Chiefs looking to future at running back?
By Brandon Fry
Dec 7, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles (25) celebrates after scoring a touchdown in the second quarter against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
The number 27, like all numbers, has some history and significance. On October 27th in 1985, the Royals won the 7th game of the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. In 1971, the AFC Divisional Playoff game between the Chiefs and Dolphins ended up being the longest game in NFL history which the Chiefs ultimately lost 27-24 in overtime.
Twenty-seven is also the average age NFL teams believe to statistically see a decline in running backs throughout the league. ESPN had an interesting article that supported this idea and it’s believed this trend will continue. Jamaal Charles just turned 28 this last December and has played in the league for seven years. Due to an ACL tear in 2011 and not starting his first season, he’s played as a starter for five of those first seven years. In the five full seasons that Charles played, he was a top-five rusher in three of those seasons, and remains among the greatest of all time on his yards per carry.
This brings us to question of how much time is left in Jamaal’s career? How many good years does this great player have remaining? Recently Jamaal Charles tweeted out that he still feels like he’s 21, our Matt Verderame wrote an article about it here. Statistics however would tell us that since he’s 28, it’s time to start looking for his replacement if we don’t have him already. Knile Davis wouldn’t be a bad option; I think he’s a high-caliber player that just needs to work on the fumbles. So let’s look at some running backs that could come in and team up with Knile to have a successful duo backfield.
1. Tevin Coleman – I happen to be a Missouri Tigers fan so I naturally have a love/hate relationship with this Indiana running back because he single-handedly destroyed our defense and led his inferior team to a victory in Columbia. I was blown away at this guy’s burst as run after run, he made our defenders take poor angles from misjudging his speed. He’s considered a second- to third-round pick, and I think he’d be a great add to sit under Jamaal Charles and Knile Davis for a couple of years. I’ve seen some player comparisons to DeMarco Murray and Darren McFadden. Check out his highlight reel below, and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
2. Duke Johnson – Scouts will tell you that Duke has a ton of ability but doesn’t have the size to be a full-time starter. That isn’t always accurate as we’ve seen smaller running backs come into the league and produce at a high level. He left Miami as the school’s all time leading rusher with 3,519 yards. Duke has the ability to come in and do some work for our Chiefs as he has exceptional speed and a great jump-cut that’s even been compared to LeSean McCoy. Below you’ll see some highlights of just what he’s capable of doing.
3. David Cobb – Cobb is an interesting prospect that some consider to be a steal in this draft. This is the classic case of a good running back being placed behind a below-average offensive line so he didn’t get the national attention he may have deserved. In 2014, he set the school single-season record at Minnesota with 1,626 rushing yards. Last year the running back steal of the draft was Jeremy Hill; Mr. Cobb could be this year’s candidate. You can check out his highlights below.
4. David Johnson – David Johnson was a wide receiver at Northern Iowa converted to running back. He’s a thick running back that doesn’t go down easy and has soft hands because of his wide receiver background. David became the first player in the team’s history to have three straight 1,000-yard seasons. Although he doesn’t have breakaway speed that we’ve grown accustomed to, Johnson can make plays catching the ball. Some have compared him to Charles Sims for Tampa Bay and in Andy Reid’s offense he could do some major damage catching the ball. Below you’ll see his tape.
In one accord we will all say all hail King Charles and may he run for many more seasons. Knile may be the protegé that takes the torch, and I wouldn’t mind that either as long as he fixes the fumbles, but you know Reid will bring in a running back whether it’s in the draft or in the undrafted group. What do you think, Addicts? What running back could you see the Chiefs targeting in the draft?
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