After a magnificent rookie campaign, Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley came in at No. 22 on the NFL’s Top 100 Players of 2016.
Every year, the NFL Network composes a list of the best players in the league, voted by the players themselves. Despite a late start to the season, fellow players felt Gurley’s 1,106 yards and 10 touchdowns were enough rank him as the second-highest rated rookie ever on this list. Gurley joined the set afterwards to comment on his spot:
“It’s a blessing man, I couldn’t ask for more. I just got to keep working and hopefully get higher on that list next year and I appreciate everybody voting me at No. 22.”
Along with being the second-highest ranked rookie on the list’s history, Gurley also enters next season rated as the No. 2 running back in the league since there is only one other back left on the list. The other back is presumably Adrian Peterson, who had this to say about Gurley following his selection:
“Todd Gurley is a back that I see a lot of myself in when I first came in. Strong, physical, north/south type player. He was a young guy that really caught my attention.”
Peterson has long been recognized as the best back in football for most of his career, and was certainly right about the similarities between the two so far. Both came into the league as top-10 picks for struggling teams and made an immediate impact. Despite Gurley missing one game less, both had similar numbers in their rookie campaign.
Gurley now enters this season with the highest of expectations and definitely will not be taking any teams by surprise this year. However, the mark of a true great is their ability to produce year-in and year-out. It will be interesting to see how the first year All-Pro adjusts to defenses that are sure to be scheming for him all year long.