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C Mc vs Joe Mixon, J Ross vs C Samuel, & O Howard vs. E
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Skinsfan13


Joined: 18 May 2011
Posts: 212
Location: Washington, DC
PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tyler735 wrote:
Skinsfan13 wrote:
tyler735 wrote:
Skinsfan13 wrote:
Oregon Ducks wrote:
Mixon, Ross, Howard and Engram is a toss up. Depends on the offense.


This is pretty clearly the answer for me as well.

I actually think that there is a talent gap in the first two comparisons from a purely football perspective. Mixon to me has top 5 back in the league potential while Cmac, as much as I love him, is kind've a position less weapon ala Percy Harvin maybe (there is some hope that he develops into a workhorse back in the way that Tiki Barber did eventually I guess). I'd always take the hyper talented player with a defined position over the movable chess piece any day of the week, and in this instance Mixon actually has some of the same versatility.

Ross is just a better wr than Samuel and it's not really close imo.

I also love Howard and Engram as prospects, hence the toss up categorization. If forced to choose between the two, I'd lean Howard because he's the more scheme versatile of the two.


The bolded is the biggest farce I've seen in the scouting community in years. McCaffrey has a defined position. He is an elite runningback prospect. His production as a runner speaks for itself, but just to further elaborate, he possesses excellent vision and patience, which are 2 of the most valuable traits a RB prospect could have. On top of that he is a great athlete as demonstrated at the combine this year, and can clearly be seen on the field. I simply don't know how else to put it. He has elite production as a RB, Elite RB instincts, and great athleticism.

This doesn't even factor in his versatility. I'm just speaking purely as a RB he is an excellent prospect. Guys like Jamaal Charles, Chris Johnson, Lesean McCoy, Curtis Martin, Tiki Barber were all comparable from a size standpoint and had no issues running the ball in the NFL, I fully expect McCaffrey to follow that route in the NFL. People seem to punish him as a prospect for having such a versatile skill set, but it just doesnt make sense. It is simply an added bonus that he is an elite RB prospect with WR like ability in the passing game.

As for the Harvin comparison..McCaffreys production blows Harvins out of the water. McCaffrey has shown he can be the feature back, and still be a threat as a receiver. Harvin never showed that coming into the NFL which made him a bit of a tweener.


Don't mind the screed at all. I have no doubt that McCaffrey has the requisite skill to be a terrific rb, but I'll believe that he can shoulder a full-time back workload when I see it. There's a reason why NFL teams prefer players to meet certain measurable thresholds, because in their minds, it takes them away from the anecdotal (i.e. here are a handful of players that thrived at this weight) and perhaps the exceptions, and brings them closer to the conventional (this is the typical size that seems to correlate with longevity at the position). He may very well join the list you referenced, and Fournette/Mixon/Elliott might all break down next year, football is funny in that way, but when you're projecting forward, it's safer not to bank on exceptions to the rule.

Again, not saying Christian won't turn into the next McCoy, perhaps he will, but I feel a lot more comfortable projecting Mixon as a consistent 310+ carry, 70 reception back than I do McCaffrey given the fact that Mixon essentially brings an Elliott type h/w/s profile (with a touch better size and explosiveness) in addition to excellent versatility himself.

I'm not rooting against the kid, Im not betting against him either, I simply have questions about his ability to carry an NFL level workload. If he proves that he can, thats great, I'll be the first to commend him.

Also, in terms of calling him positionless, I'd like a mulligan on that because that's a misnomer. It would be more appropriate for me to say that I believe that he has an unconventional physical profile for a starting rb. I also believe that the Panthers have a plan to deploy him that is unconventional that will exploit his strengths and attempt to mitigate his weaknesses. To do that, I suspect that they will utilize him unconventionally. I bet that he spends more time in the slot than any top 3 round running back has in the past half-decade, and I guarantee you that they'll attempt to build him up to being a 280 carry back over a few seasons. If they do that, that's a tell-tale sign that they view him as not being a conventional back, and it won't simply be a byproduct of his wonderful versatility, it'll be because they're looking for ways to protect him given his physical profile.


Your expectation on what a RB needs to be is archaic in today's NFL. 300+ carries by a RB has only happened 6 times the past 4 seasons. It's hardly a regular occurrence anymore. The NFL has become more of a passing league. It's rare for a RB to average over 20 carries a game now. I see no reason McCaffrey can't handle around 15 carries per game plus additional receptions and returns. There are several guys recently at the RB position that havehl had great success at McCaffrey's size.

This so called size prototype is largely mythical. McCaffrey is over 200lbs so he's not exactly some scat back like a Tavon Austin in college, and will likely add some weight naturally as he is only 20 years old. McCaffrey could get injured, but if he does it won't be because of a lack of size, but rather football is simply a contact sport and regardless of size, RB's get injured all the time...Off the top of my head..Fred Taylor, Willis Mcgahee, Deuce McCallister, Ronnie Brown, Carnell Williams, Edgerin James, Adrian Peterson, Darren Mcfadden, Trent Richardson, and countless other high draft picks battled the injury bug throughout their career.

Just for emphasis Adrian Peterson in his entire career had 300+ carries 4 times. This consistent 310+ carry 70 reception example is far fetched. Adrian Peterson had over 380 touches just 2 times in career. Leveon Bell has never surpassed 300 carries in a season, and neither has David Johnson.


There's nothing archaic about my conception of a modern NFL running back. For instance, Elliott has 320+ carries and 40 receptions last year while sitting out a game (not to mention starting the season kind of slowly because of an injury in camp), and the expectation in Dallas is that he'll be more involved in the passing game this year. David Johnson had 293 carries and 80 receptions last year. LeVeon Bell had 261 carries and 75 catches in 12 games last season. I expect Mixon to develop into that type of back and have numbers in the vicinity of those numbers give or take ten carries and ten catches either way by year two.

