Los Angeles Rams: 15 greatest running backs of all-time

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Los Angeles Rams
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Willie Ellison. 15. player. 51. . RB/KR. (1967-72)

Willie Ellison is the perfect example of knowing that patience can pay off in a big way with the right approach. Just look at  how long it took to for him to eventually win the starting job with the Rams.

Back in 1967, Los Angeles had high expectations for Ellison when the Rams selected him in the second round of the draft. Ellison was a very impactful player in college while at Texas Southern.

During his first four seasons with the Rams, Ellison had some decent performances. However, he wasn’t the consistent starter, as he was losing touches to Larry Smith in the Los Angeles backfield. Smith was selected in the first-round of the 1969 NFL Draft, so you can understand why there was a platoon of sorts with the Rams running backs.

Even though Ellison would only spend two more years with the Rams after taking over the starting role in 1971, he rushed for 1,000 yards and four touchdowns that campaign. He made his first and his only career trip to the Pro Bowl in that 1971 season. Ellison left the Rams after the 1972 season to spend his final two years in the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs before retiring.

In six years with the Rams, Ellison rushed for 2,901 yards and 20 touchdowns. It may not seem that impressive to current day NFL players, but also was a bigger deal during Ellison’s time in the league.

One can only imagine how different these numbers would have looked had he had more carries during those first four NFL seasons with the Rams. At least Ellison was still able to make the most of the situation while with Los Angeles.