Here’s an interesting question for everyone to think about. You are in a 12-team league and you are sitting there with the #8 pick in the draft. The top 6 RB’s have already come off the board, as well as the top QB, Tom Brady, so you are left with a dilemma. You can take one of the next RB’s, someone like Marion Barber, Larry Johnson, Clinton Portis or Marshawn Lynch or you can take the top WR on the board, Randy Moss. Which direction do you go?
Those RB’s all have plenty of upside, but let’s use Clinton Portis for this discussion, since he was the RB ranked #7 on our Top 20 rankings (which you can view by clicking here).
Last season Portis rushed for 1,262 yards and 11 TD’s, definitely solid numbers but there is plenty of room for improvement. He has rushed for over 1,500 yards on three separate occasions and definitely should improve on what he did last season. Maybe not the 11 TD’s, but certainly on the yards.
As for Moss, there were a lot of questions about him entering the season with the Patriots, but he and Tom Brady connected almost immediately en route to a record setting season. He caught 98 passes for 1,493 yards and 23 TD’s, a ridiculous number.
That’s certainly not a number that I would expect him to approach again this season, but his rapport with Brady should allow him to top 15, easily, again this season. Last season, besides Moss, only 4 other players had as many as 15 TD’s: LaDanian Tomlinson, Braylon Edwards, Joseph Addai and Terrell Owens.
It certainly is interesting to note, since everyone focuses on the RB’s, yet 3 of the players with over 15 TD’s were actually receivers. That is a stat that is awfully telling for you to keep in mind on draft day. Plenty of players could amass 1,000 yards on the ground, but if they aren’t going to get in the end zone, how much more value do they have over one of the top few receivers?
Don’t make the mistake of ignoring value because most people suggest focusing on RB’s early on in your draft. Just think about the two ways this could play out:
- You take Clinton Portis in the first round (pick 8) and then you follow that up with another RB at 17, let’s say Ryan Grant for arguments sake. That does give you two very solid RB’s, but where does that leave you on the outside? By the time things swing back to you in Round 3, you are probably going to end up with Plaxico Burress or Anquan Boldin as your top WR. Yeah, those are good options, but there is no guarantee what they are going to give you.
- You take Randy Moss in the first round, then still are able to get Ryan Grant in the second round. Then, with your third round pick, you could probably grab Willie Parker or Darren McFadden as your third RB.
Which team looks better right off the bat: Portis, Grant and Burress or Moss, Grant and Parker?
Me, I’m going with the second team every time. You have two extremely good RB’s starting for you, as well as the best player at his position in Moss. It just makes too much sense to me.
I know conventional wisdom is to go RB early and often on draft day, but sometimes conventional wisdom is not necessary the best wisdom. Sometimes, the best play is just to grab the best player on the board, even if that strays from the norm. Don’t hesitate to stray in this case, I don’t think you’ll regret it.
What does everyone else think? Who are you going with at the end of the First Round?