Not that I complain as an Eskie fan, but on the case of Ahman Green I don’t get it as far as interest in such a player up there.
Pursuant to his status as a third-round draft pick in 1998, Green had an overall exceptional NFL career with his core years from 2000-2004 in Green Bay. A third-round draft pick for a running back in those days in general was really low for expectations too, as in either “he’s an overlooked steal!”, as turned out to be true, or “well he’s such a fine athlete that he might be a solid 3rd-down back or turn out to be a very good special teams player anyway if he does not work out.”
Starting in 2000, Green had so much highlight material almost every week especially for those of you who also remember ESPN’s Chris Berman’s legendary calls on “NFL Primetime” on his plays too.
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In 2005, Green suffered some injury and was hobbled for that season to return for one more mediocre season with his Packers in 2006. Since 2004, Green’s been nothing to write home about ever since including in his last woeful stint in the awful UFL.
As evidenced in this year’s draft, and as shown by the fine performance of low-round draft picks or even undrafted RBs last season not to neglect to mention half the rushing leaders as 3rd-rounders or lower, nowadays there is sort of a running back shortage down here for the pro level of ability too.
Part of this shortage is also from fewer college teams than ever running a traditional ball control or pro set offence as opposed to the spread offence that has taken college football by storm in especially the Big 12 and SEC. The current trend in the NFL to counter more 3-4 defences than ever is to spread things out, so other than the QB shortage a premium is put on prototype WRs, DEs, OTs, OLBs, and CBs over inside positions. Watch this year how the draft picks will reflect that tendency too.
And then in still using the tight end for the passing game though with its role diminishing, the NFL teams don’t want just “spread offence” backs like you see in an otherwise decent back with few carries like Tim Hightower in Arizona. They want it both ways now. (I’m with some of you guys in that they need to at least widen the field to say 60 yards down here to open things up for the faster and bigger modern players anyway)
Even so, there are so many young backs out there with the skills from NCAA ball to work in a professional spread offence such as you have dominantly in the CFL plus with also NFL teams with West Coast offences down here.
Quite simply I am surprised that a CFL team would opt to go with a solid has-been over a player with say one or two years NFL training seasoning and great potential ahead of him of which there are quite a few.
Past examples of current great CFL success along those lines include Reynolds, Whitlock, and Cory Boyd.