Maurice Jones-Drew’s favorite young running backs include a back he didn’t like, a guy from his hometown and a player who needs a new team.

Maurice Jones-Drew is a retired American football running back. He played for the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2005 to 2017, and was drafted by them in the fifth round of the 2005 NFL Draft. In his career, he gained 7,607 yards on 1,606 carries with 42 touchdowns. His favorite young running backs include a back he didn’t like, a guy from his hometown, and a player who needs a new team.

Maurice Jones-Drew, a former Jacksonville Jaguars running back, understands what it takes to be a great NFL running back. The former All-Pro running back, who now works as an NFL Network analyst and color commentator for the Los Angeles Rams, recently revealed his favorite young running backs, which include a prospect he missed out on, a fellow Bay Area native, and a back he believes could be the best in the league if he weren’t on such a bad team.

For nine seasons, Maurice Jones-Drew was a great NFL running back.

Former NFL player Maurice Jones-Drew speaks onstage during day one with SiriusXM at Super Bowl LIV on January 29, 2020 in Miami, Florida.

Former NFL player Maurice Jones-Drew speaks onstage during day one with SiriusXM at Super Bowl LIV on January 29, 2020 in Miami, Florida. Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM photo of Maurice Jones-Drew.

Former NFL running back Maurice Jones-Drew, often known as MJD, grew raised in the Bay Area of California and went on to UCLA. The Jaguars selected the 5-foot-7 running back No. 60 overall in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft after three seasons as a Bruin.

Right away, the small runner rose to prominence. In his debut season, he carried for 941 yards and caught 46 passes for 436 yards, totaling 15 touchdowns. In his following two seasons, he had over 1,000 all-purpose yards before running for over 1,000 yards in 2009-2011.

In each of those three seasons, Jones-Drew was named to the Pro Bowl. He had the most runs (343), total touches (386), running yards (1,606), and rushing yards per game in the NFL in 2011. (100.8).

MJD stayed in Duval for two more seasons before returning to Oakland for his last season in 2014.

Jones-Drew joined the Pat McAfee Show as a color commentator and NFL Network analyst for the Los Angeles Rams. Boston Conner, the show’s co-host, questioned the former great RB about his favorite rookie or second-year players in his previous position today.

Coming out of Wisconsin, Jones-Drew wasn’t a fan of Jonathan Taylor.

Jonathan Taylor had a 78-yard touchdown run with a peak speed of 22.05 mph, the best speed by a ball carrier this season.

Taylor is currently in charge of the season’s two fastest times (21.83 mph in Week 8). @awscloud powered #StatThat pic.twitter.com/h75Cuy16eI

November 5, 2021 — Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats)

Jonathan Taylor comes from a long history of running backs for the Wisconsin Badgers. For years, these running backs have dominated the Big 10 behind historically huge offensive lines and in a run-first strategy.

Backs like Ron Dayne, Montee Ball, and Melvin Gordon were great at Madison, but they’ve struggled in the pros. This is why Maurice Jones-Drew was mistaken about Indianapolis Colts’ Taylor, according to him:

First and foremost, Jonathan Taylor, I must own that I was mistaken. Coming out of the draft, he was my sixth pick. I felt he was a great player, but Wisconsin running backs go through gaps that my vehicle could drive through, so I knocked him down for that. They have a fantastic offensive line. For that, I knocked him out. The move to the Colts was a natural match for him. You can see it in the way he’s playing, sprinting, and how they’re relying on him. That’s fantastic.

Jonathan Taylor on Maurice Jones-Drew

Taylor is having a fantastic year in 2021 thus far. Through nine games, he has 821 yards and eight rushing touchdowns. With 1,114 total yards from scrimmage, he leads the league and owns the league’s longest run from scrimmage, an 83-yard gallop against the Houston Texans in Week 6.

Najee Harris, like Jones-Drew, is a Bay Area native.

Najee Harris of the Pittsburgh Steelers is the next player on Jones-list Drew’s of favorite young runners. Harris was picked with the No. 24 overall choice in the 2021 draft out of Alabama, and he has rewarded the organization for that selection.

Harris has 4 rushing touchdowns this season to go along with his 541 running yards. He’s already caught 40 passes for 289 yards and two touchdowns.

The former Crimson Tide running back’s pass-catching ability has always been a strength of his, and it’s something MJD admires in his Oakland-area counterpart:

Najee Harris is from the Bay Area, where I grew up. This is something you haven’t seen yet with him, and I know you’re a Pittsburgher, Pat. He can run routes like a receiver, so when they start lining him up out wide and routing people up, that’ll be part of it. I’ve coached against him in both seven-on-seven and high school tackle football, and he’s a fierce competitor.

On Najee Harris, Maurice Jones-Drew

MJD seems to have a lot of faith in the Steelers’ rookie quarterback, and if he’s as excellent and flexible as projected, it could help the team move away from Ben Roethlisberger and into another QB/style of offense in the future seasons.

Could D’Andre Swift be the greatest if he wasn’t on the Detroit Lions?

Maurice Jones-Drew has only reached the playoffs twice in his career, so he understands what it’s like to carry the ball for a terrible club.

That’s probably why D’Andre Swift of the Detroit Lions has a particular place in his heart. Swift, according to Jones-Drew:

This is the second point. If he were in a different scenario, I believe D’Andre Swift would be the best of the bunch. He is, however, in Detroit. No offense to Detroit, but they’re now attempting to bite kneecaps and other such things instead of handing the ball over to my dog.

D’Andre Swift on Maurice Jones-Drew

Despite MJD’s belief in Swift’s ability, the former Georgia Bulldog is having a difficult season with an 0-8 squad in Detroit. He has 289 yards and three touchdowns on 90 carries this season. With 47 receptions for 415 yards and two touchdowns, he’s been better in the pass game (which the Lions must do a lot of since they’re down so frequently).

Swift is just in his second season, so we won’t see him excel until he has the opportunity to depart after 2023 or 2024, unless Detroit improves in the following few seasons.

Pro Football Reference provided all stats.

RELATED: Carson Palmer Talks About Working With Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens Together: ‘Dude, we’re calling a running play,’ says the announcer.

Maurice Jones-Drew is a retired professional football player who played for the Jacksonville Jaguars. He was born in California, but grew up playing football in his hometown of Chicago. He has many favorite young running backs, including one he didn’t like, one from his hometown, and a player who needs a new team. Reference: maurice jones-drew.

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