Fred Jackson: I’m a Top 5 running back

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Bills running back Fred Jackson may like to see his team flying under the radar, but individually, he’d like to be credited as one of the best players at his position.

Jackson said on ESPN that he believes his versatility and ability to make plays in both the running game and the passing game makes him one of the five best running backs in football.

“I would definitely put myself in the top five running backs in this league,” Jackson said. “There are a lot of great ones out there, but I feel like I can do everything: I can run, I can catch, I can block, stay out there on third downs. I think if you can do that you can definitely consider yourself one of the best backs in the league. The number one thing I’ve got to do is go out and prove it, and I’m looking forward to that challenge this year.”

Jackson was off to a great start before his 2011 season was cut short by a broken leg: He had 934 yards in just 10 games and was averaging 5.5 yards a carry. But Jackson has never even finished in the Top 10 in the NFL in rushing yards in any season, which makes it seem like a stretch to call him a Top 5 running back.

We’ll let PFT Planet weigh in on whether Jackson’s opinion of himself is correct.

65 responses to “Fred Jackson: I’m a Top 5 running back

  1. Funniest part about all this is of he never got injured he’d probably be right. Was gonna finish in top 5 rushing at the rate he was going

  2. I like Fred Jackson; he’s good and he definitely was top 5 last season. But judging by his overall career, last season seems more likely to be an anomaly and I’d have to see it again before I start thinking of him as a top 5 guy. And by then he’ll be too old.

  3. Arian Foster
    Adrian Peterson
    Ray Rice
    Lesean McCoy

    Chris Johnson Jamal Charles Fred Jackson Matt Forte can all argue whos number 6.

  4. I’d only put 3 guys ahead of him for overall play and those guys are Peterson, Forte and Rice. I think that both FJax and Arian Foster are about on the same level, with Foster being a better power runner and FJax being better in the passing game.

    So yeah, I think he’s a top 5 guy.

  5. OK so out of these 5 who is he better than?
    Ray Rice
    Arian Foster
    Matt Forte

    Shot I can name some more…..

    Lesean McCoy
    Michael Turner
    Frank Gore
    Steven Jackson

    This is a guy his best year is 1,062 yards…stay healthy and prove it…Until then keep it closed!!

  6. In no particular order, the following players are all better than Fred Jackson: Rice, McCoy, Foster, MJD, Forte, Steven Jackson, Chris Johnson, and Ryan Matthews, plus the two big RBs coming off injuries in Peterson and Charles. Fred Jackson is not even a top 10 RB, let alone top 5.

  7. He is.

    He led the league in YPC last year among RBs and was second in yards before his injury. He routinely gets 5-6 catches a game and is easily the best blocking RB in the game.

    There is not a more complete RB in the game than Fred Jackson

  8. He’s a solid back, hopefully he can do it for years to come. He’s physical and can show plenty of finesse. Top 5 can be argued either way, nice that he didn’t put himself at number 1.

  9. Maurice Jones-Drew
    Arian Foster
    Ray Rice
    Adrian Peterson
    Michael Turner
    Stephen Jackson

    …well, there’s six I’d rate better than Jackson based on past performance, experience, et al….

    So the answer is no. But he can change that on the field this season….

  10. I think MJD would disagree that Fred Jackson is “easily the best blocking back in the league”. Making statements like that about a player who hasn’t even been a good enough all-around back to be the main guy on his team until a year ago is a bit ridiculous. He’s a good player but come one mannnn.

  11. I’m sorry Fred Jackson……you aren’t for real !
    Ok, bad song reference for sure, but it was low hanging fruit lol. Fred may be like Eli and back it up, but the Bills are NOT going to surprise anyone this year. The will finish ahead of that side show in Miami, but the Jets and Pats take care of business this year in the AFC BEAST.

  12. Fred Jackson would be behind MJD,Leseam McCoy,Adrian Peterson,Michael Turner,Arian Foster,and Ray Rice. Fred Jackson is a really good player but I would not put him over these players.I say he is top 10 but not top 5.

  13. Fred was pretty amazing last year, but what C.J. Spiller showed at the end of the season was downright chilling. He is the back to watch in Buffalo, not Jackson

  14. Attendance counts, man. You’ve got to stay healthy and get the carries.

    Anyway, I agree with everyone else who’s posted something like the following for 1-5:

    Foster, Peterson, Jones-Drew, McCoy, Rice…

    Then there’s Forte, Gore, and goad toofs Johnson.

  15. Rice, Peterson, MJD, Shady, Foster, CJ, Steven Jackson, McFadden, Gore, Turner are all better than Fred. An argument could be made for top 10, but top 5 is out of the question at this point.

  16. Fred Jackson played Arena Football for our local Sioux city Bandits and scored 53 touchdowns in one year for them. I agree with this. He has come a long way since Arena Football.

  17. I agree. Name five better than him last season. There really weren’t. If he had not been injured, he could have had the rushing title.

    No other running back had a higher ypc, and only one matched his (DeMarco Murray). Only Maurice Jones-Drew and Arian Foster averaged more yards per game. He also put up over 400 yards receiving.

  18. im glad fred is confident!!!! go bills…..why is everyone against a little bias motivation…..fred is a class act.. and i hope he proves you wrong… also hope you haters can be the best at your professions too.

  19. Was playing like it before got hurt last year. As great as MJD, AP, Steven Jackson have been, their teams were awful. Fifteen years ago having a top 5 runningback meant something. Now runningbacks don’t matter.

