On Tuesday, NFL.com's Elliot Harrison put together his list of the best players in the NFL under the age of 25. His All-Under-25 Team features stars like Houston defensive end J.J. Watt and New England tight end Rob Gronkowski. It also features Philadelphia Eagles' All-Pro running back LeSean McCoy.
In putting together his list, Harrison looked at factors including upside, injury history and production. He then chose one player for each position, with the exception of Tampa Bay's Doug Martin as a second running back instead of a fullback. For Harrison, McCoy's numbers and upside were enough to dub him the best young runner in the game.
"McCoy had a down year in 2012, partially due to lack of usage/injury woes," Harrison wrote. "He's still as versatile as they come and has averaged 4.6 yards per carry over his career behind so-so lines."
Last season, McCoy rushed for 840 yards and two touchdowns in 12 games. He missed time late in the season with a concussion, but returned for the season finale. In 2011, McCoy ran for 1,309 yards and scored 17 touchdowns, a franchise record. He also led the entire NFL with 20 total touchdowns, also a franchise record. McCoy has accumulated 3,866 career yards on the ground, the sixth-highest total in Eagles history. His 30 career rushing touchdowns also rank sixth in franchise annals.
As good as McCoy's numbers have been thus far, the hiring of Chip Kelly as head coach might mean greater success for McCoy. While serving as Oregon's head coach from 2009 through 2012, Kelly's offenses never finished lower than seventh in the nation in rushing yards in a season. In those four seasons, the Ducks averaged 3,755 rushing yards per year. The Ducks also finished seventh or higher in rushing attempts between 2010 and 2012.
In other McCoy-related news, Adam Rank of NFL.com also paid the running back some lip service Tuesday, selecting McCoy fourth overall in his fantasy football mock draft.
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