Thursday, March 24, 2005

Cadillac vs. Ronnie Brown

That reminds me of another topic: why is Cadillac behind Ronnie Brown on every draft board? Here's why I'd take the Caddy:

1. No one thinks that Brown is a better pure runner than Caddy. Cadillac is a rare breed, a pure runner who beat opposing defenders or run through them. He has the best feet and change of direction skills in college football. When picking runners, shouldn't running ability be the most important factor? Brown is more versatile in that he can play fullback because of his receiving and blocking skills, but how many teams are going to deploy their top ten pick as a fullback? Ronnie Brown is a little better suited for a one-back offense, but unless a team is totally wedded to that approach (and very few are,) then Caddy will be better for the offense.

2. Yes, Ronnie is a better pass receiver than Caddy. So? Isn't a better runner more important to a passing game? Isn't it better to draw the safeties up and unleash your receivers, the guys who are actually paid to catch the ball? Is it better to have a guy who will be productive on those five-yard swing passes? And aren't NFL third-down backs a dime a dozen? Is it that hard to find a Kevin Faulk type for $600K per year to spell Caddy in obvious passing situations?

3. Brown (6'1) is taller than Williams (5'11). Shouldn't this be a negative for Brown, not a positive? How tall is Emmitt Smith? How tall is Barry Sanders? Do we have agreement that Priest Holmes, LaDainian Tomlinson, and Jamal Lewis are the three best running backs in the NFL? Are you aware than none of them are taller than 5'10? Or how about Curtis Martin, the leading rusher in the NFL last year? He's also 5'11.

4. Brown is faster in a straight line, but how many times are NFL running backs really in the open field? Even the good ones? Once every two games or so? Isn't it more important to turn a nothing play into five yards or five yards into 15 by making people miss? And remind me which of the two runners is more likely to make an opponent miss.

5. Ronnie Brown was never the starter at Auburn when Cadillac was healthy, even when the Tigers converted to a pro set last year. What does that say about the two players as runners? Shouldn't the conclusions of the Auburn staff mean something?

Brown and Williams will both be very good NFL players and Draft precedent says that you can't go wrong taking an Auburn running back (unless his name is Brent Fullwood.) That said, if I was picking between them, I'd take the Caddy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've been paying a little more attention to the RBs and WRs at the top of the draft since the Bears can get one with the fourth pick, and started hearing an interesting argument about Brown going before Benson and Cadillac because he has less mileage on him. So I guess I should be a prime power runner since I'm 5-10 and haven't taken much of a beating yet (I was also great at the combine).

I guess Benson has to overcome the Ricky factor, that until proven otherwise all UT backs are risks to be flaky. And people here will be skeptical about Braylon and any other UM receivers after the David Terrell experience. What's the knock, if any, on Cadillac?