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National Football League

Page 722 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
Since I don't follow that close.. I am going to assume that quality running backs are available.. And again I am assuming that letting Ekler go makes sense.. I can't walk around with cross fingers until pre season but I am going to try..
I'm 98% certain Eckler is gone in LA. He's an UFA. I suppose they could tag him, but he definitely took a step down this past year, especially in Y/A and TD. But he also dropped more passes, and gained less after each catch. Oh, and he fumbles on average about once every other game. This was after in last year's off-season he made a lot of noise about wanting a raise. He and Josh Jacobs had similar seasons. Ho-hum, nothing special. I see almost zero chance Harbaugh/Hortiz sign him to any sort of long-term deal, unless he's willing to take a big pay cut. He may have to anyway.

Keep in mind, there is a heap of RBs about to hit free agency. Saquon Barkley, Tony Pollard, Derrick Henry, Josh Jacobs, D'Andre Swift, Zach Moss and a few others will hit the market.

Considering this is a business, pure and simple, if I were the Chargers I'd let Eckler hit FA and just see who I can find. Someone of decent size, middle of the draft, or cheap in FA. I hate to say it but the NCAA churns them out. RBs are a dime a dozen, plug-n-play.
 
I'm 98% certain Eckler is gone in LA. He's an UFA. I suppose they could tag him, but he definitely took a step down this past year, especially in Y/A and TD. But he also dropped more passes, and gained less after each catch. Oh, and he fumbles on average about once every other game. This was after in last year's off-season he made a lot of noise about wanting a raise. He and Josh Jacobs had similar seasons. Ho-hum, nothing special. I see almost zero chance Harbaugh/Hortiz sign him to any sort of long-term deal, unless he's willing to take a big pay cut. He may have to anyway.

Keep in mind, there is a heap of RBs about to hit free agency. Saquon Barkley, Tony Pollard, Derrick Henry, Josh Jacobs, D'Andre Swift, Zach Moss and a few others will hit the market.

Considering this is a business, pure and simple, if I were the Chargers I'd let Eckler hit FA and just see who I can find. Someone of decent size, middle of the draft, or cheap in FA. I hate to say it but the NCAA churns them out. RBs are a dime a dozen, plug-n-play.
You would think that the Buccs, Dallas and the Chargers would be very interested in Henry even though he's now 30 but they may not offer what he wants. But the level of interest generated should mean he gets paid well anyway by at least one team.

Ekeler had a bad season for him. Don't see the Chargers keeping him. maybe the Patriots or Texans would take him or maybe even the Saints if Kamara moves on. Don't see him getting a good offer salary wise. Raiders could also be interested in another RB unless they draft one.
 
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RBs are a dime a dozen, plug-n-play.
I agree that there are plenty of RBs that you can plug into your O, but RBs who have an impact are not a dime a dozen, plug and play. In fact, they are rare. Sometimes they are obvious in the draft, sometimes not.

If you can get one like CMc it obviously makes a hug impact, but he is REALLY rare. When you have a dynamic RB who can run up the middle, catch/run screens, and catch passes down/across the field it makes the entire offense better. Even if you have an RB who can just grind the D like Henry it makes the offense better because of the yards he piles up, but also because of how the D has to play.

I'd say that at least the top 10 RBs in the league this year were not dime a dozen, plug and play. The caveat, they might have had an impact getting a team to the playoffs, or they might have had an impact in keeping a team from being even worse. I'll bring CMc back into the discussion here: he was great in CAR, but they weren't, he is great in SF, and they are better with him (as we always discuss, it takes 25 great players plus 25 solid players to make a great team).

It would be hard to argue that you can just grab a Pacheco anywhere and plug him in. His stat sheet won't blow anybody away, but he has a huge impact on the way that O works.
 
Valid point. At the same time, Pacheco had about as good of performance in the Super Bowl as McCaffery. Though there was that highlight reel play with CMC.
You would think that the Buccs, Dallas and the Chargers would be very interested in Henry even though he's now 30 but they may not offer what he wants. But the level of interest generated should mean he gets paid well anyway by at least one team.
My guess is either Miami, where he can pound the ball, even if only carrying it 15 times a game, or Baltimore, who are losing Edwards to FA, and I think Dobbins too (he ruptured his Achilles in week 1, missed the season).
Raiders could also be interested in another RB unless they draft one.
Presuming they lose Josh Jacobs (too $$$), Zamir White really stood out late in the season. So they don't really need to sign any big name. Just keep White, find another average vet RB, or draft one in the mid-late rounds for the rotation and RB by committee.
 
