Felix Jones was taken 22nd overall in the 2008 NFL draft, and he’s never amounted to the player he should be. Jones was a dynamic running back at the University of Alabama, but his success hasn’t translated to the National Football League.
LeSean McCoy’s NFL career is everything Felix Jones should be. McCoy didn’t come out of college with the hype that surrounded Jones, but he has turned himself into arguably the most effective back in the game.
The following lists the reasons McCoy is the running back Jones strives to be.
McCoy received 207 carries in 2010; the next highest among running backs on the Eagles was Jerome Harrison with 40. This year, McCoy has 273 carries, and the next highest among running backs is Ronnie Brown with 36.
Meanwhile, Jones was the third back behind Marion Barber and Tashard Choice in 2008. He worked his way into the three-headed rotation by 2009 and became (briefly) the featured back in 2010, although he only got 185 carries. This year, rookie runner DeMarco Murray came out of nowhere to steal Jones’ spot as the team’s starter.
Felix Jones was supposed to be a stud by now, a two-time Pro Bowl running back who ranked up there with Adrian Peterson and Steven Jackson among the best backs in the NFC.
That hasn’t happened, and Jones will likely never make a Pro Bowl. Meanwhile, LeSean McCoy is all but a lock to make it for the NFC this coming January, and he will probably be named the starter as well. At just 23 years old, McCoy should make plenty more Pro Bowls before his career is up.
Felix Jones missed the final 10 games of his rookie season due to a torn left hamstring, two games in 2009 and four so far in 2011.
LeSean McCoy has never missed an NFL game due to an injury. The only time he has ever sat out in a game was the meaningless Week 17 season finale against the Dallas Cowboys, a matchup the Philadelphia Eagles lost, 14-13.
McCoy may miss next week’s matchup with the Washington Redskins due to a sprained ankle, but he would likely play if it had any bearing on the playoffs.
LeSean McCoy is both a power and speed back, and he’s the kind of guy who can handle a workload well. McCoy has carried the ball 20 times in a game on eight separate occasions. Felix Jones has done that just once in his four-season career.
McCoy has 321 touches in 2011. Jones has topped out at just 233 and never again reached more than 142.
LeSean McCoy scored a touchdown in each of the first nine games of the Philadelphia Eagles season and reached the end zone in 13 of the first 14 weeks. He’s been a feature back all year, and he’s produced on numerous occasions when Michael Vick and the passing offense have struggled.
Meanwhile, Felix Jones is a dangerous runner, but he needs to be spotted well. Jones is like the baseball player who can only hit against lefties. He’s very good at what he does, but he’s not consistent enough to be considered a complete back.