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AJ Dillon the starter?

Discussion in 'Green Bay Packers Fan Forum' started by GreenNGold_81, Feb 11, 2021.

  1. Half Empty

    Half Empty Cheesehead

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    OK. Now it looks like a typical forum semantic problem. Nothing we write here in any way affects anyone affiliated with the Packers. I never suggested the GM should be punished because that's impossible for this forum to accomplish. I did suggest/insist that it's fine for posters to complain about things that Packer people do (because Packer opinions is what the forum is all about) and, specifically, that noting the same problem exists on other teams doesn't is not, IMO, a excuse for the people on MY team. That's all. If Gute, or anyone else is going to punished, it's certainly not because of me, my suggestions, or this forum.
     
  2. Sunshinepacker

    Sunshinepacker Cheesehead

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    I think he'd be a terrible pick of they re-sign Jones though. That would not be a condemnation of Dillon though; it would be a condemnation of Gute wasting a high draft pick on a backup. Which is why I doubt they re-sign Jones; I doubt Gute is going to do something that makes his choices in the draft look bad.
     
  3. Dantés

    Dantés Gute Loot

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    Yeah, I understand what you're saying.

    But I'll simply say this-- this offense, running at the highest level in the league, gave 450 touches to true running backs in 2020 (not including Ervin in that).

    So if that kind of work load was just split two ways, and your "backup" is getting 200 touches, I don't necessarily think it's a waste to invest a late 2nd on that kind of player.

    I mean, if they spent that pick on a slot receiver or receiving TE who only plays 60% of the snaps, no one would bat an eye.
     
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  4. swhitset

    swhitset Cheesehead

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    Yeah I think we are essentially in agreement. My initial response was to Sunshine.... he specifically said that he wanted Gutenkunst to face “consequences” if Dillon doesn’t work out. I still believe that to be an over reaction. As fans we don’t have to like the pick...
     
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  5. Sunshinepacker

    Sunshinepacker Cheesehead

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    Yes, because WRs and TEs are more valuable than RBs. The Packers just had a top-7 RB who was a 5th round pick. James Robinson was undrafted and is a great RB for Jacksonville. RBs are cheap and tend to be pretty easy to find. Good WRs and TEs are not.
     
  6. Dantés

    Dantés Gute Loot

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    8 of the top 10 running backs in the NFL in YPC (min. 100 carries) were day 1 or 2 picks.

    I believe all 10 of the top paid running backs in the league were day 1 or 2 picks.

    I understand positional value, and that RB is probably not where you want to spend a really high pick. But people get too extreme with it in my opinion.

    To stand a decent shot at landing a great running back, you still need to take them in the top 100.
     
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  7. Sunshinepacker

    Sunshinepacker Cheesehead

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    I tend to disagree; running back in today's NFL isn't as important a position as WRs/TEs. Even Derrick Henry wasn't much until the Titans got an elite receiver. I just tend to think that RBs can found later in the draft if your team has a great QB and good WRs. Back to the original point though, if Dillon is backing up a RB this year, then I think drafting him in the 2nd round was a mistake considering the needs the Packers have at receiver, dline, and corner.
     
  8. Dantés

    Dantés Gute Loot

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    The way that the league invests in these positions (both draft and contract value), it would tell us this in terms of how teams truly value:

    1. Wide Receiver



    2. Running Back
    3. Tight End

    I understand that they are lower down the positional value pecking order. But they still matter, and there is nothing wrong with taking one in the 2nd round. Some really, really smart organizations took running backs before the Packers did. If taking a RB in day 1/2 is dumb, then apparently the Chiefs, Colts, Ravens, and Rams are dumb franchises.

    Positional value isn't the only consideration either-- there's also their own assessment of the player. After the draft, Gutekunst straight up told the media that he was trying to trade up for a wide receiver. It didn't materialize. So it would seem that they just had a high grade on Dillon.

    If Dillon isn't good enough to make a positive impact as a big part of the backfield this year, then yeah it was not a good pick. If he's playing great and shouldering a big part of the workload, then there's no reasonable way to call the pick a bust.
     
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  9. Sunshinepacker

    Sunshinepacker Cheesehead

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    People like running backs. They're fun and used to be an integral part of offenses. Player grades need to include positional value, it's the reason a REALLY good punter isn't taken before a pretty good corner. If the Packers have a great RB but awful corners or dline, then I would think the player was good but the pick was terrible. I'd also add that salary cap management is a big part of this discussion and starting-caliber free agent RBs can be had for much less than starting-caliber corners or dlinemen. Mike Davis would probably be an effective RB for the Packers next year if he signed with the team, and he will probably cost less than what an effective CB will cost the team.

