Look Out Above: Todd Gurley is a Great Risk/Reward Pick

Todd Gurley has been called the greatest running back prospect since Adrian Peterson, the RotoViz staff had Gurley significantly higher than other rookie RBs in the post-draft rankings, and he was being drafted in early off-season MFL10s in the late-third round before he went the the St Louis Rams at number 10 overall. 

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By Kevin Cole | @Cole_Kev | Archive

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  1. Shouldn't Gurley be referred to as the greatest running back prospect since Trent Richardson who was the last RB to be referred to as the best since AP. One thing that has surprised me is the lack of concern for a college back that has had trouble staying healthy and has produced only 1 1000+ yard season as a starter. IN the years he went down, he was replaced by players that had similar stats. Has there ever been a college back with a similar college career that went on to dominate in the pros? AP had over 1000 yards every year and 1900 as a freshman so his stats are far better.

  2. The case for Gurley is a lot more rooted in film than even a lot of numbers guys seem to admit. We don't even have workout numbers for him. That's not to say he's not an incredible talent, his per game production is great, his efficiency is great, and he was productive as a receiver and on limited opportunities on returns. But even given that he was a top 10 pick, I don't think he would be held in such high esteem if it weren't for his film.

    I know Kevin disagrees with me on this, but I think the one problem with his stance is that it assumes Gurley misses five games at most. If he's not healthy to the point that he ends up on PUP then he might not be quite healthy enough to start Week 7. And for whatever reason, no one knows for sure, Mason didn't start for the Rams for awhile despite the other runners being inefficient. I don't think it's out of the question that Gurley sees limited use due to issues in pass protection or something. And if Mason is playing well they'll likely have limited reason to rush Gurley into a workhorse role. And Fisher likes Benny Cunningham as a 3rd down back.

    TL;DR- Even if Gurley plays as soon as Week 7 he might not take on a workhorse role until weeks later.

  3. Justin, I feel like you jumped in my brain and pulled out my entire opinion on Gurley. Well said.

  4. Can we get your updated take on this Kevin, given that Gurley avoided the PUP. What can we realistically expect his production to be and should we be using this news to sell high or hold fast for a league winning pick? Your prescience on his value is valuable information for us that took the risk drafting him.

  5. I guess it all depends on what sort of ADP he settles in at. My analysis was really focused on MFL10 or redraft leagues, not dynasty where PUP concerns were less relevant. It was also focused less on a personal opinion of how good he'll be this year, but more on how his ADP risk was skewed to the upside. In the next week or so, I assume his value might still be a little depressed, as it normally takes a couple weeks for drafters to fully bake news into ADP.

    I think many of the concerns on Gurley that Justin Winn voiced above are legitimate, so I wouldn't draft Gurley if his price gets into the 3rd round.

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