Commentary

NEXT No. 2: Chris Johnson

With Canton-type numbers, Johnson could save the star system in NFL backfields

Updated: December 7, 2009, 3:47 PM ET
By Seth Wickersham | ESPN The Magazine

This story appears in the Dec. 14 issue of ESPN The Magazine.

NEXT 2010 content: No. 1 Kevin Durant | No. 2 Chris Johnson | No. 3 John Wall | No. 4 Stephen Strasburg | No. 5 Melanie Oudin | No. 6-10 | No. 11-15 | No. 16-20

Okay, here's my beef with NEXT: It's not that we can be wrong -- if 60 percent of our picks pan out, we're doing well -- but rather that we set the bar impossibly high. We expect our choices to not just thrive, but to enjoy long, transcendent careers. So I worry for 2009's NFL winner: Chris Johnson, the Titans' 24-year-old tailback.

Seth Wickersham | email

ESPN The Magazine senior writer
Seth Wickersham joined ESPN The Magazine after graduating from the University of Missouri. Although he primarily covers the NFL, his assignments also have taken him to the Athens Olympics, the World Series, the NCAA tournament and the NHL and NBA playoffs.