T.J. Yeldon, Melvin Gordon leading rookie running backs

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T.J. Yeldon was among the best rookie running backs during his first week of NFL regular season action and that trend continues.

With two weeks down and the third week beginning, the NFL is starting to heat up and the better running backs will pull away from the rest of the crowd. Last week, it was Melvin Gordon, T.J. Yeldon, Tevin Coleman, and Ameer Abdullah who started to leave the rest of the running backs in the dust.

Who was leading the rookie class through Week 2?

A couple of names are familiar, but the order is changing.

Let’s dive in with our honorable mention.

Jun 16, 2015; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns linebacker Chris Kirksey (58) and Cleveland Browns running back Duke Johnson (29) during minicamp at the Cleveland Browns practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Honorable Mention: Duke Johnson, running back, Cleveland Browns

Coming in with the third-most rushing yards for rookie backs in Week 2, Duke Johnson looked fine in a 43-yard performance. With a 3.6 yards per attempt average that wasn’t wowing anybody, it’s important that Johnson really get going if he wants to compete with the other rookies on this list.

I like Johnson and think that he can be among the rookies competing for the rushing title this season. With the Cleveland Browns looking to work him into the offense more, it seems that his opportunities will rise and he’ll have a real chance to compete with his peers.

Johnson has some big play ability that makes him appealing to both fantasy football owners and to the Browns coaching staff. I think we can see him really shoot up these rookie running back rankings if he can find some big moments.

Through two games, Johnson has just 65 yards on 19 attempts (3.4 yards averaged per attempt) and has forced seven missed tackles. He also has He needs to get his yards per carry up and it would be nice to see him get in the end zone.

With the Oakland Raiders next up on the schedule and their 20th ranked rushing defense primed to be broken apart by a guy like Johnson, we could see him shoot up here next week.

Next: From first to third

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