What this boils down to is that we view the physical profile of running backs differently. The NFL is a frighteningly physical game, especially in the box, and I view physical stature as one way to better predict viability at the position over time. It's not the only important variable obviously (luck matters as well), but for both long term health and in season performance (not getting worn down over the course of a season), it appears to me that there is a positive correlation between conventional size at the position and sustainability.

Not saying that McCaffrey can't prove to be a full time performer at the position, Im just saying that I have no confidence that he will be.

*Just to be clear, I agree with your McCaffrey projection. 15 or so carries a game (more on days where he's going really well less on days that he isn't), 5 or 6 catches a game and a return or two a game. Thats the optimal way to utilize him, but to me, thats not a full time back workload. 15 catches a game brings you to 240 carries. Not terrible by any stretch, but that rate puts you firmly in rb by committee territory imo. You've still extracted value out of the player because those carries are supplemented by his receiving contribution, but to me that brings his value below what Elliott, Bell and Johnson give you, and also below what I expect Mixon to give the Bengals. Still really like the player though.
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tyler735


Joined: 12 Aug 2007
Posts: 2568
Location: Minnesota
PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skinsfan13 wrote:
tyler735 wrote:
Skinsfan13 wrote:
tyler735 wrote:
Skinsfan13 wrote:
Oregon Ducks wrote:
Mixon, Ross, Howard and Engram is a toss up. Depends on the offense.


This is pretty clearly the answer for me as well.

I actually think that there is a talent gap in the first two comparisons from a purely football perspective. Mixon to me has top 5 back in the league potential while Cmac, as much as I love him, is kind've a position less weapon ala Percy Harvin maybe (there is some hope that he develops into a workhorse back in the way that Tiki Barber did eventually I guess). I'd always take the hyper talented player with a defined position over the movable chess piece any day of the week, and in this instance Mixon actually has some of the same versatility.

Ross is just a better wr than Samuel and it's not really close imo.

I also love Howard and Engram as prospects, hence the toss up categorization. If forced to choose between the two, I'd lean Howard because he's the more scheme versatile of the two.


The bolded is the biggest farce I've seen in the scouting community in years. McCaffrey has a defined position. He is an elite runningback prospect. His production as a runner speaks for itself, but just to further elaborate, he possesses excellent vision and patience, which are 2 of the most valuable traits a RB prospect could have. On top of that he is a great athlete as demonstrated at the combine this year, and can clearly be seen on the field. I simply don't know how else to put it. He has elite production as a RB, Elite RB instincts, and great athleticism.

This doesn't even factor in his versatility. I'm just speaking purely as a RB he is an excellent prospect. Guys like Jamaal Charles, Chris Johnson, Lesean McCoy, Curtis Martin, Tiki Barber were all comparable from a size standpoint and had no issues running the ball in the NFL, I fully expect McCaffrey to follow that route in the NFL. People seem to punish him as a prospect for having such a versatile skill set, but it just doesnt make sense. It is simply an added bonus that he is an elite RB prospect with WR like ability in the passing game.

As for the Harvin comparison..McCaffreys production blows Harvins out of the water. McCaffrey has shown he can be the feature back, and still be a threat as a receiver. Harvin never showed that coming into the NFL which made him a bit of a tweener.


Don't mind the screed at all. I have no doubt that McCaffrey has the requisite skill to be a terrific rb, but I'll believe that he can shoulder a full-time back workload when I see it. There's a reason why NFL teams prefer players to meet certain measurable thresholds, because in their minds, it takes them away from the anecdotal (i.e. here are a handful of players that thrived at this weight) and perhaps the exceptions, and brings them closer to the conventional (this is the typical size that seems to correlate with longevity at the position). He may very well join the list you referenced, and Fournette/Mixon/Elliott might all break down next year, football is funny in that way, but when you're projecting forward, it's safer not to bank on exceptions to the rule.

Again, not saying Christian won't turn into the next McCoy, perhaps he will, but I feel a lot more comfortable projecting Mixon as a consistent 310+ carry, 70 reception back than I do McCaffrey given the fact that Mixon essentially brings an Elliott type h/w/s profile (with a touch better size and explosiveness) in addition to excellent versatility himself.

I'm not rooting against the kid, Im not betting against him either, I simply have questions about his ability to carry an NFL level workload. If he proves that he can, thats great, I'll be the first to commend him.

Also, in terms of calling him positionless, I'd like a mulligan on that because that's a misnomer. It would be more appropriate for me to say that I believe that he has an unconventional physical profile for a starting rb. I also believe that the Panthers have a plan to deploy him that is unconventional that will exploit his strengths and attempt to mitigate his weaknesses. To do that, I suspect that they will utilize him unconventionally. I bet that he spends more time in the slot than any top 3 round running back has in the past half-decade, and I guarantee you that they'll attempt to build him up to being a 280 carry back over a few seasons. If they do that, that's a tell-tale sign that they view him as not being a conventional back, and it won't simply be a byproduct of his wonderful versatility, it'll be because they're looking for ways to protect him given his physical profile.


Your expectation on what a RB needs to be is archaic in today's NFL. 300+ carries by a RB has only happened 6 times the past 4 seasons. It's hardly a regular occurrence anymore. The NFL has become more of a passing league. It's rare for a RB to average over 20 carries a game now. I see no reason McCaffrey can't handle around 15 carries per game plus additional receptions and returns. There are several guys recently at the RB position that havehl had great success at McCaffrey's size.

