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What to Do With the #3 pick?

So you reach into the hat that your league commissioner is holding in front of you, pull out a small piece of folded paper, open it up and see the number 3.

  You are thinking, “Great I’ll get the third best player in this year’s draft.”

  But unless you are in a league with a bunch of eight-year-old girl scouts, this is not necessarily a good thing. 

In almost any league with any scoring system the first two picks should (and will almost always) be LaDainian Tomlinson and Steven Jackson.

  After this you may see Frank Gore, Larry Johnson, Shaun Alexander, and maybe even Joseph Addai or Willie Parker go anywhere from #3 to #5.

  If you are sitting there with the number three overall pick and in a league with people of average intelligence you will have no shot at either LT or Jackson.

  So what should you do with the pick?

  The answer is simple, TRADE.

You can make a case for any of the Running Backs mentioned above as a solid #3 overall selection.

  The problem is you can also make a case against them.

  Before we move on, lets take a look at the players being taken three, four, and five in most drafts.


Larry Johnson

This guy is a beast.

  The problem is that the rest of the Chiefs offense doesn’t fit into that category.

  In the past year LJ has lost two of the best offensive linemen to play the game in Willie Roaf (who retired prior to training camp last season) and Will Shields (who called it quits after this past year).

  This year he will be playing behind a much less effective offensive line than Priest Holmes did a few years ago and even Larry played with the past two seasons.

  To add to this, there is a realistic chance that Brodie Croyle will be the starting QB in Kansas City this year.

  If this happens then LJ will be seeing eight or nine men in the box on almost every play.

  Also, Herm Edwards seems determined to run this guy into the ground.

  Johnson set an NFL record last year with 416 carries.

  With that amount of work there is a big risk that his body could break down.

  Not to mention that he is threatening to holdout if the Chiefs don’t tear up his old contract and pay him LT money.


Frank Gore

Gore surprised a lot of people last year with an incredible season.

  He led the NFC in rushing yards and had 61 receptions.

  As good as he was last year, it would be a surprise if he surpassed those numbers this year.

  First of all, Gore has had injury after injury.

  Last year was the first time in a while that he played a full season.

  He is still an injury risk.

  Next, Norv Turner has left for San Diego.

 How much of Gore’s success last year was because of Turner?

  Nobody really knows for sure, but we do know that it was a tremendous loss for the Niners offense and for Gore.

  Another issue with Gore is his fumbles.

  If your league penalizes players for turnovers this could be an issue.

  It could also become an issue with his playing time if it continues.

  Finally, although he led the NFC in rushing, Gore only had 8 rushing TD’s.

  This is not a lot for the amount of yards he had.

  Plus Michael Robinson is still in San Francisco to take goal-line carries from Gore.


Shaun Alexander

Alexander is coming off an injury plagued 2006 season after an incredible season the year before.

  Will he return to his MVP form of two years ago? 

I doubt it.

  There are still questions about the foot injury that plagued him for much of last season.

  His offensive line is not what it was two years ago, and Alexander is getting older.

  He is 30 years old and his best years are probably behind him.

  Will he be a good player in 2007?

 The answer is probably yes.

  Will he have the type of production you expect from the #3 overall pick?

  The answer is no.


What did these three players have in common?

  They are all too risky to warrant the #3 overall selection.

  You are probably asking yourself, whom should I pick?

  The answer is nobody.

  If you are sitting #3, #4, or #5 in your upcoming draft you should be calling the owners in your league who are picking #6-#9.

  By trading down, you might not have the opportunity to get LJ, Gore, or Alexander but you will be able to get a solid #1 RB who you can count on.

  If you can trade down to #6-#9 you should have a chance at Willie Parker, Brian Westbrook, Joseph Addai, or the always dependable Rudi Johnson.

  These guys will all produce good numbers this season and they are a much better value than LJ, Gore, or Alexander who will probably go in the top five.

  But who knows, one of those three may even slide to #7 or #8 and you will be able to get the same guy you would have taken at #3 or #4.

  Plus you will have moved up in a later round.

  By trading down you will have gotten a RB who will be, at the very least, very comparable to one of the guys you would have taken at #3.

  Who knows they may even outperform LJ, Gore, and Alexander.

  More importantly though, you should have been able to add a pick or at least move up in the second or third round.

  This could allow you to take a very good #2 RB like McGahee, Henry, Ronnie Brown, Portis, or MJD or a top flight WR.

  Either way, you are sitting in a better spot than you would be if you had kept the pick.



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