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 by Elvis
4 months ago
 Total posts:   22846  
 Joined:  Mar 28 2015
United States of America   Los Angeles
Administrator

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap300000 ... ning-backs

2019 NFL season: Projecting the top five rookie running backs

By Gil Brandt
NFL Media senior analyst
Published: June 11, 2019 at 09:49 a.m. Updated: June 11, 2019 at 02:58 p.m.

None of the running backs in this year's draft class enters the NFL with as much rookie hype as, say, 2018 No. 2 overall pick Saquon Barkley or 2016 No. 4 overall pick Ezekiel Elliott. But that doesn't mean one of them can't emerge as an important cog in an NFL offense.

Last week, I ranked my top five rookie receivers according to projected first-year production. Below, I've done the same for rookie running backs. Players are arranged according to projected rushing-yard totals.

1) David Montgomery, Chicago Bears
Projected stats: 275 carries, 1,200 rushing yards, 7 rushing TDs, 30 catches.

Drafted: No. 73 overall, Round 3.

Montgomery could very well be the latest third-round running back to make a splash as a rookie, following in the footsteps of Alvin Kamara and Kareem Hunt. The Bears paved the way for Montgomery to become a feature back by trading Jordan Howard to the Eagles before the draft. The Iowa State product rushed for 1,100-plus yards in each of the past two seasons, and if he slides right in and takes up Howard's old workload (270 touches in 2018), Montgomery should produce like crazy. Montgomery can catch the ball better than I thought, and thus offers a bit more versatility than Howard; he should also be a potent goal-line threat. He has a chance to really thrive in the offense of Matt Nagy, who was the Chiefs' offensive coordinator in 2017, when Hunt led the NFL with 1,327 rushing yards.

2) Josh Jacobs, Oakland Raiders
Projected stats: 200 carries, 875 rushing yards, 6 rushing TDs, 25 catches.

Drafted: No. 24, Round 1.

With Marshawn Lynch out of the picture (for now), the Raiders need a new bell cow to step up in 2019. Jacobs has a chance to earn that distinction as a rookie, but he'll have to prove he can be an every-down back after splitting his time at Alabama with Damien Harris. At his pro day, Jacobs put on a show that was off the charts, demonstrating much better pass-catching ability than people expected him to. He's not a straight-line speed guy, but he has the quickness to make up for that. The presence of veterans like capable pass-catching backup Jalen Richard and Doug Martin could eat into Jacobs' workload, but he has the ability to wring the most out of the carries he's given.

3) Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys
Projected stats: 115 carries, 512 rushing yards, 5 rush TDs, 35 catches.

Drafted: No. 128, Round 4.

From Week 10 of last season to the Wild Card Round of the playoffs, Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 75-plus yards in eight straight games, putting up 111.4 rushing yards per game in that span. While Elliott has not shown that he's one to suffer late-season declines, it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world to lessen the burden on the one person in the NFL to log more than 1,000 total touches over the last three seasons combined. This is where Pollard will come in. While he had limited opportunities playing alongside Darrell Henderson at Memphis, his style of play has drawn comparisons to Alvin Kamara. Consider Pollard's line at the Tigers' bowl game: With Henderson out, Pollard put up 109 rushing yards on 17 carries (6.4 yards per carry). Pollard can also be a factor as a returner; last season, he returned 27 kicks for 667 yards and a score.

4) Darrell Henderson, Los Angeles Rams
Projected stats: 95 carries, 475 rushing yards, 3 rush TDs, 42 catches.

Drafted: No. 70, Round 3.

With knee issues dogging Todd Gurley at the end of last season, the Rams could choose to limit his snaps in 2019 to ensure his effectiveness at crucial junctures later on in the year. This creates a potential opportunity for Henderson, a matchup nightmare. At Memphis, Henderson showed he has the quickness to hit the hole, the toughness to run through tacklers and the speed to reach the edge. He doesn't need much room to run and tends to finish forward. He was able to split out wide at times at Memphis, and he showed the ability to make adjustments catching passes out of the backfield. He also owns the second-most rushing yards (3,545) and yards from scrimmage (4,303) in Memphis history. His height (5-foot-8) is a source of concern, and he'll have to show he's a better option than current Gurley backup Malcolm Brown, who was not allowed by the Rams to walk as a restricted free agent this offseason.

