Feeling the Need for Speed (and Size) at Running Back

Moneyball principles may not recommend drafting a running back early, but the analytics love big, fast running backs just as much as scouts do.best nfl jerseys

ESPN’s Bill Barnwell developed Speed Score for Football Outsiders in 2008. It’s a deceptively simple way to combine a running back’s weight and 40 time into one easy-to-understand number. That way, no mental arithmetic must be done to compare a 233-pound back with 4.40 speed (Saquon Barkley) to a 198-pounder with 4.38 speed (NC State’s Nyheim Hines) or a 250-pounder with 4.69 speed (Texas’ Chris Warren).45b55945a7c07c3a3870ad73e9f83dbb_crop_exact

Barkley blew this year’s crop of running backs away with a 124.3 Speed Score. Hines and Warren also posted very good results for projected mid-rounders.nfl jersey for cheap  You can find the full list here, which has its share of surprises, like Nick Chubb beating Georgia teammate Sony Michel.

Speed Score is far from foolproof. After all, it’s just a blend of two combine results. But it’s a handy item to keep in the toolkit nfl jerseys cheap authentic  for informing the scouting process. A 1,000-yarder from a powerhouse program with a low Speed Score could be a product of his system. On the other hand, an unheralded rusher with a great Speed Score could be a diamond in the rough.

For example, Arizona State’s Kalen Ballage finished second to Barkley in Speed Score despite low production totals as part custom nfl jerseys cheap of a committee backfield in college. The measurables indicate that he deserves a closer look. You may want to keep an eye on him when it’s time to draft your fantasy team as well.customized nfl jerseys

Is Saquon Barkley Really a Generational RB Talent?

The 2018 draft class is fascinating for a number of reasons. As many as five quarterbacks could go in the first round, and there’s a surplus of talent at other positions. With question marks attached to all those quarterbacks, there’s a race for the title of “best player in the draft” outside the game’s most important position.
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Penn State running back Saquon Barkley is one of those players thought by many to be the best pure football talent in this class. In three years as a starter for the Nittany Lions, he gained 3,843 rushing yards and scored 43 touchdowns on 671 carries. He also caught 102 passes for 1,195 yards and eight touchdowns, and added 18 kickoff returns for 500 yards and two touchdowns.
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Barkley’s positional versatility is singularly impressive among the running backs in this class, and it would be the same in most draft classes. He can run inside and outside with tremendous speed, lateral agility and acceleration. As a receiver, he can line up anywhere from offset in a Pistol formation to the slot to outside—he has the potential to be the NFL’s best receiving back since Le’Veon Bell rounded out his skill set. As a direct-snap running quarterback who finds himself behind the center from pre-snap movement, Barkley can also create explosive plays. It’s easy to see why some would tout him as a truly great back, and in many aspects of his play, he is just that.
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Bert Whigham, who has been training Barkley this year at Tom Shaw Performance in Florida, set the bar fairly high regarding his client’s professional prospects, comparing him to another player Whigham has trained.nfl jerseys cheap authentic

“The only person I can think of that’s comparable physically is [Oakland Raiders linebacker] Khalil Mack,” Whigham told Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News. “Khalil and Saquon are my 1a. and 1b. These two guys are outliers. They’re freaks. It’s those two and then probably [Tennessee Titans running back] Derrick Henry, another freak. But with Khalil, we knew he was the No. 1 overall pick. We knew he was going to be special. And it’s the same with Saquon. You’ve got a generational talent.”

T.J. Carrie and E.J. Gaines to Cleveland Browns

Cornerback is a premium position in today’s NFL, and that can get pretty dang expensive. Malcolm Butler got over $12 million per season from the Tennessee Titans. Trumaine Johnson received over $14 million a year from the Jets.

Cleveland was able to add a pair of starting-caliber corners for less than what either of those players cost by himself.cheap customized nfl jerseys

Granted, injuries have been an issue for E.J. Gaines, who got a one-year, $4 million deal after playing in 11 games for the Buffalo Bills last year. He has missed an eye-popping 27 games the last three campaigns, including all of the 2015 season.

But when on the field, Gaines was one of the best in the business in 2017. As ESPN pointed out, Pro Football Focus graded Gaines 13th among corners last season.hi-res-97feb9d7095a466811bd63be50447610_crop_exact

Carrie got more coin (four years, $31 million) after a career campaign in which he started 16 games and tallied 84 tackles while serving customized nfl jerseys as arguably the best corner for the Raiders.

These guys aren’t big names. They don’t have a history of big-money deals like Johnson or postseason heroics like Butler. But both are solid NFL starters.

And Browns general manager John Dorsey didn’t have to break the bank for either of them.

The Pittsburgh Steelers came into free agency with precious little cap space. But Pittsburgh general manager Kevin Colbert made fantastic use of his limited resources by signing veteran safety Morgan Burnett to a three-year, $14.4 million pact, getting an impact player for a reasonable sum.

The 29-year-old Burnett, who spent his first eight seasons in Green Bay, was a jack-of-all-trades for the Packers in 2017. He played some strong safety,customized nfl jerseys cheap  free safety, slot cornerback and even some dime linebacker.

That sort of versatility is appealing in this day and age.

Burnett isn’t just versatile and experienced. He’s also been productive. His 68 tackles in 12 games last year isn’t an eye-popping number, but as recently as cheap custom nfl jerseys 2016, he had over 90 stops with three sacks and two interceptions. Burnett has topped 100 total tackles for the season three times, including a career-high 130 stops (94 solos) in 2014.