2011 NFL Predictions: Mark Ingram and 4 Other Impact Rookie RBs

Zacharee CurtisContributor IIIJuly 20, 2011

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28:  Mark Ingram, #28 overall pick by the New Orleans Saints, holds up a jersey on stage during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

There are plenty of good rookie running backs from the 2011 NFL Draft, but due to the history of RBs in recent years, only Mark Ingram of Alabama was taken in the first round.  If this draft took place 5 years ago that may have been a different story.

Jacquizz Rodgers was drafted in the 14th pick in the fiftth round by the Atlanta Falcons. Rodgers decided to leave Oregon State early to enter the NFL Draft. 

It probably would have been better for him to return for his senior season. 

In his junior season at Oregon State, Jacquizz rushed for 1,184 yards on 256 attempts and had 14 touchdowns. 

With Michael Turner and Jason Snelling ahead of him on the depth chart, the only time you'll really see Jacquizz is on special teams. 

The only time you'd really see him in the backfield is if Michael Turner gets hurt again this year. In that situation Jacquizz would serve as the backup to Jason Snelling. 

Rodgers is projected to rush for 210 yards and have 428 yards receiving and have 2TDs.

Shane Vereen was a surprise pick by the New England Patriots in the second round of the draft. 

Vereen went to Cal, where last season he gained 1,167 yards on 231 attempts and had 13 touchdowns. 

Like Jacquizz, Vereen skipped his senior season to enter the NFL Draft. 

Vereen will probably be the backup to BenJarvus Green-Ellis, but with Bill Belichick being the coach, who knows what Vereen will actually do? 

Vereen is projected to rush for 520 yards and have 3 TDs.

Ryan Williams was drafted with the sixth pick of the second round by the Arizona Cardinals. 

Williams had two years of eligibility remaining at Virginia Tech. In his final season at Virginia Tech, he ran for 477 yards on 110 attempts and had 9 touchdowns. 

Williams will be a little change for Arizona as they try to get another RB who can perform, unlike Beanie Wells and Tim Hightower have in recent years. The Cardinals hope that the Ryan Williams will help the offense get going, and with the addition of a QB, the Cardinals could be the team to beat in the NFC West this season. 

Williams is projected to rush for 800 yards and have 6 TDs.

Mark Ingram was taken by the New Orleans Saints with the 28th pick in the first round. 

Ingram had a great career at Alabama, but decided to skip his senior season to enter the NFL Draft. In his last season at Alabama, Ingram rushed for 875 yards on 158 attempts and had 13 touchdowns. 

The Saints backfield is already crowded, with Pierre Thomas, Reggie Bush, and Chris Ivory. 

However, with the lockout approaching an end, the Saints backfield should clear up a little bit. 

Ingram should step in and be one of the Saints' primary backs. He is projected to rush for 869 yards and have 8 TDs.

Mikel LeShoure was taken with the 25th pick in the second round by the Detroit Lions. 

In LeShoure's junior season at Illinois, he rushed for 1,697 yards on 281 attempts and had 17 TDs. LeShoure—just like Ingram—decided to skip his senior season and entered the NFL Draft. 

The Lions used their first round pick last year on RB Jahvid Best, so LeShoure will serve as the backup and be the primary RB if Best gets hurt. 

LeShoure is projected to rush for 780 yards and have 9 TDs