Review of the 2009 NFL Draft RB Class: How Bad Was It?

Marcel Davis@@Mar_CelDavis24Correspondent IOctober 13, 2013

Review of the 2009 NFL Draft RB Class: How Bad Was It?

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    While one player doesn't define a draft class, in looking back at the 2009 NFL draft's running back class, LeSean McCoy's tweet about Knowshon Moreno could apply to the class as a whole:

    Knowshon sucks RT @RealSkipBayless: Peyton is doing what Peyton always does. But Knowshon is KILLING the Cowboys.

    — Lesean McCoy (@CutonDime25) October 6, 2013

    With that said, let's catch up with each running back selected in the 2009 NFL draft and determine if this is indeed the case.

    Players will be listed in the order they were drafted. All stats courtesy of

Knowshon Moreno

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    Drafted: Round 1, Pick 12 to the Denver Broncos.

    While I don't agree with McCoy's assessment of Moreno, I'm not at the opposite spectrum, either.

    After receiving undue hype coming out of Georgia, Moreno hasn't been anything more than an average running back on the NFL level.

    This is partially due to injury, with Moreno only playing in 49 games thus far.

    Still, his career numbers of 2,761 rushing yards and 26 touchdowns is not befitting of a player selected this high.

Donald Brown

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    Drafted: Round 1, Pick 27 to the Indianapolis Colts.

    Coming out of Connecticut, Brown didn't receive much pub prior to being selected. Now in his fifth season, his play in the NFL has yet to warrant any.

    Also a victim of the injury bug, Brown's career numbers of 1,997 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns fall short of matching the numbers Adrian Peterson put up last season!

    With such production, you have to wonder how Brown is still on the Colts, or the league for that matter.

Chris Wells

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    Drafted: Round 1, Pick 31 to the Arizona Cardinals.

    With Wells, we have our third running back taken in the first round and our third to be hampered by injury.

    After a decorated career at Ohio State, Wells was a shell of himself with Arizona.

    He only had one season, 2011, in which he rushed for more than 1,000 yards.

    Unfortunately for Wells' NFL career prospects, he followed that campaign with his worst statistical season.

    Last we saw Wells, he was averaging 2.7 yards per carry during that fateful 2012 season.

    With numbers like that, it's no wonder that he's no longer in the league.

LeSean McCoy

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    Drafted: Round 2, Pick 21 to the Philadelphia Eagles.

    Without further ado, the best running back of the 2009 class.

    With career numbers of 4,380 rushing yards and 33 rushing touchdowns, McCoy has free reign when discussing his 2009 contemporaries.

    Additionally, McCoy has been a lethal weapon as a receiver. In his career, McCoy has 233 catches, 1,774 yards and eight touchdowns.

    Considering that McCoy's receiving yardage alone exceeds some of the rushing outputs of other running backs selected in 2009, you have to wonder why his tweet was only directed at Moreno.

Shonn Greene

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    Drafted: Round 3, Pick 1 to the New York Jets.

    While Greene didn't fully take advantage of the playing time he was afforded in New York, his play warranted where he was selected.

    His career numbers of 3,441 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns speaks to this.

    Even though he's currently missing time in Tennessee with an injury, he's been relatively durable in his career.

    In a league in which teams feature multiple running backs, Greene has a place on an NFL roster as a short-yardage specialist at worst.

Glen Coffee

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    Drafted: Round 3, Pick 19 to the San Francisco 49ers.

    I'm going to be as brief as Coffee's NFL career here.

    In his one year as a backup to Frank Gore, Coffee was ineffective. He only mustered 2.7 yards per carry en route to gaining only 226 yards on the ground.

    Nonetheless, Coffee's brief stay in NFL can't be attributed to his unproductive rookie year. Coffee retired prior to the 2010 season simply because he no longer loved the game.

Mike Goodson

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    Drafted: Round 4, Pick 11 to the Carolina Panthers.

    Now on his third team, Goodson is simply looking for an opportunity to play. He has only surpassed 100 carries once in his career.

    That was in 2010, and he averaged a respectable 4.4 yards per carry. In his career, he's averaged 4.6 yards per carry.

    While it appeared Goodson would finally get the opportunity to tote the rock with the Jets this season, he got suspended and missed the season's first four games.

    As it stands, Goodson's career numbers of 754 rushing yards and three touchdowns fall short of warranting where he was selected.

Andre Brown

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    Drafted: Round 4, Pick 29 to the New York Giants.

    You thought the first-round running backs were injury prone? Well let me introduce you to Brown.

    Brown has already been on injured reserve three times in his career.

    The notion that a player can have a negative effect on his team gets thrown around a lot. But with Brown, the notion is literal.

