I was disappointed to see C.J. Spiller go to the Bills, but thrilled the Chargers gave up a lot to move up and grab RB Ryan Mathews. As we said in our pre-draft report, we feel Mathews is only complete feature back type in the draft, and while I’m sure a few other guys will likely surprise us and prove to be lead backs, it’s still great to see Mathews land in such a great situation in SD.
Granted, the OL here isn’t great, but it’s certainly good enough for Mathews to get a lot of work done. We also broke down their schedule for 2010, and it looks really good. It remains to be seen how much they’ll use him on 3rd down, but my sense is he’ll get some chances if he proves to be an effective blocking and understands how to protect at the NFL level.
Given the proliferation of timeshares and dual backfields in the NFL, I’m already slotting Mathews in the 15-20 range at the RB position. We may go as high as 15 because, given his ability (he’s not truly special, but think better than Matt Forte) and opportunity, I see very little downside with Mathews [...]
Here’s a quick first-take on the 2010 NFL schedule. I went back and looked at this same article from last year, and the first impressions in 2009 were pretty good. After the draft, I will break down the schedule and project its strength for this coming season, break down the playoff weeks, etc.
ARI – They really have only one game that I’d consider brutal against the run or the pass (Min, vs. run), so as usual the schedule does the Cards some favors. About half of their games are against below-average teams, and that should help them run the ball more frequently and effectively, so good news for RB Chris Wells’ potential to break out.
ATL – It’s definitely better than last year’s, so that’s good. It’s looking especially favorable late in the season against the run, so that’s potentially good news for RB Michael Turner. Overall, I’d say it’s a little better than above average, which is nice to know because last year’s was tough and that was possibly a factor in their disappointing season.
His schedule looked pretty tough going into last year, and that probably didn't help Falcon RB Michael Turner. It's looking better [...]