Every year about this time I take a hard look at how much wear and tear has been inflicted upon RB prospects during their college careers. I am convinced that because of the pounding they take on almost every touch from scrimmage it is important to at least consider what they may have left in the tank. The numbers below don’t even take into account damage inflicted for the guys who have also returned punts and kicks during their careers.
BUYER BEWARE (Over 675)
ZACH ZENNER/South Dakota State 1080 rushes/94 catches 1174 touches
DAVID JOHNSON/Northern Iowa 866 rushes/141 catches 1007 touches
AMEER ABDULLAH/Nebraska 813 rushes/73 catches 886 touches
JOHN CROCKETT/North Dakota St 752 rushes/43 catches 795 touches
TYLER VARGA/Yale 727 rushes/45 catches 772 touches
JAY AJAYI/Boise State 678 rushes/73 catches 751 touches
These guys have had a heavy work load already. Not surprisingly, the smaller school guys have to carry their teams attack because they are superior to most of the talent around them. I would still consider drafting these guys, but in the back of my mind I might have some doubts about ever giving them a second contract in the league.
ABOUT AVERAGE (550-675)
MELVIN GORDON/Wisconsin 631 rushes/22 catches 653 touches
TJ YELDON/Alabama 576 rushes/46 catches 622 touches
JEREMY LANGFORD/Michigan St 577 rushes/39 catches 616 touches
DAVID COBB/Minnesota 562 rushes/34 catches 596 touches
DUKE JOHNSON/Miami 526 rushes/69 catches 595 touches
TODD GURLEY/Georgia 510 rushes/65 catches 575 touches
In most cases you can’t expect a really good player to be underutilized. In fact it’s quite ironic that a guy like GURLEY fits in this group partly because of games missed to injury. These guys should be able to carry the load and still be fresh enough for an 7-9 year career, barring major injury.
ALMOST LIKE NEW (Under 550)
TEVIN COLEMAN/Indiana 452 rushes/54 catches 506 touches
MIKE DAVIS/South Carolina 454 rushes/51 catches 505 touches
JAVORIS ALLEN/Southern Cal 417 rushes/63 catches 480 touches
MICHAEL DYER/Louisville 396 rushes/7 catches 403 touches
MATT JONES/Florida 297 rushes/19 catches 316 touches
KARLOS WILLIAMS/Florida State 241 rushes/37 catches 278 touches
This group feels a bit like buying low mileage used cars. The numbers say there is plenty of use left, but you never know. ALLEN and his limited workload interest me greatly.
This info proves nothing, but for my money should be blended into the big picture when deciding where, and when to grab your ride, so to speak.