Seven running backs were selected in first two rounds of this past draft. Here is a look at how their numbers compare.
Based on these numbers we can re rank them like this:
|1) Matt Forte|
|2) Chris Johnson|
|3) Jonathan Stewart|
|4) Felix Jones|
|6) Rashard Mendenhall|
|7) Ray Rice|
Obviously, Mendenhall and Rice are not even in the conversation currently. There is room to debate the order of the rest. It would be easy for someone to call me a homer at this point, but I think there is sufficient evidence to back the statement that Forte is the most important rookie back if not the best so far this year, granted we are 3 games in. Forte is the only one of the group who is their team's starting back, though cases could be made that Johnson and Stewart should be. Forte is also the only back that has any involvement in the pass game. And until the Bears pass game can show they are a threat opposing team's defenses will key in on him.
1. Matt Forte: When it comes to running the football, he is indisputably "the man" in Chicago, a heady experience for any NFL rookie. But Forte is showing the maturity to pull it off. In three starts, no team has been able to hold him to less than 89 yards by the end of the game. And he's established himself as a player who has to be accounted for in the passing game with 13 catches already. No rookie running back is carrying the ball more often for his team than Forte, and he's getting good results despite a lackluster Bears passing attack that is doing little to take pressure off the running game.
The article attached has the list like this: Forte, Johnson, McFadden, Stewart, Jones, Rice and Mendenhall.
I did have to pause when deciding between Johnson and Stewart for 2 and 3. Stewart is by far the strongest runner while Johnson is the fastest, but you can't look past Johnson's numbers. You could also make a case for Jones on the grounds that he isn't making the numbers because he is stuck behind Marion Barber III. One could also plead the case of McFadden as he is stuck in the hell hole that is Oakland, but that's life in the NFL.
I don't know where they will end up by year's end and we will revisit this topic a few times before.
Your turn. Rank em.
Other News and Notes:
Devin Hester is a game time decision again this week. While we all agree that you can't replace Hester, the Bears have been able to admirably replace him with a few different fill ins.
Don't forget to adjust your FF rosters. This is the first round of bye weeks. Teams on BYE are: Detroit, Indianapolis, Miami, New England, NY Giants and Seattle.
Tommie Harris missed practice on Friday. Missing practice on Friday is cutting it a little close for being able to play on Sunday.