Ranking the Top 5 NFL Running Backs

As the 2022 season remains months away, now seems like a good time as ever to reflect on the best players at the many different positions in the NFL. Over the next couple weeks, I will be giving my lists for the top five players at each position. In this article, I will give my pick for the best five players at the running back position.

 

  1. Dalvin Cook

One of the league’s most explosive players since entering the league in 2017, Dalvin Cook has been a popular name among fantasy football players due to his consistent high-volume statlines. Since 2019, Cook has rushed for the second most yards in the NFL, ranking only behind the outstanding Derrick Henry.

Last year was another very productive one for the Viking, rushing for almost 1200 yards and 4.7 yards per carry. Cook’s best attribute is his breakaway speed and explosiveness, which is utilized perfectly with his downfield running style.

 

  1. Nick Chubb

Cleveland has had its fair share of issues under the Baker Mayfield era, however one thing fans can alway rely on is the consistently great play from Nick Chubb. Since being drafted by the Browns in 2018, Chubb has been one of the league’s best downhill runners, and consistently has been in the top three in rushing yards each season.

Chubb was only behind Jonathan Taylor in rushing yards a season ago despite missing three games due to injury. He is a powerful back who routinely breaks tackles, ranking fourth in the stat in 2021. Overall, while Chubb will never be the biggest personality or most electrifying player to watch in the NFL, his production and greatness cannot be undermined when discussing the best players at the running back position. 

 

  1. Jonathan Taylor

The league’s leading rusher and offensive player of the year finalist, Jonathan Taylor was one of the league’s breakout players after a solid rookie season. Taylor’s six consecutive games with 100+ yards and a touchdown tied hall-of-famer Ladanian Tomlinson for the most consecutive games doing so in a season ever.

Taylor carried the Colts’ offense and struggling passing game, outsourcing some of the league’s most electric offenses on their way to a 9-8 record. Taylor’s best performance would come against the Buffalo Bills, where he would record 185 yards on the ground and a whopping four touchdowns. 

Taylor has already asserted himself as a top three player at the position in his young career, and can very well take the top spot in due time. 

 

  1. Alvin Kamara

While Kamara did not match the statistical production of Jonathan Taylor a year ago, I still believe the New Orleans back has a better all-around skillset and superior athletic talent. Despite playing around a depleted Saints offense in 2021, Kamara managed to remain in the top five in scrimmage yards per game from the running back position.

Kamara remains one of the premier receiving threats out of the backfield and a constant touchdown scorer, as he is one of the three players in the NFL’s 100+ year history to record six touchdowns in a single game. His combination of strength and footwork makes him one of the most entertaining players to watch regardless of position, and will continue to be an elite playmaker for years to come.

 

  1. Derrick Henry

I mean who else but the king? Derrick Henry was well on his way to putting up the best two-year statistical run by a half back in NFL history, rushing for over 900 yards in eight games after eclipsing the 2k mark in 2020. His combination of size and athleticism makes Henry an impossible player to tackle with just one player, and has a stiff arm that can send defenders to another dimension.

Henry was less than spectacular in Tennessee’s lone playoff game against Cincinnati, however that can largely be attributed to it being Henry’s first game in months. I expect the back to pick up right where he left off this upcoming season, as the Titan is a couple dominant seasons away from being a bonafide NFL hall-of-famer. 

 


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