I think Pacheco's durability is in question. In just 2 yrs of playing he's already had a few significant injuries including a concussion & a bad shoulder (torn labrum that needed off-season surgery his rookie yr plus another procedure when he re-injured it last season).

215 lbs is not big enough to be lowering the boom & trying to dish out punishment just about everytime he carries the ball. These hits he's taking head on from these jacked safeties & LBs are going to take it's toll in a long 17-game season. I realize that's his running style but you have to be more like 240 plus lbs to be doing that (e.g. Derrick Henry).

Running backs take an awful beating in this league & start accumulating significant injuries early on in thier careers. Most have a short window of high-performance before injuries take their toll & they're thrown out to the dumpster.

 
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Running backs take an awful beating in this league & start accumulating significant injuries early on in thier careers. Most have a short window of high-performance before injuries take their toll & they're thrown out to the dumpster.
Hence my reasoning for Eckler (age 28), Jacobs (age 26), Jamal Williams (28) probably had their career peak in 2022. Maybe Tony Pollard and Saquon Barkley too. Yes, these guys can probably still contribute somewhere, but not at $10m a year to average less than 4 yards per carry, and less than 1,000 yards a season. Williams is a great example. Over 1000 yards for Detroit in 2022, 17 TDs, 4.1 yards per carry. Detroit let him walk, elevated Montgomery and drafted Jahmyr Gibbs (just 21!). As to Williams? His stats almost fell off a cliff in NO. 300 yards rusing, only 2.9 per carry, only one single TD, and that was when the offense went against the coach's call in order to get him one at season's end.

I mentioned maybe last year the notion about drafting a QB every other year in the draft, see who falls to you in the early/mid rounds. If the guy pans out, great! You got him on a cheap rookie deal! If not, in 2 years you draft another one. This same thinking could easily apply to a running back. Just draft someone about 6', 220lb or so every other year, release the previous guy before his rookie contract is up.
 
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Defensive play calling was excellent. McCaffery seldom got beyond the 2nd tier and his line wasn't opening monster gaps when he got the call.
Which is why the 49ers need to finally address their O line and their best O line player is also approaching retirement in Williams. When they played the better defenses their run game struggled more. Hope they use free agency and the draft and it's their biggest need at the moment on an otherwise stacked team.

The Kansas defense and O line is noticeably better now which makes them hard to beat even with the offense that doesn't have a big name WR but Reid, Mahomes and Kelce are the backbone of their offense anyway. And their DC is probably the best in the league. They are basically the new version of the Patriots, success wise. Three SB wins in five seasons and no signs of slowing down. While the 49ers have lost two SB's in five years with a team of now aging stars.
 
Just draft someone about 6', 220lb or so every other year, release the previous guy before his rookie contract is up.
The problem is trying to find someone that size with speed that can run the ball. It seems there are more scatbacks being drafted or signed these days (fast, elusive guys under 200 lbs). And most of the typical starters seem to be in 210-215 lb range - still a little too light to withstand the prolonged hard hits without getting injured over a long 17-game season.

But there's a big bruiser of a RB on everyone's radar that needs an everydown starter - Braelon Allen. This kid at 6'2", 245 lbs is a baby bull built a lot like Henry. He's even faster than Henry reportedly clocking a 4.4 flat! (I guess we'll see at the combine). In just 3 yrs at RB U (Wisconsin), he amassed almost 3500 yds & scored 35 TDs. Checkout this 96 yd run for a score:

View: https://youtube.com/shorts/JIaUj0C8UZg?si=1lzLkI_Ioa1-nkC9
 
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Which is why the 49ers need to finally address their O line and their best O line player is also approaching retirement in Williams. When they played the better defenses their run game struggled more. Hope they use free agency and the draft and it's their biggest need at the moment on an otherwise stacked team.

