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Rookie Running Back Rankings - NFL Week 12

We take a look at how the rookie running backs have done through week 12 of the NFL season.

Jim Steve-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday morning's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars was by far Melvin Gordon's finest performance as a professional. It was more impressive than it looked, too. The Jaguars are the fourth ranked rushing defense by DVOA even after allowing Gordon's career best performance.


Look who it is in 11th out of 14 qualifying rookie running backs. San Diego's very own Melvin Gordon is no longer the least productive running back of 2015. That's nothing to write home about, but it's a start. With another strong effort against the Denver Broncos, Gordon could potentially get back to replacement level (the quality of player that you should theoretically be able to acquire at little to no cost).

Thomas Rawls, of course, is still at the top of the list and he actually increased his lead over the field. The other interesting new name on the list is Jay Ajayi. After only a couple games of spot duty, Ajayi is well on his way to being one of the top rookie backs.

It will be interesting to see what the rest of the season holds, especially the answer to whether or not Gordon can become a replacement level player.