As the Green Bay Packers and the other 31 NFL teams rush to find a franchise quarterback and stockpile as many wide receivers, pass-catching tight ends and cover cornerbacks as possible, running backs are being left in the dust.
Passing rules today’s NFL, and that doesn’t appear to be changing any time soon. This fact hurts the value of running backs, making the position expendable in many cases. The movement to downgrade the running back position reminds me a little bit of the book Moneyball’s impact on drafting high school players in Major League Baseball.
In Moneyball, author Michael Lewis highlights how Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane avoided drafting 17- and 18-year-old high school kids, and instead tried to draft players with college experience. Beane thought high school kids were overvalued and much of their perceived value couldn’t be justified because, well, they were just high school kids.
After Moneyball was published, it didn’t take long for other teams to catch on and start thinking like Beane. Suddenly, high school players that may have been drafted early five years ago were being passed over for college prospects.
So what did Beane do? He started drafting more high school kids.