This so called size prototype is largely mythical. McCaffrey is over 200lbs so he's not exactly some scat back like a Tavon Austin in college, and will likely add some weight naturally as he is only 20 years old. McCaffrey could get injured, but if he does it won't be because of a lack of size, but rather football is simply a contact sport and regardless of size, RB's get injured all the time...Off the top of my head..Fred Taylor, Willis Mcgahee, Deuce McCallister, Ronnie Brown, Carnell Williams, Edgerin James, Adrian Peterson, Darren Mcfadden, Trent Richardson, and countless other high draft picks battled the injury bug throughout their career.

Just for emphasis Adrian Peterson in his entire career had 300+ carries 4 times. This consistent 310+ carry 70 reception example is far fetched. Adrian Peterson had over 380 touches just 2 times in career. Leveon Bell has never surpassed 300 carries in a season, and neither has David Johnson.


There's nothing archaic about my conception of a modern NFL running back. For instance, Elliott has 320+ carries and 40 receptions last year while sitting out a game (not to mention starting the season kind of slowly because of an injury in camp), and the expectation in Dallas is that he'll be more involved in the passing game this year. David Johnson had 293 carries and 80 receptions last year. LeVeon Bell had 261 carries and 75 catches in 12 games last season. I expect Mixon to develop into that type of back and have numbers in the vicinity of those numbers give or take ten carries and ten catches either way by year two.


The problem is RB's almost always see a significant drop in play following a 300+ carry season. Besides the league turning into a passing league, coaching staff's have realized the physical strain these 300+ carry seasons take on a RB, and you see only 1-2 per season for the most part in today's NFL, and rarely see back to back 300+ carry seasons by any NFL RB anymore. So yes this conception you have is archaic in today's NFL. You are making assumptions on what you hope to see with these RB's, but don't have hard data to back up the claims as they haven't bested these marks you are setting, and recent history suggests they will likely see a lighter workload after a high volume season.

Here's an article that further examines this trend in the NFL.
http://www.nfl.com/fantasyfootball/story/0ap1000000217336/article/going-deep-is-300-the-magic-number-for-rbs

Here's another:
http://footballdocs.com/running_back_carries.html

and another:
https://sports.yahoo.com/news/high-volume-running-backs-073900355--nfl.html


Quote:
What this boils down to is that we view the physical profile of running backs differently. The NFL is a frighteningly physical game, especially in the box, and I view physical stature as one way to better predict viability at the position over time. It's not the only important variable obviously (luck matters as well), but for both long term health and in season performance (not getting worn down over the course of a season), it appears to me that there is a positive correlation between conventional size at the position and sustainability.


Again this seems like an assumption, but do you have any data to back up this claim? Luck seems to be the only part I agree with in that paragraph. As I mentioned before TONS of "prototype" RB's have been plagued by injuries throughout their careers (See list in previous post), so how do you determine that size is a reason that a RB can't handle the workload when countless 215lb plus RB's consistently get injured in the NFL. If you have some form of measured statistic that shows RB size leads to less injuries I'd be very intrigued to see it. Besides luck being one of the biggest factors in my eyes, I'd have to say the next big factor would be simply being smart about contact. For example, RB's who play a more physical style of game that seek out contact instead of taking what the defense will give them at times will likely have less wear and tear on their bodies. Kind of an Eddie George/Earl Campbell vs. Curtis Martin running style.

As for not getting worn down. A guy like Jamaal Charles was notorious for killing teams late in games, and had no issues late in the season even though he was around 200lbs. I'd imagine Lesean McCoy also didn't have any issue granted I haven't looked it up, so I could be wrong. Point is I still have seen no evidence of this being that case for NFL RB's.


Quote:
*Just to be clear, I agree with your McCaffrey projection. 15 or so carries a game (more on days where he's going really well less on days that he isn't), 5 or 6 catches a game and a return or two a game. Thats the optimal way to utilize him, but to me, thats not a full time back workload. 15 catches a game brings you to 240 carries. Not terrible by any stretch, but that rate puts you firmly in rb by committee territory imo. You've still extracted value out of the player because those carries are supplemented by his receiving contribution, but to me that brings his value below what Elliott, Bell and Johnson give you, and also below what I expect Mixon to give the Bengals. Still really like the player though.


Just so we are clear on this.

15 carries a game equals- 240 carries a season
5-6 catches per game equals- 80-100 catches per season (I rounded up from 96)
1-2 returns per game equals- about 15 to 30 returns per season

Which essentially gives him 335-370 touches per season.

Maybe it's semantics, but in my opinion that output makes him every bit as valuable as a guy that runs it around 300 times per season with some added on receptions.

Also regarding Mixon. I simply don't think he is as talented as you believe he is. Even if he is that talented, he is still playing in an offense that has AJ Green, Gio Bernard, Jeremy Hill, John Ross, Tyler Eifert, and Tyler Boyd. He simply won't see anywhere near that type of workload with that many pieces around him
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Skinsfan13


Joined: 18 May 2011
Posts: 212
Location: Washington, DC
PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tyler735 wrote:
Skinsfan13 wrote:
tyler735 wrote:
Skinsfan13 wrote:
tyler735 wrote:
Skinsfan13 wrote:
Oregon Ducks wrote:
Mixon, Ross, Howard and Engram is a toss up. Depends on the offense.


This is pretty clearly the answer for me as well.

