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Running backs from 2009 draft still working to prove worth

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Jason O. Watson / US Presswire
Knowshon Moreno is one of several backs from the 2009 draft who has struggled to perform consistently.


Jets running back Shonn Greene was drafted in the third round -- 65th overall -- in 2009. He's been very solid in his first two seasons, although he's yet to distinguish himself as a workhorse starter. Greene's not the only running back from that draft class who's failed to fully distinguish what he can do. In fact, he's probably been more effective than most of the running backs who were selected ahead of him three years ago.

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Knowshon Moreno, Denver, drafted 12th overall

Moreno has a wealth of talent, but dings and tweaks have denied him the ability to show how good he can be. He'll get a chance this season under new coach John Fox, who loves to run the ball. The Broncos are in the running-back market, though, and will pursue someone in free agency.

Donald Brown, Indianapolis, drafted 27th overall

In two seasons, he's totaled 207 carries for 778 yards and five touchdowns. He's played behind Joseph Addai, but when he's had his chances, he hasn't been overly impressive. Indy drafted Syracuse's Delone Carter in the fourth round, in part because Addai is a free agent. Carter could also push Brown.

Beanie Wells, Arizona, drafted 31st overall

Two seasons, two starts, 1,190 total rushing yards. While he's had some nagging injuries, he's been a big disappointment. Arizona drafted Ryan Williams from Virginia Tech in the second round (38th overall) and Anthony Sherman in the fifth round, which tells you what they think of Wells and Tim Hightower.

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» List of NFL's best RBs

LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia, drafted 53rd overall

Unquestionably the best of this draft class so far. He has 2,617 total yards to go with 13 touchdowns in two seasons, and the argument can legitimately be made that he hasn't touched the ball enough. McCoy is a big-time threat in all aspects and a borderline star.

Arian Foster, Houston, undrafted

The former practice squad rookie led the NFL in rushing with 1,616 yards in 2010. He also had 16 rushing touchdowns. What gets overlooked about his dazzling second season is that he had 66 catches for 604 yards and two touchdowns. We'll see if he's a one-year wonder, but he seems like a perfect fit in coach Gary Kubiak's scheme.

Other notable RBs from the 2009 draft class

Glen Coffee
Mike Goodson
Andre Brown
Javon Ringer
Bernard Scott
LaRod Stephens-Howling

Follow Steve Wyche on Twitter @wyche89.

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