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Mailbag: Another Solution For Backup RB Need?


There is concern that should Zeke be injured there is no obvious "next man up." First, can either Darius Jackson or Jordan Chunn serve as competent short-term solutions if Zeke were to miss a game or two? Second, might a better than competent change-of-pace back (think an Alvin Kamira clone) that could take situational snaps away from Zeke and thereby conserve him be the better solution? - JEFFREY CAMPBELL / NEW YORK, NY

Bryan: This draft is full of those players that could step in and handle the role for a couple of games if something were to happen to Elliott. I mocked Tony Pollard to them in our final mock draft knowing he has the traits as a complete back if that were the case. Keep an eye on that player.

Rob: Obviously they want to bring in more competition for the players you mentioned above. Rod Smith was more of a traditional back when was here and they might go that route again for a backup. Tavon Austin wasn't used much last year due in large part to injury, but remember, he's a guy who can help in the backfield some as a change of pace if needed.

I can see how you could compare two players at the same position, but how do you compare, say, a cornerback and an offensive lineman to determine who is the best player? Is there some sort of numerical value attached to their skills that you total up or is it some sort of intangible thing? Thanks. - MARCUS WHITT / MULLENS, WV

Bryan: That's a good question. The team uses what's called "The Stack." They will take the total number of players on their board and rank them from 1 to say 150 in the order that they would take them. A great example of them using "The Stack" was in the Zack Martin selection. When Ryan Shazier went off the board ahead of them to Pittsburgh, they went to their next player in line which was Martin. There is an outstanding chance that Shazier and Martin had the same grade, but in order of how they would have selected them, Shazier was on top.

Rob: That's a great question because positions and responsibilities vary so much. I'll defer to my scouting colleague here – he's done this for a long time – but teams have to rank players based on their overall talent level, not how they could help the current roster.

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