Todd Gurley looks like he’s going to be a star

Rams rookie RB Todd Gurley was PFF's top-graded running back this week.

| 12 months ago
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Todd Gurley looks like he’s going to be a star

Welcome to the Todd Gurley Show. The St Louis Rams selected Gurley with the No. 10 overall pick in the draft despite a significant knee injury he suffered at Georgia that they knew would likely leave him still recovering by opening day. In Week 3 the Rams unleashed Gurley on the league, and since that game they have been intent on seeing a return on their investment.

In three starts he has carried the ball 68 times and gained 435 yards, notching his first two touchdowns this week against the Browns.

His production has been consistently impressive, but the percentage of that production Gurley alone is responsible for has been on the rise each week. Against the Cardinals and Packers Gurley gained between 43 and 48 percent of his yards after contact, but against the Browns a ridiculous 86.7 percent of his yardage came after contact with Cleveland defenders.

In his first two starts combined he broke seven tackles – two against Arizona and then five against Green Bay – but he broke 11 against Cleveland on just 19 carries.

He already leads all rookies in rushing yards and yards after contact and is just four behind San Diego’s Melvin Gordon – the No. 15 overall pick — when it comes to broken tackles.

His 6.0 yards per carry average also leads all rookies (and is tied for second among all running backs), and the 3.5 yards per carry he is averaging after first contact is again the best among rookies, and trailing only Lamar Miller and Le’Veon Bell among all running backs.

The Rams wanted a work-horse running back that they could load up and ride to glory the way Jeff Fisher did to Eddie George back in the day with the Oilers/Titans. Gurley already looks uniquely qualified from this draft class to excel with that kind of responsibility and workload, and we are beginning to see why some saw him as head and shoulders above any other runner in this rookie class.

He was the highest-graded running back in the league this week, and his score was the third-highest figure of the season among running backs.

Gurley is clearly a special talent and the scary thing is, so soon into his comeback, there may be plenty more to come from him.

| Senior Analyst

Sam is a Senior Analyst at Pro Football Focus, as well as a contributor to ESPN.

  • corners

    Just curious how gurley was the highest rated rb this week? Lamar Miller averaged 12.5 yards a carry and 236 yards of offense in the first and only half he took snaps in.

    I love watching gurley run, but this was Lamar Millers week.

    • Jordan

      In terms of YAC Gurley owned it this week.