Analysis of RBs taken in the first round of the Draft 2000-2009

Today is the 6th installment in the series- Running Backs taken in Round 1 of the NFL Draft between 2000-2009.

 

Year Player Pick Starts TDs Pro Bowls Wonder’s Grade
2000 Jamal Lewis 5 126 62 1 2
  Thomas Jones 7 107 65 1 2
  Ron Dayne  11 28 28   7
  S Alexander 18 96 112 3 2
2001 T Canidate 31 13 7   7
  L Tomlinson 5 142 153 6 1
  D McAllister 23 74 54 2 2
2002 Michael Bennett 27 49 19 1 4
  William Green 16 30 9   7
2003 T.J. Duckett 18 14 44   4
  Willis McGahee 23 64 53 1 3
2004 Larry Johnson  27 55 61 3 2
  Steven Jackson 24 72 49 2 1
  Chris Perry 26 9 4   7
2005 Kevin Jones 30 49 27   5
  Ronnie Brown 2 55 33 1 3
  Cedric Benson 4 35 18   4
2006 Cadillac Williams 5 48 21   4
  Reggie Bush 2 36 28   3
  L Maroney 21 15 22   5
  DeAngelo Wms 27 31 34 1 2
2007 Joseph Addai 30 42 43 1 3
  Adrian Peterson 7 39 41 3 1
Marshawn Lynch 12 35 18 1 3
2008 Darren McFadden 4 12 5   4
  Jonathan Stewart 13 3 21   2
  Felix Jones 22 1 6   3
  R Mendenhall 23 13 8   3
2009 Chris Johnson 24 30 26 2 1
  K Moreno 12 9 9   4
  Donald Brown 27 1 3   4
  Beanie Wells 31 0 7   4
0.9 3.4

 

 *as always, reminder that 2008-2009 grades are preliminary and are moving.

What was difficult about this grading process was the number of injuries wrecking very talented players.  As an example, giving a guy like Cadillac Williams a ‘4’ was no joy.  But his career has been mired in disappointment.  The distinction there is that you have to separate a player like that from getting the bust tag because it was not a bust pick. 

If Adrian Peterson could hold onto the ball, he’d be a 0. 

There are a lot of RBs here that could be 2’s or 3’s.  They could go either way.  The overall message is that the final grade for the group is going to be fairly representative.  We are not claiming that Wonder’s subjective grade for each player is pinpoint precise; his grades on balance are going to be very good for surveying larger trends.

So with 6 positions being graded, this is where we are…

Position PBowls Rating
LB 0.9 3.2
CB 0.5 3.3
RB 0.9 3.4
OT 0.5 3.7
S 1.4 3.8
DT 0.6 4.1

The general takeaway of this exercise is to recognize not that LB is a better pick than CB or RB, but that LB/CB/RB are giving some yield.  Safeties have yield for Pro Bowls.  Tackles have value in fewer busts because they can be converted to Guards.   And finally, that DT is the weak link.  There are still too many positions to grade out (G/C, DE, QB, WR, and TE) to make final conclusions.  But thus far the original observation, that DT is less certain in Round 1, is holding up.

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