Darren McFadden: Can Looks Be Deceiving?

Max IasconeSenior Analyst IApril 12, 2008

Now before I write this, I'd like to say that Dmac is a special talent who could be a great weapon in the right system, however, he is definitely not worthy of a top 5 draft pick this April.

My evaluation of McFadden is not quite as harsh as that of NFL Network's Mike Mayock, who said that McFadden shouldn't be a top 20 pick, but that is not to say that McFadden is deserving of the hype and Adrian Peterson comparisons he has received over the past few months.

His 4.33 second 40 yard dash may have cemented his place as a top 5 pick, but not enough has been made of the paltry 13 bench press reps that McFadden turned in at his pro day.

To put this number in perspective, the second best RB prospect in this year's class, Rashard Mendenhall, had 26 reps, double McFadden's total.

According to one scout, McFadden cleared the last 20 yards of his 40 yard dash in a fantastic 1.8 seconds. Such a fantastic showing is a testament to McFadden's speed in the open field.

The fact that the first 20 yards took 2.53 seconds raises some concerns about McFadden's ability to accelerate quickly. Although McFadden was able to get off the line in college without a lot of contact, the increased speed of play at the next level could prove to be a problem for McFadden.

McFadden's struggles with the bench press made one thing abundantly clear. McFadden doesn't possess the power of an every down back. Unless he adds 10-15 pounds to his frame (and not in the same way Calais Campbell added 10-15 pounds mind you), McFadden would be little more than a change of pace back or a situational weapon in the NFL.

These problems may stem from McFadden's Reggie Bush like physique. Being 6'1" and weighing in at a tiny 211 lbs, D-Mac has drawn some comparisons to the former Trojan from a physical standpoint.

McFadden also mirrors Bush in the respect that both runners had fantastic offensive lines in front of them, meaning that they had massive holes to run through. It is safe to say that such easy running lanes will not be given to McFadden at the next level.

However, McFadden, according to Arkansas running back coach Tim Horton, craves contact, which, although would seem to be a refreshing tendency in a speed back like McFadden, makes McFadden susceptible to injury due to his slight frame.

Perhaps more importantly, concerns about McFadden's character have also surfaced. For instance, an altercation involving McFadden that took place at a night club in his hometown of Little Rock, Arkansas caused local law enforcement to cite McFadden for "inciting aggresive behavior".

There were actually two incidents involving McFadden and night clubs but one was in response to a man attempting to steal his younger brother's car so that particular incident was anything but detrimental to McFadden's character. McFadden also has two paternity lawsuits against him pending.

The overall consensus on McFadden's character is that he is a good guy and a hard worker who happens to put himself in compromising situations through no real fault of his own. However, potential suitors should still be wary of McFadden's off-the-field issues in today's NFL, since commissioner Roger Goodell places a high premium on character.

First time violators of the NFL's personal conduct policy are subject to a two game suspension, multiple violations may lead to suspensions that range in length from eight games to a full season.