Darren McFadden: Why Raiders RB Will Never Live Up to the Hype

Thomas Galicia@thomasgaliciaContributor IIDecember 7, 2012

OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 04: Darren McFadden #20 of the Oakland Raiders tries to get away from Lavonte David #54 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at O.co Coliseum on November 4, 2012 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Darren McFadden was supposed to be the next great running back when the Oakland Raiders drafted him with the fourth overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft.

By now he should be at an Adrian Peterson level, unstoppable and considered as one of the best running backs of the game. However that isn't going to happen, as Darren McFadden looks like a prime example as to why more NFL teams are looking towards the later rounds to find their next great running back.

McFadden's status as a semi-bust isn't due to lack of hard work or talent. McFadden has the talent and work ethic to succeed. But injuries have been a major factor in why he hasn't lived up to the hype when he was drafted, and why he likely never will.

Prior to this season, McFadden had rushed for a total of 2,627 yards and 16 touchdowns. While he did have a very good 2010 season (rushing for 1,157 yards and seven touchdowns), he's struggled with injuries ever since.  

In five seasons with the Raiders, McFadden has had yet to play in all 16 games. He missed three games in his rookie season due to an injury to his big toe. In 2009, numerous injuries caused McFadden to miss four games as he saw his attempts and yards go down to a career-low 357 yards on 104 attempts. 

After a strong campaign in 2010, many thought that McFadden had finally broken through as the next great running back. But a Lisfranc injury limited him to seven games the next season, and the Raiders' subsequently faded down the stretch. He still ran for 614 yards and four touchdowns on 113 attempts, numbers that indicated the start of a Pro Bowl season. 

In 2012, McFadden would again be touted as an important part of Oakland's rushing attack, but so far he's only played in eight of the team's 13 games. In that time he's rushed for 455 yards and two touchdowns. After missing four weeks of the regular season, he would come back against Denver in Week 14, only to re-aggravated his ankle injury in the second half (per NBCSports.com).

Injuries continue to keep McFadden from reaching his full potential, and after four years in the NFL, one has to wonder if we have already seen the best from Run DMC.