    And yes, some teams have not yet figured out how valuable the running back position really is. There are currently 7 RBs making over $10m per year; only McCaffrey and Kamara are probably worth close to that, though mainly because those teams have QBs that rely so heavily on the short passing game. I'll just leave it at this: I would rather have Darren Waller and Austin Ekeler for the same price as Dalvin Cook and that's because I can find an effective RB later in the draft much more easily than I can find an effective TE (or WR/CB/DE).

    It's just a difference of opinion; on offense I prefer to emphasize the passing game as the more important component and a great RB isn't as helpful in that facet as another passing weapon. As for defense, I would put CB and pass rusher above everything but QB.
     
  10. Dantés

    Dantés Gute Loot

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    I didn't really need it explained to me why you wouldn't draft a punter over a corner. Positional value matters; no one is saying otherwise. So does draft grade. And simply because guards, running backs, tight ends, and linebackers are lower on the priority list does not mean you can't ever spend a high pick on the right one.

    While you can find useful players for the backfield in free agency, the shelf life of running backs makes that route more difficult. A running backs best years will come on their rookie deal the majority of the time. Using day 2 picks on them and then letting them walk after 4-5 years makes way more sense than trying to fill the position with veterans. And Mike Davis is not a guy you want to give 200 touches to. He's not very good.

    People who make this case always cherry pick examples of late round of undrafted running backs who hit big, completely ignoring that the hit rate in those cases is atrocious. If you need a running back and say "I can find one in the 5th or undrafted because of Aaron Jones or Austin Ekeler" you're going to fail to address your position almost every time. The logic of that argument is identical to saying, "don't take receivers high in the draft, just go find an Adam Thielen." You also couldn't get Austin Ekeler... because he signed an extension with his original team.

    If you look at the top 10 scoring offenses in the NFL in 2020, literally every last one of them has spent a day 2 pick (or more) on a running back in the last five years. So you say that some teams have not yet figured out the value of the running back position, but I say that the football analytics twitterati have not yet figured out that they aren't the actual professionals in this case.

    Running backs matter and so does positional value. So probably look elsewhere when you're picking really high, but otherwise, have at it.
     
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  11. Mexican Packer

    Mexican Packer Cheesehead

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    Running backs are valuable, but the position have a different approach

    While some positions gives the player the opportunity to play the game longer like QB on the other hand RB knows every time they run the ball they gonna take a big hit or even more

    So basically, recent history tells you that a RB can only have like 5-7 good seasons, that means it's not worth to offer a second contract to any RB, cause you won't get the same production from him

    So teams normally gets a RB round 4 to 6 and sometimes they get very good value, but that doesn't mean that day 1 and 2 RB have more skills and probably gonna succeed
     
  12. Sunshinepacker

    Sunshinepacker Cheesehead

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    How about this; a great WR or TE is more valuable to a modern offense than a great RB. I can't think of any running-centric offenses that have been truly successful in today's NFL while I can think of a number of great offenses that have lacked great running back play. Having a great RB is fun, but Derrick Henry only did so much until Tennessee also got a good QB and a great WR, the Vikings offense was good but not great with Dalvin Cook, and Zeke didn't do much once Dak got hurt. The best offenses in the NFL featured elite passing games for the most part; of the 10 highest scoring teams in the NFL I would argue that only Tennessee, Green Bay, and New Orleans featured elite running backs.

    Cherry picking is easy when I can point to Kamara, Jones, Carson, Mostert, Wilson, Montgomery, Drake, and Damien Harris as effective, primary NFL RBs who were all drafted in the 3rd round or later. I never said drafting RBs late was easy, I just said it was easier than trying to find a good dlineman, CB, or WR late in the draft.

    The upside to finding a great CB, DE, WR, or TE in the second round is greater than the upside of finding a great RB. When you're drafting that high, I generally think upside is what a team should be focused on (within reason). Plus, running backs aren't generally worth giving a second contract to if they're great while other positions are generally worth it. Spending a 2nd round pick on a guy who, if he pans out and is great, you aren't going to re-sign just doesn't make any sense to me.
     
  13. Dantés

    Dantés Gute Loot

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    The conversation is drifting between a couple different arenas, so I'm just going to refocus it real quick.

