Who is Michael Bush?

16 04 2008

Do you know this man?

Many draft pundits are saying that the Raiders will draft Darren McFadden with the fourth overall pick, despite the amount of running backs they already have. They mention Justin Fargas, Lamont Jordan and Dominic Rhodes. However, they fail to mention possibly the most talented running back currently on the roster in Michael Bush.

The Raiders drafted Michael Bush with the first pick of the fourth round in the 2007 draft. He played extremely well while he attended Louisville and was among the top running backs in his graduating class. But, he was injured early in his senior season and did not play again. Highlight reels of his college exploits have shown up all over the internet and he is just as great a game-breaking talent as McFadden is projected to be. Check out these highlights to see how he plays. He could be the steal of the 2007 draft in a few years, once he is given time to play. He remained on the physically unable to perform list for the entire 2007 season and is projected to compete for playing time in training camp. He could be the breakout candidate for the 2008 NFL season (The donkeys are up first!).

Bush is a compact back, 6″1 and about 245 pounds. He runs very well between the tackles in order to gain yardage. He is an absolute workhorse whenever he runs through the middle because he knocks linebackers back with his momentum. However, he can also run outside of the tackles on screens very effectively and once he gets into open field, he has the strength to break a tackle or two. He seems to always gain yardage after contact by diving forward whenever his legs get tackled. He will absolutely thrive with the zone-blocking offensive line scheme, as it will open up numerous holes for him to run through. A powerful running game will enable opposing defenses to respect the pass, further helping Jamarcus Russell to develop.

For the 2008 season, a one-two punch with Justin Fargas would be enough to power our running game. Not to mention that we also have Dominic Rhodes ready and willing to come off the bench in order to play, with his new restructured contract. Lamont Jordan will either be cut or traded since his contract is unfavorable. Our fullback Justin Griffith, will be plowing the way for our running backs and should do a great job.




2 responses

19 04 2008
Wink Martindale

I’m also excited about Michael Bush.

Your last line you mention Justin Griffith blocking FB. I thought Oren O’Neal looked like a very competent and powerful blocker in limited time in ’07. I’m hoping he takes over the lead blocking back role, and Griffith is in there when they might need the pass option to the FB.

What are your thoughts on Big Oren O’Neal? He and Jay Richardson could turn out to be great value from late round draft picks in ’07

19 04 2008

O’neal should definitely be in the Raiders offensive plans. He is a great lead blocker but probably will not supplant Griffith due to his offensive deficiencies. That said, he was an excellent blocker in ’07 during goal line situations and lead the way for a few touchdowns. The coaching staff realized he had superior blocking ability than Griffith. Like you said, great value pick from 2007 draft.

The jury is still out on Jay Richardson. If we don’t draft a defensive end in this draft, he will be our starter again next year. If Richardson does not work out, we can still move Kelly back to end.

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