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Andy Behrens

Spin Doctors: Adrian Peterson vs. Maurice Jones-Drew

Andy Behrens
Roto Arcade

You'll find All Day Peterson atop most pre-draft cheat sheets, but not all. There are a few courageous dissenters within the expert community. Brandon Funston is such a man. He's taking MJD first overall, leaving Peterson for the chump drafting second. Funston has 250 words to make his case, starting now...

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Brandon says: I understand that I’m not going to win this vote. Adrian Peterson is just too sexy. He’s young. He possesses track speed and a robo-physique. And he’s already compiled a library full of highlight-reel runs. But, for the non-lemmings among you, let me state an argument for Maurice Jones-Drew(notes) over AP.

1. Consider that Peterson has not finished among the top three RBs in fantasy points per game in either his rookie or sophomore campaign.

2. Consider that in those past two seasons, MoJo has outproduced him in yards per touch (5.50 to 5.43) and TDs per touch (.049 to .036).

3. Consider that MoJo, in a platoon role, was second among RBs in ’08 in receptions (62) while a full-time Peterson ranked just 44th (21), one reception better than Cedric Benson(notes).

Finally, let’s not forget health. The upright, violent stylings of AP caused him to miss two games as a rookie, which is one more than MoJo has missed in his three-year career.

Simply put, MoJo is dynamic in all facets of the game, be it short-yardage, between the 20s, receiving, blocking, durability ... you name it. And the biggest issue people have with him (his size) is actually a benefit as he’s easily lost by the defense in a crowd and his low, stout frame makes it hard for defenders to deliver a solid lick.

With an expected career-high workload of 300-plus touches this season with Fred Taylor(notes) gone, I won’t hesitate to buck convention and go with MoJo at No. 1.

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Andy says: The Adrian Peterson argument begins (and it should end) with the fact that he's the NFL's most dangerous skill position player, and he's going to get another huge workload in '09. He presents an unfair combination of speed, elusiveness and power -- absurd, humiliating, destructive power.

Peterson led the league in rushing yards last season (1760) and he was second in carries (363). He already owns the single-game rushing record, and he's finished first in the NFL in per-game yards in each of his first two seasons. And his offensive line is among the best in football -- the Vikings' left side (McKinnie/Hutchinson) is as good as it gets. Only two backs have out-rushed Peterson in their first two NFL seasons: Jim Brown and Eric Dickerson. That is the company he keeps.

Basically, the 24-year-old Peterson is an all-time talent in an ideal situation. No back has a better chance to reach 2,000 yards. In fact, that's among Peterson's goals for '09:

"That’s my bar. It will always be 2,000 or more. God willing and with the guys I have surrounding me, I’ll be able to accomplish that one day."

What about NFL MVP?

"Oh yeah," he said.

It should go without saying that you'll want to own Peterson in the year that he reaches his objectives. His set-up right now -- this year -- is nearly perfect. He's the centerpiece of the offense and surrounded by talent. Whether you're drafting for ceiling or past performance, Peterson is the pick.

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