    I don't think NFL offenses need elite running backs to be elite overall. That's not my argument. My argument is that it's totally acceptable to spend day 2 picks on running back, especially when the need exists and the team has valued the player with a strong grade. And just one more thought on that point-- there aren't many teams in the top 10 scoring offenses that feature elite tight ends either. Elite players are rare by definition.

    I don't like that list at all as an argument regarding the Dillon pick. For one, half of that list are day 2 selections. Secondly, two of those guys play on the same team, and one is the backup. And lastly, it doesn't make any sense to say drafting a running back at pick 73 (Drake, Montgomery) or 67 (Kamara) is smart, but drafting one at 62 (Dillon) is poor decision making.

    And I would still call that cherry picking in that you're looking at the league as a whole, coming up with 8 names, and only 3 of them actually fit your point. Look, I can do it too: Stefon Diggs, Keenan Allen, Tyreek Hill, Terry McLaurin, Adam Thielen, Tyler Lockett, Robby Anderson, Cooper Kupp... see how easy that is? But I would never say that because those guys exist, teams shouldn't draft receivers before the 3rd round.

    And lastly, the second contract thing cuts both ways. On the one hand, you get fewer years out of a player that you spent a day 2 pick on (your point). On the other hand, finding really good running backs on the open market who are worth paying almost never happens. The really special ones get resigned by their own teams, and the guys who do make it are extremely risky investments because of that running back shelf life. The lion's share of good RB play in the NFL are day 2 picks either on rookie deals or the very early portion of their 2nd contracts (almost always with their original team).
     
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  14. Mondio

    Mondio Cheesehead

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    I don't care when someone is picked as long as they can play and produce. If we lose Jones and Williams and our offense keeps on humming and scoring and Dillon is a part of it, why do I care where he was picked? We can go all undrafted in the DB department since we got Tramon and Sam that way.

    Drafts positions are based on potential and crystal balls and most are dirty and hard to see into. It stacks your deck, and you should hit on some, but in the end, there are worse things you can draft than productive solid players that fit your plan. If he's that, I'm cool.
     
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  15. PackerDNA

    PackerDNA Cheesehead

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    I think Dillon can be very good, but he's a completely different back than Jones. He's not as explosive, not as much of a game breaker as Jones.
     
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  16. Sunshinepacker

    Sunshinepacker Cheesehead

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    I tend to look at the likelihood a guy will pay off and how much of an impact a high level player will have at that position when looking at what positions get drafted.

    Obviously, if a team needs a QB, then pick a darn QB in every round cause that's the most important position bar none. After that, if a team has a good QB, I'd rank the value of a great RB pretty far below the value of a great CB, pass rusher, WR, OT, or TE. I just happen to think a good corner helps a team more than a great running back. So the running back prospect might have the higher grade but I'd prefer the lower graded corner.
     
  17. Mondio

    Mondio Cheesehead

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    I agree, RB is lower on my list of important things than QB, DB, OL, DL. But if I have a guy I feel pretty strongly can be the guy we can use to run the style of offense we want to run around and be a threat to a defense in lots of ways or I have a DB I think may have a high ceiling but have a lot of questions about him actually reaching that ceiling, or feel I have 1 RB left with what I want and 20 DB's all with equal potential, I'd take the RB.

    Nothing is absolute or black and white in this. I do rate DB as a pretty dang important position but there's more that goes into it than that.
     
  18. easyk83

    easyk83 Cheesehead

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    Or Tannehill was just a guy until he had Henry in the backfield with him. Its not that the run sets up the pass but that an effective run game inherently compliments itself with a passing game. Is it a coincidence that Aaron Rodgers had the best year of his career while playing with the most run focused offense of his career?

    A good running game means PA passing on first and second down. It means that your third downs are more often going to be third and short. It means LBs forced to wait for the run before bailing out into coverage, it means a safety having to play closer to the LoS, it means DLs forced to stack up and look for a ball carrier as opposed to getting straight after the quarterback and it means that you wont see a lot of 7 tech and wide 9 edge rushers looking to take your quarterback's head off.

    Yes you can find good backs throughout the draft, but more often than not the best offenses have a back taken within the first 3 rounds and for good reason.
     
  19. easyk83

    easyk83 Cheesehead

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    Personally I disagree that the NFL is a quarterback driven league, rather its a quarterback obsessed league. We overpay for the position, we put too much of a load on young developing quarterbacks and then wonder why they fail. Then if a team wins a super bowl with an elite QB, always on teams loaded with talent, then its time to pony up 20%+ of the cap on said quarterback and then spend the next decade wondering why sufficient talent cannot be brought in to support said elite passer. Or of course with less supporting talent it becomes apparent that said passer wasn't that great in the first place, Joe Flacco.

