Los Angeles Rams: Where does Todd Gurley rank among team’s all-time greats?

SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 17: Running back Todd Gurley
SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 17: Running back Todd Gurley /

Todd Gurley showed his versatility for the Los Angeles Rams during the 2017 season, winning the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year award.

The 2017 was a magnificent season for Todd Gurley after the Los Angeles Rams running back totaled 1,305 yards on 279 carries and 13 touchdowns. He also added 64 receptions for 788 yards and s touchdowns.

Gurley was never really used as a dual-threat running back prior to Sean McVay‘s first season (showing the ineptitude of Jeff Fisher) as head coach, but he saw the potential in doing so and it definitely panned out for the Rams.

Last season, I believe we saw the full arsenal of Gurley and what type of running back he could cement himself as among the all-time great running backs in Rams history. We saw the likes of Eric Dickerson, Marshall Faulk and Steven Jackson put on the horned helmets while running through opposing defenses. When it’s all said and done, where could Gurley rank among these elites?

Related Story: 4 reasons LA is next NFL juggernaut

Let’s take a look at the first three seasons (Gurley has played in three so it’s a small sample size) of each of these guys so we can compare how they started their NFL careers. First, we’ll start with Dickerson ,as his first three seasons in the NFL were truly legendary.

Dickerson totaled an astounding 5,159 yards on 1,061 carries (4.9 yards per carry) and 44 touchdowns in his first three years. To put things into perspective, he had 90 career rushing touchdowns in 12 years, with almost half coming in his first three seasons.

Next, we have Marshall Faulk, who to me is the most versatile back of all-time. Faulk gained 2,947 yards rushing on 801 carries (3.7 yards per carry) and 29 touchdowns in his first three years. He also racked up 164 catches, 1,425 yards and four touchdowns as a running back.

In his career, the “Greatest Show on Turf” star had five seasons where he had 80+ receptions and three years where he eclipsed 800+ receiving yards. If this past year was a preview of what’s to come from Gurley, we could see Faulk-esque versatility from him.

The third guy is Steven Jackson, who replaced Faulk as his career was winding down in 2004. In his first few years, Jackson piled up 3,247 yards on 734 carries (4.4 yards per carry) and 25 touchdowns.

The first three seasons of Gurley and Jackson are eerily similar to how they played out. Jackson had 346 carries, 1,528 yards and 13 touchdowns. The Rams running back also added on 90 receptions for 806 yards and five touchdowns, which was the first season he was really used in the passing game.

Gurley’s junior year was similar in the sense of being able to showcase his versatility through the air for the first time and rushing for 13 touchdowns.

Lastly, we have Gurley, who has amassed 3,296 yards on 786 carries (4.2 yards per carry) and 29 touchdowns in his first three years. This is even taking into account the 2016 season where he was playing under Fisher’s famous “middle school” offense and an abysmal offensive line.

Gurley has also accumulated 128 receptions (64 last year alone) for 1,303 yards and six touchdowns. It’s hard to compare all these guys, as they have all played in different eras in the NFL.

Next: 3 potential contract situations to monitor for Rams

One thing is for certain though, as Gurley has put up numbers that are right alongside the Rams all-time great running backs so far in his career. If Gurley can maintain his health and remains with the Rams, it’s not crazy to think that he one day could see his jersey hung in the rafters for the Rams just like Faulk and Dickerson.