Moving Forward: Time to Draft a Running Back!
By FanSided Staff
The first week of March has come and gone. The news has been all about releases and free agency so far so I would like to take this Sunday opportunity to take a peek into the future of the organization.
Of course, I could only be talking about the NFL Draft.
I always wait until the combine results come in before I start thinking about the draft. Everyone should have figured out where I’m going right now. It’s time to start talking about running backs for obvious reasons. Two of our veterans have already been released and Darren Sproles is being allowed to test free agency, so there is a ton of space on the roster. Let’s face it, folks. The position is thin. Of course I will continue to track LaDainian Tomlinson, wherever he may go, and I will keep an outside eye on free agent running backs. However, we all know that we always draft ours young and prepare our workhorse for the way we like to do things. We need to think younger certain positions in order to stay on top.
You may have noticed the poll that I put up asking you to vote for your favorite potential Chargers runner. (Then again, you may not have, so feel free to voice your opinions in the comment section that can be found at the bottom of each individual blog.) I would love to hear your opinions and questions. I love the opportunity to expand on my writing and give some personalized answers or rebuttals.
Unless I hear a cry or two for another contender, I am just going to touch on the main people that I would like to see wearing Charger blue for the foreseeable future.
Let’s take a look at the guy everybody seems to be talking about. Of course I mean C.J. Spiller.
The upside: Spiller is flat out dangerous. He is explosive enough to get big plays and score, and with the team being as pass happy as they are, this will take loads of pressure off of the arm of Phillip Rivers. With our Pro-Bowl quarterback, tight end, and receivers, and a runner like Spiller in the back field, we will be Super Bowl contenders for years and years to come. C.J. shows great hands out of the back field, as well the patience and nose for the hole that he needs to stay upright on his way through the gap. Not to mention that he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.37 seconds. Second only to Jahvid Best in speed.
The downside: Sometimes Spiller takes just a little too long to find the hole and ends up losing yardage. He also weighs in at just 196 lbs. He needs to bulk up and maybe that would erase his weaknesses in pass protection.
Another thing to note is that the Seattle Seahawks DESPERATELY need a running back and they will most likely take Spiller with the 14th overall pick. It is most likely that we will take either Ryan Matthews, Jahvid Best, or possibly Ben Tate with the 28th overall pick of the draft. Both would be fantastic additions. We could use big strong runners like either of them.
Let’s look at Ryan Matthews first.
Upside: He has good speed, but needs to work on sustaining it over long distances. I list this as a plus because he is very strong. Strong enough to stiff arm his way out of a tackle and fight for extra yardage. If he works on greater speed and endurance as well then he could be a big play threat. Overall he is a VERY productive runner.
Downside: Needs to learn how to play out in space, once he gets to it, and needs to work on catching the ball and pass protection. Mostly picking up the blitz. This must be a priority at the next level.
Moving on to Jahvid Best.
Upside: Incredible speed. He turned in a time of 4.35 seconds in the 40-yard dash, which was the fastest of all of the running backs. He is incredibly elusive, with an ability to get through smaller lanes, and despite being just 199 lbs. is not afraid to get physical and fight for extra yardage. Also very productive as a receiver.
Downside: It has to be his size. Despite not being afraid of the contact he wont be able to push the pile in the NFL unless he bulks up and get stronger. That is the only way he would be an every-down kind of back.
Last, but not least, Ben Tate.
Upside: Loves to run downhill and does not waste time. You will rarely get negative yardage out of this guy. He is a wonderful balance of size and speed. He has the potential to be great and a workhorse for many seasons. If he gets even faster and more powerful then he will be a monster.
Downside: Not particularly elusive out on the edge. Needs to get stronger if he is going to survive with that style. He has great speed but needs to work on his cuts and he needs to learn how to make people miss. Otherwise, he has wonderful potential.
I hope this helps you guys stay excited up until draft day. I know I will. Feel free to blow up the comments section. I would love to see this blog get more interactive with you guys.