I actually think that there is a talent gap in the first two comparisons from a purely football perspective. Mixon to me has top 5 back in the league potential while Cmac, as much as I love him, is kind've a position less weapon ala Percy Harvin maybe (there is some hope that he develops into a workhorse back in the way that Tiki Barber did eventually I guess). I'd always take the hyper talented player with a defined position over the movable chess piece any day of the week, and in this instance Mixon actually has some of the same versatility.

Ross is just a better wr than Samuel and it's not really close imo.

I also love Howard and Engram as prospects, hence the toss up categorization. If forced to choose between the two, I'd lean Howard because he's the more scheme versatile of the two.


The bolded is the biggest farce I've seen in the scouting community in years. McCaffrey has a defined position. He is an elite runningback prospect. His production as a runner speaks for itself, but just to further elaborate, he possesses excellent vision and patience, which are 2 of the most valuable traits a RB prospect could have. On top of that he is a great athlete as demonstrated at the combine this year, and can clearly be seen on the field. I simply don't know how else to put it. He has elite production as a RB, Elite RB instincts, and great athleticism.

This doesn't even factor in his versatility. I'm just speaking purely as a RB he is an excellent prospect. Guys like Jamaal Charles, Chris Johnson, Lesean McCoy, Curtis Martin, Tiki Barber were all comparable from a size standpoint and had no issues running the ball in the NFL, I fully expect McCaffrey to follow that route in the NFL. People seem to punish him as a prospect for having such a versatile skill set, but it just doesnt make sense. It is simply an added bonus that he is an elite RB prospect with WR like ability in the passing game.

As for the Harvin comparison..McCaffreys production blows Harvins out of the water. McCaffrey has shown he can be the feature back, and still be a threat as a receiver. Harvin never showed that coming into the NFL which made him a bit of a tweener.


Don't mind the screed at all. I have no doubt that McCaffrey has the requisite skill to be a terrific rb, but I'll believe that he can shoulder a full-time back workload when I see it. There's a reason why NFL teams prefer players to meet certain measurable thresholds, because in their minds, it takes them away from the anecdotal (i.e. here are a handful of players that thrived at this weight) and perhaps the exceptions, and brings them closer to the conventional (this is the typical size that seems to correlate with longevity at the position). He may very well join the list you referenced, and Fournette/Mixon/Elliott might all break down next year, football is funny in that way, but when you're projecting forward, it's safer not to bank on exceptions to the rule.

Again, not saying Christian won't turn into the next McCoy, perhaps he will, but I feel a lot more comfortable projecting Mixon as a consistent 310+ carry, 70 reception back than I do McCaffrey given the fact that Mixon essentially brings an Elliott type h/w/s profile (with a touch better size and explosiveness) in addition to excellent versatility himself.

I'm not rooting against the kid, Im not betting against him either, I simply have questions about his ability to carry an NFL level workload. If he proves that he can, thats great, I'll be the first to commend him.

Also, in terms of calling him positionless, I'd like a mulligan on that because that's a misnomer. It would be more appropriate for me to say that I believe that he has an unconventional physical profile for a starting rb. I also believe that the Panthers have a plan to deploy him that is unconventional that will exploit his strengths and attempt to mitigate his weaknesses. To do that, I suspect that they will utilize him unconventionally. I bet that he spends more time in the slot than any top 3 round running back has in the past half-decade, and I guarantee you that they'll attempt to build him up to being a 280 carry back over a few seasons. If they do that, that's a tell-tale sign that they view him as not being a conventional back, and it won't simply be a byproduct of his wonderful versatility, it'll be because they're looking for ways to protect him given his physical profile.


Your expectation on what a RB needs to be is archaic in today's NFL. 300+ carries by a RB has only happened 6 times the past 4 seasons. It's hardly a regular occurrence anymore. The NFL has become more of a passing league. It's rare for a RB to average over 20 carries a game now. I see no reason McCaffrey can't handle around 15 carries per game plus additional receptions and returns. There are several guys recently at the RB position that havehl had great success at McCaffrey's size.

This so called size prototype is largely mythical. McCaffrey is over 200lbs so he's not exactly some scat back like a Tavon Austin in college, and will likely add some weight naturally as he is only 20 years old. McCaffrey could get injured, but if he does it won't be because of a lack of size, but rather football is simply a contact sport and regardless of size, RB's get injured all the time...Off the top of my head..Fred Taylor, Willis Mcgahee, Deuce McCallister, Ronnie Brown, Carnell Williams, Edgerin James, Adrian Peterson, Darren Mcfadden, Trent Richardson, and countless other high draft picks battled the injury bug throughout their career.

Just for emphasis Adrian Peterson in his entire career had 300+ carries 4 times. This consistent 310+ carry 70 reception example is far fetched. Adrian Peterson had over 380 touches just 2 times in career. Leveon Bell has never surpassed 300 carries in a season, and neither has David Johnson.


There's nothing archaic about my conception of a modern NFL running back. For instance, Elliott has 320+ carries and 40 receptions last year while sitting out a game (not to mention starting the season kind of slowly because of an injury in camp), and the expectation in Dallas is that he'll be more involved in the passing game this year. David Johnson had 293 carries and 80 receptions last year. LeVeon Bell had 261 carries and 75 catches in 12 games last season. I expect Mixon to develop into that type of back and have numbers in the vicinity of those numbers give or take ten carries and ten catches either way by year two.


The problem is RB's almost always see a significant drop in play following a 300+ carry season. Besides the league turning into a passing league, coaching staff's have realized the physical strain these 300+ carry seasons take on a RB, and you see only 1-2 per season for the most part in today's NFL, and rarely see back to back 300+ carry seasons by any NFL RB anymore. So yes this conception you have is archaic in today's NFL. You are making assumptions on what you hope to see with these RB's, but don't have hard data to back up the claims as they haven't bested these marks you are setting, and recent history suggests they will likely see a lighter workload after a high volume season.

