Is Their Name Cool? Grading The 2022 Rookie RBs

Accuracy. Level of competition. Athletic variables. These things are all stupid and useless. There is only one metric that truly defines how great an athlete will be: how cool their name is. You know it, and I know it. There are objective facts in language and culture that create what we know as an athlete’s most recognizable and lasting brand…having a cool name. It’s important to determine these things before their career starts and bias kicks in. Things like:

Flow – how easy is it to say their name? Can you smoothly move from first to last name when saying it? (Trey Lance, Austin Ekeler)

Alliteration/Assonance/Rhyme – Are strong sounds present and repeated? Is it fun to say? (Ezekiel Elliott, Justin Jefferson)

Pre-Established Names – Do we have something or someone cool in real life with that name? (Mac Jones, Amon-Ra St. Brown)

Two First Names – Fan favorites, memorable, and fun. They’re born winners. (Tom Brady, Derrick Henry)

Uniqueness – Can they stand out or be known by just one name? (Saquon Barkley, Deebo Samuel)

Meta Names – Nominal determinism is rare & elite. Does their name tell us who they are? (D’Andre Swift, LaMelo Ball)

There are other factors, some negative, and we’ll talk about them. Without further adieu, we will break down the 2022 RB class and whether or not they have cool names…and what career they’ll have.

Breece Hall: A-

The consensus pre-draft RB1 boasts two solid factors with his name here: uniqueness (is anyone else named Breece? Like anywhere?) and flow. It’s a fun name to say despite no alliteration. “Breece Hall” kind of sounds like it could be a building or dormitory on a college campus.

Career projection: Starter

Kenneth Walker III: C

The Michigan State rookie has a good profile, but not a cool name. Kenneth is not cool, Walker is not cool, but the roman numerals at the end provide a classy touch. There’s great “th” alliteration when the whole thing is sounded out. It’s worth noting that a running back should probably not be called “Walker.” Would you draft a wide receiver named Kenneth Slowrouterunner? I would not.

Career projection: Backup

Isaiah Spiller: C

Old Testament names carry an element of cool-ness that helps save Spiller here. He doesn’t hit the criteria mentioned above anywhere notable. We did know a C.J. Spiller at the position who had success, but there is average flow and nothing that makes this name cool or terrible.

Career projection: Backup

Dameon Pierce: B+

The former Florida Gator has a solid name. The first name Dameon is unique and strong. I like saying it, and Pierce is a violent name. “Dameon Pierces through the defense for a long touchdown run,” is something cool an announcer could say.

Career projection: RB2

Rachaad White: D+

White gets docked here for the spelling of his name looking like “Ra-chad.” There’s decent flow here, and the uniqueness of “Rachaad” could provide a boost once in the NFL. Still, we’re doubtful.

Career projection: Backup.

James Cook: B+

The younger brother of Dalvin enters with the benefit of the strong family name. “Let James Cook” is only a moment away for the young tailback. By the way, did you know James Cook was a famous captain in the British Royal Navy? That should really help the running back navigate the tides of NFL defenses.

Career projection: Committee back

Zamir White: B+

Yes, the other White guy got a D rating, but Zamir is so much cooler. It sounds like a planet in a Marvel movie or the main villain in a Disney princess movie. Zamir carries great uniqueness, decent flow, but no alliteration. It’s good, for sure, but not quite great.

Career projection: Occasional starter

Pierre Strong, Jr.: A

Yes! This has flow, pre-established coolness (yo Pierre, you wanna come out here?), a touch of alliteration, and uniqueness. Pierre brings class and poise as a name and is very fun to say. Strong doesn’t need much explanation if you read our QB article, and the “Jr.” is a nice touch whether or not he chooses to use it. PSJ as a potential nickname could work. Welcome to the A club, Pierre.

Career projection: Star

CLASS NOTES: The top of this class is a bit of a letdown outside of Hall. Kenneth Walker and Isaiah Spiller need cooler names along with their profiles. This class could flip consensus on its head.


Tyler Allgeier: C-

It rhymes, that’s a win. Not much else is good.

Brian Robinson: C

I yawned saying this. This is the most brutally boring name I’ve ever seen. Could go either way.

Kyren Williams: C

Some uniqueness, sure. This is also ehh.

Jerome Ford: B

I trust this name. We’ve got some pre-established named to bump him up to a B.

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