Edgerrin James will be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame later this month in Canton, so for today's Friday Fun Fact, I wanted to focus in on a distinctive part of his legendary career: His first two seasons in the NFL.
The Colts drafted James with the fourth overall pick in the 1999 NFL Draft, which shocked a number of experts who expected the team to draft Texas running back Ricky Williams, as detailed in this episode of "Colts Declassified."
James quickly proved the Colts right in drafting him with an incredible first two seasons in the NFL. James, in 1999 and 2000, totaled:
- 756 rushing attempts
- 3,262 rushing yards
- 4.3 yards/attempt
- 26 rushing touchdowns
- 125 receptions
- 1,180 receiving yards
- 9.4 yards/reception
- 9 receiving touchdowns
- 35 total touchdowns
There's a case to be made James had one of best first two seasons for a running back in league history. Let's start here: James holds the NFL record for most touchdowns scored in a player's first two years in the NFL with 35.
Only six players in NFL history rushed for 3,000 or more yards in their first two seasons:
- Eric Dickerson (3,913)
- Edgerrin James (3,262)
- Chris Johnson (3,234
- Earl Campbell (3,147)
- Adrian Peterson (3,101)
- Clinton Portis (3,099)
James is also one of nine running backs to have at least 125 receptions in his first two years.
But James' standout career, of course, extended beyond his 1999 and 2000 seasons. He ranks ninth all time with 3,028 rushing attempts (only 10 players since 1946 had 3,000 or more rushing attempts); he's one of 16 players in league history to eclipse 12,000 rushing yards, too.
James, too, is the Colts' all-time leader in rushing attempts (2,188), rushing yards (9,226), rushing touchdowns (64) and rushing yards per game (96.1). He holds the franchise's single season record for rushing yards in a season (1,709 in 2000) as well.
Relive some of the best moments from the career of legendary Colts running back Edgerrin James as he is announced as an inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.