Is Darren McFadden Turning Into JaMarcus Russell?

No, I don’t expect Darren McFadden to put on a bunch of weight and start sippin’ sizzurp. He is, however, starting to enter Bust Territory. In two seasons, McFadden has run for a mere 856 yards with five rushing touchdowns.

He has salvaged some of his reputation by adding 530 receiving yards, but 1,386 total yards should be a single-season output for a guy that ran for 4,590 yards (nearly 5,000 total yards) with 41 touchdowns at Arkansas (plus two receiving and seven passing) and became the fourth pick of the 2008 draft.

McFadden missed his second straight preseason game because of a hamstring injury, which is troubling for a guy that has missed seven games in his first two seasons. Not only is he missing the games, but he’s missing practice, which could cement Michael Bush as the Raiders’ primary ball carrier.

Bush was the better runner last year, averaging 4.8 yards on 123 carries compared to McFadden’s 3.4 average on 104 carries. McFadden is better at catching the ball out of the backfield, but if he’s not careful, he could find himself relegated to third-down duty. Bush’s size (6’1″, 245 lbs) already makes him a better fit for the tough carries near the goal line. Rock Cartwright could also get some of those carries.

Despite the lofty expectations everybody has for McFadden, he has only topped 74 rushing yards once in his career, and that came in Week Two of his rookie season. Only twice in his career has he had more than 14 carries. It’s like they don’t even know how to use him.

For some reason McFadden has yet to attempt a pass in the NFL. Correct me if I’m wrong, but he was running the WildHog formation in college, so why not play to his strengths? Makes no sense to me, especially when your starting quarterback’s passer rating and completion percentage were hovering around 50.

I would love to see McFadden get his ac...

About the Author