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2010 Draft - Rd 1b: RB Jahvid Best

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Lions treat Best like a feature back | StarTribune.com

Lions treat Best like a feature back

Posted by Mark Craig

Last update: May 3, 2010 - 3:05 PM

Lions rookie running back Jahvid Best was being humble and respectful of his veteran teammates when he said over the weekend that he just needed "to play my part" in a running back by committee approach this season.

That's nice of him, but it seems the Lions have a different idea. They've thrown Best on the fast track to being their feature back ASAP.

"We're throwing everything we have at him. We didn't spoon-feed it," Schwartz said during the team's rookie minicamp. "He's a guy that when he does come back, he has to assimilate right away into the offense. We can't slow the offense down for where he is. We moved him around a lot and exposed him to a lot of things. I thought he did a really good job of handling it."

In doing so, the Lions, according to Schwartz, got a taste of what the exciting scat-back can do.

"He sort of got his feet under him as the weekend went on," Schwartz said. "He started off a little bit lethargic and then all of a sudden exploded. You can see what you saw on film with him. He obviously has speed, he obviously has instincts and quickness and those kinds of things."

If Best doesn't blow this opportunity, he'll open the season as the feature back. Maurice Morris probably will back him up. Kevin Smith is coming off a torn ACL. I was talking to someone close to the situation recently and was told Smith might not be 100 percent until 2011, if ever.

It will be fun to see how the 2010 rookie running back class develops. There were 14 running backs drafted. Seven of them went in the top 59 picks.

The Vikings' selection of Stanford's Toby Gerhart 51st overall will be judged against the four other running backs who were selected between Nos. 30-59.

Obviously, the player we'll all be watching and comparing Gerhart to is Best. The Vikings could have stayed in the No. 30 spot and taken Best. Instead, they traded down with the Lions and hand-delivered Best to a division opponent.

It's going to be a difficult comparison to make since Gerhart and Best are different types of players being asked to perform totally different roles. Best should have the better stats since the only way Gerhart becomes a feature back is if something really bad happens to Adrian Peterson.

But If Gerhart can fill Chester Taylor's many underrated duties (pass protection, receiving, complementing Peterson) on a winning team, wouldn't that be better than Best putting up better rushing stats on a losing team?

The other backs we can't help but compare to Gerhart will be Dexter McCluster (No. 36 to the Chiefs), Ben Tate (No. 58 to the Texans) and Montario Hardesty (No. 59 to the Browns).

The Vikings could have taken McCluster at No. 34, although it's hard to criticize them for taking a big corner (Chris Cook) over a 5-9, 172-pound running back.

The Vikings also could have taken Tate or Hardesty -- two big powerful backs from Auburn and Tennessee, respectively -- when they traded from No. 62 to No. 51. Particularly interesting in that scenario was the running back-starved Texans trading the 51st pick to the Vikings. Houston gave away Gerhart but then traded up from No. 62 to No. 58 to take Tate. Hardesty came one pick later to Cleveland.

The next running back wasn't taken until USC's Joe McKnight went to the Jets in the fourth round (112th).

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Lions signed rookie RB Jahvid Best, the No. 30 overall pick, to a five-year contract worth $9.8 million.

Best is essentially ticketed for every-down back duties in what should be a vastly improved Lions offense. Though his Average Draft Position is on the rise, we still like Best as a mid-to-late fourth-round value pick -- particularly in PPR leagues. He's not going to see many eight-man fronts, and Best's sub-4.3 speed will be accentuated on domed Ford Field's turf.

Jahvid Best

Good contract

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Always the optimist...week 6...HA...but seriously, I remember all the same concerns when we drafted Sims, he hasn't had a head injury since being drafted.

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Is this the typical contract/cost for the 30th overall pick?

Seems like a good deal.

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Recent 30th overall picks:

2007 WR Craig "Buster" Davis/Chargers

5 years/ $11 million/ $5.5 million in guarantees. If Davis plays out the contract, it is worth $7.83 million with about $3.2 million in incentives.

