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There hasn't been a Hall of Fame-worthy RB drafted in over a decade


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8 minutes ago, DannyB said:

I feel like comparing QBs only serves to prove my point. If you take Elway's numbers, or Waterfield, or Blanda, or Stabler or Griese's numbers, and judge them by today's standards, they aren't HoF.

Furthermore, I don't think we're in a golden era of quarterbacks. I think we're in a golden era of quarterbacking. Meaning, these guys aren't necessary any better (with some exceptions obviously, as there always are), but that it's never been easier to play and succeed at the position. It's why neither Stafford nor Ryan are Hall of Fame worthy. In a vacuum they've put up huge numbers, but in context? Good-not-great with little postseason success to lean on.

Ryan is one of the best postseason QBs of all time. 3rd all time in passer rating for QB's. Better than Rodgers, Mahomes, Brees, Wilson, Brady. Stafford has been terrible, though. But people equate team success (or lack thereof because defense and running games are optional in Atlanta), to individual success. And it's not fair to the player.

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25 minutes ago, DannyB said:

I feel like comparing QBs only serves to prove my point. If you take Elway's numbers, or Waterfield, or Blanda, or Stabler or Griese's numbers, and judge them by today's standards, they aren't HoF.

Furthermore, I don't think we're in a golden era of quarterbacks. I think we're in a golden era of quarterbacking. Meaning, these guys aren't necessary any better (with some exceptions obviously, as there always are), but that it's never been easier to play and succeed at the position. It's why neither Stafford nor Ryan are Hall of Fame worthy. In a vacuum they've put up huge numbers, but in context? Good-not-great with little postseason success to lean on.

To bring this to running backs, you can use the same arguments about guys like Jerome Bettis. Who is in the hall of fame and shouldn't be. Was he really a hall of fame RB in an era that included Barry Sanders, Emmitt Smith, Marshall Faulk, Thurman Thomas, Terrell Davis and Curtis Martin? 

 

If the the 7th best RB of an era is allowed in, why wouldn't guys like Dunn or Barber who are in the same range when looking at Yards from scrimmage in their eras not be let in?

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6 minutes ago, scar988 said:

Ryan is one of the best postseason QBs of all time.

Oof....I'm just gonna go ahead and breeze past this one.

 

3 minutes ago, scar988 said:

To bring this to running backs, you can use the same arguments about guys like Jerome Bettis. Who is in the hall of fame and shouldn't be. Was he really a hall of fame RB in an era that included Barry Sanders, Emmitt Smith, Marshall Faulk, Thurman Thomas, Terrell Davis and Curtis Martin? 

 

If the the 7th best RB of an era is allowed in, why wouldn't guys like Dunn or Barber who are in the same range when looking at Yards from scrimmage in their eras not be let in?

I'd probably PERSONALLY leave Bettis out if it were up to me, but he was part of the foundation of that team and he did help them ultimately win one (if not so much through his play, then through his presence as a leader). Again, he'd be out of me Hall, but he's got a pretty decent resumé at least. But even besides that, bad choice? Fine, but you don't need to follow that up with more bad choices.

But it also goes to why watching the game and understanding the game is important. You can't just say "top 5 of a given era", or top 10, or whatever. Yes context is crucial, but in any given stretch of 5 or so years, you might have 1 or 2 HoF players at a position, or you might have 8. Are there any HoF safeties playing right now? Compare that to the 00's with Polamalu, Reed, Dawk, Lynch, with a handful of others player at a legit high level.

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5 minutes ago, DannyB said:

Oof....I'm just gonna go ahead and breeze past this one.

 

I'd probably PERSONALLY leave Bettis out if it were up to me, but he was part of the foundation of that team and he did help them ultimately win one (if not so much through his play, then through his presence as a leader). Again, he'd be out of me Hall, but he's got a pretty decent resumé at least. But even besides that, bad choice? Fine, but you don't need to follow that up with more bad choices.

But it also goes to why watching the game and understanding the game is important. You can't just say "top 5 of a given era", or top 10, or whatever. Yes context is crucial, but in any given stretch of 5 or so years, you might have 1 or 2 HoF players at a position, or you might have 8. Are there any HoF safeties playing right now? Compare that to the 00's with Polamalu, Reed, Dawk, Lynch, with a handful of others player at a legit high level.

Go ahead and breeze past it. The fact is that Ryan isn't why those Falcons teams in 2012, 2016 or 2010 lost those games. The defense and lack of run games were why they couldn't close out games. 

In Matt Ryan's 2 worst postseason losses (2012 SF NFCCG and 2016 SB):

2012: 30/42 396 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT. 

2016: 17/23 284 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT. 

He wasn't why they lost either game. Without a historic defensive collapse in 2016, Ryan is probably instantly in the Hall of Fame in everyone's mind.

 

That makes my point even stronger about QBs. Right now, there could be at least 7 QBs argued as having played from 2005-2020 that are HOF worthy. Peyton, Brees, Brady, Rivers, Roethlisberger, Ryan, Eli. And I might even be forgetting a couple. You can make the same argument for running backs like Barber and Dunn. They were regularly in the top 5 at their position. Or WRs like Reggie Wayne and Torry Holt who was never the best in the league, but they were still amazing WRs and worthy of the HOF on pure #s. 

