Jahvid Best Has Shown He's the Best Offensive Rookie in the NFL

Steven ResnickSenior Writer ISeptember 22, 2010

CHICAGO - SEPTEMBER 12: Jahvid Best #44 of the Detroit Lions runs against the Chicago Bears during the NFL season opening game at Soldier Field on September 12, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Lions 19-14. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Jahvid Best's junior season at California ended prematurely after taking a scary fall that resulted in a concussion as he was scoring a touchdown against the Oregon State Beavers, and because of the injury, he was held out the rest of the season. Before the injury, Best was well on his way for another 1,500 plus yard season and more than likely setting a California record for most rushing touchdowns as he had 12 in eight games. 

There was no doubt that after the season that Best was going to declare for the NFL Draft. In his time at California, he suffered some freak injuries: a hip injury that ended his freshman season early, a dislocated elbow while landing wrongly causing him to miss one game his sophomore year, and a concussion in his junior year.

Rather then taking a risk of another injury, it was in Best's best interest to leave for the NFL. Best was one of the top running backs in all of college, and if he hadn't suffered a concussion, he was easily a top 15 pick. Because of the injuries, Best fell to the Detroit Lions with the 30th pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. 

What will be interesting as the season progresses is how the competition stacks up against Best for the Offensive Rookie of the Year as Best has done by far the best of any rookie on the offensive side. The competition for Best though will be Jimmy Clausen who will be making his first NFL start this week, Ryan Matthews, Sam Bradford, C.J. Spiller, Jordan Shipley, and Dez Bryant. 

Here's a look at what each of these players have done through Week Two: 


Bryant: 10 catches, 108 yards, and zero receiving touchdowns. Also, has four punt returns for 77 yards and a touchdown. 

Shipley: 10 catches, 124 yards, and no receiving touchdowns. 

Spiller: eight carries, nine yards, 1.1 yards per carry, and zero rushing touchdowns. Has caught eight passes for 31 yards and again no touchdowns. Spiller has also had seven kick returns for 185 yards. 

Bradford: 46-80, 57.5 completion percentage, 420 yards, and three touchdowns to four interceptions.

Matthews: 24 carries, 101 yards, 4.2 yards per carry, and no rushing touchdowns. Receiving wise, Matthews has three catches for 31 yards, and again zero touchdowns. 

Clausen: 7-15, 46.7 completion percentage, 59 yards, zero touchdowns, and an interception. Has appeared in two games before being named starter. 

Best: 31 carries, 98 yards, 3.2 yards per carry, and four touchdowns. He also has 14 catches for 170 yards, and a touchdown. 

So far in the rankings of the rookies, Best leads in total touchdowns with five, rushing touchdowns with four, receptions, total touches, receiving yards, and is second in rushing yards. 

The season has just begun, but after two weeks, Best has become the clear favorite to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year especially if the Lions continue to find ways to get Best the ball and into the end zone. 

Against the Philadelphia Eagles in the 35-32 loss, Best showed what he could do. He had 17 carries for 78 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. He also caught nine passes out of the backfield for 154 yards and a touchdown. 

The touchdown came on a screen pass and went 75 yards, and on the play, Lions fans saw what Best could do once he gets in the open field, and that is blow by people. He made a couple of moves to get himself free and he was gone; no chance for the Eagles defense to catch Best. 

As for the biggest competitor for the award, it will be Matthews as he is the featured back for the San Diego Chargers. So, far he's put up decent numbers, but looking further at Matthews, he's also fumbled the ball twice already, so that is a concern for the Chargers. 

Bradford will be in the race considering that quarterbacks tend to get mentioned more because of the passing yards and touchdowns, but so far Best has more rushing touchdowns than Bradford has throwing. 

As for Bryant and Shipley, the two don't even have a receiving touchdown yet. Mike Williams has two touchdowns receiving for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers; he may have the biggest year for a rookie wide receiver as he has seven catches along with 84 yards.