This will be the first of my posts analyzing the possible 1st and 2nd round draft selections and our positional needs. Please note that other RBs could come into play in the second round that aren’t covered here.
Before I go into McFadden, let’s look at our other options.
Justin Fargas (FA):
However, Fargas is not the long term answer. Fargas has only had one completely healthy season and he didn’t play that much. The more carries he gets, the more he seems to get hurt. I LOVED what he did for us this year. I like him. However, this is football team and our team needs to be smart about spending and what is really best.
Also, keep this in mind. Despite Fargas success, he had just 4 TD. He also wasn’t that consistant, with only four 100 yard games in 11. There was still a reason Jordan started over Fargas at the beginning of the year whether we want to admit it or not. I just don’t understand spending the money on a 28 year-old RB with a long injury history. Also, Fargas is one dimensional in that he isn’t a good WR out of the back field.
Dominic Rhodes: ($5.5 Million for 2008)
I have nothing against Rhodes, but he is nothing special. He also is due to make a boat load in 2008. I just don’t see him sticking around at that cap hit, especially not after complaining about playing time last season. He could restructure or perhaps make the team, but we all know he is nothing special. Good showings against solid run stuffing teams is a plus, but both those teams were without their top DT (Marcus Stroud and Jamal Williams). I’d say Rhodes is about a 50-50 chance of being on the roster come 2009.
LaMont Jordan ($6.9 in 2008, $7.2 in 2009)
At those cap numbers, there is about a negative chance he is on the roster next season. $4.4 million is bonus money. The hit can be spread out over two years by using the new rule which allows two players to be cut pre June 1 and treating the cap hit as if it was a post June 1 cut.
Adimchinobe Echemandu ($605K)
Has a solid chance of being the #3 RB next season with the possible exodus of three veteran RBs.
Michael Bush ($500K, $585K, $675K next three seasons)
I really badly wish we could have gotten to see what he could do last year. Hopefully, with a full season of conditioning he will be the Bush from the Videos below. He is just so much of an unknown, that we can’t truly count on him. If he turns into a stud, and we draft another RB, then we have two studs, and Bush would come super cheap. Still, no way of knowing how well he will comeback. I’d like to think if we don’t draft or sign a FA RB that would mean they are putting it upon Bush, but I am not holding my breath.
Darren McFadden (Likely around $25 mil in Guarantees)
This guy is really a stud. Some disagree, but if he comes in at 215 or above, his speed and elusiveness will be a huge asset. His receiving ability will make him more versatile than a guy like Fargas and maybe hide some of our liability at the WR position. Some say McFadden can’t break tackles, I don’t see evidence for this, most the time, he cuts so hard and had such great burst that he didn’t have to break tackles. He does have a strong stiff arm that I have seen on many occasions. He is closer to Peterson than Reggie Bush. Our system being good will only make McFadden that much better. The zone blocking system is built for fast straight line runners, so EVEN IF he is what some people with little football knowledge claim (That is a one dimensional fast guy) it still wont matter. He will still be good. Durability is my only concern because he runs a little high, but he has been surprisingly healthy so far in his career. My sources indicate (my fiance helped with a pool workout of Arkansas and Texas draft potentials at the Michael Johnson Training Facility) that McFadden is mature enough to be in the NFL and his character isn’t as big of a concern as some people would like to make it out to be.