Arizona Cardinals fans know how special rookie running back Andre Ellington is. They got to see his big plays. They also saw him used less than they wanted him to.
He did get enough use to land himself at the top of the stat charts. In his first year in the NFL, he led all qualifying running backs averaging 5.53 yards per carry.
Thanks to some research by our very own Shaun Church, we know that Ellington is only the eighth rookie to accomplish this feat since 1940 -- the ninth ever
It is the first time a rookie has led the league in YPC since Ickey Woods did it in 1988 for the Bengals with 5.25 YPC.
Interestingly enough, Woods also shared carries with a veteran back in James Brooks, much like Ellington did with Rashard Mendenhall.
What does that rookie list look like -- those nine players?
For those people that cannot see the embedded tweet, it tells us this:
2013 -- Ellington, Cardinals (5.53 YPC)
1988 -- Woods, Bengals (5.25 YPC)
1970 -- Duane Thomas, Cowboys (5.32)
1959 -- Nick Pietrosante, Lions (5.88)
1956 -- Lenny Moore, Colts (7.55)
1955 -- Rick Casares, Bears (5.38)
1952 -- Hugh McElhenny, 49ers (6.98)
1944 -- Steve Van Buren, Eagles (5.55)
1934 -- Beattie Feathers, Bears (8.44) (the NFL record for running backs, period)
So it is fair to say that Elllington had a fantastic rookie season, one to celebrate.
The only question remains -- how much will he be utilized in 2014 and beyond as a running back, and will he be able to maintain this production?