Oakland Raiders: Darren McFadden's Impact

Randy RatliffContributor IMay 15, 2008

I have to admit. I was hoping that the Raiders were going to draft Glen Dorsey. I just knew he could be the missing link to the Raiders' shoddy run defense.

Though I have no problem with the Raiders drafting Darren McFadden. He is the gamebreaker their offense has really been missing. He can do great things for the Raiders if they utilize him correctly.

From what I have heard, they are planning on using him like the Saints use Reggie Bush, and not like the Vikings have used Adrian Peterson. A lot of people may not understand the logic of the Raiders doing this. If you could choose between Adrian Peterson and Reggie Bush, who would you take?

I would most certainly take Adrian Peterson. The main reason the Saints use Bush so sparingly is because of his inability to be a full-time back. That is why he split carries with Lendale White in college. But McFadden has proven he can be a full-time back. In his final college season he had over 320 carries.

The main reason the Raiders are planning on using McFadden as a complimentary back are because of their depth at running back. They must also find carries for Michael Bush and Justin Fargas. I am sure that McFadden and Bush will receive the majority of the carries, while Justin Fargas gets the short end of the deal.

I just don't think his running style is conducive to the NFL. He runs too high, and he doesn't have a low center of gravity, which is essential to being a running back. Once he makes contact, he just gets knocked back. He needs to put his head down so he can fight for the yards.

Darren McFadden and Michael Bush will be a great one-two punch for Oakland this year. Bush has the size and power to move the chains, but he is also deceptively fast, and very coordinated for someone his size. Plus, he is completely healthy for the first time since the beginning of his junior year of college. Many believe he would have been a first-round pick if he had not have gotten hurt.

I am thinking that Michael Bush will probably get a majority of the carries, as the Raiders will take advantage of McFadden's versatility. They can line him up as a wide receiver, or he can line up under center and take the snap, as he did with Arkansas.

I think the mere presence of McFadden will make JaMarcus Russell's second-year transition that much easier. He will keep the defenses honest and on their toes, as they know he can break one for fifty or sixty at any time. It will surely give Russell more time in the pocket to make more intelligent decisions with the ball, and also provide him someone to toss a quick swing pass to when he is being blitzed.

I don't think that McFadden's contributions to the team will really show up when you look at his numbers. You will have to look at how much easier he will make the game for the rest of the offense to truly understand his role with the team. He will be a great fit in Oakland, and add another well-needed piece to the Raiders' championship puzzle.