Evaluating Julius Jones

Hello Seahawks fans. I'm here to get some clarification on something that has been bugging me lately, that is an evaluation of Julius Jones. It seems to me that he has been pretty overrated by Seahawks fans as a group. Now, obviously I'm not speaking for all of you but I am basing this off three seperate evaluations. The first is John Morgan's 2008 season retrospective where he writes:

 I don't think Jones did or will suck. He's an average rusher, very good blocker and a good receiver.

 It makes sense to me that if a RB is an average rusher and above average at blocking and receiving (the three primary responsibilities for a RB) then he would be an above average player.  Yet in the very same article John states that for most of the season Jones was outclassed by Maurice Morris. Nothing against Morris, but I don't see how you can be outclassed by him and be considered even an average running back.

The next comes in John's positional breakdown of the Seahawks running back's:

Seattle's Julius Jones and TJ Duckett are just average rushers, maybe better, but that both are average, and that Jones can contribute as blocker and receiver, makes them together a bit above average.

Again it seems that Jones is at least average at everying needed out of a RB, this time John even says that Jones is may be above average at running the football.

And the final evaluation is from a conversation I had with Fearless Frog at Niners Nation today where FF said of Jones:

Great pass blocker and receiver, average to below average rusher

 At least time FF leaves the possibility that Jones is below average at something.

It seems to me that RB's benefit from the same thinking that first baseman do in baseball. That is that despite the fact an individual first baseman may not be very valuable to his team because of position scarcity, his teams fans still think he's good because he's nearly always one of his teams 4-5 best hitters. As for running backs it seems that they get the ball so much on offense that their fans have a hard time rating them as below average. Here's just a quick, rough list I compiled ranking staring NFC RB's on rushing ability, using nothing but my own subjective opinion:

Adrian Peterson

Steven Jackson

Michael Turner

Deangelo Williams

Brandon Jacobs

Matt Forte

Frank Gore

Clinton Portis

Marion Barber

Brian Westbrook

Ryan Grant

Derrick Ward

Kevin Smith

Pierre Thomas

Julius Jones

Tim Hightower

The exact rankings aren't important, the point is calling Julius Jones an average runner, let alone above average, is just completely unjustifiable. If yo think he's average you have to think he's legitimately better at running the football than at leas 7-8 of these 16 backs. I don't think people realize how good a back needs to be to be average. Someone like Marion Barber or Clinton Portis is an average runner, maybe even Frank Gore depending on how you rank guys, but Julius Jones is certainly nowhere near average. In fact it's hard to call him anything but an awful runner for a starting running back.

Now, obviously his blocking and receiving ability helps him if we are talking about overall running back ability. He might move ahead of a couple guys on the list if we were to rank running backs that way. But to me there's just no way you can call him anything near an average runner. And let's be honest, how many of these teams would trade their running backs for Julius Jones if we're just talking about 2009? I think it's pretty clear that Julius Jones is far below the standard of an average NFL running back, and I'd love to hear your guys' opinion on this.

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