As part of their offseason content, NFL.com is ranking the every team’s starter at every position, putting together a series of top-32 lists leading up to training camp. The latest edition featured former NFL running back Maurice Jones-Drew breaking down the league’s RB1s.
There are some eyebrow-raising choices throughout the list, including Saquon Barkley being ranked No. 1 after just one season in the league. But the one that will rankle Broncos fans is where MJD decided to place Phillip Lindsay on the list.
Despite being a Pro Bowl running back as a rookie, the Broncos second-year runner only came in at No. 23. That means he barely avoided being in the bottom one-third of the league, alongside some “who’s that?” names.
Here’s how Jones-Drew reviewed Lindsay:
There’s been talk that Royce Freeman could get more carries than Lindsay in 2019, but that’s not my forecast here. Lindsay had a great first season, recording the second-most rushing yards (1,037) by an undrafted rookie in the Super Bowl era. Lindsay is recovering from a wrist injury he suffered late last season, but it’s hard to be down on a guy who accomplished such a feat. With defensive-minded coach Vic Fangio running the show, expect the Broncos’ offense to lean on the run game. It’s something they’ll have to do to make a run at the postseason, and Lindsay should be the guy leading the charge.
That’s a pretty positive outlook, one suggest Lindsay building upon his rookie season. That’s why it’s odd that the Broncos running back finished behind the likes of Josh Jones (Raiders), Chris Carson (Seahawks), Aaron Jones (Packers) and Kerryon Johnson (Lions). It makes no sense.
Lists are fun debate material during the offseason; there’s no doubt. So NFL.com is getting exactly what they were looking for when they put together the top-32 running backs in the league today.
Here’s hoping Lindsay uses the fact that the website slighted him as extra motivation in 2019. Perhaps another 1,000-yard season will get Maurice Jones-Drew’s attention next year.