In this week's "Would You Rather" post, I'm essentially asking how much stock you put into great rookie seasons, especially from running backs. After all, backs have been known to emerge from shadows but also disappear as quickly as they arrive.
Was Alfred Morris a one-hit wonder in Washington or is he here to stay as the kind of back the 'Skins can rely on to complement Robert Griffin III for years to come? That's what I'm getting at.
But let's frame it this way: If you could have one rookie back from 2012 on your roster entering 2013, would it be Morris, who led all rooks with 1,613 rushing yards and finished second to only Adrian Peterson overall? Or would it would be a first-round stud like Doug Martin or Trent Richardson?
Martin was a home-run hitter who also had a few glaring strikeouts in 2012. The No. 31 overall pick finished with 159 fewer total rushing yards and 0.25 fewer yards per carry than Morris, but he had five runs of 40 yards or more, while Morris had zero.
Richardson was the prodigy of the group and as probably the most hyped rookie back the league has had since Peterson. He'd dominate this debate based on the eyeball test from his days at Alabama, but he struggled with injuries throughout the 2012 campaign and finished third on the rookie rushing yardage list with only 950 yards and an ugly 3.6 yards-per-carry average (a full yard below Martin).
While Morris at least had nine 20-yard runs (just two fewer than Martin), Richardson had only two all season (and zero 40-yarders).
If health weren't a factor, I'd still take Richardson, who is still a ridiculous athlete but was banged up all year. He had his knee scoped in August and played half the year with broken ribs. But when you consider how strong, durable and consistent Morris has proved to be, and how electric and dangerous Martin is, the debate becomes interesting. Plus, Martin, not Morris, was the only rookie back to make the Pro Bowl.
I might be biased because I watched more of Morris this year than the others, but I feel as though I can trust him from week to week, which is something I can't say about any other back from that 2012 class. He takes a pounding and gets results, and he appeared to get better as the season wore on.
Not bad for a guy taken 169 draft spots after Richardson.
I'd have a tough time picking between Richardson, who could have one hell of a career, and Morris, who still doesn't strike you as an overly unique talent but who gets the job done in impressive fashion. Third place out of three, for me, is Martin, who could be another one of those backs that takes the league by storm but never recaptures that original magic. Is he another Kevin Jones, Cadillac Williams or Steve Slaton?
I'm interested to find out where you guys lean. I'm guessing Redskins fans are very happy with Morris, but I'd like to see what percentage of the vote is designated for Richardson and Martin.