Sunday, April 5, 2009

NFL Draft Averages - RBs

The second installment of my draft averages feature focuses on the guys who pound it up the gut one play and then swoop around the tackles the next. Running backs get a lot of recognition in football for their moves with the football. The position is one of the easiest to adjust to in the NFL, allowing front offices to find stud RBs deep into the draft. How has the position fared over the last decade? Let's take a look at the RB draft statistics from the 1999 through 2008 drafts to find out.

Draft trends for RBs (1999-2008).

During the ten most recent NFL drafts 191 RBs have been selected, an average of about 19 per draft. The most RBs drafted in a year was 23 (2002 & 2008) with the least coming in 2003 & 2004 (15). However, unlike some positions that are selected often in the later rounds RBs have a pretty stable line throughout the course of one draft. You can expect about three RBs drafted every round. This demonstrates teams not overreaching for the position; there are plenty of players available and a run rarely occurs. Teams know they can wait.

What does it mean for the many men that want to be selected in the 2009 draft? Let's reexamine how this is determined. My crude method - hey, this is all for fun, I never said it'd be scientific - says that, statistically speaking, we can expect no less than 15 RBs to be selected during the draft. Remember, 15 is the least amount of RBs taken in a draft in the last 10 years. The top 15 RBs are designated as "Will Be Picked", We know the average taken which is 19/draft. So therefore the next four in the rankings earn a "Should Be Picked" allotment. The maximum number of RBs taken in the last 10 drafts is 23. Four more RBs are classified and get the "Borderline" tag. Any one below the maximum threshold gets slapped as "Unlikely". Got it? Good. Bring on the list.

Will Be Picked

Chris Wells, Ohio State

Knowshon Moreno, Georgia

LeSean McCoy, Pittsburgh

Donald Brown, Connecticut

Shonn Greene, Iowa

Rashad Jennings, Liberty

James Davis, Clemson

Devin Moore, Wyoming

Andre Brown, North Carolina State

Javon Ringer, Michigan State

Glen Coffee, Alabama

Cedric Peerman, Virginia

Ian Johnson, Boise State

Mike Goodson, Texas A&M

Jeremiah Johnson, Oregon

Should Be Picked

Kory Sheets, Purdue

Arian Foster, Tennessee

Tyrell Sutton, Northwestern

P.J. Hill, Wisconsin


Marlon Lucky, Nebraska

Javarris Williams, Tennessee State

Chris Ogbonnaya, Texas

Aaron Brown, TCU


Gartrell Johnson, Colorado State

Curtis Brinkley, Syracuse

Brad Lester, Auburn

Once again I am using Michael Abromowitz's positional rankings from The Football Expert. These are compared with NFL Draft Scout and adjusted if deemed necessary.

This year has two RBs jostling to be selected first. They may be the only two taken in the first 32 picks. Or only one may be taken. This draft is solid but no very flashy. The best value will lie in the 2nd and 3rd rounds with guys such as Donald Brown, Rashad Jennings, Shonn Greene, Javon Ringer, and Andre Brown. Like I said before, RBs have the easiest time adjusting to life in the NFL. Teams should focus on more pressing needs earlier and grab a RB later. It worked for Chicago and Detroit last season. It'll happen for a team or two this year.

MY PREDICTION: I have caught some flak for leaving Knowshon Moreno out of the first round. He is talented, no doubt. I believe he is the second best back behind Ohio State's Wells. But this isn't as a prolific RB class like 2000 and 2008 were. Wells and maybe Moreno go round one but expect a good number of RBs taken in rounds two and three. We could say as many as five go in the second and three or four go in the third.

UP NEXT: Later today I'll have the RBs cousin, the FB, up for analysis. FBs are not drafted often and the position is said to be dieing. What can we expect from the 2009 class?

No comments: