The NFL's active leading rusher and one of the league's top 20 most productive players ever before at the running back position, Steven Jackson do the most of his NFL chance in a way couple of but Steven himself might have predicted.

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But prior to No. 39's rise to NFL greatness came a precipitous loss in the 2004 NFL Draft, one that can have knocked SJ down, yet instead urged him to get back up. He's continued to do so ever before since, ~ above the means to an tremendous 11-year career.

After tallying much more than 4,000 all-purpose yards and also 45 total touchdowns in 3 years in ~ Oregon State University, Steven to be the agreement top running back in the 2004 draft, gift touted as a potential top 5 selection. However, that didn't come to fruition. Every draft seems to have actually one player that slides back further than expected, and S-Jax was that player 11 years ago this week.

"So many world talk around that one human who falls in the draft, and also everyone knows it's possible," Steven remembers. "It simply so taken place it to be me."


Steven very first arrived top top the radar the NFL scouts in 2002, his sophomore year in Corvallis, Oregon. He amassed 1,690 rushing yards and also punched in 17 touchdowns in 13 games. The following year, that played all 13 gamings once again and led the country in dead (350) if racking increase 1,545 yards and also 22 scores.

From there, with his share rising, he chosen to forgo his an elderly season in ~ Oregon State and enter the NFL Draft. He to be tabbed immediately as the optimal running back in his class, primed to carry on the legacy of the NFL workhorse back.

However, after ~ the season he went under the knife to have some work-related done ~ above his knee—minor surgical treatment to clean out some discomfort that complied with him while at OSU. The operation wasn't serious, however it did cause SJ to miss the 2004 NFL Combine.

He go on to have actually a very successful pro Day where, in ~ a bruising 6'2", 233 pounds, the ran an excellent 4.45-second 40-yard dash. And, the course, his game film spoke because that itself.

Steven had it all: Strength, speed and exceptional blocking and also receiving skills for a back. Regardless of the surgery, he to be still a unanimous selection as the height running back available.

On draft day, when he started falling throughout that nerve-wracking an initial round, he saw a potential destination: the Dallas Cowboys. Not just did America's Team require a to run back, but it to be Steven's father's favorite squad.

"I just thought, ‘How cool would that be? It's my dad's favourite team, I could be the star running earlier there. Life doesn't gain much better than that,'" SJ recalled. "They decided to happen on me."

Dallas had the No. 22 as whole pick, yet rather than pull the cause on the Oregon State star, the Cowboys traded back. Castle dealt the first-round choice to the Buffalo Bills, who used it to take it Tulane quarterback J.P. Losman. The Cowboys then provided their second-round choose to take Julius Jones the end of Notre Dame.

"It was choose being punched in the stomach," SJ said of being passed increase by Dallas. "I couldn't believe it."

Just 2 picks ~ the Bills take it Losman, the St. Luigi Rams do a transaction of their own to take it S-Jax. They traded up from your slot at No. 26, and also took at No. 24 overall.


While it was a frustrating fall and the endure of gift passed up time and again to be an agonizing one initially, the simply ended up being a tiny added an inspiration for Steven. That repsonded come the doubters with his power on the field and after a hard rookie season playing behind one more NFL great, Marshall Faulk, in St. Louis, No. 39 took the torch and ran with it, posting continuous 1,000-yard rushing campaigns for the team the drafted him. Jones had just one because that the Cowboys.

But ultimately, SJ had the ability to look ago at draft day and smile due to the fact that he was able to add to the incredible legacy of the running earlier position v the Rams.

"There aren't too plenty of franchise the have had the success at running back as the Rams," SJ explained. "So many an excellent backs have actually worn the helmet. Ns look back at the situation and also I'm satisfied."


Steven's draft day story is one of perseverance that all potential draft picks have the right to learn from, that it does not matter where you're selected on breeze day. Her career, regardless of whether you're the fourth in its entirety pick, the No. 24 in its entirety pick choose SJ, or a fourth round pick, will end up being what you make of it.

Since being drafted No. 24 all at once in 2004, SJ has actually made 3 Pro key rosters, been named All-Pro twice, and he wore the NFC's rushing crown in 2009.

See more: Morphemes: How Many Morphemes Are In The Word, Word Morphology at this time holds the moniker that the NFL's leading energetic rusher, and he is just one of just 20 players in the history of the league to tally more than 11,000 yards. Together he gets prepared for his 12th NFL season in 2015, the is just 612 yards away from the 12K club, another chance to prove the while the day of the breeze is a big one in a player's career, it's what that player makes of each day that follows that will determine how successful that career will be.