Boycotting the Corner Store with RB Tank Bigsby (Auburn): Matt Waldman’s RSP Boiler Room


 Learn what the corner store is and why it usually isn’t good for RBs with a look at Auburn’s NFL Draft prospect, Tank Bigsby. 

What Does the Corner Store Have to Do with Football?

“‘Boycotting the Corner Store’ still lives rent-free in my head 11 years later,”

— @brewpython27 on Twitter.

Most of us have a favorite corner store in our neighborhood. We go there for gas, cigarettes, junk food, energy drinks, beer, lottery tickets, you name it. Nothing there is really good for us, but we can’t resist the temptation. In football I see the “corner store” as a running back’s decision to bounce a run outside.

Sometimes a trip to the corner store is necessary. Nothing else is open and you’re willing to pay a premium for the goods you usually don’t get there like aspirin, eggs, motor oil, or milk. The same applies to running backs when there’s penetration into the backfield and the corner is the only logical choice. But more often than not, college runners (and inexperienced pros) take trips to the gridiron’s corner store out of sheer temptation for the big play.

When I first applied this corner store label, backs like C.J. Spiller, Reggie Bush, Jamaal Charles, and LeSean McCoy had to learn how to curb that temptation in the NFL. Even bruisers like Adrian Peterson and Larry Johnson had to stop making as many trips to the corner store to develop into a good NFL runner. Those that don’t learn, like former Minnesota Golden Gopher Laurence Maroney, never reach their vast potential.

Tank Bigsby’s Corner Store Experience

Auburn’s Tank Bigsby is one of the most productive runners in the SEC and is considered one of the better RB prospects for the 2023 NFL Draft. A determined runner with the footwork, bend, and willingness to exploit small creases, Bigsby has the tools to avoid the temptation of the corner store.

And he must avoid this temptation because he lacks a top gear and special agility for the NFL. Although he may add muscle to his frame, it’s also unlikely Bigsby is the listed height and weight on Auburn’s media guide and site.

Bigsby understands his keys and this helps him identify cutback and bounce opportunities—sometimes in situations where the idea isn’t normally advisable relative to the run scheme, but the decision is logical based on the way blocks are developing post-snap. However, Bigsby is no Saquon Barkley as an athlete and even Barkley and the Giants’ offense has suffered due to his trips to the NFL’s corner store as often as he attempts them.

Most young running backs lose patience with grinding it out against an athletic and disciplined defense. However, the grinder mentality leads to better down-and-distance scenarios, longer drives, and higher odds of successful drives. Bigsby must remember this when a worthy opponent has him hemmed up early in the game.

Here’s an example of Bigsby losing patience and what he could have done.

Bigsby Is More Gore Than Barkley

Bigsby is an aspiring stylist in the mode of Frank Gore more than he’s in Barkley’s archetype. He must remain patient play-to-play, drive-to-drive, and quarter-by-quarter. Take what the defense gives, grind out the tough yards, and force the defense to remain disciplined.

The more patient Bigsby is, the more likely the offense sustains drives. The more likely the offense sustains drives, the more likely the offense scores. And when offenses score regularly, it puts more pressure on the defense to take chances to stop them. This leads to opponents losing discipline with run fits it this is when  Bigsby’s discipline can lull them into mistakes that lead to big plays.

This is where Bigsby will win in the NFL: Few short cuts or quick fixes because rarely is there anything valuable at the corner store beyond the quick dopamine hit that eventually wreaks havoc on you later.

And of course, if you want to know about the rookies from this draft class, you will find the most in-depth analysis of offensive skill players available (QB, RB, WR, and TE), with the 2022 Rookie Scouting Portfolio for $21.95. 

Matt’s new RSP Dynasty Rankings and Two-Year Projections Package is available for $24.95

If you’re a fantasy owner and interested in purchasing past publications for $9.95 each, the 2012-2020 RSPs also have a Post-Draft Add-on that’s included at no additional charge.  

If you’re a fantasy owner and interested in purchasing past publications for $9.95 each, the 2012-2020 RSPs also have a Post-Draft Add-on that’s included at no additional charge.  

Best yet, proceeds from sales are set aside for a year-end donation to Darkness to Light to combat sexual abuse of children. 

Categories: Matt Waldman, Players, Running Back, The Boiler RoomTags: , , , , , , ,

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