2008 TE Dustin Keller/Jets

5 years/ $8.5 million contract, including about $6 million in guarantees

2009 WR Kenny Britt/Titans

5 years/ $9.459 million

2010 RB Jahvid Best/Lions

5 years/ $9.8 million

Not bad considering he likely dropped down because of a measily concussion.

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Recent 30th overall picks:

2007 WR Craig "Buster" Davis/Chargers

5 years/ $11 million/ $5.5 million in guarantees. If Davis plays out the contract, it is worth $7.83 million with about $3.2 million in incentives.

2008 TE Dustin Keller/Jets

5 years/ $8.5 million contract, including about $6 million in guarantees

2009 WR Kenny Britt/Titans

5 years/ $9.459 million

2010 RB Jahvid Best/Lions

5 years/ $9.8 million

Not bad considering he likely dropped down because of a measily concussion.

Looks like you answered your own question. He didn't drop because of a measily concussion...he dropped because he had a measily concussion then played the next week and had an epic concussion. He left his feet and landed directly on his head, freak play, I'm not that concerned about it, but it was FAR from measily lol.

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Looks like you answered your own question. He didn't drop because of a measily concussion...he dropped because he had a measily concussion then played the next week and had an epic concussion. He left his feet and landed directly on his head, freak play, I'm not that concerned about it, but it was FAR from measily lol.

The word "measily"(which I had misspelled. it's "measly") was meant facetiously and was not to be taken seriously or literally.

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I have watched alot highlights on this guy.... Something tells me he is the real deal... I think he will get over jumping and screw up a huge run..... typical rookie move like DeSean Jackson... But Best will also give us some TD's...

Im still not giving up on Smith yet... I think having a two back system is perfect for the NFC North... sort of like De Angelo Williams and Stewart in Carolina... Smith and Best can really do some damage..

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So... Does no one want to talk about Best on Sunday?

TD's aside, where was the speed?

Lousy turf, and good, fast defense makes it tough.

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Best looked like he was spinning his wheels all day. I wonder if he should have changed shoes to something that had longer cleats. Barry had trouble in true turf stadiums too... Denver comes to mind, Green Bay and Chicago. Of course the defense might have had something to do with that too, however Barry seemed to do just fine when they played the same teams at Detroit.

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You're right, of course. But didn't you just want more?

Well, I was hoping for 200 all-purpose yards. :happy: I think he'll be fine. Speed doesn't just disappear.

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So... Does no one want to talk about Best on Sunday?

TD's aside, where was the speed?

Bears LB are quick..the speed of the game is much faster in the regular season, that being said..a RB needs a few holes..a seam..a crease...

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Lousy turf, and good, fast defense makes it tough.

An article somewhere mentioned that the field might have been kept a little longer/was in bad shape and that this would take some of his speed away.

I would have liked more yards, but I can't get angry with his two touchdowns, I was worried about his goal line abilities not his speed.

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I thought he did well in pass protections, maybe would have liked a little more in the flats receiving wise.

From a run game perspective, while I don’t think they are at 05-06 levels, I think we just saw one of the better defensive front 7’s we are going to see. Peppers and Harris on the same side alone is enough to disrupt things. Stack Urlacher, Briggs and Tinoisamoa behind them and its pretty darn good.

I think a lot of people will have trouble running against that group.

Cherilus is awful. He and Peterman all but killed us at the end of that game.

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Lousy turf, and good, fast defense makes it tough.

Yeah, what was the deal with that Turf? It looked in terrible shape.

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Lousy turf, and good, fast defense makes it tough.

Apparently you didn't get the memo from Timbergoof. The Bears defense is old, not good and fast.

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CJ Spiller ran 7 times for 6 yards I think. A good passing game opens up holes for the running game. Best will learn to take what the defense gives him. I saw a couple of times where he could have just hit the accelerator and gained 6 or 7 yards on the outside but he cut back inside looking to shake the defender.

On a side note the Packers picked up Dimitri Nance off the Falcons practice sqaud, the same guy I said the Lions should have picked up, especially with the loss of Stafford.

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