Tag:Ryan Grant
Posted on: February 27, 2008 12:02 pm

Digging into Ryan Grant

My first in-depth offseason research is being dedicated to Ryan Grant and Earnest Graham, and what their expectations can be heading into 2008. Both were undrafted running backs, and history has shown that undrafted running backs don't usually last long in the NFL. Priest Holmes and Willie Parker are two exceptions to a rule that has seen a good amount of undrafted runners either see limited action before falling off or never even scratching the surface.

So the premise of the story will be: Are Grant and/or Graham going to last?

The first thing I did was research the history of undrafted running backs. In the history of the NFL, there are FIVE players who were not drafted that went on to have a 1,000-yard season. I already named two, Dominic Rhodes is a third, and the other two (John Settle, James Allen) are guys you probably have never heard of or "misremember."

I'm at the point now where I am breaking down Ryan Grant. Why was he undrafted (he ran a sub-4.5 time at the combine)? Why did the Giants give up on him after a year? What was it about him that made him successful? Did he really have anything to do with any of this at all?

Here's the meat of this blog: Grant was a Fantasy stud from Week 8 on, but the weakness in his game, for the most part, was his short-yardage running. Here's a literal breakdown of all of Grant's runs on downs of 5 yards or less:

Week 8 Grant took over

3rd-4 DEN 4: Grant 3 yards, FG

3rd-1 DEN 50: Grant 4 yards, 1st down *****
1st-3 DEN 3: Grant 2 yards, 2nd down
2nd-5 DEN 5: Grant 3 yards, 3rd down, eventual FG

3rd-2 GB 28: Grant-2 yards, PEN keeps drive alive

TOTAL: 5 chances, 1 conversion

WEEK 9 at KC
2nd-3 GB 39: Grant 6 yards, 1st down *****

2nd-3 KC 35: Grant 1 yard , 3rd down
3rd-2 KC 34: Grant 0 yard , FG missed

TOTAL: 3 chances, 1 conversion

WEEK 10 vs. MIN
2nd-5 GB 36: Grant12 yards, 1st down *****

2nd-5 MIN 46: Grant-2 yards, 3rd down

2nd-4 MIN 41: Grant 1 yard , 3rd down

2nd-3 MIN 42: Grant 1 yard , 3rd down

3rd-1 GB 36: Grant-2 yards, 4th down

TOTAL: 5 chances, 1 conversion

WEEK 11 vs. CAR
1st-5 CAR 5: Grant 1 yard , 2nd down

2nd-5 GB 32: Grant16 yards, 1st down *****

2nd-4 CAR 30: Grant-1 yard , 3rd down

TOTAL: 3 chances, 1 conversion (16/4)

WEEK 12 at DET
1st-5 DET 5: Grant 5 yards, TOUCHDOWN *****

1st-5 DET 5: Grant 2 yards, 2nd down

2nd-4 DET 4: Grant 2 yards, 3rd down, eventual FG

2nd-3 DET 9: Grant 2 yards, 3rd down
3rd-1 DET 7: Grant-1 yard , FG

TOTAL: 5 chances, 1 conversion (21/5)

WEEK 13 at DAL

2nd-4 DAL 32: Grant 3 yards, 3rd down

2nd-3 GB 26: Grant 0 yards, 3rd down

3rd-1 GB 38: Grant62 yards, TOUCHDOWN *****

2nd-1 DAL 23: Grant 2 yards, 1st down *****
2nd-4 DAL 15: Grant 6 yards, 1st down *****

1st-1 DAL 1: Grant 1 yard , TOUCHDOWN *****

3rd-1 DAL 35: Grant 0 yards, FG

TOTAL: 7 chances, 4 conversions (28/9)

WEEK 14 vs. OAK
2nd-3 OAK 25: Grant-1 yard , 3rd down

2nd-5 OAK 42: Grant-2 yards, 3rd down
2nd-5 OAK 28: Grant 2 yards, 3rd down
2nd-1 OAK 10: Grant 0 yards, 3rd down
3rd-1 OAK 10: Grant 4 yards, 1st down *****
2nd-6 OAK 6: Grant 6 yards, TOUCHDOWN &&&&& - not 5 yards out!

3rd-1 OAK 24: Grant-2 yards, 4th down, FG

2nd-5 GB 25: Grant 1 yard , 3rd down

TOTAL: 7 chances, 1 conversion (35/10)END

WEEK 15 at STL

2nd-3 STL 3: Grant 2 yards, 3rd down
3rd-1 STL 1: Grant 1 yard , TOUCHDOWN *****

1st-4 STL 4: Grant 0 yards, 2nd down

2nd-3 GB 45: Grant24 yards, 1st down *****

TOTAL: 4 chances, 2 conversions

WEEK 16 at CHI

2nd-6 GB 34: Grant66 yards, TOUCHDOWN *****

WEEK 17 vs. DET

2nd-4 DET 27: Grant27 yards, TOUCHDOWN *****

2nd-5 GB 8: Grant 0 yards, 3rd down
3rd-5 GB 8: Grant18 yards, 1st down *****

2-GAME TOTAL: 4 chances, 3 conversions

2nd-2 GB 43: Grant 6 yards, FUMBLE *****

1st-1 SEA 1: Grant 0 yard , 2nd down
2nd-1 SEA 1: Grant 1 yard , TOUCHDOWN *****

2nd-2 GB 38: Grant 3 yards, 1st down *****
1st-3 GB 3: Grant 3 yards, TOUCHDOWN *****

2nd-4 GB 40: Grant 0 yards, 3rd down

3rd-3 GB 42: Grant43 yards, 1st down *****
1st-5 SEA 5: Grant-1 yard , 2nd down
1st-3 SEA 3: Grant 2 yards, 2nd down
2nd-1 SEA 1: Grant 1 yard , TOUCHDOWN *****

TOTAL: 10 chances, 6 conversions


2nd-2 NYG 31: Grant 2 yards, 1st down *****

3rd-3 NYG 12: Grant-7 yards, FG

TOTAL: 2 chances, 1 conversion

OVERALL: 55 chances, 22 conversions
22/55 = 40 pct. success rate

10/35 in first 7 games
12/20 in last 4 overall games

Those numbers are good, not great. You expect the big-time running backs to convert short-yardage downs 4 of 5 times -- maybe 11 of 15 times.

