Over the next week I will be going through the projections of the quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end, special teams, and defensive statistics. Yesterday I took a look at the projections of Sam Bradford who was projected to have around 3,300 yards passing, 24 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions.
Today we take a look at the 2014 projections of running backs Zac Stacy, Tre Mason, Benny Cunningham, and Isaiah Pead. The Rams are a run first team and their offensive success as well as team success, will depend on how well they can run the football.
NFL.com- 1,150 yards, 9 TDs, 164 yards receiving, 1 TD
ESPN.com- 286 carries, 1,187 yards, 9 TDs, 21 receptions, 127 yards, 0 TDs
Both of these projections are fair to Stacy, I would say rushing for over 1,000 yards is almost a given. The Rams are going to go with a run-oriented offense and Stacy will be the center of attention. Nine touchdowns are also a fair assessment, however I wouldn’t be surprised if Stacy goes over that and gets 10-12.
Both projections don’t have Stacy making a huge impact through the air which isn’t totally surprising. Stacy has never been a threat receiving out of the backfield, even going back to college, but that isn’t to say he can’t make plays. I’d say 150-200 yards and 1-3 touchdowns would be a fair projection.
NFL.com- 450 yards, 2 TDs, 149 yards receiving, 1 TD
ESPN.com 110 carries, 504 yards, 3 TDs, 20 receptions, 163 yards, 0 TDs
It has been expected by some that Tre Mason will get the nod as the Rams number two running back even though, like last year, that will most likely be a committee approach with Mason, Benny Cunningham, and even Isaiah Pead. In my personal views, these projections give Mason a lot more than I would give him.
Last season, Cunningham who was seen as the Rams’ number two guy only had 261 yards. I see similar numbers for Mason and in no way see 110 carries, but instead more around 50. Somewhere between 200-350 yards with a touchdown is a more fair projection for Mason’s rookie season.
NFL.com- 480 yards, 4 TDs, 102 yards receiving, 0 TDs
ESPN.com- 25 carries, 121 yards, 1 TD, 6 receptions, 50 yards, 0 TD
These projections aren’t even close to one another which is odd, but completely understandable. NFL.com has Cunningham building off of last season, while ESPN.com has Cunningham falling off the map. When all is said and done however I see somewhere between 250-350 yards and 2 touchdowns.
NFL.com- 217 yards, 1 TD, 112 yards receiving, 1 TD
NFL.com has Pead making somewhat of an impact while ESPN doesn’t have Pead recording any stats. Although I do see Pead seeing some more action than he has in the past, most of the second rounder’s impact will come on special teams. Last season Pead had 7 carries for 21 yards and no touchdowns and this season I see 15-20 carries and 50-65 yards.
Total Rushing Projections
NFL.com-2,297 yards, 16 TD’s, 527 yards receiving, 3 TDs
ESPN.com- 421 carries, 1,812 yards, 13 TDs, 47 receptions, 340 yards, 0 TDs
Rushing for over 2,000 yards would be amazing, but I don’t see it happening. Last season the Rams had 1,700 yards rushing which makes the ESPN.com projections a little more likely. In 2013 the Rams got 399 yards receiving from their running backs and I do think they could get more production in that field. Somewhere in the middle the two projections would be a likely number at season’s end.