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Brian Westbrook

Postby TheBigBakedBean » Mon Jul 19, 2004 10:01 am

It seems that some people are shying away from Brian Westbrook...he's still around in the 5th and 6th round in some drafts. Why is this?

Don't forget that last year, the Eagles scored more rushing touchdowns than any other team in the league. At first glance, I thought that this must be because McNabb rushed for quite a few touchdowns...but that isn't the case. Here are the Eagles' rushing totals from last year:

Westbrook: 117 rushes, 613 yards, 7 TDs, 0 fumbles
Buckhalter: 126 rushes, 542 yards, 8 TDs, 3 fumbles - 2 lost
Staley: 96 rushes, 463 yards, 5 TDs, 1 fumble - 1 lost
McNabb: 71 rushes, 355 yards, 3 TDs, 4 fumbles - 1 lost

Now, shouldn't Duce having been shipped to Pittsburgh and the promise of Westbrook seeing more action be more reason to like this guy? I think ~188 rushes for ~1076 yrds and ~12 TDs (that's Westbrook's and Staley's combined totals from last year) is not too shabby, especially for a 5th rounder! Does anybody anticipate that he'll see anywhere close to 200 carries this year? Just for comparison, Green got the ball 355 times in GB and Troy Hambrick got the ball 275 times in Dallas.

Can anybody think of any big knocks on Westbrook's ability? Is there any reason why he can't rush for over 1,000 this year and score double-digit touchdowns?

The Eagles are going to score with their running game - they have one of the most balanced, unpredictable red zone attacks in the league - and let's face it...TO isn't going to catch THAT many longballs. The departure of Staley should have fantasy owners bumping Westbrook up their sheets, not down. Just looking for your input here...
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Postby ajgnydc722 » Mon Jul 19, 2004 10:07 am

Westbrook's stock definately goes up with Staley moving to Pittsburgh but I think he still hangs around late in drafts because people are still scared of RBBC. Whether or not Westbrook is the starter, Buckhalter's still going to steal carries so that's why I think people shy away from him.
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Postby maddog60 » Mon Jul 19, 2004 10:25 am

Westbrook is the man in Philly next year, but Buckhalter is too good to sit altogether. Buckhaltr will most likely spell Westbrook and take the up the middle carries. Philly got an eye-opening look at how important Westbrook is to that offense when he went down right before the playoffs.

I'd easily expect 200 carries from him this year, with about half as much for Buckhalter. Westbrook's abilities are fantastic. He's got speed, is a great pass catcher (hmm, someone has to take over all those screen plays Reid loved calling for Duce), and he just puts up amazing raw stats per carry/catch.

The 2 major knocks on Westbrook are:
a) Buckhalter will steal carries, how many the jury is out on.
b) He's small, and he got injured last year. The concern is whether he can handle a featured RB load.

In the 5th round, he's an absolute steal.
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Postby KingNothing31685 » Mon Jul 19, 2004 10:35 am

i got him in the 8th in a live yahoo draft :-° as my 4th rb after ahman, fred taylor, henry....needless to say i look forward to trading alot ;-D
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Postby TheBigBakedBean » Mon Jul 19, 2004 1:23 pm

8th round? I mean sure it was Yahoo...but that's absolutely ridiculous!

maddog60 wrote:I'd easily expect 200 carries from him this year


If he can get close to touching his 5.2 YPC average from last year, 200 carries would put him over the 1,000 yard mark - right around DD's production from last year. DD is considered by many to be a top 10 pick (not me personally...but that doesn't keep him out of the first round or early second in most drafts).

Buckhalter would have to steal a LOT of carries to keep Westbrook from scoring and from being a big star this year, IMO. He's got great speed, so you know he'll bust a few for long TDs. Also - he caught 4 TD passes last season - and, as was mentioned, that is with Duce Staley as the first backfield recieving threat.

He'd be the sleeper of the year for sure if he went in the 8th round of every fantasy draft...
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Postby Football Newbie » Mon Jul 19, 2004 1:41 pm

He should be a decent number 2 this year.
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Postby KingGhidra » Mon Jul 19, 2004 2:43 pm

LOL@ 12 TDs on 188 carries!! Come back to earth man, I'm sure your family misses you. Westbrook is not Priest Holmes.

King Ghidra in another thread talking about Westbrook wrote:How often does a guy come along that gets that many TDs on few carries that isn't a Zack Crockett or Moe Williams? It's foolish to think he'd even come close to that TD rate ever again. Two of the TDs came on kick returns which he won't be handling in 2004. Four of them came off receptions. Go over the stats of RBs and you'll see there's no rhyme or reason to their reception TDs. I throw receiving TDs out of the picture completely as being statistically insignificant. That leaves 7 TDs on 117 carries, or about 16.75 carries per TD. That makes him significantly better than any other top RB with the exception of Priest Holmes.

Everything he did is something that is very rare and unlikely. Considering he hasn't gotten a full seasons worth of work, makes him a prime target for one-hit wonder in my book. The only thing impressive about him is his 5.2 rushing average and above average receptions rate. That makes him more Charlie Garner or Tiki Barber than Priest Holmes. If he gets 250-280 carries and 50-60 receptions, he'll be the man as your #2 RB. Third or fourth round is still too early. If it's the fifth round, we can talk business.


