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2012 NFL Draft: 5 Potential Landing Spots for Oregon RB LaMichael James

Sam DrakeCorrespondent IFebruary 14, 2012

2012 NFL Draft: 5 Potential Landing Spots for Oregon RB LaMichael James

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    LaMichael James rewrote the record books during his time at the University of Oregon.

    He had 26 games of over 100 yards rushing and seven with over 200—which are both school records. He is Oregon's career leader in all-purpose yards with 5,869. He set the career rushing record at 5,082 which also placed him second in conference history.

    He decided to forgo his final season at Oregon and enter the NFL draft.

    Mel Kiper Jr. projects James to be a second or third-round pick in the upcoming NFL draft, but notes that he needs to prove himself strong enough to play in the league.

    He says that while James is more "quick" than "fast," once he is in space, he can make people miss. During his senior campaign that ended in a Rose Bowl victory, he increased his value by becoming more of a receiver and returned punts as well.

    He did all of this while still averaging 150 rushing yards per game.

    He is definitely a change of pace back that can complement a hard-hitter. There will be some teams that will give him a hard look on draft day and he will eventually get picked up by one lucky team.

New York Jets

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    LaDainian Tomlinson is not he player he once was. Nor will he ever return to his old form.

    It is time to start thinking about getting another running back to complement Shonn Greene.

    Greene is the power back who can be the feature back who gets most of the carries.

    What LaMichael will bring to the Jets would be terrific quickness and more speed that Greene has. He can be the third down back where Mark Sanchez can check down to when his receivers are all covered. 

    The Jets are built as a running team first and having two different types of backs could create major problems for opposing defenses.

    Without Tomlinson, the next back would be Joe McKnight. James would definitely be a step up from McKnight who is similar to Greene but a better pass catcher.

Cincinnati Bengals

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    With Cedric Benson most likely headed for free agency and Bernard Scott the backup running back, the Bengals are in need of a back for the future.

    If the Bengals do not select Lamar Miller in the first round, then he will most likely not be available in the later rounds.

    With Bengals building a team for he future, adding James to the roster will add a "wow" factor to go along with Andy Dalton and Jerome Simpson.

    James could be a nice complement to the up-and-coming passing attack the Bengals feature.

Cleveland Browns

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    The Browns are in search of their next running back as well.

    There have already been reports from earlier in the season that the Browns will not bring back Peyton Hillis.

    Hillis had only 587 rushing yards on 161 carries in 10 games last season and did not contribute much to the already stagnant offense of the lowly Browns. 

    James would bring some much need youth, energy and enthusiasm to this program and could provide a spark for the team.

    Even if the front office does bring Hillis back, James would be a good complementary back to Hillis' power game.

Detroit Lions

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    The Lions are a one-dimensional team.

    Their main play is to have Matt Stafford throw the ball deep to Calvin Johnson.

    They did find a running back in Kevin Smith last year who provided some relief to Stafford and the throwing game, but it would still benefit the Lions to add a speed and deception running back.

    Yes, the Lions still have Jahvid Best on their roster, but he has shown to have problems with concussions. If Best cannot stay healthy then they must find another change of pace back—and James could be the answer.

Denver Broncos

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    Just imagine how much fun the Broncos could be having with Tim Tebow lining up in the back field alongside Willis McGahee and LaMichael James.

    Having played in a spread option system in college, James would fit in perfectly with the Broncos offense. 

    Other teams would have fits about trying to stop three great runners. Both Tebow and McGahee could provide the power up the middle, and when teams stop that they can give the ball to James on a screen or pitch and have him run wild in open space.

    This all depends on if John Elway keeps starting Tebow at quarterback.

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