3) James Stewart (1995-1999)
In the 1995 NFL Draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars thought James Stewart was the long term answer at running back for the brand new franchise. Drafted 19th overall, Stewart came to the Jaguars from Tennessee after a 1000-yard season where he averaged over six yards per carry.
Unfortunately, the only time he came close to that level of production for the Jaguars was in 1999, his last year with the team. That season, the Jags posted a league-best 14-2 record and won the AFC Central division. Stewart’s 931 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground led the team, but Fred Taylor was already the clear future at the position.
Stewart’s 2951 yards and 33 touchdowns for the franchise are a distant third to the top two players on this list. While he had one strong season in 1999, Stewart never truly delivered as a first-round talent for the team that drafted him. He only appeared in 16 games once and he managed to get above 700 yards in a season only twice. A meager 3.9 yards per carry average doesn’t help, either.
After leaving the Jaguars and no longer sharing running back duties, Stewart did start to come alive. For three seasons with the Detroit Lions, Stewart posted impressive numbers, including two 1000-yard seasons in 2000 and 2002. He bumped his yards per carry up to 4.1 (including two seasons above 4.4) and actually finished just 61 yards short of his total Jags production in just three seasons.