Here's an article that further examines this trend in the NFL.
http://www.nfl.com/fantasyfootball/story/0ap1000000217336/article/going-deep-is-300-the-magic-number-for-rbs

Here's another:
http://footballdocs.com/running_back_carries.html

and another:
https://sports.yahoo.com/news/high-volume-running-backs-073900355--nfl.html


Quote:
What this boils down to is that we view the physical profile of running backs differently. The NFL is a frighteningly physical game, especially in the box, and I view physical stature as one way to better predict viability at the position over time. It's not the only important variable obviously (luck matters as well), but for both long term health and in season performance (not getting worn down over the course of a season), it appears to me that there is a positive correlation between conventional size at the position and sustainability.


Again this seems like an assumption, but do you have any data to back up this claim? Luck seems to be the only part I agree with in that paragraph. As I mentioned before TONS of "prototype" RB's have been plagued by injuries throughout their careers (See list in previous post), so how do you determine that size is a reason that a RB can't handle the workload when countless 215lb plus RB's consistently get injured in the NFL. If you have some form of measured statistic that shows RB size leads to less injuries I'd be very intrigued to see it. Besides luck being one of the biggest factors in my eyes, I'd have to say the next big factor would be simply being smart about contact. For example, RB's who play a more physical style of game that seek out contact instead of taking what the defense will give them at times will likely have less wear and tear on their bodies. Kind of an Eddie George/Earl Campbell vs. Curtis Martin running style.

As for not getting worn down. A guy like Jamaal Charles was notorious for killing teams late in games, and had no issues late in the season even though he was around 200lbs. I'd imagine Lesean McCoy also didn't have any issue granted I haven't looked it up, so I could be wrong. Point is I still have seen no evidence of this being that case for NFL RB's.


Quote:
*Just to be clear, I agree with your McCaffrey projection. 15 or so carries a game (more on days where he's going really well less on days that he isn't), 5 or 6 catches a game and a return or two a game. Thats the optimal way to utilize him, but to me, thats not a full time back workload. 15 catches a game brings you to 240 carries. Not terrible by any stretch, but that rate puts you firmly in rb by committee territory imo. You've still extracted value out of the player because those carries are supplemented by his receiving contribution, but to me that brings his value below what Elliott, Bell and Johnson give you, and also below what I expect Mixon to give the Bengals. Still really like the player though.


Just so we are clear on this.

15 carries a game equals- 240 carries a season
5-6 catches per game equals- 80-100 catches per season (I rounded up from 96)
1-2 returns per game equals- about 15 to 30 returns per season

Which essentially gives him 335-370 touches per season.

Maybe it's semantics, but in my opinion that output makes him every bit as valuable as a guy that runs it around 300 times per season with some added on receptions.

Also regarding Mixon. I simply don't think he is as talented as you believe he is. Even if he is that talented, he is still playing in an offense that has AJ Green, Gio Bernard, Jeremy Hill, John Ross, Tyler Eifert, and Tyler Boyd. He simply won't see anywhere near that type of workload with that many pieces around him


Just to be clear, we are confining our conversation to feature backs right? Let's just analyze some of the feature backs over the last decade (the list is a bit more expansive, but Im not typing up a completely comprehensive list to settle a disagreement on a message board). Peterson, Lynch, Gore, Foster, McCoy and now Johnson, Bell, and Elliott. They would all qualify, would they not? Peterson had 4 300+ carry seasons and would have had two more if it weren't for an injury very late in the season and I believe you guys rested him in 2010 for a game iirc. Lynch had two in back to back seasons (would have been three consecutive seasons if he didn't miss one game). Foster averaged 319 carries over a three year period from 2010-2013. McCoy had 310+ carry seasons in back to back years, and it would've been 3 in 4 if it weren't for him missing a single game in 2011. Ezekiel Elliott just had 322 carries last season in 15 games mind you, and will top that next year and the year after assuming good health. David Johnson was just under that threshold this year, and Bell would've cracked it too if he didn't have his issues to begin the year. Todd Gurley would've gone over 300 carries if the Rams were more effective running the ball this year etc. Doug Martin's gone over 300 carries, Matt Forte has gone over 300, Ray Rice has etc.

300+ carries isn't some mark that teams look to avoid. It's less than 19 carries a game. 310 carries a season is less than 20 a game. An archaic conception of the position would be expecting Mixon or Elliott to carry the ball 375+ times or to approach 400 carries.

With teams apparently willing to invest significant draft capital in the position again, you're going to see backs like Fournette, Elliott, Barkley etc. given workloads commensurate to their draft positioning. I expect the Bengals to treat Mixon in much the same manner. By all reports, they valued him comparably to backs drafted much higher, and they'll likely utilize him in that way after they give him time to acclimate to the rigors of the league.

In terms of my preference for larger backs predicated on the presumption that they'd withstand NFL caliber pounding better than smaller backs, that's of course a theory. Individually, there is no way of knowing whether a back will get injured or not when they come into the league (in fact, you can expect them to get injured tbh). However, if you go look at the backs with the highest attempt seasons in the league, and note how often there are repeat names on the list, the vast majority have something in common, they have more traditional rb frames.

http://www.pro-football-reference.com/leaders/rush_att_single_season.htm

That's still anecdotal because of course it would be. It's why projecting players to the league is not a literal science. The best we can do is formulate sets of beliefs based on corollary algorithms. I can't say that Mixon won't get hurt because of his frame any more than I could say that Sproles wouldn't last in the league for as long as he did. What I am willing to say is that I would bet on a rb with Mixon's frame before I bet on one with a frame like McCaffrey's.

