Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
The AFC South is seen by many NFL analyst as one of the weaker divisions in football. That can be a positive because it will not take much improvement by the Jags to turn things around. The negative is a total lack of respect. Aside from the Colts, there is not much to be excited about right now in the AFC South, except for the impending NFL draft in which three of their teams will be picking in the top 11, and two in the top three. What I will be doing is ranking the AFC South at multiple positions. For now I will be going with the players who would be the presumed starter while attempting to take into consideration free agency and draft picks. We have ranked QB. We will now rank RBs.
- Arian Foster/Houston Texans – No running back has carried the ball more than Foster has the last 3 years. Last year looked scarily like Shaun Alexander’s last season with Seattle after carrying too much the previous years. He got his big contract and it was like his body completely shut down. Foster looked similar. He came into the year with hamstring injuries and a developing back issue. As the year progressed, his yards per carry began sliding, he was able to practice less, and finally had to shut his season down in November as his back issues increased. Back problems are something that never gets better. You just have to learn to deal with the pain. I’ll be interested how Foster does. Even with the uncertainty, Arian Foster is the best RB in the AFC South.
- Maurice Jones-Drew/Jacksonville Jaguars – A lot needs to happen to support this pick. First and foremost, MJD would have to re-sign with the Jags. Secondly, the Jags would need to bring in a much better QB to take the pressure off the running game. Finally, MJD has had two years to recover from his myriad of injuries. It is time for him to return to his league leading rusher level play. That isn’t going to come with a big contract. That will have to come with PRIDE. Maurice Jones-Drew is the 2nd best RB in the AFC South.
- Chris Johnson/Tennessee Titans – My how the mighty have fallen. The self-tagged “C2K” to mark his 2006 yard rushing performance in 2009. He seemingly hasn’t been the same since. Oh…his mouth is still healthy and he continues to be his own biggest fan. Meanwhile, last year he averaged less than four yards per carry and eclipsed 100 yards in two games. He appears to be on the declining stage of his career. His problem is that it seems impossible for him to recognize it. He might just “big-time” himself out of the league. Chris Johnson is the 3rd best RB in the AFC South.
- Trent Richardson/Indianapolis Colts – If you choose to, feel sorry for the Colts. They gave up a first round pick (#26) for this guy. If the Colts performed a “Suck For Luck” a couple of years ago, then they must be “Bent about Trent!” He came to Indy and rewarded their sacrifice with an embarrassing 2.9 yards per carry. by the end of the year, he had lost his strarting position to Donald Brown….Let me repeat that. HE LOST HIS STARTING JOB TO DONALD “FRIGGIN” BROWN. Trent richardson is the worst RB in the AFC South.
If the Jags lose MJD to free agency, the starting job will go to Jordan Todman, a journeyman RB who proved quite valuable last year. Though I feel very confident that Todman could fill the role as starter if needed, I would move Chris Johnson to #2 in that scenario. I hope the Jags look for an RB in the draft, especially one that will run with power as Todman is smallish. If MJD comes back, The Jags bring in a more serviceable QB, and Arian Foster continues to be hobbled by his back, then the Jags have a chance to have the best RB.
Next will be WRs. Thanks for the read.
List compiled by Michael McDonald.
If you need advice MJD, hit me up on Twitter @gumbussy.