2023 NFL Draft: Evidence continues to pile up that running backs do matter
I know I'm not supposed to talk about this but someone has to do it: Seaside Bonus 1/30/2023
There is so much insecurity attached to the obsession many have with badmouthing teams for drafting running backs in the first or second round. (You see, it used to be good enough to say that teams shouldn’t draft RBs in the first round, but when the NFL complied, the angry mob moved back the goal posts to day two because if not then they would have to do the unthinkable: be satisfied and have nothing to be angry about.)
If there was literally any attention given to the number of first round quarterback busts or first and second round receiver busts of late, positions that may have gotten a boost as teams bypassed running backs, then maybe analytics would actually be moving in a forward direction. But it seems like with Bijan Robinson projected as a potential top-10 pick—and probably still the only first round running back—the insecure can’t let go.
Just as how selecting Ken Walker III was somehow a devastating moment for many Seahawks fans who were worried that others might think less of them for being happy that Seattle picked an exciting offensive weapon regardless of draft position, the attention will now turn to Robinson for his reckless decision to be an exciting offensive weapon for some team in 2023.
How dare any fan want their team to draft this talented, humble, well-spoken, team-first player who was the most successful Texas running back (with numbers eerily similar to) since Jamaal Charles in 2007.
Don’t they know that the team could pick guaranteed starters at quarterback, edge, cornerback, receiver, or tackle? Surely those picks always work out 100% of the time.
The funny thing is that the devaluation of the running back position in the NFL Draft is what has made it quite possibly the SAFEST pick in the first two or three rounds. The quarterback position could potentially use a similar shake up rather than promoting this belief that “Well, it’s always better to take a 1-in-10 chance at a quarterback than a 70-80% shot at a running back”.
Oh no, what if you disagreed with analytics? Think of all the shunning!
Well, Seaside Joe has been shunned by them all. Seaside Joe can be shunned none further. None further shun! So I have no problem continuing to point out the extreme logical fallacy that nobody else in my position seems willing to point out either because they agree with this point of view or they’re afraid of the shun.
And just in case you thought that Walker’s rookie season—the yards he created on his own, the first downs he gained that were not there, the touchdowns that he scored that DeeJay Dallas and Travis Homer would have never scored, the Seahawks fans who he entertained where nobody else was creating entertainment, the excitement, the highlights, the attention on Seattle that wouldn’t have been there in certain games, and yes, the probability that he helped the team win more games than they would have if they had picked Malik Willis or a quarterback or someone else—would have changed the opinion of analytics…Nope.
And really, I never expected it to.
The only choice when you’re backed against a wall of contrary evidence for people who never had a side to defend other than their own ego is simply to double down. In this case, the reply to Walker and Willis’s seasons is to say that the Seahawks actually should have not picked Willis or Walker.
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I applaud the effort given here to look for an escape route rather than to admit defeat! I’ve always said that The Room is one of the best movies made in the 21st century because it is not just bad, it is perfectly bad. A movie’s purpose is to entertain and I’m more entertained by an astoundingly awful movie than I am one that aimed for mediocrity and hit a bullseye.
“I’ll have to recalibrate my previous opinions to see if an update is necessary” may have been the right answer. But shit, it wouldn’t have been nearly as entertaining as proclaiming that your only error was saying that Willis was a better pick and not that you said Walker was a horrendous pick.
Thank you for that.
On Sunday, we saw four teams play for the chance to reach the Super Bowl and all of them have invested at running back. The moves either helped those teams or didn’t prevent them from getting better.
Have you noticed that any time a first or second round running back has a bad game or suffers an injury, the attention on that grows incredibly loud BUT when one of these players does well, like say helping the Seahawks reach the playoffs in a season in which they had the second-longest playoff odds, there’s only silence?
How dare anyone say, “You know what? I didn’t like the Walker pick at the time but I’m having so much fun… I was wrong.”