    With the Broncos in 2010, Brown actually finished the year with a negative one (-1) in the rushing column.

    So, in reference to his 2010 season, you can actually say, "I have more rushing yards than Andre Brown."

Gartrell Johnson

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    Drafted: Round 4, Pick 34 to the San Diego Chargers.

    You can sum up Johnson's career in one sentence. Two years, 23 carries and 79 yards rushing.

    Oh, I forgot, and five tackles. With numbers like that, it's no wonder Johnson is no longer in the NFL.

    I'd say San Diego chose the wrong running back, but as you'll see in a bit, there weren't many good ones to pick from.

Javon Ringer

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    Drafted: Round 5, Pick 37 to the Tennessee Titans.

    After a productive career at Michigan State, Ringer simply got drafted by the wrong team.

    Stuck behind Chris Johnson on the depth chart, Ringer's playing time has been limited. His career-high in carries is only 59.

    Nonetheless, in the chances he's had to play, Ringer has shown to be an average back, indicated by his career average of 4.1 yards per carry.

Cedric Peerman

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    Drafted: Round 6, Pick 12 to the Baltimore Ravens.

    As expected of somebody drafted this late, Peerman hasn't seen the field much. He only has 41 career carries.

    While he's still in the NFL with the Bengals, he's yet to play this season. It appears going forward, as his 25 career tackles indicate, that Peerman's play will be limited to special teams.

Aaron Brown

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    Drafted: Round 6, Pick 19 to the Detroit Lions.

    Out of the league since 2011, Brown too saw substantial time on the bench. In his three years in Detroit, he only played in 22 games.

    Whereas some of his contemporaries found a niche on special teams, Brown was simply a running back. With his resume showing only 45 carries and 189 yards, it's not hard to imagine why he is no longer in the NFL.

James Davis

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    Drafted: Round 6, Pick 22 to the Cleveland Browns.

    Davis only lasted two years in the NFL, playing with the Browns and the Redskins. Playing in only nine games, he managed to tote the rock 28 times for 75 yards.

    Nonetheless, Davis should rank as Washington running back Alfred Morris' favorite player. With Davis being a sixth-rounder like Morris, he serves as prove that Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan can't turn every late-round running back into a star.

Bernard Scott

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    Drafted: Round 6, Pick 36 to the Cincinnati Bengals.

    After four years with the Bengals, Scott currently finds himself on the street.

    With the plodding Cedric Benson and BenJarvus Green-Ellis as the starting running back, Scott served as the Bengals' change-of-pace back.

    In this role, Scott was able to muster up 1,035 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Considering where he was drafted, those aren't bad numbers.

    Additionally, Scott had a trial run as Cincy's kick returner. This culminated with Scott gaining 1,787 yards in the return game, along with a touchdown.

Chris Ogbonnaya

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    Drafted: Round 7, Pick 2 to the St. Louis Rams.

    In looking at Ogbonnaya's stats, you have to wonder if he's playing the wrong position.

    Ogbonnaya has 470 yards rushing and 463 yards receiving in his career. Furthermore, in his last two seasons, he has 37 receptions and only 15 carries.

    With the league geared more towards passing, backs with hands like Ogbonnaya are likely to have an extended shelf life. Expect him to have a long career.

Javarris Williams

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    Drafted: Round 7, Pick 3 to the Kansas City Chiefs.

    Like the best freshman college basketball players, Williams was one-and-done in the NFL.

    Four games, six carries and six yards was all Kansas City needed to see from Williams before showing him the door.

    Regardless of the fact that he wasn't drafted last, with stats like that, I'll give Williams the title of Mr. Irrelevant.

Larod Stephens-Howling

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    Drafted: Round 7, Pick 31 to the Arizona Cardinals.

    With his elite quickness, the diminutive Stephens-Howling has found his niche in the NFL as a poor man's Darren Sproles.

    Whether he touches the ball via the pass, rush or the return game, Howling has showcased big-play ability. He's caught and ran for touchdowns over 50 yards, in addition to three kick return touchdowns.

    Barring a setback in his rehab from an ACL injury, he'll have a place on an NFL roster for the foreseeable future.

Rashad Jennings

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    Drafted: Round 7, Pick 41 by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

    With 1,606 total yards of offense, Jennings has more than outperformed his draft slot. While he failed as a starter in Jacksonville when Maurice Jones-Drew was injured, he's proved himself as a decent backup at the very worst.

    The Oakland Raiders signing of Jennings this past offseason says that much, considering how often their starter, Darren McFadden, is hurt.

    Maybe he capitalizes on a McFadden injury and earns another look as a starter, maybe he doesn't. Either way, his role as a short-yardage back will keep him employed for years to come.