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Pro Football Focus Ranks 32 Best Running Backs; David Johnson Isn’t On The List

All of this for DeAndre Hopkins.

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Tennessee Titans v Houston Texans Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Some will say you have to forget the past, live for the right now, and look ahead to the future. This is true to a certain extent. You can’t be mired and bogged down by what happened before. But what happened before is why you are at this point, and because of that, it will affect what will come after. A beautiful man once said, “The past is never dead; it’s not even past.”

Last year the Texans turned DeAndre Hopkins, a top three wide receiver in the NFL, a perennial All-Pro and Pro Bowler, a future Hall of Famer, into David Johnson, Brandin Cooks, and a pick swap that allowed Houston to take Ross Blacklock, who may have been available where Houston was originally selecting anyways. Last year, Johnson was one of the worst running backs in the league and was injured for a large spat of the season. Cooks and his small hit box was good, thanks to the wire to wire executions Deshaun Watson placed on him. Of course, Houston would have been better off just selecting a wide receiver like Chase Claypool in a historic wide receiver class rather than trading for Cooks. Oh, and you had as many sacks as Blacklock did last season unless you are a professional football player reading this who had one sack last season.

The Texans lied to you about the Hopkins trade. They said this move was made because the Texans couldn’t afford Hopkins’ contract—they could. All Hopkins wanted was for his yearly contract to be converted into bonus money. He claimed Houston fibbed about the contract extension request—he was three years away from free agency at the time of the trade and had zero leverage anyways. Instead, Bill O’Brien made a trade because of a sour employee-employer relationship. Hopkins didn’t practice enough. He didn’t fit the culture of a 4-12 team.

Houston is in the haze of purgatory right now. The team has gone from talented and held back by an awful head coach to talentless, old, and led by an FCA chaplain who does not affect personnel decisions, and does a lot for the organization (but the organization won’t tell you what he does). The trio of Cal McNair, Jack Easterby, and Nick Caserio decided to keep David Johnson around for another season despite his position, his contract, and his performance, all of which made him prime for a release.

Today, Pro Football Focus ranked the 32 best running backs entering the 2021 season. The star at the center of the Hopkins trade, David Johnson, is nowhere to be found. However, a free agent running back from Baltimore, Mark Ingram, was the caboose on the list. PFF had the following to say:

32. Mark Ingram II, Houston Texans

Mark Ingram is getting up in age and has some real mileage under his belt. He is coming off a season in which he was effectively sidelined and reduced to the role of cheerleader in Baltimore. Still, a year before that, he averaged 3.1 yards after contact per carry and broke 40 tackles on 208 attempts.

Lounging in what occurred before is for the sad and the miserable. That being said, when what happened before is tied directly to the present, and the present still hasn’t learned from what happened before, the past cannot be harped upon enough. The Hopkins trade was atrocious, Johnson was bad last year. The stage is set for him to be bad again this year.