Why Alfred Morris Is the Next Arian Foster

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Why Alfred Morris Is the Next Arian Foster
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Alfred Morris of the Washington Redskins is looking like the NFL's next version of Arian Foster.

On Sunday, Morris was excellent once again for Mike Shanahan's offense and racked up 135 total yards which is his most this season. Not to mention that performance came against a tough Atlanta Falcons defense.

Now despite Washington not getting the win, Morris simply continues to make a great impact for our nation's capital and his immediate contributions are comparable to that of Foster's for the Houston Texans.

 

Unheard of Entering NFL

One minor difference is that Foster came into pro football as an undrafted free agent out of Tennessee. Interestingly enough, Foster's production for the volunteers wasn't overly dominant and to some extent it's no surprise he was not selected.

As for Morris, he lasted until Round 6 in the 2012 draft and had played his college ball at Florida Atlantic. The Owls are part of the Sun Belt conference and not part of the BCS like Tennessee. So, it's not surprising that he too went overlooked when compared to other ball-carriers of his draft class.

Robert Mayer-US PRESSWIRE
Morris during his days at Florida Atlantic

Still, Morris produced quite well for the Owls with over 3,800 total yards and scoring 31 touchdowns during his career.

 

Consistent Reliability

Once into pro football, a players' success gets measured strictly by how they perform on that level.

Well, Foster has done just that for the Texans the past few seasons and 2012 is no different. Morris along the same lines, continues to improve with each new week.

To kickoff his rookie year, Morris accounted for 96 rushing yards and two scores against the New Orleans Saints. Each subsequent week thereafter his impact has been stronger, despite the numbers not appearing parallel.

The previous two weeks, though, have been quite impressive.

Collecting 228 rushing yards combined versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Falcons, Morris also averaged 5.7 yards per rush in that span. Provided this consistency keeps pace, Morris will be atop this season's Offensive Rookie of the Year list.

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Unlimited Potential

The best thing about a dependable back like Foster is potential.

Only 26 years old, Foster has given the Texans two excellent seasons and the 2012 campaign has simply enhanced his player status. Looking at Morris and we have to keep in mind that he's just a rookie.

Turning 24 years old by season's end, Morris' ceiling is virtually unlimited. Had his opportunity not come as a rookie, Morris' potential would have taken a steep nosedive. Coming from a non-BCS school he had to play all four years of college ball.

Now Foster did the same out of Tennessee, so impacting their respective team within the first two years has made a huge difference regarding in career promise. That coveted age of 30 comes up quickly for NFL running backs and the later their opportunity occurs, the window of production significantly narrows.

And the last thing any franchise wants is to not have that star ball-carrier for just a few seasons. Fortunately for Washington, Morris has proven to be that next franchise back despite only being a rookie.

 

Follow John Rozum on Twitter.

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