On Nov. 15, 2014, Georgia running back Todd Gurley tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in a game against Auburn. That turned out to be the last game of his impressive collegiate career. A junior, he declared for the N.F.L. draft one month later. The St. Louis Rams, undeterred by Gurley’s injury, selected him with the 10th overall pick, the highest draft selection used on any running back in three years.
It has not taken Gurley long to make the Rams look smart. He has been dominant in his last three games, rushing 68 times for 433 yards and two touchdowns. That translates to a spectacular 6.37 yards per carry average, and he also caught six of seven passes for 50 yards over that stretch.