5) Qadree Ollison, Atlanta Falcons
Projected stats: 96 carries, 391 rushing yards, 7 rush TDs, 22 catches.

Drafted: No. 152, Round 5.

In a perfect world for the Falcons, Devonta Freeman and Ito Smith would handle the bulk of the rushing load this season. But Freeman has struggled to stay healthy, and both he and Smith lack the ideal size for short-yardage situations, which is where the 6-1, 228-pound Ollison can find a niche. It is true that, after a strong freshman season (1,121 rushing yards, 11 touchdowns), Ollison's production dipped quite a bit in 2016 (127 yards, two scores) and '17 (398 and 5). However, in fairness to him, that period coincided with fluctuations on the offensive line. Ollison did run pretty well last season, putting up 1,213 yards and 11 touchdowns (an average of 6.3 yards per carry). And the fact that he served as the primary protector on Pitt's punt team bodes well for his ability to contribute to the passing game as a blocker. Finally, he's capable of catching the ball, as well, which could make him dangerous in Dirk Koetter's offense.

ONE DARK-HORSE CANDIDATE TO CONSIDER:

Devin Singletary, Buffalo Bills
Projected stats: 255 carries, 1,050 rushing yards, 6 rush TDs, 45 catches.

Drafted: No. 74, Round 3.

The Bills have one of the most crowded backfields in the NFL, with free-agent signees Frank Gore and T.J. Yeldon joining Singletary as newcomers to a group already led by LeSean McCoy. If the status quo holds, and Singletary ends up splitting carries or even sitting on the bench for most of his rookie year, he will fall far short of those projected numbers. The fact that his role is still up in the air is why I didn't want to include him among the other five backs in this piece, who have more obvious paths to relevance. The above stats reflect what I think Singletary will do IF his preseason performance convinces the Bills to clear the depth chart, maybe by trading away McCoy or another veteran, and hand him starter-level carries. The fact that the Bills were still willing to draft Singletary in the third round after adding those players speaks to how the team must feel about his potential.

Follow Gil Brandt on Twitter @Gil_Brandt.

 by AvengerRam
4 months ago
 Total posts:   3175  
 Joined:  Oct 03 2017
Israel   Longwood, FL
RFU Fantasy Football Champ

I respect Gil Brandt, but sometimes he says things that just make me scratch my head.

For example:
Elvis wrote:His height (5-foot-8) is a source of concern

Huh?

Was it a problem for Barry Sanders (5'8), Darren Sproles (5'6) or Maurice Jones-Drew (5'7)? (MJD is the guy that Henderson reminds me of the most).

Is the difference between 5'8 and 5'9 so significant that Brandt wouldn't have had the same concerns about Warrick Dunn (5'9), Priest Holmes (5'9), DeAngelo Williams (5'9) and Emmitt Smith (5'9)?

I get that there is no guarantee that Henderson will succeed, but I don't see his height as the likely cause if he fails.

 by ramsman34
4 months ago
 Total posts:   3285  
 Joined:  Apr 16 2015
United States of America   Enemy Territory - Seattle
Superstar

I think McVay will have a very specific role and plan for DH and that it won't involve knowing the entire playbook just yet. We have Malcom Brown to handle everything Gurley actually does. And, Brown is damn good at it. DH is to be used as an added weapon and wrinkle. Much like I hope a more developed Everett will be used. Also, the use of both DH and Everett will hopefully allow Kupp to also get a lesser workload as he works his way back from the ACL.

 by snackdaddy
3 months ago
 Total posts:   5461  
 Joined:  May 30 2015
United States of America   Merced California
Hall of Fame

AvengerRam wrote:I respect Gil Brandt, but sometimes he says things that just make me scratch my head.

For example:

Huh?

Was it a problem for Barry Sanders (5'8), Darren Sproles (5'6) or Maurice Jones-Drew (5'7)? (MJD is the guy that Henderson reminds me of the most).

Is the difference between 5'8 and 5'9 so significant that Brandt wouldn't have had the same concerns about Warrick Dunn (5'9), Priest Holmes (5'9), DeAngelo Williams (5'9) and Emmitt Smith (5'9)?