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5 minutes ago, DannyB said:

But it also goes to why watching the game and understanding the game is important. You can't just say "top 5 of a given era", or top 10, or whatever. Yes context is crucial, but in any given stretch of 5 or so years, you might have 1 or 2 HoF players at a position, or you might have 8. Are there any HoF safeties playing right now? Compare that to the 00's with Polamalu, Reed, Dawk, Lynch, with a handful of others player at a legit high level.

This is a great point.  Eric Berry and Earl Thomas would be the only ones close, but they didn't play nearly long enough and arguably don't have the highs of the 4 safeties you named. That's not even mentioning guys like Bob Sanders, Rodney Harrison, Sean Taylor, or Adrian Wilson. That was really the golden age of safety play

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Not saying it's likely, but if Gurley recovers - not even to his prime - but just to a little bit closer to what he once was, he has an outside shot, imo. He had three excellent years and three terrible years.

2015: Offensive Rookie of the Year.

2016: Terrible year by his standards playing on terrible team.

2017: Excellent season, over 2,000 YFS, 19 TDs, Offensive Player of the Year.

2018: Excellent season, nearly 2,000 YFS, led the league once again with 21 TDs.

2019: Subpar season with really low workload, still had TDs.

2020: Bad season playing on a bad team, playing from behind as a RB nearly every week and not utilized in the passing game.

Balancing out those six seasons, he still averages over 1,500 yards and 14 TDs in a 16-game span, and if you include games missed, he still averages nearly 1,400 and over 13 TDs. 

Even in his "awful" seasons, Gurley is averaging over 1,000 yards and 10 TDs. If he continues playing poorly until he hits 30, that would put him at nearly 13,000 career yards from scrimmage and 120 career TDs. If he can recover even just a bit - not to his prime, but his career average - that would place him at over 14,000 yards with 132 TDs. That's assuming he doesn't miss much time and plays just until age 30 before hanging it up. 

Again, not saying it's likely, but it's still possible. And then you'd be looking at a resumé where you have multiple All-Pros, an Offensive Player of the Year award, an Offensive Rookie of the Year award, and those yardage and TD numbers. It would at least give him an outside shot, IMO.

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5 minutes ago, HoboRocket said:

 Again, not saying it's likely, but it's still possible. And then you'd be looking at a resumé where you have multiple All-Pros, an Offensive Player of the Year award, an Offensive Rookie of the Year award, and those yardage and TD numbers. It would at least give him an outside shot, IMO.

Gurley, at the age of 26, has more TDs than the likes of OJ Simpson, Terrell Davis, Eddie George, Tiki Barber, and Matt Forte achieved in their whole careers.

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29 minutes ago, HoboRocket said:

Not saying it's likely, but if Gurley recovers - not even to his prime - but just to a little bit closer to what he once was, he has an outside shot, imo. He had three excellent years and three terrible years.

2015: Offensive Rookie of the Year.

2016: Terrible year by his standards playing on terrible team.

2017: Excellent season, over 2,000 YFS, 19 TDs, Offensive Player of the Year.

2018: Excellent season, nearly 2,000 YFS, led the league once again with 21 TDs.

2019: Subpar season with really low workload, still had TDs.

2020: Bad season playing on a bad team, playing from behind as a RB nearly every week and not utilized in the passing game.

Balancing out those six seasons, he still averages over 1,500 yards and 14 TDs in a 16-game span, and if you include games missed, he still averages nearly 1,400 and over 13 TDs. 

Even in his "awful" seasons, Gurley is averaging over 1,000 yards and 10 TDs. If he continues playing poorly until he hits 30, that would put him at nearly 13,000 career yards from scrimmage and 120 career TDs. If he can recover even just a bit - not to his prime, but his career average - that would place him at over 14,000 yards with 132 TDs. That's assuming he doesn't miss much time and plays just until age 30 before hanging it up. 

Again, not saying it's likely, but it's still possible. And then you'd be looking at a resumé where you have multiple All-Pros, an Offensive Player of the Year award, an Offensive Rookie of the Year award, and those yardage and TD numbers. It would at least give him an outside shot, IMO.

Gurley was objectively part of why the Falcons were a bad team this year. There were holes open for him all year that Brian Hill and Ito Smith took more advantage of then he could. It's why he got benched for those two after 11 games. 

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On 2/11/2021 at 2:03 AM, Starless said:

Do you really trust that, though? Barkley and McCaffrey have already had what should be prime years cut short by injury, and Zeke's production dropped precipitously last season. Look at what happened to guys like Gurley and David Johnson. Or hell, LeVeon Bell. RBs just don't last anymore. 

Its crazy isnt it, its also the ugly truth some Browns fans are being told when it comes to the Browns resigning Nick Chubb. Team sources keep citing Zeke Elliott and Todd Gurley as to why the Browns will let Chubb walk in free agency. Maybe franchise him for a year but seemingly no long term deal.