Finally, while we agree on the raw number of touches McCaffrey can expect to receive, I suspect that we would disagree on the effectiveness of the touches. I don't care about his return touches because I don't expect him to be better than any number of other returners in the league (if he played for the Bengals for example, he'd at best be marginally better than PacMan Jones if at all, if he played for the Skins, he'd be at best marginally better than Crowder if at all, the Giants Beckham, the Eagles Sproles etc.). His value in the return game is inconsequential to me. I also don't expect his value on inside runs to be anywhere near that of some of the more physical backs in the draft. His true value (to me at least), will be on outside runs and in the passing game. I'd take what Bell, Johnson, Elliott or Mixon (projection) provide going forward over what McCaffrey provides.

Just my opinion of course, it's clear to me that you disagree (at least on the Mixon front). That's fine. Bookmark the page and we'll see who's right in a few years. That'll be fun.
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Iamcanadian


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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 11:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For me, it would be McCaffery, Ross and Howard.

McCaffery is such a deep threat out of the backfield or from the slot, that I really don't care how much of a RB he turns out to be and IMO, he will be a very decent RB. This guy can create monster amount of space for other receivers and force teams to cover his team's #1 receiver in man to man coverage. Mixon may be the better running back, but in today's game, the pass rules.

Ross is far superior to Samuel at this stage and injuries are anybody's guess till a career gets established.

Howard is both a dangerous receiving threat and a decent blocker, Engram is only a receiver at this stage, so I would have to give the edge to Howard.
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PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2017 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's like a broken record...
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tyler735


Joined: 12 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2017 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skinsfan13 wrote:
tyler735 wrote:
Skinsfan13 wrote:
tyler735 wrote:
Skinsfan13 wrote:
tyler735 wrote:
Skinsfan13 wrote:
Oregon Ducks wrote:
Mixon, Ross, Howard and Engram is a toss up. Depends on the offense.


This is pretty clearly the answer for me as well.

I actually think that there is a talent gap in the first two comparisons from a purely football perspective. Mixon to me has top 5 back in the league potential while Cmac, as much as I love him, is kind've a position less weapon ala Percy Harvin maybe (there is some hope that he develops into a workhorse back in the way that Tiki Barber did eventually I guess). I'd always take the hyper talented player with a defined position over the movable chess piece any day of the week, and in this instance Mixon actually has some of the same versatility.

Ross is just a better wr than Samuel and it's not really close imo.

I also love Howard and Engram as prospects, hence the toss up categorization. If forced to choose between the two, I'd lean Howard because he's the more scheme versatile of the two.


The bolded is the biggest farce I've seen in the scouting community in years. McCaffrey has a defined position. He is an elite runningback prospect. His production as a runner speaks for itself, but just to further elaborate, he possesses excellent vision and patience, which are 2 of the most valuable traits a RB prospect could have. On top of that he is a great athlete as demonstrated at the combine this year, and can clearly be seen on the field. I simply don't know how else to put it. He has elite production as a RB, Elite RB instincts, and great athleticism.

This doesn't even factor in his versatility. I'm just speaking purely as a RB he is an excellent prospect. Guys like Jamaal Charles, Chris Johnson, Lesean McCoy, Curtis Martin, Tiki Barber were all comparable from a size standpoint and had no issues running the ball in the NFL, I fully expect McCaffrey to follow that route in the NFL. People seem to punish him as a prospect for having such a versatile skill set, but it just doesnt make sense. It is simply an added bonus that he is an elite RB prospect with WR like ability in the passing game.

As for the Harvin comparison..McCaffreys production blows Harvins out of the water. McCaffrey has shown he can be the feature back, and still be a threat as a receiver. Harvin never showed that coming into the NFL which made him a bit of a tweener.


Don't mind the screed at all. I have no doubt that McCaffrey has the requisite skill to be a terrific rb, but I'll believe that he can shoulder a full-time back workload when I see it. There's a reason why NFL teams prefer players to meet certain measurable thresholds, because in their minds, it takes them away from the anecdotal (i.e. here are a handful of players that thrived at this weight) and perhaps the exceptions, and brings them closer to the conventional (this is the typical size that seems to correlate with longevity at the position). He may very well join the list you referenced, and Fournette/Mixon/Elliott might all break down next year, football is funny in that way, but when you're projecting forward, it's safer not to bank on exceptions to the rule.

Again, not saying Christian won't turn into the next McCoy, perhaps he will, but I feel a lot more comfortable projecting Mixon as a consistent 310+ carry, 70 reception back than I do McCaffrey given the fact that Mixon essentially brings an Elliott type h/w/s profile (with a touch better size and explosiveness) in addition to excellent versatility himself.

I'm not rooting against the kid, Im not betting against him either, I simply have questions about his ability to carry an NFL level workload. If he proves that he can, thats great, I'll be the first to commend him.

Also, in terms of calling him positionless, I'd like a mulligan on that because that's a misnomer. It would be more appropriate for me to say that I believe that he has an unconventional physical profile for a starting rb. I also believe that the Panthers have a plan to deploy him that is unconventional that will exploit his strengths and attempt to mitigate his weaknesses. To do that, I suspect that they will utilize him unconventionally. I bet that he spends more time in the slot than any top 3 round running back has in the past half-decade, and I guarantee you that they'll attempt to build him up to being a 280 carry back over a few seasons. If they do that, that's a tell-tale sign that they view him as not being a conventional back, and it won't simply be a byproduct of his wonderful versatility, it'll be because they're looking for ways to protect him given his physical profile.


