2015 rookie running backs stick together, via group text
The 2015 draft ushered plenty of talented running backs into the NFL. Plenty of them have kept in touch during their short careers.
“That daily grind of we were working for the same goal, that helped us become even closer,” Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi told San Diego reporters on Wednesday in advance of Sunday’s game against the Chargers. “Then when we all went to the Combine, we knew we were in a strong running back class, and we knew how talented everyone was. With the group [text] message, it has been [about] keeping in touch with everyone [and] making sure everyone’s on the right track, because we all see ourselves as playmakers for our teams.”
Ajayi has a particularly special relationship with Chargers running back Melvin Gordon.
“That’s my brother,” Ajayi said. “I look at him as a brother, and it’s going to be fun going up against him as the matchup this weekend. We talked yesterday, and we talk quite often, so it’s going to be fun. I can’t wait.”
Ajayi was the 14th running back taken a year ago, and in recent weeks he has emerged as one of the best. Gordon has made a jump in his second year as well, with 196 rushing yards against the Titans and a current pace that will put him north of 1,350 for the year.
“I’m always checking on Melvin every week to see how he does,” Ajayi said. “I’m so proud of him to come back from last year, where he wasn’t able to score a touchdown and a lot of people were kind of starting write him off a little bit. Through talking with him, through the offseason and everything, he really put his head down and did a lot of things to set himself up for a great year. He’s starting to showcase the ability that everyone knew he had, and it’s exciting to see how well he has been doing.”
The 2015 class also produced Todd Gurley, T.J. Yeldon, Ameer Abdullah, Tevin Coleman, Duke Johnson, David Johnson, Matt Jones, and others. Although Gurley was clearly the best of the bunch in 2016, Gordon, Ajayi, and David Johnson are the three biggest standouts in 2016.