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RB dept. : jets have 24th & 57th - per ESPN ~ ~ ~


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LT the clear choice as the best back in the NFL

By Scouts Inc. / Updated: June 4, 2008

Ranking the top running backs is about as easy as tackling any of them in the open field. Still, Scouts Inc. looked at every back in the league -- from the superstars to the rookies to the established veterans to those still looking for a job -- and listed them 1-64.

Some were easy. Others caused some long and loud arguments. And this list will undoubtedly cause many more debates. But ultimately, we looked at a variety of factors. We studied the player's body of work as well as looked ahead and projected future production. We took into account the kind of offense they play in, the scheme and supporting cast around them. We compared players who were every-down backs against those who didn't play as much. We factored in durability and versatility. We looked at everything we could think of and when all else failed, we just asked who would we want on our team right now.

So here is our list of the top running backs in the NFL from 1 to 64. Let the second-guessing begin.

~ ~ ~ 24. Thomas Jones, New York Jets

Superpower -- He is a short, well-built athlete with excellent athleticism and deceptive power, and his presence last season allowed the Jets to rely more on a power rushing attack. He has excellent inline vision, foot agility, balance and quickness. He has patience to let blocking schemes develop while utilizing his ability to move the pile or elude defenders with short-area quickness and wiggle.

Kryptonite -- Thomas had his least productive season as a starter in 2007 behind a very ineffective offensive line. He has just adequate hands as a receiver out of the backfield and has shown only decent ability to run after the catch. Thomas is a willing pass-blocker but can get out-leveraged at times due to lack of height.

~ ~ 57. Leon Washington, New York Jets

Superpower -- He has excellent quickness and deceptive power for his size. He runs with conviction between the tackles and shows strength to move the pile on contact. He is tough for defenders to find behind his large offensive line, which makes his cutting ability even more effective. Washington has great inline vision, foot agility and elusiveness both as an inside and outside runner. He has good hands and is an effective receiver out of the backfield. He also is an outstanding kick returner -- he ran back three for touchdowns last season.

Kryptonite -- He lacks height, which hinders his ability to be an effective pass-protector. He can be overpowered or out-leveraged easily at times. Even though he is well-built and has deceptive power, he isn't consistent as a short-yardage or goal-line runner.

> http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/insider/news/story?id=3422768&lpos=spotlight&lid=tab3pos1&action=login&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2fnfl%2finsider%2fnews%2fstory%3fid%3d3422768%26lpos%3dspotlight%26lid%3dtab3pos1

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