Mike Mayock's RB Rule Applied to Redskins RBs & 2011 RB Draft Class

When NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock makes an evaluation on the likelihood a college running back is productive in the NFL, he uses a rule that the RB had to average at least 5 yards a carry in college. It's a valid point because if a RB is averaging 4 yards a carry in the much smaller NCAA, how can he possibly do better in the NFL where defenses are bigger AND faster?  It makes sense, but like the 26-27-60 rule, I did an investigation to see if a.) it holds merit to the 2010 top NFL rushers, and b.) how the 2011 RB draft class holds up.

Here's a list of the top 10 NFL running backs this season and their average yards per carry in college. As you can see, 3 of the top 11 RBs do not pass Mayock's rule, including the leading rusher per carry.

Rk

Player

Team

Att/G

Yds

Avg

Yds/G

TD

College Avg. 

1

Arian Foster

HOU

20.4

1,616

4.9

101

16

4.6 (TEN) 

2

Maurice Jones-Drew

JAC

21.4

1,324

4.4

94.6

5

5.8 (UCLA)

3

Jamaal Charles

KC

14.4

1,467

6.4

91.7

5

6.2 (Texas)

4

Darren McFadden

OAK

17.2

1,157

5.2

89

7

5.8 (ARK)

5

Adrian Peterson

MIN

18.9

1,298

4.6

86.5

12

5.4 (OK)

6

Michael Turner

ATL

20.9

1,371

4.1

85.7

12

5.3 (N. Ill)

7

Chris Johnson

TEN

19.8

1,364

4.3

85.2

11

4.8 (ECU)

8

Rashard Mendenhall

PIT

20.2

1,273

3.9

79.6

13

6.5 (Ill)

9

Steven Jackson

STL

20.6

1,241

3.8

77.6

6

4.9 (Oregon St)

10

Frank Gore

SF

18.5

853

4.2

77.5

3

5.7 (Miami)

11

LeGarrette Blount

TB

15.5

1,007

5

77.5

6

6.8 (Oregon)

 

- Arian Foster never averaged above 4.9 all four years at TEN.

- Chris Johnson's average his Senior year was 6.0 on 236 carries.

- Steven Jackson had a whopping 350 carries his last year at Oregon State but only averaged 4.4 a carry.

Lawrence Phillips and Blair Thomas are arguably two of the biggest RB busts in NFL history. Rams picked Phillips in 1996 and he averaged 6.7 yards a carry at Nebraska.  Jets selected Blair Thomas in 1990 and he averaged 5.5 yards a carry at Penn State. So, this stat metric can't be used to assume that a high college average will relate to the NFL.

I apply Mayock's rule against the 2011 Running Back class after the jump.

1.)    Mark Ingram, ALA, 5'10", 215 lbs:  5.7 yards per carry (ypc) over 3 years.

2.)    Mikel Leshoure,  Illinois,  6-0, 230 lbs: 6.0 ypc over 3 years.

3.)    Ryan Williams, VA Tech, 5-10, 206: 5.3 ypc over 2 years.

4.)    Jordan Todman, UConn, 5-9, 195 lbs: 5.2 ypc over 3 years.

5.)    DeMarco Murray, ALA, 6-0, 214 lbs: 4.9 ypc over 4 years.

6.)    Kendall Hunter, OK St, 5-7, 199 lbs: 5.9 ypc over 4 years.

7.)    Da'Rel Scott, UMD, 5-11, 205 lbs: 5.6 ypc over 4 years.

Note: Delone Carter (SYR) averaged 4.8 ypc over his 4 years. In 2009, where he saw his most carries, he averaged 4.3 ypc. 

As for the Redskins....

  • Clinton Portis averaged 5.7 yards a carry his 2 years at the U.
  • Ryan Torain averaged 5.4 ypc his two years at Arizona State. 
  • After all this research, the last thing I did was through Keiland Williams name in to see what his stats were: a whopping 5.7 yards a carry over his 4 years at LSU.
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