James Connor reminds me of former Steelers Running Back Franco Harris. (Look him
up) He runs with the same style and gate and with subtle authority that
surprises the player tackling him. He can block and catch the ball out of the
back field and is a complete running back. He works well between the tackles
with good quick lateral agility moving up the field north/south instead of
east/west. He can turn the corner because of his excellent use of a stiff arm
that keeps players off his legs and that stiff arm will limit leg injuries.
can catch the ball down the field like a receiver. He is more than a willing
blocker and his passion to play at a high level is what sets him apart from a
lot of other players in this draft. I don’t think anyone will ever be sorry for
selecting a player like
James and adding him to a roster because of his talent
and passion to play football.
I don’t think there is any doubt that
James's medical history will affect his
draft status. All I can say is look at the last 4 games of his season and you
can see the speed and agility coming back to his body. Will
James be able to
physically be your top running back and carry the running game for an entire NFL
season? I think that question is moot. I mean seriously, isn’t that the question
for any running back coming out?
James has held up and his health has improved
from game to game this year so the only question left in my mind is does he have
the athletic talent, football intelligence and passion to be a starting running
back in multiple styles of offense in the NFL? I think he does.
I understand the concern teams may have in selecting
James as high as his talent
grade is. Nevertheless this profile is about his talent to play in the NFL and
the possible impact he could have in the NFL and it is not about what round he
will be or should be selected. This is how you find the steals in a draft. This
is how you select a player in the later rounds that everyone knows has talent
but because of an issue his potential value to a team might not be obvious. This
is why Rob and I invented the “Two Board System” and why Rob was the first Draftnik to call his main board a “Value board” and not a Draft board. Although
no one in the media acknowledges this fact, you are hearing the word “value”
more and more every year and now you are seeing more and more analyst using the
“separation of the talent” of a player and his “value” when discussing the
draft. For example, you may hear analyst say the following, “I don’t have a
first round grade on any Quarterbacks but we expect them to be selected in the
first round”. Years ago this type lingo was not used in the vernacular of any
analyst talking about the NFL draft.
James Connor has excellent talent but his
“value” is in question for whatever reason you want to use. Maybe because of the
position he plays or maybe it’s because teams are not sure of the position he
will play. That being said, thinking
James is going to be selected in the 2nd
round is foolish but, that’s what I see his talent or impact will be. Some teams
will think of him as a possible fullback because of his size, some teams will
take him off their boards because of his medical history and some teams will
rate him like I did and wait to see where Rob has listed
James on his “Value”
Board knowing full well that
James's “value” is in question but not his talent.
Managing the draft with the information you have in front of you at the time of
the draft is really the only way to measure the success a team had that day.
Everyone thinks they selected talent at the end of the draft but the key is when
and how they were able to select that talent.
James is a perfect example of
managing the draft. You look for the approximant round, Rob has evaluated
“Value to all 32 Teams and then select him in that round or one round ahead or
behind. That’s managing the draft and that’s how you get starting impact players
in the latter rounds. Happy Drafting