Regular readers know that Andy is on crack. He often has irrational man-crushes on players who, to be blunt, suck. Like DeMond Parker, Torrance Marshall and, at near-obsessive levels, Tarvaris Jackson.
But, as they say, even a blind squirell finds a nut once in a while.
So I direct your attention to this post, making a strong case for why the Packers should pick Steve Slaton in last year’s draft. A taste:
I find it interesting that the draft “experts”, for whatever reason, don’t think he’s worth much. I reviewed some of his profile and can’t quite understand why he’s essentially become villified by the draft community. This is a guy who a few years ago finished 4th in Heisman voting.
Here is my very basic thought on the guy. He’d be worth probably a 3rd rounder (though I wouldn’t even mind if we picked him up with one of the 2nd round picks). Here’s why. Think about the last 2-3 years of watching college football. Every single Sat, in highlight shows, you would hear first that West Virginia probably won, then you’d hear Pat White’s name and Steve Slaton’s name and then they’d show some ridiculous run featuring some ridiculous athleticism. He’s played for a very successful program and his supposedly “down” junior year still had him gaining 1400+ yards on the ground with 18 TDs. One article here, indicates that part of the reason his stats may have declined is simply the presence of Pat White who took plays and carries from Slaton. During his monster season a few years ago, Slaton averaged nearly 7 yards per carry. Last year, it was down to 5, which is still really really good. I would argue he probably hasn’t lost a whole lot of his ability, he was just forced to share the workload a bit more when Pat White came onto the scene.
And in his preseason predictions, he wrote on the Texans’ running game this way: “Even though Ahman Green is there, the surprise of 2008 will be Steve Slaton (if he can stay injury-free). This guy is a winner who loves the end zone.” (Of course he also picked the Tennessee Titans to finish last in the AFC South. I had them in second, but at 9-7).
Slaton ranks #10 in rushing this season — and he wasn’t the starter until several games into the seasons. He averages just 15 carries a game — the lowest number of attempts of anybody in the top ten — and still averages 75.3 yards per game. His 5.0 yards/carry average is the best of anyone in the top thirty other than Brandon Jacobs (5.1).
And he doesn’t seem to be hitting his rookie wall.
The remarkable thing is that Slaton is this good and he still might be the third best RB in this rookie class, behind both Matt Forte of Chicago and Chris Johnson of Tennessee. (Perhaps Felix Jones, too.)