Who Would You Rather Have? Jonathan Stewart or Rashard Mendenhall

Shaun OkeyContributor IFebruary 16, 2010

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 27:  Jonathan Stewart #28 of the Carolina Panthers rushes against the New York Giants at Giants Stadium on December 27, 2009 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

These are two very good backs that came out of the 2008 NFL Draft. Jonathan Stewart went 13th overall to Carolina while Rashard Mendenhall was drafted 23rd overall by Pittsburgh. As a Carolina fan, I originally wanted Mendenhall after watching him play for Illinois and have some huge games. I did not know much about Stewart, but I just figured he was more of a system back. Mendenhalls rookie campaign was short lived after only Ray Lewis broke his shoulder. His rookie stats ended up being 19 carries for 58 yards. Stewart had an impressive rookie season, rushing 186 times for 836 yards and 10 tds. So I was obviously very happy with our choice of backs after the 2008 season. Not to mention, Stewart played behind DeAngelo Williams who had 1500+yards and 18 touchdowns. But the 2009 season was a breakout one for Mendenhall. He had 242 carries for 1108 yards and 7tds. Stewart had a very impressive year as after carrying the load for an injured Williams. He accumulated 221 carries for 1133 yards and 10 touchdowns. These two backs are going to be linked for the rest of their careers in my opinion, it just throws the thought out there of who would you rather want. You can call me bias, but I would take Stewart. He showed toughness this year, not missing any games, and had an 1,100 yard season while Williams also had 1,100 yards. Mendenhall is very good in his own right, but I think Stewart is just an overall better player. What are your thoughts?