The Last Truther

First in yards from scrimmage for the PAC-12 (3rd in all of the NCAA), 2nd in scoring, 2nd in rushing, 2nd in total touches. 616 carries over two seasons without missing a game – or even a practice. Bishop Sankey annihilated his opponents in his final season to the tune of 327-1870-20 rushing, with an additional 28 receptions for a combined total of 2174 yards.

I get it; I hear the groans. Nobody believes in Bishop Sankey anymore. Nobody wants to hear anything else about the “bust” they dumped major resources into. Maybe I’m the last truther, but considering the Minnesota depth chart at the moment and his price tag, it is worth reminding you who Bishop Sankey is.

I started with his production because there is a strange revisionist history of Bishop Sankey running around that he was “just an athlete” and “not good at football.” Sankey is not Knile Davis. Sankey is not Christine Michael. Sankey was not only a monster in a Power 5 Conference in cumulative statistics but accounted for 36.8% of his team’s entire offense (Dominator Rating), which is 79th percentile for the NFL. His 9.6% target share was also 67th percentile. But, yes, he is an insane athlete. His 98th percentile SPARQ-X Score is backed by a 4.49 40 yard dash, a truly incredible 10.75 agility score, and despite supposedly being a little undersized, a 90th percentile 26 reps on the bench press.

After being drafted in the 2nd round with the 54th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft by the Tennessee Titans, things did not quite turn out the way many of us anticipated for Bishop. The coaches reportedly wanted him to “bulk up” – something that rarely works out well for a running back, and never for an agility back. Then he posted an underwhelming 3.7 Yards Per Carry on his way to a 152/569/2 performance as the lead back in his rookie season. He did add some solid receiving to the tune of 18/133/0 on 23 targets, but that hardly seemed to matter to the team who drafted Antonio Andrews the following season, aggressively phasing out Sankey.

Was Bishop Sankey a bad rusher during his time in TEN? We know he was a skilled receiver during his tenure because he was not benched for that but instead was relieved of his duties for his rushing “inefficiency.” However, I think the coaching staff should have taken a closer look.

 

2014

Carries PRA* PRA*/Carries 2ND LVL**

2nd LVL Success Rate***

Bishop Sankey

152

129 84.87% 38

29.46%

Shonn Greene

94

81 86.17% 19

23.46%

 

2015

Carries PRA* PRA*/Carries 2ND LVL**

2nd LVL Success Rate***

Antonio Andrews

143

108 75.57% 28

25.93%

Bishop Sankey

47

41 87.23% 11

26.83%

*PRA: Positive Rushing Attempt
**2nd LVL: Rushes for greater than 5yds
***2nd LVL Success Rate: 2nd LVL/PRA

The PRA above is largely influenced by the offensive line and is generally similar for all team RBs although Antonio Andrews was terrible here. Looking at the 2nd LVL, however, we see Bishop Sankey was somewhat effective, beating out his primary competition both years. Again, none of this factors his receiving work, 32-272-1 on 45 targets. An excellent receiver through college, he continued to excel there in the NFL.

But we are not here because he is going to do great things for the Titans. Sankey is now wearing the Purple of the now Adrian Peterson-less Minnesota Vikings. Latavius Murray is on PUP with no known timeline, leaving Jerick McKinnon and Dalvin Cook as the competition. For the 1st time since he was starting for the Titans Sankey is getting 1st Team Reps in practice. Cook is not half the athlete and was only marginally more productive in college. McKinnon is an athletic marvel but has had up-and-down performance learning RB in the NFL and may be injured himself after failing to perform in team drills after leaving the field on Day 1 of camp.

The Vikings did not pay Murray $15 million and draft Cook in the 2nd because they wanted to give the ball to McKinnon, and they have shown no sign of wanting to workhorse a single back. I cannot promise you that Sankey is better than or will beat out McKinnon and/or Cook. But I do know he was a phenomenal prospect, and he was decent in TEN. He currently has no ADP on any of the major dynasty ADP listings. This makes him a low-risk investment who has yet to see his 25th birthday. Bishop Sankey is worth the bottom roster spot you are currently saving for some 3rd-year practice squad guy who you and I both know will never actually see the field.

 

cbean

Amateur Analytics nut. WR AY/T tracking (see Google Doc). JANIS GAWD 4EVA. CARROOOOO!!!! Writer for Dynasty Football Factory & PlayerProfiler.

View all cbean's Posts

Leave a Comment

(required)

(required)