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FADE PATTERN
DAVID SABINO
August 27, 2012
Touchdowns are important but unpredictable, so to justify a top pick, a back should rush for 1,200 yards, a quarterback should throw for 4,000 and a wideout should have 1,200 receiving. Over the last decade fewer backs have reached that milestone, while QBs and receivers have flourished
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August 27, 2012

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2009

2010

2011

RUNNING BACKS

RECEIVERS

QUARTERBACKS

THE SURE THINGS

There are only two clear-cut, no-brainer first-rounders. Both are elite, every-down runners, with excellent pass-catching skills and durable track records. They're perfect fits for their respective offenses and they don't share time with short-yardage touchdown vultures. They are the Ravens' Ray Rice and the Eagles' LeSean McCoy (top, far right).

The bubble pick in this category is Arian Foster of the Texans, who's widely regarded as the league's best runner, playing in the league's best rushing offense. Unfortunately, Foster has a history of recurring hamstring injuries, and he plays with the league's most promising backup, Ben Tate, whose 5.4 yards per rush last year ranked fourth in the NFL among those with at least 150 carries. Tate's presence makes it easy for coach Gary Kubiak to let Foster rest at the first signs of trouble. That said, Foster should be a top five pick in every draft.

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