I get that there is no guarantee that Henderson will succeed, but I don't see his height as the likely cause if he fails.


At his position, that height could be an advantage. Lower to the ground along with the quickness can make him harder to tackle. Especially running up the middle. CJ Anderson looked like a bowling ball running through those holes. I don't think he's any taller.

 by dieterbrock
3 months ago
 Total posts:   10628  
 Joined:  Mar 31 2015
United States of America   New Jersey
Hall of Fame

AvengerRam wrote:I respect Gil Brandt, but sometimes he says things that just make me scratch my head.

For example:

Huh?

Was it a problem for Barry Sanders (5'8), Darren Sproles (5'6) or Maurice Jones-Drew (5'7)? (MJD is the guy that Henderson reminds me of the most).

Is the difference between 5'8 and 5'9 so significant that Brandt wouldn't have had the same concerns about Warrick Dunn (5'9), Priest Holmes (5'9), DeAngelo Williams (5'9) and Emmitt Smith (5'9)?

I get that there is no guarantee that Henderson will succeed, but I don't see his height as the likely cause if he fails.

Had similar thought-
5'8 is a height issue, but the guys he ranked #1 & #2 are 5'10
Seriously? 2 inches is an issue???

 by Indrid Cold
3 months ago
 Total posts:   584  
 Joined:  Sep 24 2015
United States of America   Redington Beach, FL
Veteran

Brandt wrote:4) Darrell Henderson, Los Angeles Rams
Projected stats: 95 carries, 475 rushing yards, 3 rush TDs, 42 catches.


Seems pretty optimistic to me. Last year:

Carries: Gurley 256, Other RBs 115
Catches: Gurley 59, Other RBs 11

Hard for me to see more than 80 carries...and 42 catches seems way out of whack. Don't know much about Henderson other than the highlight reels, but doesn't strike me as a polished, "natural" pass catching back. I'm sure they'll have screen game stuff for him, but the route tree/playing time to produce 42 catches? Only 18 RBs in the NFL hit that last year.

 by Elvis
3 months ago
 Total posts:   22846  
 Joined:  Mar 28 2015
United States of America   Los Angeles
Administrator

Some more Henderson talk:

https://mattwaldmanrsp.com/2019/07/11/r ... h-j-moyer/

Matt Waldman’s RSP Cast Ep.78: Running Backs and New Schemes with J Moyer

by MATT WALDMAN1 DAY AGO

Matt Waldman’s RSP Cast features RSP contributor J. Moyer in a conversation about new backs and or new schemes for prominent running back depth charts around the league.

RSP contributor J. Moyer has coached at the high school level for several years. Last week, he joined the RSP Cast for a conversation about NFL running backs and characteristics of good scheme fits.

This week, we tackle four teams’ ground games—two with new schemes for 2019 and two with prominent new additions to the depth chart:

Cincinnati – How good of a fit is the wide zone for the rest of this depth chart in addition to Joe Mixon?

Denver – Should we be considering Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman a dangerous 1-2 punch with a near split in volume?

San Francisco – Is Tevin Coleman’s change of scenery a lateral move? Is Matt Breida the best option for the Devonta Freeman role? Could Jalen Hurd be a wild card on this depth chart?

L.A. Rams – Why is last year’s stretch-run struggles as a good indicator that Darrell Henderson will be an oft-used option regardless of Todd Gurley’s healthy?

As always, if you like what you’re hearing, please rate and review Matt Waldman’s RSP Cast on the platform you listen to it (iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, or Podbean). If you have additional feedback, email Matt at [email protected].

For the most in-depth analysis of offensive skill players available (QB, RB, WR, and TE), get the 2019 Rookie Scouting Portfolio. If you’re a fantasy owner the Post-Draft Add-on comes with the 2012 – 2018 RSPs at no additional charge.

Best, yet, 10 percent of every sale is donated to Darkness to Light to combat sexual abuse. You can purchase past editions of the Rookie Scouting Portfolio for just $9.95 each. You can pre-order the 2019 RSP now (available for download April 1).

Podcast: https://mattwaldmanrsp.com/?powerpress_ ... 41-podcast

(Lots of Rams talk in first segment about Bengals and then DH at 54 minutes or so...)

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19 posts Oct 15 2019