NFL news of November 22, 2002

What is it with Denver coach Mike Shanahan and college running backs that no one else wants? Shanahan waited until the 51st pick of the 2002 draft to claim Clinton Portis out of the University of Miam. Now Portis is the front-runner for NFL offensive rookie of the year honors with his 748 rushing yards and five touchdowns.

Portis didn’t start until the fifth game of the season because of injuries to those ahead of him on the Denver depth chart. But he has made up for lost time with four 100-yard games and a five-yard average.

Portis is on track to become the fourth 1,000-yard rusher in Shanahan’s eight-year tenure as head coach of the Broncos—and not one of them was a No. 1 draft pick. Terrell Davis was a sixth-rounder in 1995, Olandis Gary a fourth-rounder in 1999 and Mike Anderson a sixth-rounder in 2000.

— Rick Gosselin, The Dallas Morning News “Looking back at the draft.”

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