    I suspect that if one does an analysis of successful young QBs over the years that most just happen to play on teams with good ground games.
     
  20. tynimiller

    tynimiller Cheesehead

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    I'd say you both have quite a bit of right in your thoughts.

    I believe immense success can be found by teams without an elite level QB for sure or a young inexperienced one. I mean Flacco, Grossman, Mayfield, Tannehill, JimmyG and others all illustrate you don't have to have a future HOF as your QB and have a team in the hunt for the SB.

    That all said there is ZERO question IMO that a top 3 or so active QB can cover up the most flaws a team may have more than any other position. That's why the mindset is the QB obsession type in the NFL, if you get that right it is tough not to be in a good position.
     
  21. Sunshinepacker

    Sunshinepacker Cheesehead

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    Henry didn't become the dominant force he has been the past 2 seasons until the Titans brought in Tannehill and Brown. Passing games make the running game easier, not the other way around. Otherwise Dalton would have been helped a lot more by Zeke, as opposed to Zeke falling off a cliff when Dak got hurt. I could also point out that Rodger's most efficient year ever was torpedoed by not having enough decent players at corner or interior pass rusher. We'll certainly get to revisit this next season depending on whether Gute can find corners to replenish that position while Dillon is being a good running back. I just happen to think that a player like Dantzler, Johnson, or Trevon Diggs at CB would have helped more not only in 2020, but, going forward, they also would have shored up a position group that's much harder to get good rookie production out of; rookie running backs can generally play pretty well, so why draft them a year early? Not only are rookie running backs generally better NFL players than rookie corners but free agent running backs are also cheaper than free agent corners.

    I have not said that early round running backs can't be good, many times they are. I have just said that finding good running backs in later rounds is easier than finding good player at other, more valuable, positions like WR, pass rusher, or CB. Yes, many of the top offenses have drafted guys in the first 3 rounds, but I would argue that, of the top-10 offenses in the NFL last year, only Kamara and Henry have proven to be great running backs (maybe Dobbins or Taylor join that group). I also need to clarify that I don't mind taking a running back in the 3rd round nearly as much as I do taking a guy in the 2nd round (I'd still prefer drafting an athletic, pass catching guy like Jones in round 4 or later though).

    The 2020 draft was not something I thought was very good for this team, that's obviously my stance. However, there's no going back and changing it. I'm hoping Dillon becomes a pro-bowler for the 3 years he has left with the team and Gute can find a way to fix the cornerback group.
     
  22. tynimiller

    tynimiller Cheesehead

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    Until 2018 Henry wasn't a starter Sunshine....that year he eclipsed 1,000 even in only 14 games.

    He has been a stud ever since they handed him the ball - even the first two seasons where he started only two games each year he averaged over 4 yards a carry. Tannehill didn't hurt him, but that organization as a whole has gotten better and Henry as he earned time with every handoff has done anything but prove he deserved more from first snap.
     
  23. thisisnate

    thisisnate Cheesehead

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    dillon's broad and vert were nuts, and he ran a faster 40 than jones. i'm not sure i buy the assumption that since he's bigger he can't be shifty or explosive.
     
  24. Sunshinepacker

    Sunshinepacker Cheesehead

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    Henry's strength is how often he can carry the ball and maintain a good yards per carry. He doesn't offer anything in the passing game. Tennessee, with Henry, has been good when they have a great defense because when the other team builds a big lead, Henry doesn't help that much.

    In 2018 Henry ran for 1,059 yards (not great) with 15 receptions. The offense, without the good QB and elite WR, couldn't stay on the field often enough to give him the 300+ carries he's received the past 2 years. His 4.9 yards per attempt in 2018 would have been good for 15th in the NFL this year. No running back in today's nfl can carry an offense without a good passing game or a historically great defense.

    Edit: Before someone thinks I'm saying something that I'm not, Derrick Henry is a very good NFL running back and is probably the most fun running back to watch in the NFL. I just prefer guys that are also factors in the passing game.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2021
  25. tynimiller

    tynimiller Cheesehead

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    Stop just stop. First of all look at the amount of carries it took to eclipse 1,000 that year. There are very few backs that do that. I'm sorry but pretending Henry ain't been a beast all along ignores facts on paper and facts observed with your eyes.
     

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