Draft Pick Breakdown: Darren McFadden
20 years old
4.32 40-Yard dash
I had a bunch of footage and some words on that footage, but for some reason I can’t get it to work. Instead of rambling about McFadden’s positives, I’m going to fight the negative stuff that’s been mentioned lately. McFadden has never had a chance to play in a system in which he’s not the center of attention. You know this pick is only going to light a huge fire inside of Justin Fargas. You know JaMarcus and the deep pass will always be the key to the Raiders offense. There’s simply no way that McFadden can become the focus of the Raiders offense.
No scout or NFL expert can predict what kind of openings McFadden will find when he’s not the fixation of an offense. Teams couldn’t zero in-on McFadden even thought they knew he was going to get the ball; hell, Arkansas got so bold they decided to start snapping the ball to McFadden. Granted the Razorbacks also used him at quarterback because he can actually throw, and I don’t doubt the Raiders use him there, or run a halfback pass once or twice a year, but Arkansas needed him to touch the ball that often, the Raiders won’t. When Raider opponents focus on stopping the passing game, that’s when the Raiders will unleash McFadden. Again, Arkansas never had even an average passing attack during McFadden’s 3-year stay, where as Adrian Peterson played with a Heisman trophy winner for two years (Jason White). My point is that we have no idea how great McFadden’s going to be, but if the guys on ESPN are going to compare Peterson and McFadden, they better start with their college performances. We could compare 40-yard dash times, game stats, and records, but that’s like comparing a Red apple and Red Delicious apple; they pretty much look the same. McFadden was by far the more valuable player to his team than Peterson, and came from a program no where near as good; no offense Arkansas. This is just one of many reasons why I think McFadden is the better prospect. We’ll just have to wait and see what kind of pro he ends up being.
This is where I laugh. Merrill Hodge and many others believe McFadden’s legs are what will separate him from the success Peterson found, but I think it’s the complete opposite. Hodge was a slow running back that was moved to fullback when he entered the league, but he didn’t have the body-mostly leg strength-to make the transition. The time in the weight room is limited in college, but at the next level you’re paid to be in the weight room twice as long as you’re aloud in college. Like Hodge had to do, McFadden will hit the weights, putting on the muscle and strength he needs. Remember, he’s only 20; he’s got a little more growing to do. Maybe not this year, but by his second season I look for McFadden’s legs to not be a liability. He may not get his long legs up high like Rodger Craig or Eddie George did in their day, but the muscle he’ll be able to put on will help keep him from injury, and help him to break more tackles.
So with that, I see no holes in this selection, and I’m elated with the drafting of Darren McFadden.