How do they stack up?
As the NFL draft approaches LaMichael James and Chris Polk are two of the highest rated RB’s, looking to get picked up on Day 1. Each had stellar college careers, however, each has durability issues and it may be a little bit of a surprise if either is a first round pick.
Here is a look at each back and how they stack up.
Height and Weight
James 5’9″ 185 lbs
Polk 5’11” 211 lbs
One of the reasons Polk is seen by many as a better NFL prospect is because he is bigger and may be able to handle the rigors of the pro game better. James has the edge in speed and quickness, but in a 5’9″ 185 pound body many scouts do not see him as a RB that can carry the ball 20-25 times a game.
Polk can run between the tackles and he is quick enough to be solid in the flat as well.
Career Rushing Stats
James – 5,082 yards, 53 touchdowns, 6.6 yards per carry
Polk – 4,049 yards, 26 touchdowns, 5.1 yards per carry
2011 Rushing Stats
James – 1,805 yards 18 TD 7.3 yards per carry
Polk – 1,488 yards 12 TD 5.1 yards per carry
Pass Catching Ability
Polk may be a better pass catcher out of the backfield, as last season he caught 31 balls for 332 yards and 4 TD averaging 10.7 yards per catch. James had 17 catches for 210 yards with 1 TD and averaged 12.4 yards per catch. This is another reason that may have Polk going higher in the draft.
Mock Draft Pick
James – Mid 2nd round to 3rd round
Polk – 2nd round
Another reason why Polk may be a better NFL RB is the fact that he is a very patient RB that waits for his blockers. He hits holes very quickly and he also played behind a Huskies’ offensive line last season, which was mediocre at best.
James is not at patient in Polk in waiting for blockers, but he did not have to with his speed.
In the beginning of their last season he struggled in the Ducks loss to LSU playing a great defense. However, when he faced Stanford and their great run defense he rushed for 146 yards averaging a solid 7.3 yards per carry.
Overall, Polk may go higher, but that does not mean much when the NFL season begins. Anybody who questions if James can be a star in the NFL just has to look at Darren Sproles of the Saints.
I think each of these RB’s will go in the 2nd round of the draft and I think each will have a good NFL career.
Now they just need a QB.