Pat Kirwan of NFL.com has been killing his unlocked lockout time by rating NFL players by position. I just stumbled across his rankings of the running backs and quarterbacks. And I have some exciting news—there are three Raiders on his two lists. I don't know if I can take all this excitement.
For his rankings Kirwan breaks the players into groups of five. Within these groups the players are not ranked, but listed alphabetically. Here is how he describes his ranking process:
Ranking any position is really just an exercise in reviewing past performance and projecting a player's supporting cast for the future.
Jump over to find how the Raiders QB and RBs faired....
I'll start with the running backs. The running back rankings include 45 players. He has Michael Bush ranked in the last group. Here is what Kirwan has to say on Bush:
Plays in the shadow of McFadden, but the more he plays the better he looks.
This is too low for Bush. It is understandable given he is a backup, but there is no way I would take 40 RBs ahead of Bush. One thing that commonly gets overlooked with Bush is his ability to make plays in the passing game. He is not going to burn people with his routes, but he has solid hands and he is a beast when he gets it in the open field.
Onto the man whose shadow limited Bush. Darren McFadden was in Kirwan's second group. McFadden is behind Maurice Jones-Drew, Arian Foster, Chris Johnson, Adrian Peterson and Michael Turner. This is Kirwan on McFadden:
A dual-threat as a runner and receiver. He averaged 5.2 yards per carry and could become a bigger threat in the passing game with Hue Jackson as the coach.
While I think McFadden has put himself in the argument for top 5 backs, and I would take him over MJD and Turner at this point, I can't argue with him being left out. McFadden needs to prove it for another year.
Now for the QBs. 35 QBs were ranked by Kirwan. Jason Campbell is in Kirwan's second to last group, which places Campbell as the 26-30th best QB in the NFL. Kirwan:
He threw 13 touchdowns in 13 games last year and really needs a big season to step out of the obscurity he seems to be floating along in his five-year career. Let's see if a new coach, Hue Jackson, takes him to the next level.
There is no doubt Campbell is lacking in the stat department, but his stats did suffer from his part-time starter status in 2010. Well that and horrible pass protection. I whole heartedly agree with Kirwan that this is a big season for Campbell. However, I think he showed enough at the end of the season to at least creep into the 21-25 group.
He is directly behind a group that includes Matt Stafford, Chad Henne, Matt Hasselbeck, Donovan McNabb and David Garrard. You can argue potential with Stafford, but that is all you can argue with the injury plagued youngster. The exact opposite is true with Hasselbeck, McNabb and Garrard whose best days are all behind them. I don't think Kirwan is going to find many people agreeing with him that all five of these guys are better than Campbell.