Earlier this offseason, Packers coach Mike McCarthy stressed that he wanted Grant to add some muscle, but ultimately is looking forward to seeing Grant get a year of offseason work under his belt. If he adds the weight (say 5-10 lbs. of muscle) and shows in the preseason that he can handle the short-yardage reps, he'll be deserving of being a late first-round pick in all Fantasy drafts.
Category: NFL
Tags: Ryan Grant
Posted on: February 25, 2008 3:02 pm
Edited on: February 25, 2008 3:55 pm

McFadden, rankings changes and an upcoming story

If there wasn't enough hype surrounding Darren McFadden, you can add to it the number 4.33 (or 4.27, depending where you read). That was McFadden's 40-yard-dash time at the combine.

How fast is that? It probably took you longer to read the above sentences than it did for McFadden to run 2/5ths of a football field. That's pretty fast.

McFadden has already been flying off of Fantasy mock draft boards. In two drafts I participated in, he was taken within the first 25 picks (including 17th overall by CBS video host Jason Horowitz). And in a 14-team, three-LEAGUE Fantasy SPORT draft (they pick baseball, football and basketball players), fellow Senior Fantasy Writer David Gonos took McFadden in the fourth round.

So already, people are expecting huge things from him. Nevermind the fact that we don't know where he'll be playing, what kind of an offense he'll be playing in, what kind of passing game will complement him and what kind of offensive linemen are blocking for him.

Gotta love the hype that media and highlights can inject into a player. And I'm not saying it's not completely warranted; McFadden is clearly talented and is very fast with great field vision. But there are still some issues -- like the obvious ones listed above -- that need answering before we put McFadden ahead of Fantasy gems like Marion Barber, Brandon Jacobs, Ronnie Brown, Laurence Maroney and maybe even Shaun Alexander.

Part of the reason for the hype is Adrian Peterson's amazing rookie year. A lot of people are calling McFadden "the next AD." They do have a point -- Peterson has been on the radar since his freshman year at Oklahoma, as has McFadden at Arkansas. If anything, McFadden does not have the injury history that Peterson had when he entered the NFL. That makes him more appealing.

But I would be remiss not to think back TWO years ago when a young collegiate dominator was an assumed Fantasy legend without lacing up a cleat. That was when Reggie Bush was taken second overall by the Saints. Just like McFadden this year, Bush was a pre-draft top-24 pick (and back then it was assumed he'd be a Houston Texan with the No. 1 overall choice). How did he work out as a rookie? As a second-year RB?

All I am saying is give McFadden a chance. Let's see where he gets drafted before we make him a No. 2 Fantasy RB with No. 1 upside. The only team picking in the top 10 where I'd be completely comfortable with McFadden going and being a top-25 pick is Atlanta. Every other team has someone there to split reps with.

Our rankings have changed again. You can find the positional rankings here: cbs.sportsline.com/fantasy/football
and the top 200 here: www.sportsline.com/fantasy/football

Here's what's changed:

Cadillac Williams slides. The Bucs have spoken to DeShaun Foster about signing with them, a clear indication that they're not very confident that Williams will be ready to play in 2008 (there's talk that his torn patella injury is career-threatening). I have a personal interest in Williams; I got to know him when I did his draft diary on NFL.com back in 2004. I'm rooting for him to come back. He's a really good guy with some awful luck when it comes to injuries. Anyway, his value is down on the news.

Donte Stallworth gets cut ... and rises?! The Patriots didn't exercise their option on Stallworth, so it's off to a new team for the speedster with the chronic hamstring. That's a good thing because he won't be playing in Randy Moss' (or Wes Welker's) shadow anymore. Stallworth has the stuff to be a No. 1 receiver for an NFL team and a No. 3 Fantasy WR, if not a little bit higher. Tennessee is a perfect fit for Stallworth, who played collegiately at the Univ. of Tennessee.

Tight end movement. Antonio Gates will have toe surgery and Kellen Winslow had a fourth operation on his microfracture-repaired right knee (scar tissue removal, not a huge procedure). Both of them are iffy for the start of training camp (I believe Winslow is on the NFI list already). Both players remain at 2 and 3, respectively, on our positional list, but they dipped a smidge in the Top 200.

We also failed to consider Todd Heap's potential in Cam Cameron's offense. That's why he's up.

I'm starting work this week on an in-depth story on "out-of-nowhere" running backs and whether or not they can achieve sustained success. The idea behind it is to get an idea on whether or not Ryan Grant and Earnest Graham are going to be good Fantasy picks in 2008. With that in mind, I'll give five stars to anyone who posts in the message board if they can name another running back NOT named Willie Parker or Priest Holmes who was NOT drafted and had several strong Fantasy seasons.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com