Posted June 6th, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Football

ESPN is ranking the top running backs in the NFL and three former Longhorns made their list. Unfortunately, all three made it on the third tier of rankings of 41-64. [tag]Cedric Benson[/tag] was backed up by [tag]Selvin Young[/tag] who was backed up by [tag]Jamaal Charles[/tag], and they’re all now playing in the league. All three guys will have a chance to prove themselves this season and move up in the rankings.

47. Cedric Benson, Chicago Bears

Cedric BensonSuperpower – Benson has the physical size and athletic ability to be a productive starter. He has good vision combined with good pad level and good balance for running inside. He can read blocks and show patience, then accelerate with good burst for his size. He also is a capable receiver out of the backfield.

Kryptonite – He has not produced up to his potential during his first three seasons, and he has failed to prove to management and his teammates that he can be “the guy.” His overall passion for the game and desire to be a dominant player have been questioned.

My Thoughts – The comments on Benson are not far off. Though he hasn’t reached his potential I think in the right atmosphere he could excel, but that may not be in Chicago. The most laughable part of their rankings is that they have rookie Matt Forte six spots higher than Benson.

60. Selvin Young, Denver Broncos

Selvin YoungSuperpower – He is coming off an impressive rookie season in which he provided excellent depth in the Broncos’ backfield. Young was a pleasant surprise for the Denver staff after being acquired as a college free agent in 2007. He showed deceptive power for his size, as he runs with conviction and great body lean. He has excellent vision and instincts with the lateral quickness and agility to find a crease.

Kryptonite – Young has had durability concerns in the past, and it remains to be seen how well he can handle the pounding with more playing time. He lacks great elusiveness in space and is more of a straight-line runner. He will need to develop in the passing game, especially in blitz-pickup situations.

My Thoughts – There’s some scrubs ranked higher than Selvin that don’t deserve to be but he’s going to have to do it for more than one season to be moved any higher. With the release of Travis Henry he’ll get that chance this year and could have a great season if he stays healthy for 16 games.

64. Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs

Jamaal CharlesSuperpower – He will be coming into the league to complement the Chiefs’ featured running back. He is a good combination of athleticism and instincts. He has excellent speed and burst both as a runner and receiver out of the backfield. He is football player who has outstanding track speed. He should give the Chiefs an explosive threat on the perimeter as well as after the catch.

Kryptonite – He doesn’t have great power as an inside runner. He needs to gain weight and strength to become a complete back. Charles isn’t always a patient runner and needs to mature as a between-the-tackles ball carrier. Charles also needs to improve his blitz-pickup and develop his route running. He is somewhat of a one-dimensional player, lacking inside, short-yardage and goal-line effectiveness.

My Thoughts – I think Charles is an underrated inside runner. They’re right that he’s often impatient but he’s not afraid to run inside and if he sees a small crease he’ll take it. Also has better power than he’s given credit for and rarely goes down on first contact.


Related Posts


Comments are closed.

Texas FanGuide - Texas Longhorns fan app with roster, news, and team schedule

Subscribe to the 40 Acres!

Don't miss breaking news or another story from your favorite Longhorns fan site, subscribe to our RSS(?) feed!

Become a fan of the 40 Acres on Facebook

Recent Comments