NFL 2022-2023: Week 7 October 19, 2022October 19, 2022 Sorry, I haven’t been good about posting threads.
8 thoughts on “NFL 2022-2023: Week 7”
Kenneth Walker isn’t as flashy as Barry Sanders, but he has similar lateral quickness.
This is going to sound crazy–and I’m actually questioning my judgment here–but I feel like Walker has hall of fame potential. Tell me he’s going to be healthy for ten years, with him maintaining his ability, and I think he has a shot. He’ll have an even better shot if he has a good-to-great OL during that duration (which would be likely if they secure really good interior lineman in the next draft).
Walker has the speed, balance, strength, and water-bug wiggle of a great RB. Interestingly, I favor a more punishing, workhorse type of back, and Walker is a more of a homerun hitter, although he’s not a finesse runner.
I’m not sure notions of hall of fame come up when I see him and not backs like Josh Jacobs (whom I love)…Oh, Saquan might be in there, but I think I haven’t felt that way as much because he’s been hurt.
With Walker, I think his game-breaking speed and really hyper-quick lateral cuts that kind of set him a part.
I’m seeing that the Panthers traded McCaffrey to the Niners, and here’s the details I’ve seen on twitter:
If this is accurate, that’s a tone of draft picks–the 2nd and 3rd round are nothing to sniff at. I think RBs are more valuable than analytics folks, and McCaffrey is good–and might have a big impact in Shanahan’s offense–but I feel like the Panthers got the better of this deal. (I also wonder how long McCaffrey will play at a high level.)
Good trade. The Niners got what they needed and wanted. The Panthers got what they (desperately) needed. Shanahan, Belichick, and McVay found a slight inefficiency in the system: draft picks can be overvalued.
The Niners have the talent to win now. Rookie linemen next year don’t do them any good this year. McCaffrey automatically becomes (if he stays on the field) the best back in the NFL now, especially for fantasy, and the Niners make themselves the favorite to win the NFC West. Some very smart people you know predicted the Niners would go to the Super Bowl, and they’re feeling even better about it today.
EDIT: There’s no way to tell today if the Panthers got the better end of the deal. And while 2nd and 3rd round picks are a big deal, as you say, there was no way the Panthers were going to give up less than that. Beyond those picks, the 3rd rounder next year and the 4th rounder the following year are nothing to a team like the Niners, who are trying to win now. They provide great possible development for the Panthers in coming years.
If you can coach like those three, maybe.
To be me this is a rather significant qualifier. Also, does it matter how long McCaffrey will be able to play at a high level? It matters to me.
If the 49ers have a really good record then those picks they gave up have less value, but if not–if the Niners would be picking nearer the front of the rounds, those picks are going to be really valuable in my view.
By the way, speaking of valuable, if the Seahawks and the Broncos don’t have great records, the Seahawks could set themselves up for Super Bowl contention for the next five years–assuming they can either land a franchise QB or Geno proves to be a QB that can win a Super Bowl.
I don’t see why future draft picks are more valuable if you can’t coach as well as those guys than if you can.
I think also that you’re a little inconsistent in your philosophy about winning championships. If a sustainably competitive team (like the 90s Atlanta Braves) is not as admirable as building a one- or two-championship team, why is McVay’s approach these past few seasons or Shanahan’s approach right now not the best strategy? Build a team that can win the Super Bowl this season, if you can. In the Rams’ case, it got them to the Super Bowl a few years ago; it won them the Super Bowl last year.
The Niners were in the NFC championship game last year. This year it’s basically the same team — but with Christian McCaffrey (and minus four draft picks which don’t become meaningful until months after the Super Bowl).
Good coaches–versus great coaches that can elevate a roster–can succeed with a good roster. And future draft picks, particularly ones in the earlier rounds and near the front end, are the ways to build a good roster.
Seattle is a good example of this. While I think Pete Carroll is a good-to-great coach, I don’t think he can elevate a roster as much as those other coaches. (And actually, with Shanahan and McVay, I’m primarily thinking of the offense.) The big problem has been the roster–i.e., a lack of talent. Moreover, I think the problem stemmed primarily from consistently picking at near the back end of the rounds.
This was the first year, since 2012 I believe, where they were picking nearer the front end of the rounds; and they’ve seemed to have landed really good young players. They’re far from a great team now, but they’re improving, and if the young players keep developing, I think Carroll could turn them into contenders.
I will say this: draft position is crucial. Draft picks that are will be near the back of the rounds are far less valuable than maybe people fully appreciate; and maybe I’d argue they’re overrated. But picks near the front end of rounds are really valuable (except for maybe after the 3rd or 4th rounds).
“Admiration” isn’t the operative word for me. Instead, the issue is about valuing a good regular season record and playoff appearances versus winning a championship. I’d rather win 2 championships in a five year span than only lose one or two games a season but never win a championship within the same span.
If you can do this without messing up your roster for several years, than I would be for this.
Tangent regarding draft picks and draft position
I’m pretty sure I’ve talked about this before, but I’m going to mention this again, as it is slightly related to the topic. For me, the goal of an NFL team is to win Super Bowls–and, more specifically, being in contention over as many seasons as possible.
In the current NFL, once a team builds an Super Bowl contending team, the way to sustain this is to have one or two seasons where the team is picking in the first fifteen picks of each round–maybe every 5 years or so. As an example, suppose Russ sat out of the 2017 season, (He sustained a bunch of injuries, but played through them), and the Hawks picked in the early part of the rounds. If they had a draft as half as good as they have now, there’s a solid chance they could have won won or more Super Bowls in the 2018-2021 stretch.
Getting draft picks–especially ones in the early part of the rounds–is really important (assuming the GM is good).
Other random comments
Re: Belichick, McVay, Shanahan, etc.
I need to qualify my earlier comment about these coaches. As good as they are, the roster still matters. They need at least 1-2 stars on offense and defense. But what’s remarkable is they can have a lot of success without much more than that. (I’d put Andy Reid in this category as well.)
Is Pete Carroll a good coach now?
I’ve heard some comments about this–directed at critics who thought Pete was washed up. To me, he’s always been a good-to-great coach. The difference has been the roster. Right now, amazingly, the Hawks seem to have hit on two(!) OTs, one CB (and maybe another), and a RB. (They might have hit on an edge rusher, too.) And they’re getting really good QB play from Geno.
Basically, the quality of Carroll’s coaching looks suspect with a limited roster, and now his coaching looks good with an upgrade in talent.