Todd Gurley was one of the most dynamic playmakers in the NFL last season for the Los Angeles Rams, and there are extremely high expectations for him this season. Los Angeles is hoping to take the next step and compete for a playoff spot in the NFC, although that will not be an easy task at all.
Looking ahead at the 2016 NFL season for the Rams, there is a lot of pressure and excitement around them. Being back in Los Angeles has brought a diehard fan base around them once again. Add in that they are one of the top up-and-coming teams in the league, and there is potential for greatness in the fairly near future.
Last season with the Rams, Gurley ended up carrying the football 229 times for 1,106 yards and 10 touchdowns, according to ESPN statistics. He also caught 21 passes for 188 yards. There is no ceiling to his potential at this point, and many believe that he will end up becoming the NFL’s best running back at some point in the future.
That being said, what should fans look for and what should they expect to see from Gurley during 2016 NFL training camp?
He has had an entire offseason to work on his game and be completely healthy, which means that he should show a lot of growth as a player. Gurley was dealing with a torn ACL last offseason and missed some time to start the season because of that knee injury.
At just 21-years-old, there are a few things that Gurley needed to improve last season. He wasn’t fumble prone at all last season, but he needs to focus on tucking the football away this season more than ever. After seeing the success that he had last season, defenses are going to zero in on him and do everything in their power to slow him down.
Perhaps the biggest area that Gurley can improve is as a receiver out of the backfield. Rookie quarterback Jared Goff will need all the help he can get, and Gurley needs to be a security blanket. If Gurley could become a dual-threat running back, he would take his game to a completely new level.
Gurley could also improve in pass blocking for the Rams to help protect his rookie quarterback.
Los Angeles will have to compete with star-studded defenses if they want to make it anywhere, including ones from the Carolina Panthers, Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks. They will have to go through the Seahawks and Cardinals twice per season due to being in the same division.
There is no denying that Gurley has superstar potential and that he has the work ethic to max out his potential. He will take a huge step forward this coming season and will help get the Rams back on the map.
Predicting a season for any player is difficult, but there are some reasonable predictions to make for a player like Gurley. He will rack up at least 1,250 yards and 13 touchdowns on 240 carries. There is a chance that his numbers could exceed that prediction, but if he plays to his potential, he should hit very close to those statistics.
Expect to see Gurley take a big leap for the Rams this season and become an elite NFL running back. He has put the work in necessary to become a star and that will show in 2016. Los Angeles is happy to have football back, and they will be even more happy to have a star like Gurley leading their franchise.
Do you think Todd Gurley will work his way to being one of the NFL’s top running backs? Will the Rams work their way into the playoffs in the next few seasons? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!
[Photo by Tom Gannam/AP Images]