Where Does Bryce Brown Rank Among NFL's Rookie Running Backs?

Jesse Reed@@JesseReed78Correspondent INovember 27, 2012

CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 24: Running back Bryce Brown #34 of the Philadelphia Eagles runs the ball against the Cleveland Browns looks on at Cleveland Browns Stadium on August 24, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

Philadelphia Eagles running back Bryce Brown broke out in a major way on Monday Night Football against the Carolina Panthers, but where does he now rank among the other rookies in 2012?

Brown rushed for 178 yards and two touchdowns on just 19 carries on MNF against the Panthers.

It was one of the biggest outputs of any rookie running back this season. 

That said, it's important to remember two things:

  1. It was the Panthers—the No. 25-ranked run defense in the NFL, and 
  2. Brown lost two fumbles.

For the season, Brown now has 319 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 51 carries and has caught five passes for 19 yards.

His rushing totals are eye-popping, but it's clear he isn't as much of a threat through the air.

Let's compare him to a few of the top rookies this season.

Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Martin has become the top rookie running back this season, and he is a multidimensional back.

Through 11 games, Martin has rushed for 1,050 yards and nine touchdowns on just 218 carries and has caught 29 passes for 332 yards and one touchdown.

Even more impressive is the fact that Martin has only lost one fumble all year long—a stark contrast to Brown's two in just 51 carries.

Trent Richardson, Cleveland Browns

Richardson has the makings of a true workhorse running back, but the going's been tough this season for the rookie out of Alabama.

Through 11 games, he has rushed for 755 yards and six touchdowns on 209 carries and has caught 41 passes for 316 yards and one touchdown.

Like Martin, Richardson has been careful with the football, and though he has fumbled three times, none of them were recovered by opposing defenses.

Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins

Morris has been one of the NFL's biggest surprises in 2012. 

Though he's not particularly speedy, his ability to make one cut and burst through holes with power and quickness has turned him into one of the NFL's top runners.

Through 11 games, Morris has rushed for 982 yards and six touchdowns on 208 carries and has caught six passes for 42 yards.

He's not hardly as versatile as Martin or Richardson, but there's no doubt Morris is as capable a runner as either one of them and has only turned the ball over once.


There have been a few other rookies to make an impact for their respective teams. In no particular order:

  • Vick Ballard, Indianapolis Colts: 427 yards on 111 carries with zero touchdowns, 11 catches for 117 yards and one touchdown and zero turnovers.
  • David Wilson, New York Giants: 102 yards on 24 carries with one touchdown, two catches for eight yards and zero touchdowns, 40 kickoff returns for 1,066 yards and one lost fumble.
  • Robert Turbin, Seattle Seahawks: 176 yards on 44 carries with zero touchdowns, 15 catches for 152 yards and zero touchdowns and zero turnovers.
  • Daryl Richardson, St. Louis Rams: 451 yards on 82 carries with zero touchdowns, 16 catches for 117 yards and zero touchdowns and two lost fumbles.


Brown may be just a flash in the pan.

His two lost fumbles on MNF are worrisome, and though he is certainly an explosive runner, he won't earn more carries if he continues to turn the ball over.

Judging by what we've seen so far from the top rookie running backs in 2012, this is how I'd rank him compared to the others:

  1. Doug Martin
  2. Trent Richardson
  3. Alfred Morris
  4. Daryl Richardson
  5. Vick Ballard
  6. Bryce Brown
  7. David Wilson
  8. Robert Turbin

Let us know where you think Brown should rank in the comments section below.

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78 and check out my weekly NFL picks at Pickfactor.com


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