Terrance West-RB, CLE
Average draft position (ADP)-115
Summary-Draft West as a handcuff to Tate or a late round flier with high upside, somewhere after 100.
Terrance West heads into his first NFL season second on the depth chart, behind Ben Tate. Also known as, the guy you had to reach for if you drafted Arian Foster the last few seasons. The two backs are currently in a close competition to get the starting job this pre-season. Cleveland brought in Kyle Shanahan to run the offense and he usually relies on a workhorse back, in a zone blocking scheme. So my guess is one guy will win and receive the majority of the carries. Even if they split the carries down the middle; that could still be worthy of a good flex play for either back, most weeks.
Halt! Let’s see some ID!
West went to college at Towson (before you look it up, it’s in Baltimore) an FCS school that doesn’t have the toughest competition. His first two seasons he saw his share of work: 2345 YDS, 43 TDS, on 389 carries. His junior year he would put up almost identical numbers…..not for one of his first two seasons, for both seasons combined: 2509 YDS, 41 TDs, on 413 carries. Yeah that isn’t a typo, 41 scores. The yards and scores are both school and FCS records. West was a Walter Payton Award finalist and tied the FCS rushing TD record of 83. He did it in three years, not four, like the man he shares it with; Adrian Peterson, perhaps you’ve heard of him? Well it isn’t that Adrian Peterson; it’s the other one, the one you accidently drafted in 2007…..doh!
Is he ready for the show?
Terrance West ran well in the FCS, how will that translate to the NFL? So far it has translated very well. Although it’s still early, he is hearing plenty of praise from his coaches this pre-season. He has become a fan favorite at training camp and is in what coach Pettine called “the best battle of camp”. West won’t always outrun the competition with his speed (4.54 40 yard dash); however, he does have the build (5’9”, 225lbs) to just run them over. He has decent hands; but, he will need to work on his route running if he wants to become the regular third down back. West is a decent blocker; but, he may break off into his route option too soon on some plays. West also needs to work on his ball security, five fumbles last season. A dangerous, yet curable disease known as “fumblitis” afflicts him and his competition, Mr. Tate. This will surely be a focal point this pre-season, in the film room.
Tate spends more time on the injury report, than Mr. Lahey does off of the wagon….
“Speaking of Ben Tate….and I was Ricky”, many people think he will be the week one starter, including me. And we may be correct, but how long can Tate stay healthy? Seems ironic we are now drafting a hand-cuff to Ben Tate, even if that is all West becomes this season. Let’s say Tate plays all 16 games, how many weeks does he have the dreaded questionable tag? History says you need a backup plan week to week. Don’t get me wrong; I do like Tate this year, especially if he were to fall a round or two beyond his ADP of 62. But he isn’t the most durable guy; he has had long stints on the injury report and missed several games with just backup workloads. If I pick him at 62, I really want some insurance on my 7th round investment. Especially considering if I took him at 62; it was probably because my RB 2 spot isn’t that strong to begin with. Backing him up with an 11th or 12th rounder seems reasonable. The Cleveland running game is a lottery worth having multiple tickets in. For those of you who missed the analogy; let me be blunt. Cleveland is going to run, then they will run, and then, you guessed it, run some more. Too much? Sorry, I just can’t emphasize how much they are going to run this year; at least how much they want to run this year.
The 28th ranked rush offense wants to run?
To put it simply, yes. Regardless of which team you think won the Trent Richardson trade (Cleveland so far) the Browns run game was embarrassing after the trade and it became a glaring weakness. A weakness they addressed by adding Tate and drafting Terrance West. The new guys will run behind one of the best offensive lines in the league; anchored by left tackle Joe Thomas and center Alex Mack. The front office bolstered the ranks on defense, which should keep the games close and the run game alive. They brought in a couple of formidable veterans, Donte Whitner and Karlos Dansby. They will step into the Hadensphere (bigger than Revis Island) and hope to help improve a defense that ranked 23rd in points allowed last season. The Brownies have all the trimmings to become a power run football team, I’m skeptically drinking the Cleveland kool-aid, I just hope it isn’t poisoned this time.