Many are mistaking the view I expressed in my video on Maurice Jones-Drew as one in which I’m saying he will see 300 rushing attempts. I’m not saying that; I’m just saying I won’t bet against it because I believe it is possible.
My breakdown of Jones-Drew:
- He was given a $31 million contract to be the man, and regardless of what anyone thinks, he will see most of the touches.
- The signing of free-agent wide receiver Tory Holt will help stretch the defense, thus opening some room for Jones-Drew to run.
- He has a nose for the end zone, with 40 touchdowns (including kick returns) over the last three years.
- The offensive line is healthy and built for the running game.
- Head coach Jack Del Rio wants to return to a pound-it-out offense.
- Last year, he carried the ball 18 times with goal to go and scored on 10 of them.
- 11 of the team’s 15 touchdowns inside the 10-yard line last season went to him.
- He has never had a 200-plus carry season in his career.
- His yards per carry have dropped every year: 5.7 to 4.6 to 4.2 last year.
- His fumbles increased from three combined in 2006 and 2007 to six last year.
- He plays special teams, though one would assume those days are over beginning this year.
My projections (There is a high/low range, but I just want to present the raw numbers):
- Rush attempts: 282
- Yards per attempt: 4.46
- Rushing yards: 1,258
- Receptions: 49
- Yards per catch: 9.5
- Receiving yards: 466
- Rushing touchdowns: 13
- Receiving touchdowns: 1
- Fumbles: 3
Jones-Drew is a legitimate choice for No. 1 except for the fact he has no shot of approaching 2,000 yards. He will probably not see anywhere near the 60-plus receptions he had last year.
As you can see, I don’t expect him to see 300 rush attempts, but with 282 attempts, he won’t be far off. In a high/low setting, he could cross that threshold.
I predict Peterson can make up the reception difference through his rushing yards as most leagues give 10 points per 100 yards. That is why, although I don’t mind seeing Jones-Drew in the top two to five, I don’t agree with those who are taking him No. 1 overall in point-per-reception leagues.
What are your thoughts? Agree or disagree?
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