Originally Posted by Dcat
Feel free to add Alstott and Moose as "stud" fullbacks. I was focusing on yardage and TDs and big play ability. So instead of 25 "studs" make it 27. Add 'em all up and you have 152 backs drafted in rounds 1 & 2 over the past 25 years and only 27 of them, just under 18% would be considered elite and I'll bet some of those I bolded might not be rated as highly by some (i.e. Warrick Dunn and Tiki Barber). Still that's just about 17 - 18% of all the backs drafted in rounds 1 & 2. Goes to show you just how hard it is to find a gem... even in the first two rounds. It makes me wonder how much worse the percentage is from rounds 3 - 7.
Break it down by round and there are 82 1st rounders and I think 70 2nd rounders. I'll throw in Alstott and Moose as well as Forte to add to the 2nd round "stud" numbers (although Forte's body of work is incomplete as of now). That gives us 17 out of 82 1st round RB studs, just under 21% and 10 out of 70 2nd round RB studs, just over 14%. I'd love to factor in "bust" percentages, but the definition of "bust" will vary from person to person. We can all agree that Blair Thomas and Roger Vick were busts, but I'd venture a guess that there would be argument over many others. Then there are the very good backs, but just short of "stud" caliber, such as Rodney Hampton, who many would place in the stud category with 5 1,000+ rushing yard seasons out of 8.
In the end, that GMs only have about a 21%/14% 1st/2nd round chance at drafting a RB stud is far less than I would have expected. Gotta give credit to the GMs that pull it off.
I see where you're coming from, but I believe the same can be said for any position, especially the quarterback position. The draft is a crap shoot, which is why the success rate is so low (for every position drafted) but I just feel and believe that you have a much greater chance of landing an elite RB during the 1st and/or 2nd rounds when compared to the later rounds. Which is simple logic, which is why I've never understood why the same fans who are completely against drafting a potential elite back during the 1st round, then become the same fans currently complaining about Shonn Greene's production despite the fact that it's surpassed that of a 3rd rounder.
I'd add Kevin Faulk to that list of stud's. One of the greatest 3rd down backs of all-time and contributed to multiple championships with NE.
Larry Johnson never ended up being great, his style of rushing wouldn't allow it, but the power back had two of the greatest (back to back) seasons I've ever seen back in 2005 and 2006. Rushed for a combined 3,539 rushing yards, 188 1st down rushes and 37 TD's. 4.7 yards per carry. I was positive that he'd become the greatest power back since Bettis but his career quickly went down hill after 2005-2006.
I'd have to add Willis McGahee to a list of impact runners as well. This kid was as elite as they came before his college injury. If he never went down in college? He could have gone down as an all-time great one. He manged to bounce back and recover from his Miami University injury, and he's since been in the league for 8 years with 7,366 rushing yards, 4.1 yards per carry with 59 rushing TD's. Add another 1,098 career receiving yards and McGahee has made an NFL impact (and still going strong at the age of 30).
I agree not listing Ronnie Brown as an elite back, but damn, if that kid stayed healthy? We're talking greatness. Injuries destroyed his career although he's still playing (With SD now).
Benson is fighting hard to make this list. He's a franchise back. Very underrated. He's at 5,769 rushing yards at the age of 28, got a late start to his career in Chicago but the Bengals have given him a chance. He's since put up 3 consecutive seasons of 1,000+ yards.
I would honestly add both DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart to that list. Both elite backs, they just happen to share the backfield together. Both would be feature backs on at least 15-20 teams around the league.
The book has yet to be written on Marshawn Lynch, Darren McFadden and Rashard Mendenhall, but I do love all 3 talents.