Nov 10, 2012; Bloomington, IN, USA; Wisconsin Badgers running back Montee Ball (28) runs with the ball against the Indiana Hoosiers at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Draft Talk: Montee Ball

December 2, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews (24) runs onto the field during player introductions prior to the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Last season, the Chargers rushing offense ranked 27th in the NFL. The Chargers only had 1,461 rushing yards as a team. Adrian Peterson, Alfred Morris, Marshawn Lynch and Jamaal Charles all had more yards than the entire Chargers squad. Ryan Mathews led the Chargers with only 707 yards on 184 carries. Two quarterbacks had more yards rushing than Mathews. Not to mention the fact that Mathews only scored one rushing touchdown. This was the first season that Mathews averaged under 4.0 yards per carry.

With that being said, the Chargers will most likely look to bring in another back. There’s a lot of free agents on the market but none of them seem to be worth the price. Most of the running backs on the market are known more for their lack of production and injuries than anything else. It makes more sense for San Diego to look to the draft for a back to compliment the young injury-prone Mathews.

I don’t see the Bolts using a pick in the first two rounds on a back. They’ll look to strengthen their offensive line first and foremost. Where I can see the pick being used for a back is in the third or fourth round. The back that could fall into the Chargers hands is the all-time leader in rushing touchdowns in NCAA history, Montee Ball.

At Wisconsin, Ball had 5,410 yards on 924 carries and scored a record-setting 77 toucdowns. The past two seasons, Ball went over 1,800 yards and 20 touchdowns. In his sophomore season, he came 4 yard sshy of 1,000 and 2 touchdowns short of 20. For his career he averaged 5.56 yards per carry. He also proved that he’s durable. He carried the ball at least 300 times in each of the last two seasons. Last season alone he carried the ball 365 times.

He declined an invite to the Senior Bowl this past off-season, saying that he wanted to rest and do his own thing before the NFL Combine which is coming up this weekend. It’s not uncommon that players skip All-Star games but most players that do, have faith that their season and career has proved well enough for their draft stock. I think Ball’s more than satisfied with his collegiate career.

You can follow Matt on Twitter @Welch1048.

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Tags: Football Montee Ball Ryan Mathews San Diego Chargers Wisconsin

  • carlosatUCLA

    I was not a Montee Ball fan and his senior year was lackluster. If he takes a second-round pick, I’d rather wait for Barner or Franklin in the 3rd or 4th rounds.