It's possible the guy right before him on this list may even play primarily at FB. Scott has limited physical skills, but he fills a clear need in Philly as a power back who can complement McCoy.
On the same point, I don't think Hardesty should be ranked so low on 2010 rookie RB rankings. One can argue about his skills and injury history (only one year of great production, ravaged by injuries before then), but he was drafted by the new regime and opportunity will likely be easily attainable in 2010.

On another note, I think Gerhart is ranked too high. I'd consider Blount (Ten) and Toston (StL) over him.
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Re: Kensat's 2010 rookie RB rankings

Postby mattb47 » Sun May 02, 2010 11:46 pm

Kareighuis wrote:On another note, I think Gerhart is ranked too high. I'd consider Blount (Ten) and Toston (StL) over him.


Seriously? Care to elaborate?
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Re: Kensat's 2010 rookie RB rankings

Postby Kareighuis » Mon May 03, 2010 12:45 am

mattb47 wrote:
Kareighuis wrote:On another note, I think Gerhart is ranked too high. I'd consider Blount (Ten) and Toston (StL) over him.


Seriously? Care to elaborate?


Gerhart was a FB and has to play that position to get on the field. Backs up Peterson. I shied away from AP out of college because of his injury concerns, but I'm almost ready to ignore them now. Gerhart lacks the speed and can only plow ahead- where Minny's o-line is weakest.

Blount (Lendale heir apparent) and Toston (SJax injury risk, team could play the youngster late in the season to see whether they should get a RB early in the 2011 draft) have a better chance to get major time. I don't care about a handful of carries a game. Blount has character issues while Toston isn't a highly-rated prospect. Just like Gerhart, they won't necessarily produce on a massive scale- just Gerhart's draft price will likely much higher.
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Re: Kensat's 2010 rookie RB rankings

Postby mattb47 » Mon May 03, 2010 1:33 am

I feel like you're pretty off base here...Gerhart actually has very good speed for how big he is and what kind of running style he has. He ran a 4.53 which is pretty good considering that he's known much more for his power than his speed....and is also faster than what Beanie Wells ran last year and faster than Legarrette Blount's time. So I think that knocking his speed is being a little bit picky...he's not going to have elite speed as a power runner but he does have more than people give him credit for. He's got quicker feet than most people think too and I think he's going to surprise a lot of his naysayers this season and beyond.

As far as situation goes, ADP has been pretty durable but he has still gotten banged up a bit and if he doesn't fix his fumbling problems, it might not be worth the risk giving him the ball quite as much if Gerhart proves solid and can hang onto the football. I'm not saying that ADP is going to take a hit in his fantasy value, but it's not a "bad" situation by any means for a RB early on in his career and he's definitely going to get some playing time.

I think that Gerhart will be more fantasy relevant than Blount will be in Tennessee...I don't see him having anything more than what White's role was last season which was pretty much nothing. Chris Johnson is the man there and there is no other relevant fantasy option there right now...Blount wasn't that impressive to me and I don't know that he'll be a real legit RB at the next level. I don't really know much about Toston, but as long as SJax is healthy in STL, he won't be relevant in any way and word is they've been speaking alot to Brian Westbrook which would further destroy his value.

I just quite simply think that Gerhart is a superior RB to those other guys and many of the players on this list...people seem to like to not give him the benefit of the doubt but I think he'll prove a good amount of people wrong about him and the Vikings choice to take him instead of a smaller scat type back.
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Re: Kensat's 2010 rookie RB rankings

Postby Kareighuis » Mon May 03, 2010 9:22 am

Yeah, he went a little faster than I expected. My concern is he won't get as much time behind the prime guy who's quite like him. Gerhart and Dixon were guys I was watching pre-draft- their landing spots made them much less unattractive in short-term leagues than their talents warrant.

Blount might be slower, but he complements the main guy much better and the coach has said he wants to lighten his workload. Too many things need to happen for Toston to gain significant value.

In reality, I'd probably let other people draft Blount and Gerhart and would watch Toston.
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