The Kansas defense and O line is noticeably better now which makes them hard to beat even with the offense that doesn't have a big name WR but Reid, Mahomes and Kelce are the backbone of their offense anyway. And their DC is probably the best in the league. They are basically the new version of the Patriots, success wise. Three SB wins in five seasons and no signs of slowing down. While the 49ers have lost two SB's in five years with a team of now aging stars.
McCaffery played hurt enough times to make this a pivotal need, too. They have wide receivers that have had a great season and they all know it's because Christian keeps defenses honest. Can you imagine the impact if they lost him for half a season? A Derek Henry or a Barkley aren't filling that need. Who could?
 
I think he's onto something here
I do too. I've been watching footage of college QBs. I read article after article about like this one, how Caleb Williams is the best draft pick in a decade. Better than Joe Burrow, better than Trevor Lawerence, better than CJ Stroud, etc. Boy, these writers sure seem confident. They are experts after all, right? But I watch footage and I'm not so sure. I mean, what exactly are they basing this on? A handful of plays where he ran around then threaded the needle maybe? This isn't to imply I think Caleb will bust. I don't. There's a lot to like about him, but to anoint him such praise seems hyperbolic. After watching Williams, Maye, Daniels, McCarthy, Nix, Penix, Rattler, here's what I conclude with the same certainty these guys are that Caleb will be a HOF quarterback:
  • Michael Penix is a talent, but real risk with his injury history.
  • JJ Marthy needs to sit probably a year or longer, gain 15lbs of muscle, and learn to play in pressure situations.
That's it. That's all I'm pretty much 100% confident in espousing.

I can make guesses on the others. But watching footage it's really hard to tell, and impossible to tell just watching highlight footage. Kurt Warner is likely also watching coaches A-22 footage. Add his experience and I have a lot of respect for his assessment.
 
I do too. I've been watching footage of college QBs. I read article after article about like this one, how Caleb Williams is the best draft pick in a decade. Better than Joe Burrow, better than Trevor Lawerence, better than CJ Stroud, etc. Boy, these writers sure seem confident. They are experts after all, right? But I watch footage and I'm not so sure. I mean, what exactly are they basing this on? A handful of plays where he ran around then threaded the needle maybe? This isn't to imply I think Caleb will bust. I don't. There's a lot to like about him, but to anoint him such praise seems hyperbolic. After watching Williams, Maye, Daniels, McCarthy, Nix, Penix, Rattler, here's what I conclude with the same certainty these guys are that Caleb will be a HOF quarterback:
  • Michael Penix is a talent, but real risk with his injury history.
  • JJ Marthy needs to sit probably a year or longer, gain 15lbs of muscle, and learn to play in pressure situations.
That's it. That's all I'm pretty much 100% confident in espousing.

I can make guesses on the others. But watching footage it's really hard to tell, and impossible to tell just watching highlight footage. Kurt Warner is likely also watching coaches A-22 footage. Add his experience and I have a lot of respect for his assessment.
Hyperbole...you nailed it.
 
There are so many pre draft predictions that I've lost track, but Alpe, I just saw one that had JJ Mc going to LVR in the first round. If they could get him in the 4th or 5th round OK, but 1st? Aiden O needs some competition in camp, but reaching to the first round for it?
Get him in the 4th or 5th round? McCarthy is projected as a 1st rounder - the 4th best QB prospect behind Williams, Maye & Daniels. If the Raiders were to draft him with their 1st round pick - this undoubtedly would be a move for a franchise QB. He wouldn't be brought in to give O'Connor any competition - he'd be the starter day 1 and excepted to start performing right away.

Look at some of the past 1st rounders like Lawrence, Murray, Fields, Tua, Pickett, Watson, Jackson, D. Jones, etc - all franchise QBs that supplanted the veteran starter within a few weeks of the season opener. Even the Great Eli Manning was benched in week #3 in favor of rookie Jones forcing an early retirement for Manning. Lol

This is the new frontier & landscape of 1st rd drafted QBs. Unless they really screw up in preseason & are not progressing as scheduled, they're all going to be starting sometime early in their rookie year - preferably day 1 (Young, Stroud & Richardson were all day 1 starters last year). Owners are impatient with their investments - they expect immediate results & success with their franchise QBs.
 
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