King Ghidra also in another thread talking about Westbrook wrote:
7 TDs on 117 carries. or 16.7 carries per TD. Only Priest Holmes was better.

Using those stats for the other top RBs.

Ahman Green, 21 TDs.
LaDainian Tomlinson, 18 TDs.
Jamal Lewis, 23 TDs.
Clinton Portis, 17 TDs.
Shaun Alexander, 19 TDs.
Deuce McAllister, 21 TDs.
Ricky Williams, 23 TDs.

What seems more likely? Westbrook is better than all the RBs I just named and would score 20 TDs on 330 carries, or he has an inflated average? I'm not saying it's impossible. Emmitt Smith, Marshall Faulk and Priest Holmes prove that. I'm just saying it's very unlikely. The upper limit for rushing TDs in a season is usually around 16-17. Going into the 20s is very rare. I can't base my opinion on him based on what is probably a fluke. His yards/carry and receptions are impressive and make me think he'd be a Garner/Barber type if given 250-300 carries a year, which isn't something to laugh at.


He obviously has big play ability because of his performance on special teams. He obviously fits Reid's west coast scheme better than Buckhalter. Unfortunately, he won't get 350 carries on the season. I think he should have no trouble cracking the top 15, but anything more than that is unlikely. You don't draft a RB early to "just crack the top 15". That's why he is going in the 4th or 5th round.
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Postby FootballDrummer6 » Mon Jul 19, 2004 2:48 pm

I don't see him becoming a No. 1 by any means. It seems that he has the ability to be a good No. 2, but there are several questions that make him a risky pick. (He's small and buckhalter will take carries to name a few). There's too many questions for me to depend on him each week as a No. 2. I think he makes a great No. 3 and I think he should be drafted in the 4th round.
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Postby Canacuna » Mon Jul 19, 2004 6:51 pm

I think that both Brian Westbrook and Correll Buckhalter will have plenty of value this year.

Last year, Westbrook had 117 rushes for 613 yards and 7 TDs. Like KG said, that's 16.7 carries per TD. For some comparison to how amazing that is, check this out...

Quick, find the guys that don't belong in this list.

Priest Holmes - 11.9
Correll Buckhalter - 15.75
Brian Westbrook - 16.7
Duce Staley - 19.2
Shaun Alexander - 23.3
Ahman Green - 23.6
LaDainian Tomlinson - 24.1

With the departure of Duce Staley, that leaves 96 carries to be divided between Westbrook and Buckhalter. Andy Reid said that Westbrook would receive a larger role in the offense - he even took him off of special teams duty. I think that Brian Westbrook will receive about 13 or 15 carries per game (he only received 7.8 per game last year). If his yards per carry drops to around 4 yards, that's still between about 800 and 1,000 yards for him. I'm not expecting huge TD totals from him, but I'm still expecting somewhere between 7 and 10.

Anyway, enough of that. Brian Westbrook is also a very good receiver - 37 receptions for 332 yards and 4 TDs in '03. Last year, Staley had some nice receiving numbers, too - 36 receptions for 382 yards and 2 TDs. Buckhalter's a decent receiver, but you'd have to think that most of Staley's receptions will go Westbrook's way (and Terrell Owens too, I 'spose). I think 60 or 70 catches for 600 yards isn't that far out. I’d add maybe 4 or 5 receiving scores, too.

If Brian Westbrook can get around 900 rushing yards and 600 receiving yards, plus 8 rushing TDs and 4 receiving TDs… well, those are pretty good numbers. 1,500 total yards and 12 total TDs... I’ll take that.

I think that Correll Buckhalter could turn out to be the steal of most drafts, though. Last year, Buckhalter had 126 rushes for 542 yards and 8 TDs. He had 15.75 carries per TD. Check out the carries per TD list above to see just how amazing that is.

Westbrook will receive an increased role in the offense, but Buckhalter will still get his carries. I could actually see the situation turning into a 50/50 split – almost like the good ‘ol Thunder and Lightning days in New York. Buckhalter received 8.4 carries per game last year. I think there should be a slight increase next year and that could help boost his numbers. I think that he could wind up with around 175 carries and assuming he averages about 4 ypc like he has throughout his career, that’s right around 700 yards for C-Buck. Assuming the Eagles continue to run the ball, I can’t see why his TDs should change too drastically – I’d expect around 8 or so. 700 yards and 8 TDs isn’t bad for a guy who can be picked up late near the end of most drafts.

…That’s all kind of my own speculative crap, though. Take it for what it’s worth.
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Postby maddog60 » Tue Jul 20, 2004 12:10 am

KingGhidra wrote:You don't draft a RB early to "just crack the top 15". That's why he is going in the 4th or 5th round.


I wouldn't mind my #2 RB finishing in the top 15. Let's see, after:

#9: Edge
#10: Taylor
#11: Faulk
#12: Dillon
#13: Barlow
#14: Henry
#15: Westbrook?!?

But there's still Rudi, Bennet, Fumblina, Stephen Davis, and D. Davis. I don't see these guys going in the 4th or 5th rounds. I dont suppose that Staley lasts that long in most drafts either.

Considering those other guys usually projected in the 10-15 spots are getting 2nd round picks spent on them, how is Westbrook not worth at least a 3rd rounder? If you believe he's a top 15 RB, he's absolutely a steal in the 4th or 5th round, seeing how he's worth at least an early 3rd round if he cracks the top 15.
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