Community Post: 9 NFL Players Who Put Their Critics To Shame
9. Andre Ellington, Arizona Cardinals Running Back
The Arizona Cardinals selected Ellington with the 187th overall pick, and it didn’t take long for Ellington to outperform Arizona’s starting running back Rashard Mendenhall.
The rookie is currently averaging 6 yards per carry with 73 attempts, 443 yards and 2 touchdowns. He’s also caught 28 receptions for 247 yards and 1 touchdown.
NFL.com Draft Profile: [Ellington] does not possess elite agility to elude defenders in space, and can be brought down by glancing tackle attempts. Cuts are not consistently decisive or strong.
8. Zac Stacy, St. Louis Rams Running Back
The St. Louis Rams selected Stacy in the 5th round with the 160th overall pick. The former Commodore has slowly taken over the Rams backfield, outproducing Isaiah Pead and Daryl Richardson. Stacy currently leads the Rams in carries (160), rushing yards (696), and rushing touchdowns (4).
NFLDraftScout.com: Ordinary burst and lacks elite long-speed. Not overly elusive and doesn’t have much make-you-miss ability. Runs light at times and allows his pads to rise, taking away from his power. Not a lot of flash and sizzle to his game.
7. Danny Woodhead, San Diego Chargers Running Back
Woodhead accumulated 7,962 rushing and 1,388 receiving yards with two NCAA Division II player of the year awards. Still, Woodhead wasn’t invited to the NFL Scouting Combine. When the 2008 NFL Draft was over, the New York Jets signed Woodhead as an undrafted free agent.
Now a San Diego Charger, Woodhead has hauled in 61 receptions for 482 yards and 5 touchdowns this season. In 2009- 2012, Woodhead racked up 1,069 yards through the air with 4 additional touchdowns. On the ground, he’s maintained a 4.5 yard average per carry for 1,551 yards and 12 TD’s since his rookie year in 2009.
NFLDraftScout.com: He lacks the ideal height you look for in a tailback and needs to increase his overall bulk to absorb punishment. He has short arms (28 3/8-inches) that pose problems when trying to get to the pass at its high point and engage defensive linemen or blitzing linebackers in pass protection.
6. Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers Running Back
Ryan McCrystal, The Bleacher Report: Bell is a powerful runner, but he’s a one-trick pony. Much like similar runners such as LaGarrette Blount and T.J. Duckett, Bell can be effective in certain situations, but he will never be an elite feature back.
DraftPhantom, SBNation: Some games at Michigan St. he looked unstoppable, some games he looked horrid. Some team was likely to overvalue based on the few dominating games. He is inconsistent because of his lack of vision. I realize Pittsburgh needed an every down back but just because he’s a big bruiser does not mean he’s an upgrade.
5. Richard Sherman, Seattle Seahawks Cornerback
In 2011, expert draft analyst Mel Kiper graded the Seahawks rookie class with a D-, but shortly after Sherman’s rookie performance, Kiper scrambled to regrade Seattle’s draft to a B+.
From 2011-2013, Sherman has allotted 16 interceptions, 2 touchdowns, 4 forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery in 44 games to date. Still, the First-Team All-Pro corner prefers to let his numbers speak for themselves.
NFLDraftScout.com: [Sherman has] questionable speed overall. Has a high backpedal and loses a step in his transition, allowing receivers to separate when he misjudges their route, leading to being beaten over the top. Is especially susceptible to smaller, quicker receivers.
4. Tyrann Mathieu, Arizona Cardinals Saftey
Rob Goldworm, FootballNation.com: Showed as much focus during the draft process as Justin Bieber looking at porn in a Ritalin factory. Will make Pacman Jones look like a Senetor from Utah.
Mysterious disappearing article from FootballNation.com: What has happened to Mathieu in the last year or so does not speak to a drug problem; rather it has more to do with laziness and irresponsibility.
3. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks Quarterback
Tony Pauline, SI.com: The Seahawks made another questionable decision, tabbing Wilson in the third frame. Wilson is destined to sit behind newly-signed Matt Flynn and will struggle to see the field at any point over the next three years.
2. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers Quarterback
Nolan Nawrocki, Pro Football Weekly: Has an enormous ego with a sense of entitlement that continually invites trouble and makes him believe he is above the law — does not command respect from teammates and always will struggle to win a locker room. Only a one-year producer. Lacks accountability, focus and trustworthiness — is not punctual, seeks shortcuts and sets a bad example. Immature and has had issues with authority. Not dependable.
1. Josh Gordon, Cleveland Browns Wideout
Critics have questioned Gordon’s character and work ethic, claiming he loafs during practice. They’ve also suggested that Gordon should have spent more time with Brandon Weeden in the offseason. Yeah, someone actually suggested that.
Last weekend, Josh Gordon became the first and “laziest” receiver in NFL history with back-to-back 200-yard games. Before Sunday, no player in the history of the NFL ever done it. The second-year receiver has caught 64 receptions for 1,249 yards and 7 touchdowns in only ten games.
So grab your codeine bottles, because no receiver in football has a higher yards-per-game average than Gordon’s 124.9.