December 2, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews (24) runs onto the field during player introductions prior to the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
So often we hear people claim Ryan Mathews as a bust draft selection. Was he an overall bust? Was he overvalued? Was he a wrong fit for our system? Before we can decide any of that, let’s take a look at the big picture.
When the Chargers moved up to select Ryan Mathews with the 12th overall selection in the 2010 draft, there were many analysts who gave him an early shot to be offensive rookie of the year. He was entering a high powered offense with a 4200 yard passer in Philip Rivers, with two 1100 yard receivers in Vincent Jackson and Antonio Gates, and taking over the throne of future Hall of Famer Ladainian Tomlinson. To say that Ryan Mathews had big shoes to fill is an understatement.
Let’s take a look at the other running backs taken in the 2010 draft: