Oakland Raiders: Are Raider Fans Giving Darren McFadden Preferential Treatment?

Jeff CairnesContributor IApril 11, 2010

While everyone continues to harp on JaMarcus Russell and Darrius Heyward-Bey for their poor play, another Raider has been given far too much leniency.

Coming out of the University of Arkansas, Darren McFadden's stock could not have been higher.

ESPN put him on their cover and NFL analysts quickly anointed him the best player in the draft.

One thing nobody could argue about was his body of work. McFadden's resume stood for itself and showed no weaknesses.

Here is just a small sampling of what McFadden accomplished while at Arkansas:

His senior year, McFadden rushed for over 1,600 yards and had 150 yards receiving.

He was also the original "wildcat" (a variation on the single wing formation) where he completed 78 percent of his passes including three touchdown tosses.

McFadden is the third all-time in career rushing yards in the SEC with 4,485 yards, behind only Kevin Faulk of LSU (4,557) and Herschel Walker of Georgia (5,259) and is also currently tied for seventh place in the SEC with 40 career TD's.

On November 3rd, 2007, McFadden tied the Southeastern Conference record with 321 yards rushing against the University of South Carolina. He also passed Emmitt Smith in the SEC all-time rushing yards category.

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Now fast forward to today in the NFL.

While McFadden has shown a few signs of greatness, he simply hasn't developed into what most analysts had predicted and what Raiders fans were sure they would be getting.

In his two years in Oakland, McFadden has only rushed for 856 total yards or about half of the total yards he put up in his senior year at Arkansas.

His 284 attempts and 5.8 yard average at Arkansas has diminished down to a mere 3.9 on 217 attempts in Oakland.

Considering McFadden went fourth overall to the Raiders, shouldn't he be put under the same microscope as JaMarcus Russell and DHB?

Shouldn't we provide JaMarcus and DHB with the same excuses we give McFadden? Do we expect less from a RB than a QB or WR?

The one thing I will give to McFadden that I don't give to Russell is work ethic and effort. McFadden seems to really be trying, but can't seem to break enough tackles or hang on to the football well enough to be a difference maker.

One area he has excelled in is receiving. McFadden has over 500 yards receiving and is a real threat in the open field.

Maybe if McFadden is utilized as a receiver more moving forward in Hue Jackson's offense he will be able to be the dynamic play-maker the Raiders desperately need.

One thing is for certain: he is not that player today.

So what do you think Raider Nation—are we giving McFadden preferential treatment?

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