Austin Ekeler: How his numbers compare
So how does Ekeler stack up? Compared to each of those three running backs, here is where he ranks:
- Rushing yards: First
- Receiving yards: Third
- Yards per rush: First
- Yards per reception: Second
- Total yards: Third
- Total touchdowns: Third
For a player who only has two years to use for comparison, with his first year seeing him as a late integration into the offense, Ekeler’s numbers are impressive. The low number of touches in 2017 limit his total yards, but his efficiency as both a runner and a receiver are evident in his average yards per rush and reception.
44 yard TD!
— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) October 7, 2018
Woodhead was a massive part of the offense throughout his career with the Chargers, largely in part to the lack of health of running backs in front of him like Ryan Mathews. His 17 total touchdowns in two seasons compare him favorably over someone like Ekeler, who has just 11 thus far. However, as mentioned before, Ekeler would have much better total numbers if his touches were higher in 2017.
The one thing Ekeler will never be able to touch, which was not brought up in those stats, is Sproles’ numbers as a punt and kick returner. That’s something no back on this roster has come close to since Sproles was with the Chargers, and it’s unlikely Ekeler will be given a similar role with Desmond King becoming an All-Pro kick returner almost overnight.
Ekeler may not see a dramatic increase in touches behind Gordon and in front of Sunday Night Football hero Justin Jackson, but his role as an efficient weapon should yield him his first season with 1,000 total yards. He’s been excellent for the Chargers thus far, and no one seems able to stop him.