It is time to throw away the American inferiority complex with its place in the sport, where many blindly claim that technique should come above all in choosing and developing the best prospects and that the U.S. is not an international power because it cares too much about athleticism.
Far-Fetched Friday: Breece Hall Leads NFL in Rushing
With the 4th pick of the 2nd round, the struggling New York Jets selected running back Breece Hall out of Iowa State. The soon to be 21 years old unanimous college All-American was the first running back selected in the draft, and I believe he has the talent to lead the NFL in rushing as a rookie.
Welcome back to Far-Fetched Friday, where every Friday we give you a bold prediction that we believe will come to fruition. This Friday, we look at NYC's other football team.
In the modern NFL, where youth is preferred at the running back positions and stars are viewed as more expendable, it is not as uncommon as it once was to see a rookie lead the NFL in rushing. Before 2015, Edgerrin James-1999, was the last rookie to lead the NFL in rushing. In the six seasons since, it's happened twice with Ezekiel Elliot in 2016 and Kareem Hunt in 2017. Before that, it was practically unheard of for a rookie to have such an impact.
But now, with teams electing to go with younger running backs, there is every opportunity for Breece Hall to come in and lead the league in rushing, especially when you consider the chance that lies ahead of him with the New York Jets.
Last year, the Jets had the fewest rushing attempts in the league due to a lack of talent in the position, and it was a disaster. The offense was far too predictable, and rookie quarterback, Zach Wilson, was asked to do far too much. By selecting Hall as early as the second round, the Jets have sent a message that they intend to do much more with their running game.
Secondly, the zone running schemes Iowa State utilized translates well for a New York Jets team that also relies heavily on zone running setups.
Thirdly, Hall is a two-time Big-12 Offensive Player of The Year despite playing behind an offensive line many consider subpar. That means that Hall racked up incredible numbers while relying on below-average blockers. So, if he can get the yards there, he can get the yards for a Jets offensive line that shined late in the season.
Lastly, Hall is a true three-down running back. Hall has showcased elite durability so far in his career despite heavy touches. That is going to be an asset the Jets look to utilize as they'll probably give him close to 15-20 carries a game.
And when you look at the opportunity to lead the NFL in rushing, it's there. Jonathan Taylor obliterated the league in rushing last year with 1811 yards, almost 600 more yards than Nick Chubb in second place. But the Colts acquired a former MVP at quarterback in Matt Ryan, which means they'll rely on Taylor less to generate their offense. And with the Browns signing Deshaun Watson and possibly resigning Kareem Hunt, Chubb's will have limited touches once again.
That all opens the door for Breece Hall, the Wichita Northwest graduate, to step in and lead the NFL in rushing as a rookie.
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