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Posted: Tuesday May 26, 2009 1:00PM; Updated: Thursday May 28, 2009 9:42AM

Ranking best backfields (cont.)

25. New York Jets

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Mark Sanchez
Every rookie quarterback is questionable, and the Jets' Mark Sanchez is no different.
Al Pereira/Getty Images

Who: QBs Mark Sanchez, Kellen Clemens; RBs Thomas Jones, Leon Washington

Add/subtract: Brett Favre was set free to pester the NFC North for a job. Shonn Greene is a third-round pick that adds pop to the backfield, which Sanchez will need very much.

Questionable: Any rookie QB is a question, even this Mark. And how much of a problem will Jones' agitation for another new deal be?

The Thought: Sanchez needs to perform well and fast or face a New York-media-and-fan onslaught over his beefcake photo shoots and a high-profile rookie start a la Matt Leinart. Maybe it's a USC thing.

26. Washington Redskins

Who: QB Jason Campbell; RB Clinton Portis

Add/subtract: OL Derrick Dockery and Mike Williams give depth and experience up front but the hope has to be that adding help on defense will translate somehow into positives for the offense.

Questionable: Campbell's ego. It's one thing that his team didn't think he was as good as Jay Cutler, but when the Broncos didn't think Campbell was as good as Kyle Orton ...

The Thought: Campbell isn't as good as either of those two. And Portis is going into his eighth season. That's too much heavy lifting for high-volume legs.

27. Buffalo Bills

Who: QB Trent Edwards; RB Marshawn Lynch

Add/subtract: Terrell Owens. The Bills also drafted interior OL help in the first and second rounds, but losing LT Jason Peters will require some scrambling, hopefully not all of it by Edwards.

Questionable: T.O. has disrupted better offenses and quarterbacks' minds than the Bills and Edwards.' Actually, unless T.O. breaks completely with custom, the question is, what were the Bills thinking?

The Thought: What were the Bills thinking?

28. Oakland Raiders

Who: QBs JaMarcus Russell, Jeff Garcia; RBs Justin Fargas, Darren McFadden

Add/subtract: Garcia is a stable element either on or off the field. And Al Davis still loves his receivers, doesn't he? Darrius Heyward-Bey was a surprise pick at No. 7, but then again, knowing Davis ...

Questionable: Russell's leadership. When he understands that arm strength is less important than other strengths, then the Raiders might have something. And will someone please find McFadden some shoes that fit and, while you're up, a coherent role in the offense?

The Thought: If Russell doesn't seem to be taking his career seriously, why should anyone else?

29. Detroit Lions

Who: QBs Matthew Stafford, Daunte Culpepper; RB Kevin Smith

Add/subtract: No. 1's were invested in Stafford and TE Brandon Pettigrew and veteran OT Ephraim Salaam gives depth and stability up front. WR Bryant Johnson will complement Calvin Johnson for Stafford.

Questionable: The 0-16 is history but is all the scar tissue and losing mentality?

The Thought: They can't help but win more than they did last year. But this will be a shakedown cruise for a rookie in an NFC North with toughened defenses and that could indeed be shaky.

30. Cleveland Browns

Who: QBs Derek Anderson, Brady Quinn; RB Jamal Lewis

Add/subtract: The Browns drafted WR's Brian Robiskie and Mohamed Massaquoi besides signing Mike Furrey and David Patten. And all that with Braylon Edwards still in place.

Questionable: Anderson or Quinn? More important, is either NFL-grade ultimately? Lewis is recovering from offseason ankle surgery at age 30.

The Thought: The OL is strong and few teams have more potential threats at wide receiver to help their quarterbacks, but by midseason Eric Mangini may be asking one of them if he can take snaps unless Anderson or Quinn show something.

31. Seattle Seahawks

Who: QBs Matt Hasselbeck, Seneca Wallace; RBs Julius Jones, T.J. Duckett

Add/subtract: Houshmandzadeh was a marquee signing but he is not an elite No. 1.

Questionable: Hasselbeck's return from back problems is expected to be without incident but there's no guarantee for the soon-to-be 34 year old. And the Seahawks lost six of the seven games in which Hasselbeck did play.

The Thought: Wallace posted an 87.0 passer rating in Hasselbeck's place but the three top rushing averages were by QBs for an offense that desperately needs its next Shaun Alexander.

32. Jacksonville Jaguars

Who: QB David Garrard; RB Maurice Jones-Drew

Add/subtract: Fred Taylor, Matt Jones and Jerry Porter leave varying size holes in the offense but adding Tra Thomas up front and Torry Holt gives Garrard some help.

Add/subtract: Taking two OT's (Eugene Monroe, Eben Britton) in the first 39 picks of the draft was a statement and a much-needed one for a front that was 23rd in sack percentage.

Questionable: Garrard's play in general. After a 3-3 start, he had just two 100-plus passer ratings in a 2-8 run and one of those was against the Lions.

The Thought: Jones-Drew is a legitimate threat rushing or receiving, but Garrard has not taken a step he and the Jags need.

(Agree or disagree with these rankings? Share your thoughts here.)

Send comments to siwriters@simail.com

 
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