  20. A. 1,062 yards, 46 catches for 371 yards, and 4 TDs
    B. 1,047 yards, 57 catches for 418 yards, and 4 TDs

    “A” represents Fred Jackson’s career-best single season stat line.

    “B” represents Chris Johnson’s career-worst single season stat line.

    You can look it up.

  21. he’s just trying to cash in can’t blame him. relative to other players being a RB is tough, you have to make that money when you can. you never know when it’s going to end. it will be interesting to see what the bills do this year. i can’t even name one of there players since jim kelly but i know they have potential to be a playoff team this year. we’ll see.

  22. It’s not a popular thing to say, but I think Adrian Peterson is beginning to slide out of the top 5. Maybe already has.

  23. backuppunter says:
    Aug 6, 2012 11:12 PM
    he’s just trying to cash in can’t blame him. relative to other players being a RB is tough, you have to make that money when you can. you never know when it’s going to end. it will be interesting to see what the bills do this year. i can’t even name one of there players since jim kelly but i know they have potential to be a playoff team this year. we’ll see.


    You’re an idiot. He just signed a deal in May. As for the haters, last year wasn’t his breakout year. In 2009, he became the first player in NFL history to rush for over 1,000 yards and kick return for over 1,000 yards.


    Became the first player in NFL history to rush for more than 1,000 yards and total more than 1,000 kickoff return yards in the same season in 2009
    Led the NFL with 2,516 (1,062 rushing + 1,014 kickoff + 371 receiving + 69 punting) combined net yards in 2009, the fourth-most yards in a single-season in NFL history
    One of two NFL players to rush for a touchdown, catch a touchdown pass and throw a touchdown pass (Joseph Addai)
    Set career highs in carries (237), rushing yards (1,062), receptions (46) and receiving yards (371)
    Rankings in the Bills record book heading into the 2010 season
    Rushing average, 3rd – 4.55 (425 attempts – 1,933 rushing yards)
    Kick return yards (season), 10th – 1,014 (2009)
    Rushing average (season), 9th – 5.17 (2007)

  24. I hope he proves it! Had a great season before he went down last year.

    But he is 31. Not as much mileage as others but still an aging RB.

  25. I see multiple comments about Fred Jackson not being a top 5 running back because he only recently became the starter. My counterpoint to that is that he has beat out two draft picks who in Marshawn Lynch and CJ Spiller who were drafted at 11 and 9 overall, to hold onto the starters job in Buffalo. Not to mention playing behind some pretty terrible offensive lines, and even more terrible QB play until last year. Throw in multiple regime changes and and you have a more clear picture about the challenges this guy has faced since catching on in Buffalo. He had the 5th highest single season all purpose yardage total in league history while sharing carries with Lynch, and was the first player ever to rush for a 1000 yards and return over 1000 yards in kickoffs in one season. Check out Pro Football Focus’s breakdown of this guy and still try to tell me he isnt one of the top 5 backs in the NFL today. Im not saying all time or anything, but going into this season, he is without a doubt top 5.

  26. Wouldn’t say top 5 but he is a beast. He killed it for my fantasy team before he got hurt last year

  27. Adrian Peterson
    Ray Rice
    Lesean McCoy
    Arian Foster
    Chris Johnson
    Frank Gore
    Steven Jackson
    Marshawn Lynch
    Darren McFadden
    Ryan Matthews
    A rookie Trent Richardson
    A one legged Jamal Charles
    & maybe even Micheal Turner.

    Anybody that knows anything about football & isn’t a Bills fan-boy would pick any of those guys before they pick Fred Jackson. That was 14, 8 of which I didn’t even have to really think about!

  28. He is very good the only guy I can say is clearly better then him is Peterson until he got hurt he was going to win the rushing title easily so yeh I’d say Freddie Jackson has a right to brag if he’s healthy the entire season he’s got MVP candidate type potential particularly if the Bills live up to their preseason hype.

  29. buffalobills2012 says: Aug 6, 2012 7:52 PM

    NO DOUBT…And the haters who say no watch the game film. Fred is a brusier eho can catch it block it or run it….ask Bi Belichek

    Ask Bill Parcells. He’s in love w/ Jackson as well. Freddie is a beast. He got hot in later part of his career, and if anyone has been to St. John Fischer, you would know he’s looking as quick as he looked last year at this time. I’m just a Christopher, but I witnessed it last year, and will again this year!!!

  30. He has some of the top total yardage seasons in history..and was well on his way to being in MVP race last year. He’s been underrated for far too long

  31. So what Fred, who cares if you think you’re the best RB. RB’s don’t matter that much. You need to go back to the 1999 Super Bowl with Terrell Davis as a running back that actually made a difference in his team winning the Super Bowl. Running backs don’t matter Fred. I would rather have a great Punter or Kicker than a great RB.

  32. Say what u want bout fred but he puts 110% effort in every run and him and mcfadden were leading the league in rushing till they both got injured and that saying alot coming from a coach chan gailey that likes to put alot of receivers on the field. Mjd tunner and rice get alot more chances. Ryan mathews shouldnt even be mentioned in this convo. he is a bum.

  33. Bill Belichick also made this comment and I’d have to assume he’s better at evaluating talent than all the haters on here. There isn’t a running back in the league that runs with more heart than Fred. As far as everyones top 5 list you have to put McFadden in there, when healthy he’s the scariest RB in the NFL.

  34. I’d rather players proved it instead of talked about it. Fred, you are better than that.

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