Your expectation on what a RB needs to be is archaic in today's NFL. 300+ carries by a RB has only happened 6 times the past 4 seasons. It's hardly a regular occurrence anymore. The NFL has become more of a passing league. It's rare for a RB to average over 20 carries a game now. I see no reason McCaffrey can't handle around 15 carries per game plus additional receptions and returns. There are several guys recently at the RB position that havehl had great success at McCaffrey's size.

This so called size prototype is largely mythical. McCaffrey is over 200lbs so he's not exactly some scat back like a Tavon Austin in college, and will likely add some weight naturally as he is only 20 years old. McCaffrey could get injured, but if he does it won't be because of a lack of size, but rather football is simply a contact sport and regardless of size, RB's get injured all the time...Off the top of my head..Fred Taylor, Willis Mcgahee, Deuce McCallister, Ronnie Brown, Carnell Williams, Edgerin James, Adrian Peterson, Darren Mcfadden, Trent Richardson, and countless other high draft picks battled the injury bug throughout their career.

Just for emphasis Adrian Peterson in his entire career had 300+ carries 4 times. This consistent 310+ carry 70 reception example is far fetched. Adrian Peterson had over 380 touches just 2 times in career. Leveon Bell has never surpassed 300 carries in a season, and neither has David Johnson.


There's nothing archaic about my conception of a modern NFL running back. For instance, Elliott has 320+ carries and 40 receptions last year while sitting out a game (not to mention starting the season kind of slowly because of an injury in camp), and the expectation in Dallas is that he'll be more involved in the passing game this year. David Johnson had 293 carries and 80 receptions last year. LeVeon Bell had 261 carries and 75 catches in 12 games last season. I expect Mixon to develop into that type of back and have numbers in the vicinity of those numbers give or take ten carries and ten catches either way by year two.


The problem is RB's almost always see a significant drop in play following a 300+ carry season. Besides the league turning into a passing league, coaching staff's have realized the physical strain these 300+ carry seasons take on a RB, and you see only 1-2 per season for the most part in today's NFL, and rarely see back to back 300+ carry seasons by any NFL RB anymore. So yes this conception you have is archaic in today's NFL. You are making assumptions on what you hope to see with these RB's, but don't have hard data to back up the claims as they haven't bested these marks you are setting, and recent history suggests they will likely see a lighter workload after a high volume season.

Here's an article that further examines this trend in the NFL.
http://www.nfl.com/fantasyfootball/story/0ap1000000217336/article/going-deep-is-300-the-magic-number-for-rbs

Here's another:
http://footballdocs.com/running_back_carries.html

and another:
https://sports.yahoo.com/news/high-volume-running-backs-073900355--nfl.html


Quote:
What this boils down to is that we view the physical profile of running backs differently. The NFL is a frighteningly physical game, especially in the box, and I view physical stature as one way to better predict viability at the position over time. It's not the only important variable obviously (luck matters as well), but for both long term health and in season performance (not getting worn down over the course of a season), it appears to me that there is a positive correlation between conventional size at the position and sustainability.


Again this seems like an assumption, but do you have any data to back up this claim? Luck seems to be the only part I agree with in that paragraph. As I mentioned before TONS of "prototype" RB's have been plagued by injuries throughout their careers (See list in previous post), so how do you determine that size is a reason that a RB can't handle the workload when countless 215lb plus RB's consistently get injured in the NFL. If you have some form of measured statistic that shows RB size leads to less injuries I'd be very intrigued to see it. Besides luck being one of the biggest factors in my eyes, I'd have to say the next big factor would be simply being smart about contact. For example, RB's who play a more physical style of game that seek out contact instead of taking what the defense will give them at times will likely have less wear and tear on their bodies. Kind of an Eddie George/Earl Campbell vs. Curtis Martin running style.

As for not getting worn down. A guy like Jamaal Charles was notorious for killing teams late in games, and had no issues late in the season even though he was around 200lbs. I'd imagine Lesean McCoy also didn't have any issue granted I haven't looked it up, so I could be wrong. Point is I still have seen no evidence of this being that case for NFL RB's.


Quote:
*Just to be clear, I agree with your McCaffrey projection. 15 or so carries a game (more on days where he's going really well less on days that he isn't), 5 or 6 catches a game and a return or two a game. Thats the optimal way to utilize him, but to me, thats not a full time back workload. 15 catches a game brings you to 240 carries. Not terrible by any stretch, but that rate puts you firmly in rb by committee territory imo. You've still extracted value out of the player because those carries are supplemented by his receiving contribution, but to me that brings his value below what Elliott, Bell and Johnson give you, and also below what I expect Mixon to give the Bengals. Still really like the player though.


Just so we are clear on this.

15 carries a game equals- 240 carries a season
5-6 catches per game equals- 80-100 catches per season (I rounded up from 96)
1-2 returns per game equals- about 15 to 30 returns per season

Which essentially gives him 335-370 touches per season.

Maybe it's semantics, but in my opinion that output makes him every bit as valuable as a guy that runs it around 300 times per season with some added on receptions.

