The former second-round selection (60th overall) in the 2006 NFL Draft out of UCLA is looking to claim the NFL career rushing title as well.
“I think it’s doable. I definitely think it’s doable,” Jones-Drew told 102.3 The Ticket in Denver, via SportRadioInterviews.com. “Emmitt Smith was in a different situation than a lot of us, though. I mean, he had a Hall of Fame receiver, Hall of Fame quarterback, Hall of Fame offensive line, Hall of Fame fullback. Whoever put that team together did a heck of a job, and it just showed.”
In six seasons, the elusive 5-7, 208-pound bulldozer has appeared in 93 contests (50 starts) and registered 6,854 yards on 1,484 carries (4.6 yards per carry) and 65 touchdowns on the ground.
He’s also added 129 yards on 13 punt returns (9.1 average), 2,054 yards and two touchdowns on 79 kickoff returns (26.0 average) and 278 catches for 2,473 yards and 10 touchdowns (8.9 YPC) through the air.
His 6,854 career rushing yards puts him 55th on the list of all-time rushing leaders (11,501 yards short of Emmitt Smith).
To put things into perspective, LaDainian Tomlinson, 32, who just hung his cleats up, is No. 5 all-time with 13,684 yards.
Thomas Jones, 33, ranks 22nd with 10,591 yards. Ricky Williams, 34, places 26th with 10,009 yards. No. 32 Steven Jackson, 28, has racked up 9,093 yards. Frank Gore, 28, has amassed 7,265 yards and comes in 46th. Three spots behind is 30-year-old Willis McGahee with 7,366 yards.
The five active running backs with the most career rushing yards behind Jones-Drew are Adrian Peterson (No. 60), Michael Turner (No. 64), Larry Johnson (No. 69), Cedric Benson (No. 86) and Chris Johnson (No. 88).
It’s highly unlikely anyone at least in this pass-happy era will ever exceed Emmitt on the all-time career rushing yards list.
However, if Jones-Drew, 26, really wants to surpass Smith, he sure can’t afford to miss many if any games in the regular season.
The Oakland, CA native led the league in rushing last season with 1,606 yards and eight scores on 343 carries (4.7 average) and 43 receptions for 374 yards and three TDs. That may have had a lot to do with his jump from 30th in the NFL Network’s Top 100 Players of 2011 to 12th in this year’s rankings, which wraps up on Wednesday evening with the final Top 10 Players of 2012, as voted on by the current players.
As for contract conversations, MJD isn’t looking for a way out by holdout. He just wants a new deal.
“It’s the business side of football,” Jones-Drew said. “And every player is a businessman, and whatever you feel is best for you and your family, you have to do that sometimes. And so, like I said before, hopefully we can work on something and get something done.”
“But I can’t talk about it in the media, because that’s not how I handle my business,” he added. ”I’d rather do it face-to-face, and that’s just what it is. It’s the side that we don’t like about the football game—it’s not Pop Warner anymore, where it’s just show up on Saturday mornings and have a good time. In the offseason, it’s business. So that’s just where we are right now.”
Verse of This Piece: “Whoever gives to others will get richer; those who help others will themselves be helped.” —Proverbs 11:25