Bill Williamson of ESPN.com is now an honorary member of Chiefs Nation.
Williamson was the only one, of only three ESPN.com experts, to give Jamaal Charles proper credit in their positional power rankings for the best running backs in the NFL.
Basically, a panel of experts at ESPN ranked their top RB’s in order and then the players is assigned a score based on each individual ranking. The players with the highest scores are on top.
Here is a quick breakdown of who voted and how the points were assigned. See the full rankings here.
Key: JC=John Clayton; MS=Mike Sando; KS=Kevin Seifert; PY=Pat Yasinskas; TG=Tim Graham;
BW=Bill Williamson; JW=James Walker; PK=Paul Kuharsky
Rank: 1=10 points, 2=9 points, 3=8 points, 4=7 points, 5=6 points, etc.
I’ve been searching and searching for something for something to write about for my weekly column for days now and this appears to be it.
Willamson ranked Charles as the 2nd best running back in the NFL, behind only Chris Johnson and ahead of Adrian Peterson. If you read this site with any amount of regularity, you know that I think Jamaal Charles was the best back in the NFL last year. I use his historically good yards-per-carry average as my evidence. If I were doing a set of rankings, Charles would be #1.
Now I’m not being a total homer here. I can see where other people, outside of the Chiefs Kingdom, might not rank Charles #1. Chris Johnson is awesome. Adrian Peterson has been very good for a while now. MJD is a beast.
Still, I have to take issue with WHERE some of these experts ranked Charles and I most certainly take issue with the hate mail Williamson has received from the good people of Minnesota.
Tim Graham and Tim Graham get a pass here because each ranked Charles as the 3rd best back in the NFL. Both those guys had Peterson #1 and Johnson #3. I can live with that. I disagree, but they ranked Charles fairly.
Now to the rest of these guys.
Mike Sando, Kevin Seifert and James Walker:
These gentleman all ranked Charles #6.
ERRRR! Wrong. Sorry. All three of them ranked Arian Foster ahead of Charles. Ok, I can see Foster. Despite the fact that Charles average a full yard more than Foster…Foster did average 4.9 yards-per-carry, led the league in rushing yards and scored 16 TD’s. While I still think Charles is way better, Foster is no bum.
No, where these three analysts bungled this is they ranked Steven Jackson ahead of Jamaal Charles.
Duded, Steven Jackson is cool and all but he averaged 3.8 yards-per-carry last season. Steven Jackson rushed for 1,241yards on 330 carries while Jamaal busted out 1,467 yards on 230 carries!
Yes. These ESPN experts think that Charles is worse than Jackson even though Charles ran for more yards with ONE HUNDRED fewer carries. Yeah. Sure.
Here is where it starts to get preposterous.
Clayton! The man! The Professor! Surely he watches enough football to know that Charles was one meaningless carry away from breaking Jim Brown’s single season yards-per-carry record.
Surely Clayton has Charles in the top three, right?
He’s 8th. Clayton ranked Charles 8th!
Behind Steven Jackson, Ray Rice and Reshard Mendenhall.
WHAT? Rice averaged 4.0 yards-per-carry and Menenhall averaged 3.9! Charles ran for more yards than BOTH of them and received about 100 less carries than each.
Clayton is either losing his touch, hates the Chiefs or just didn’t ever bother watching Charles run the football.
Lastly, I must turn my evil Irish glare to Pat Yasinskas.
Yasinskas, inexplicably, ranked Jamaal Charles as the 10th best back in the NFL.
Two spots behind #8…Thomas Jones.
Wherever he is, Big Matt’s head just exploded off of his shoulders.
It is literally mind boggling. Thomas Jones didn’t even rush for 1000 yards last season. He wasn’t even the best running back on his TEAM and this guy ranked him ahead of Charles.
Due to these misguided and uninformed rankings, Charles finished 5th overall int he voting. Tragic.
Anyway, here is a tip of the hat to Bill Williamson for knowing what the heck he is talking about. I know Bill isn’t popular among the trolls over on the ESPN AFC West Blog boards but I’ve always thought he was very fair in his evaluations of all four teams.
At the very least, he understands what makes a good running back.
Here’s to you Bill Williamson!
Ooops. Sorry. Here ya go: