Darren McFadden As Good As Advertised?

Max MannCorrespondent IApril 14, 2008

With Adrian Peterson's success last season, many fans wonder will Darren McFadden have the same type of impact that Peterson did in his first NFL season.

Of course Peterson's rookie season was tremendous, and those types of expectations certainly are a bit unrealistic. However, with the type of athletic ability that McFadden seemingly possesses, teams are still going to dream that he can step right in and give them the same production.

We know McFadden ran a blistering combine time, and has impressed in his workouts, but what of the more important aspect. What does the game tape show McFadden as? A franchise back or the next first round bust? Note: this writer is not privy to any privileges that you, the reader, aren't. That being said, this scouting evaluation was based upon numerous, and lengthy, highlight videos posted on the Internet.

 Strengths: Possesses an incredible second gear in the open field. He has elite speed and tears away from defenders. Rarely, if ever, gets caught once he breaks away. Shows the ability to consistently turn the corner. Gets to top speed in a very short amount of time. Looks to possess a better second gear (at least in college) than Peterson. Changes directions fluidly. Extremely decisive—once he sees a crease is quick to make a decision and exploit it. Shows above average vision and patience. Has no problem cutting it up-field and running between tackles. Catches the ball very well out of the backfield and is a home run threat in that aspect as well.Surprisingly, he shows a very strong, and accurate arm, in the passing game; as well as great decision making for a RB. A very tough runner, and actually seems to want to deliver a blow rather than take one. Will run through arm tackles. He has a fierce stiff arm, and doesn’t appear to ever just settle with being pushed out, or run out of bounds.

Negatives: Has good, but not great leg drive. Won’t push many piles. For somebody as athletic as him he won’t make many people miss in space. Because he is extremely top heavy, he tends to get knocked off balance when hit high. Other scouts say that he tends to drop passes when in traffic, and is fumble prone.

 Overall: Because of his tremendous game-breaking ability, in all three phases of the game, he has to be considered an elite prospect. Looks a little like Marcus Allen as far as his build, and overall athleticism. Beyond his big play ability, what is really to like about him is that he’s a fighter. He fights for extra yardage, and won’t run out of bounds. Not very powerful though, and he’s not going to break many tackles, or make many guys miss. However, his ability to turn any play into a touchdown simply cannot be overlooked.