Can Redskins Rookie Alfred Morris Lead the League in Rushing?

Lou RomContributor IOctober 5, 2012

Sept. 30, 2012; Tampa FL, USA; Washington Redskins running back Alfred Morris (46) runs past  Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Eric Wright (21) for a touchdown during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Stamey-US PRESSWIRE

Everyone knew the talk about an impressive rookie out of Washington was going to dominate the league this year.

No one knew that rookie would be Alfred Morris, the sixth-round draft choice out of Florida Atlantic, instead of that flashy No. 2 pick out of Baylor.

To be fair, that guy named RGIII is still getting some ink, or whatever you call it these days, but Alfred Morris may well be the surprise of the year.

Morris ran for 113 yards on 21 carries in Sunday's 24-22 win over the Buccaneers and now is fifth in the league in rushing yards.

With a piece meal running attack, Morris is the Washington Redskins' go-to guy, and a surprising one at that. Beyond the fact that Morris entered camp as the No. 3/4 running back on the depth chart, he came from a Florida Atlantic team that went 1-11 last year and did little to impress scouts.

Today, after four weeks of NFL play, Morris and leading rusher Marshawn Lynch have identical 4.6 clips—but Morris has zero fumbles to Lynch's one, and four touchdowns to Lynch's two.

Whether Morris can sustain those kinds of numbers remains to be seen.

His four opponents—the Saints, Rams, Bengals and Buccaneers—aren't exactly a fearsome foursome of run defenses. Only the Bucs are not among the 10 worst run defenders in the league.

But Morris' best game came last week against the Bucs, who currently rank fourth in the league in defending the run.

With a few more performances like that, against some of the league's tougher defenses, Morris certainly could take the top spot and become the first rookie to lead the league in rushing since Edgerrin James in 1999.

Lou Rom covers the NFL and whatever else gets under his skin for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter at louromlive.