Back on track, somewhat, for my Around The Draft In 60 Days nonsense.
Bringing me to an oddball pick for Carolina's purposes, Ohio State RB
Beware the chunky Big10 running backs, say chain-rattling ghosts of
drafts past. Hyde, who runs a 4.62, is no burner. He uses that 6', 230
lb frame about the way you might imagine - he's a north-south, one cut
runner. He's going to fight for the extra yard and is best with
defenders in front of him. He's that prototypical big back, a good fit
for Carolina's offense and a bad one for a lot of more progressive ones;
he's not a guy who has or will catch the ball a ton, I don't know how
great he is at pass protection. He's a brick; a battering ram. You
plug him in and give him 15 carries and you get your 60 yards out of
him. That's the equation.
I often wonder what Carolina's offense would look like with different
backs. Deangelo Williams does his best but looks without the burst of
his youth - we haven't seen Jonathan Stewart's best in a good while.
Mike Tolbert is the team's best back, and it doesn't make sense to use
him as more than a 15 snap player at RB because he's also the fullback.
Kenjon Barner is a RB who isn't designed to run, it seems. It's not
always that dire - I think a healthy Stewart makes a big difference -
and that freshens Williams up a bit.
So, you anticipate eventually having different backs, though the big
contracts are better served to deal with 2015, 2016. And a guy like
Hyde isn't going to pop out playmaking runs, by any means. You might
hope for a better playmaker, sure. I don't know if many of those even
exist - look at the average top 50 list, and you don't see many. Hyde,
the dynamic Tre Mason, and maybe Bishop Sankey are contenders, but not a
lock. There are maybe 6 RBs that will go in the top 100, and more of
them fit the mold of Hyde lately than the Chris Johnson type that you
might figure would thrive in an open offense.
Carolina might value the RB position more longterm than others - jokes
about our cap situation aside. But that cap situation is an albatross.
Concerns that the team was taking on too much money at RB were
completely correct- and now the league barely values backs at all.
Upside? If Carolina could get a cheap back or two eventually, they'd be
set, and dumping a big contract might not be as painful. So let them
undervalue it. Carolina would be happy to take a Hyde a round late.
That said, the internet might explode if this happened.