Also regarding Mixon. I simply don't think he is as talented as you believe he is. Even if he is that talented, he is still playing in an offense that has AJ Green, Gio Bernard, Jeremy Hill, John Ross, Tyler Eifert, and Tyler Boyd. He simply won't see anywhere near that type of workload with that many pieces around him


Just to be clear, we are confining our conversation to feature backs right? Let's just analyze some of the feature backs over the last decade (the list is a bit more expansive, but Im not typing up a completely comprehensive list to settle a disagreement on a message board). Peterson, Lynch, Gore, Foster, McCoy and now Johnson, Bell, and Elliott. They would all qualify, would they not? Peterson had 4 300+ carry seasons and would have had two more if it weren't for an injury very late in the season and I believe you guys rested him in 2010 for a game iirc. Lynch had two in back to back seasons (would have been three consecutive seasons if he didn't miss one game). Foster averaged 319 carries over a three year period from 2010-2013. McCoy had 310+ carry seasons in back to back years, and it would've been 3 in 4 if it weren't for him missing a single game in 2011. Ezekiel Elliott just had 322 carries last season in 15 games mind you, and will top that next year and the year after assuming good health. David Johnson was just under that threshold this year, and Bell would've cracked it too if he didn't have his issues to begin the year. Todd Gurley would've gone over 300 carries if the Rams were more effective running the ball this year etc. Doug Martin's gone over 300 carries, Matt Forte has gone over 300, Ray Rice has etc.

300+ carries isn't some mark that teams look to avoid. It's less than 19 carries a game. 310 carries a season is less than 20 a game. An archaic conception of the position would be expecting Mixon or Elliott to carry the ball 375+ times or to approach 400 carries.

With teams apparently willing to invest significant draft capital in the position again, you're going to see backs like Fournette, Elliott, Barkley etc. given workloads commensurate to their draft positioning. I expect the Bengals to treat Mixon in much the same manner. By all reports, they valued him comparably to backs drafted much higher, and they'll likely utilize him in that way after they give him time to acclimate to the rigors of the league.

In terms of my preference for larger backs predicated on the presumption that they'd withstand NFL caliber pounding better than smaller backs, that's of course a theory. Individually, there is no way of knowing whether a back will get injured or not when they come into the league (in fact, you can expect them to get injured tbh). However, if you go look at the backs with the highest attempt seasons in the league, and note how often there are repeat names on the list, the vast majority have something in common, they have more traditional rb frames.

http://www.pro-football-reference.com/leaders/rush_att_single_season.htm

That's still anecdotal because of course it would be. It's why projecting players to the league is not a literal science. The best we can do is formulate sets of beliefs based on corollary algorithms. I can't say that Mixon won't get hurt because of his frame any more than I could say that Sproles wouldn't last in the league for as long as he did. What I am willing to say is that I would bet on a rb with Mixon's frame before I bet on one with a frame like McCaffrey's.

Finally, while we agree on the raw number of touches McCaffrey can expect to receive, I suspect that we would disagree on the effectiveness of the touches. I don't care about his return touches because I don't expect him to be better than any number of other returners in the league (if he played for the Bengals for example, he'd at best be marginally better than PacMan Jones if at all, if he played for the Skins, he'd be at best marginally better than Crowder if at all, the Giants Beckham, the Eagles Sproles etc.). His value in the return game is inconsequential to me. I also don't expect his value on inside runs to be anywhere near that of some of the more physical backs in the draft. His true value (to me at least), will be on outside runs and in the passing game. I'd take what Bell, Johnson, Elliott or Mixon (projection) provide going forward over what McCaffrey provides.

Just my opinion of course, it's clear to me that you disagree (at least on the Mixon front). That's fine. Bookmark the page and we'll see who's right in a few years. That'll be fun.


Lets look at the facts here. You have literally played the he would've done this had that not happened on almost all of your examples. Here is what the cold hard facts say about "Feature" backs going over 300 carries throughout their career (Maybe I'm forgetting a few, but I think I got most of them):

Feature back of the last 10 years or so would include:

Adrian Peterson- 4 seasons over 300 carries out of 10 seasons. 40%
Jamaal Charles- 0 seasons over 300 carries out of 9 seasons. 0%
Marshawn Lynch- 2 seasons over 300 carries out of 9 seasons. 22%
Lesean McCoy- 2 seasons over 300 carries out of 8 seasons. 25%
Frank Gore- 1 seasons over 300 carries out of 12 seasons. 8%
Arian Foster- 2 seasons over 300 carries out of 8 seasons. 25%
Chris Johnson- 2 seasons over 300 carries out of 9 seasons. 22%
Steven Jackson- 3 seasons over 300 carries out of 12 seasons. 25%
Ray Rice- 1 season over 300 carries out of 6 seasons. 17%
Maurice Jones Drew- 3 seasons over 300 carries out of 9 seasons. 33%
Matt Forte- 1 season over 300 carries out of 9 seasons. 11%
David Johnson- 0 seasons over 300 carries out of 2 seasons. 0%
Leveon Bell- 0 seasons over 300 carries out of 4 seasons. 0%
Ezekial Elliott- 1 season over 300 carries out of 1 season. 100%

That is a combined 108 seasons of football between all of these feature back...But only a combined 22 seasons over 300 carries between all of them. In other words 20% of the time these feature back went over 300 carries.

This ties into your flawed main point regarding Joe Mixon being a guy that will consistently get 310+ carries and 70 receptions per season. If all of these "feature" backs average a 300+ carry season on an average of about 1 out of 5 seasons I have a hard time believing Joe Mixon is a guy that will consistently be able to achieve the aforementioned averages of 310+ carries and 70 receptions. I honestly doubt he ever reaches that combined total once in his career let alone consistently.

As I mentioned in my previous post he has tons of people on the Bengals offense competing for touches at WR, TE, and even RB. Furthermore, he has hardly even shown how he'd do as a main feature back in college let alone the NFL. Sure he's big, but in 2 full college seasons (25 games) he has exactly 300 carries. I'm not saying he can't, but that is still even an unknown at this point. Will he have durability issues in the mold of a Ronnie Brown/Fred Taylor?
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