OT: South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore declares for NFL Draft

Submitted by Dilla Dude on December 10th, 2012 at 5:11 PM

 

@ESPNStatsInfo  "Marcus Lattimore will enter the NFL draft. He leaves South Carolina as the school's career leader in total TD and rushing TD."

 
If true, this is great news. Coming back from a horrific injury to try and make the jump to the NFL was quite the surprise. Using the NFL team doctors to speed up the recovery is a pretty smart idea. You'd think a team would have to take a chance with a player like him, right?

Comments

WolvinLA2

December 10th, 2012 at 5:42 PM ^

Just because a player comes back fine from one injury doesn't mean he will from the next one. 

Injuries are also a major mental drain.  Rehabing back from an injury is tough, and doing it back to back years is that much harder.  Every time this kid has to battle back, he might have a little less drive knowing it might all be for nothing. 

He was a good RB, but if I'm a pro team, I'm not using a pick any higher than 6th on him.

For the guy who said there aren't many good RBs coming out, I don't agree.  Guys I would draft above Lattimore include:

Montee Ball
LeVeon Bell
Jonathan Franklin
Stepfan Taylor
Eddie Lacy
Kenjon Barner (maybe)
Also maybe Rex Burkhead

Point is, if teams are skeptical of Lattimore because of his injuries, there are some solid options out there who are proven and healthy.  The first five for sure. 
 

Needs

December 11th, 2012 at 9:50 AM ^

Lattimore's main problem is that running backs have pretty much become a fungible commodity in the NFL. When a guy goes down, teams can find a replacement who's nearly as good off someone's practice squad.

How many truly irreplaceable running backs are there in the NFL? I'd say 1. Peterson.  Maybe you could add Ray Rice and Marshawn Lynch to that list (and Lynch was basically picked up off the scrap heap). Otherwise, you have a bunch of guys that are essentially replaceable by someone on the street. Is there truly any difference between Leshoure or Bell for the Lions? The Packers have given 5 or 6 running backs carries this year and they've essentially been the same. And sometimes the guy from the street turns out to be better than the guys drafted (ie, Arian Foster and Alfred Morris).

Why spend a high draft pick (or any draft pick) on an injured player that you'll likely have to IR in his rookie year when there are plenty of available options that can play right away.

gopoohgo

December 10th, 2012 at 6:45 PM ^

This is a huge injury to come back from, especially for a running back, due to the cutting/change-of-direction that accompanies the positiion, let alone the risk of further injury. 

Return-to-play is typically a year, if you're lucky (this is not an isolated ACL a la AP, this is at least a two-fer of the ACL, LCL, and probably meniscal tear)

The concern from a pro team's point of view would be associated meniscal/condylar cartilage damage from Lattimore's injury.  This seems to be correlated with worse long-term function, especially in pro athletes.

Would guess a low-round pick, if lucky, otherwise a FA.

redhousewolverine

December 10th, 2012 at 8:23 PM ^

He also wasn't killing it this year. Do you remember Brian's first write-up on South Carolina? They have had issues running the ball all year, even with him. He has killed some average and bad competition but has been shut down against really good SEC teams. It seems South Carolina has had some similar issues with running the ball that we have had. Also, that was as bad as a McGhee's injury except it was a second knee injury for a guy who made a lot of his bones for being able to run through tackles. Late round pick for someone who wants has a several 5-7 rounds picks and thinks that they can rehab him to the point of at least being a solid back up, if not better.

Magnus

December 10th, 2012 at 9:50 PM ^

Lattimore is extremely overrated, in my opinion.  The guy only averaged 4.6 yards/carry this year before he got hurt.  He gets the yards that are there, and that's about it.  He's not particularly fast or strong or shifty.  I could see him having success for a team with a good passing game (like the Packers) because those yards are easier to gain without a bunch of guys in the box.  But if he goes somewhere like Pittsburgh or Baltimore where they really want to run the ball and defenses will stack the box, I don't see him being anything more than average.

ghost

December 10th, 2012 at 6:03 PM ^

This is a good move for him.  Very few Rbs that look like they have a chance to go in the first round if any.  Maybe Gio Bernard or Lacy if he comes out.  Other than that there is Franklin from UCLA, Monte Ball. Randall out of Ok St. if he comes out and Gillislee out of Florida.  

WolvinLA2

December 10th, 2012 at 9:30 PM ^

You're the third person to say this, but it's not exactly the same.  McGahee had a much better college career than Lattimore has, and McGahee's injury wasn't on the heels of a similar injury a year before. 

Also - from what I've read, McGahee's injury wasn't as bad at Lattimore's. 

Lastly - things have changed in 10 years.  Lots of teams picked RBs in the first round in McGahee's time.  The RB position has been de-emphasized nowadays, both between the increase in the passing game and in the lack of durability of RBs leading to teams using multiple running backs.

joeyb

December 10th, 2012 at 5:15 PM ^

I think that means it's a bad sign of his future. If you know you are going to fully recovery, then I think it's in your best interest to prove it and guarantee a high draft pick. If you aren't sure, then it's in your best interest to try to get a team to gamble on you. Honestly, if he's shown early signs of recovery, I'd still only expect a 3rd round pick at best.

northeasttomidwest

December 10th, 2012 at 5:21 PM ^

I've got to agree with that decision.  Get to the NFL before you can get injured again in college.  As for the recovery, ESPN called it a torn ACL and LCL... gruesome, but not the worst thing anyone's ever come back from.  I bet he gets taken in later rounds (4th or higher) by a good team that can afford to gamble on an RB's recovery (eg Patriots) and turns into a pleasant surprise.

Perkis-Size Me

December 10th, 2012 at 6:14 PM ^

best of luck to the kid, but i think best case scenario for him is getting drafted in rounds 5-7 by a team that can afford to take a gamble on him. i could see him not getting drafted because he's too injury-prone, and running backs outside of the trent richardson type aren't exactly hot commodities in a pass-happy nfl.

LSAClassOf2000

December 10th, 2012 at 7:36 PM ^

The Yahoo! write-up mentions something that I honestly didn't think of right away when I read this thread - (LINK)

"Going to the NFL now means that Lattimore can work with an NFL team's doctors, training staff and strength and conditioning staff full time. That's probably the best option for a quick recovery."

I imagine that's true (I wonder if this is part of the reason why McGahee did this), and while this might be the more risky road for him - possibly a low-round pick, having to prove he can produce for a stretch without injury - if he can get on board witha team and make rehab a job essentially, he could still probably churn out a productive NFL career in the best case. I wish him luck. 

Clarence Beeks

December 10th, 2012 at 7:37 PM ^

I understand that the major motivating factor is access to different (read: superior) rehab capabilities available to him if he is declared for the draft (ie NFL resources). I don't know exactly what those differences are, but apparently that's a major driving consideration. That said, I'm sure he also just wants to move on from a bad luck period of his playing career and just move on, draft prospects or not. Can't blame him.

plashy

December 10th, 2012 at 8:35 PM ^

This is obviously a special case, and you really can't blame the kid for leaving. But it's really starting to irk me that its so encouraged for players to leave early, to the point where people like Barkley are derided for staying and dropping in stock. This article is basically my rebuke to that notion in the media: http://ahorizontalmyth.wordpress.com/2012/12/10/those-who-stay-and-why-…