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6 hours ago, DannyB said:

It's simply not realistic to expect 10 years of great production from a RB to consider them HoF-worthy. Give me 4-6 great years and somewhere around 2-4 good years. But but there's also a lot of "know it when I see it" to it. I generally (GENERALLY!!) need more than 3-4 really good years, but 10 just isn't realistic for the position

Wasn’t sure what the standard is/was off the top of my head. Point remains, if you’re HOF caliber, you probably have a career that spans at least 10 years (or close to it). Add in the 4 years post retirement, and that basically wraps up why there hasn’t been any HOF RBs drafted this decade. 

Unless the point was that even among those drafted, no one’s *going* to make the HOF. That’s debatable though.

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40 minutes ago, Yin-Yang said:

Wasn’t sure what the standard is/was off the top of my head. Point remains, if you’re HOF caliber, you probably have a career that spans at least 10 years (or close to it). Add in the 4 years post retirement, and that basically wraps up why there hasn’t been any HOF RBs drafted this decade. 

Unless the point was that even among those drafted, no one’s *going* to make the HOF. That’s debatable though.

Yeah I think the OP's point was that there don't appear to be any HoF-caliber RBs going right now that were drafted in the past decade. While I do think we've been in a relatively down era for RBs in the '10s, there are a few that very well COULD be HoFers if their careers continue. However, given the nature of the position, their spot in the modern game, and the way the cap is structured, I think pretty much all RBs going right now are very much longshots (as far as ones drafted within the past decade).

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8 hours ago, scar988 said:

Ryan is one of the best postseason QBs of all time. 3rd all time in passer rating for QB's. Better than Rodgers, Mahomes, Brees, Wilson, Brady. Stafford has been terrible, though. But people equate team success (or lack thereof because defense and running games are optional in Atlanta), to individual success. And it's not fair to the player.

The game has changed so much, that passer rating, an already flawed metric, shouldn't be referenced really at all. Especially across era. 

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21 hours ago, DannyB said:

lotta RBs are on HoF paths in their first few seasons

I mean sure you'll have guys like Jordan Howard his rookie year putting up 1,000 yards, but you are absolutely not getting a lot of RBs starting off like CMC/Kamara have.  

I did a post awhile ago showing what RBs who put up comparable numbers in their first 4 years to Kamara/CMC and then compared it to what they did in the 4 years after.  And a lot of them stayed the same or improved, and the few who did regress usually did so because of an injury (or they were a power back ala Eddie George). 

There is no reason to think McCaffrey and Kamara (especially Kamara, even if I think McCaffrey is better) aren't on HOF trajectories.  And I'm not saying it is a guarantee they will continue to perform at a high level (but again, if we're using the past to set our expectations for these guys' future, then expectations should be high), but I don't see how middling RBs falling off has anything to do with McCaffrey and Kamara.  It would be like me suggesting Jalen Ramsey might not have a great shot because CBs fall off at 30.  

 

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FWIW.  Here are the RBs ahead of McCaffrey and Kamara in terms of YFS in their first 4 years (bolded are HOFers, italized made at least 2 Pro Bowls/All-Pros in the 4 years after, underlined objectively fell off in the 4 years after):

#36-#30: Christian McCaffrey, Steven Jackson, Frank Gore, Marshall Faulk, Tony Dorsett, Roger Craig, Ricky Watters

#29-#20: Chuck Foreman, Ottis Anderson (injury, although he did have a couple of very good seasons after his 4th year), Le'Veon Bell, Arian Foster, Alvin Kamara, William Andrews (injury), Matt Forte, Billy Sims (injury), Curtis Martin, Eddie George

#19-#10: Walter Payton, Todd Gurley (injury), Ricky Williams (fell off for other reasons), Herschel Walker, Ray Rice (fell off for other reasons), Edgerrin JamesEarl CampbellJamal Lewis, Thurman ThomasEmmitt Smith

#9-#1: Marcus AllenAdrian Peterson (it is a guarantee), Barry Sanders, Ezekiel Elliott, Clinton Portis, Chris JohnsonTerrell Davis (injury), Eric DickersonLaDainian Tomlinson

Of the 33 backs (not including Zeke/CMC/Kamara), 14 fell off, 2 of them being for off-the-field reasons (although you could argue Rice began to show signs of regression), 5 for injury, and 4 being power backs.  I also think it is worth pointing out the ZBS/Shanny backs on this team (Foster with Kubiak, Davis/Portis with Shanny).  

I mean a Chris Johnson scenario is always possible, although he was never the receiver CMC and Kamara were.  But those two just flat out regressing without a serious injury?  I don't know if I buy it.  The RBs most closely like them (other than Gurley and Rice, who again both fell off for different reasons) typically continue to play well if not outright get better.  Anything can happen but odds are closer to CMC/Kamara staying on their pace than them just becoming shells of their former self.  They are both great athletes with a minimal injury history and they aren't power backs and a lot of their touches come in the pass game which allows them to avoid the same kind of hits others were taking.  And they play in a less physical era of football too.  

Edited by iknowcool
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