These days I don’t agree with Sports Illustrated’s Peter King too often, but he got this one right in his MMQB about Jerry Jones and the rumor he wants to get the #1 pick in the draft to take Arkansas running back Darren McFadden:
I think my advice is short and sweet for Jerry Jones, who, according to Chris Mortensen of ESPN, is pondering trading up to get the first pick in the draft so he can take Arkansas running back Darren McFadden.
Don’t even consider making such a foolish trade. That’s right. It’s foolish. Never, ever, ever, ever pay a ransom for a running back. They’re too plentiful and too easy to find down the line, and too easy to make a mistake picking. As the Bears have proven (Curtis Enis, Rashaan Salaam, Cedric Benson in the first round between 1995 and 2005), picking backs is a dartboard science.
In the last two years, eight backs drafted after the first round have gained 1,200 yards — Frank Gore, Tiki Barber, Willie Parker, Rudi Johnson, Brian Westbrook, Chester Taylor, Travis Henry and Clinton Portis. The Giants picked up Ryan Grant off the street, and he just helped win a playoff game for Green Bay against Seattle.
And to think of including restricted free-agent Marion Barber III in the deal … lunacy. Pure and simple. Barber’s a top-10 NFL running back right now (the only reason he might not be in the top five is he hasn’t proven he can carry it 20 times a game every week; he’s had 339 carries over the past two years). Under no circumstances should he be dealt. If I’m Bill Parcells and can give you the first pick in the draft for Barber and first- and second-round picks, I make that trade this morning.