Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice is considered by many to be among the best backs in the NFL, but NFL.com’s Pat Kirwan believed he fit better into a secondary group after analyzing the position.
According to Kirwan, Rice is “a workhorse who would benefit from a reduction in the 307 carries he had last season.” This might be true, but he basically carried the Ravens offense in 2010 and is a tremendous dual threat either running the ball or catching it out of the backfield.
Kirwan also pinned a sideways arrow on Rice, which means he has maintained his performance level. Rice ran for 1,220 yards (4.0 average) and five touchdowns with 63 catches for another score this past season. In 2009, he had a Pro Bowl season with 1,339 yards rushing and seven touchdowns with 78 catches for 702 yards and one more score.
In Group B, along with Rice, are Kansas City’s Jamaal Charles, Steven Jackson from the St. Louis Rams, Philadelphia’s LeSean McCoy and Oakland’s Darren McFadden.
In Group A, players Kirwan rated ahead of Rice, are Jacksonville’s Maurice Jones-Drew, Houston’s Arian Foster, Tennessee’s Chris Johnson, Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson and Atlanta’s Michael Turner.
There were six running backs listed in Group C, and they are Cincinnati’s Cedric Benson, Ahmad Bradshaw from the New York Giants, Chicago’s Matt Forte, San Francisco’s Frank Gore, Cleveland’s Peyton Hillis and Carolina’s DeAngelo Williams.