The Best is Yet to Come

31 08 2010

(-The Fantasy Guys…DB)

At the University of California he was electric. Every time he touched the ball he had the chance to take it to the house in impressive fashion. A weapon running and catching the ball there was nothing Jahvid Best could not do. After an absolutely monster 2008 year where he racked up 1580 yards and 15 scores on 194 rushing attempts, that’s an absurd 8.1 yards per carry. Let that marinate for a little while…while you are on that thought here are his 2008 highlites ->

After recovering from two surgeries he started the 2009 season with a bang, rushing for 134 yards and two scores against Maryland. On November 7th, 2009 Best leaped into the end zone for a touchdown, during the process he was pushed a second time in mid air and landed on his head. Best was carted off the field and taken to the hospital following a 13 minute delay. I saw the play happen live and it was really shocking.

Best wouldn’t play the rest of year and there was some concern for his career. He announced that he would skip his senior year and go to the NFL. His draft stock in turn went down (due to the health concerns) and he fell into the laps of the Detroit Lions at pick 30 of the 1st round. But during his time at Cal he made sure to leave his mark setting tons of big records;

  • Most rushing yards in a game – 311 yards on 12/06/08
  • Most all purpose yards in a season – 2,247 in 2008
  • Most rushing yards in the Emerald Bowl – 186 yards
  • Most rushing TDs for University of California in the modern era – 5 on 09/19/09 (Dick Dunn did score six back in 1922)

The thing all draftee’s say is they are going to make everyone who passed up on them pay. This might not hold more true than for Best. With the Lions, a team that has been looking for a solid running back since the days of Barry Sanders it seems like they found a perfect fit for each other. Best who runs the 40 in 4.3 seconds is the lighting bolt that could with the combination of franchise QB Matthew Stafford and elite wide receiver Calvin Johnson, be the missing piece in the restructuring of the Lions. The fans of Detroit are finally feeling a bit of a spark and no longer have to deal with the paper bags over their heads and the Matt Millen era.

That being said I’m head over heels for Jahvid Best. He is my early pick for offensive rookie of the year, over CJ Spiller and all other high profile rookies. Best and his play making ability make him a very solid RB #2 for your fantasy team. When it comes to rookies it’s hard to project exactly how they will do but the situation he is in fits like a glove. Everyone is touting him with every adjective you can think of with that slight warning about him being injury prone. But the facts are these; Best has no threat of losing his job and head coach Jim Schwartz is giddy about his potential. During the draft he said he wanted that home run threat out of the backfield and he got it with Best. After the draft was over Schwartz uttered one of those epic quotes that people talk about for years.

“Some people watch adult videos on their computer; I go to YouTube and watch Jahvid Best highlight clips. That’s what gets me going.”

Before you kill me on what I am about to say, relax. Pre-season numbers are to be taken with a grain of salt, but if you are like me and you have not drafted yet, you have to place some value into them. Its a barometer although not a concrete one. So far Best has been all that and a bag of chips. Turning back the clock to his 2008 Cal season, Best is racking up 8.6 yards per carry while putting together 129 yards on 15 carries and four catches for 29 yards. The numbers say he is all that he is hyped up to be but it is beyond a small sample size. I’m not going to be crazy and call him the next Barry Sanders or even the next Chris Johnson but he is the closest player of that caliber the Lions have had in over a decade.

– David “The Mouth” Berov

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