Few things are more enjoyable for a fan than having an unstoppable runner.
When your player runs into monstrous defenders and comes out the other side, they look like a superhero.
Although most running backs aren’t highly touted first-round picks, the NFL is full of backfield options.
here are the top 10 riders entering the 2022 season:
1. derrick henry, tennessee titans
Speaking of superheroes, look no further than this 6-foot-3, 247-pound beast. Henry led the league in rushing, rushing yards and touchdowns in 2019 and 2020. He was on track to do the same in 2021 before injury limited him to just eight games. Despite playing less than half the season, Henry finished sixth in touchdowns (10) and ninth in yards (937).
2. jonathan taylor, indianapolis colts
as henry reaches the end of his prime, taylor is entering hers. The 23-year-old led the league in rushing, rushing yards and touchdowns last season, finishing second in offensive player of the year voting and earning first-team all-pro honors. Only six players in NFL history have had more rushing yards in their first two seasons than Taylor (2,980).
3. christian mccaffrey, carolina panthers
when healthy, no running back in the nfl is a better dual threat option than mccaffrey. however, the first two words of the sentence above are the problem, as cmc has played 10 games in total in the last two years. he did not miss a game in his first three seasons, peaking him in 2019 with 2,392 combined rushing and receiving yards and 19 total touchdowns.
4. dalvin cook, minnesota vikings
Fresh off three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, Cook remains one of the best running backs in the league. He has scored 35 rushing touchdowns since 2019, trailing only Henry and is six clear of third place despite missing eight games. the former second-round pick has made three straight pro bowl appearances entering his 27-year-old season.
5. nick chubb, cleveland browns
Despite sharing the Cleveland backfield with Kareem Hunt, Chubb has emerged as a dominant running back since being drafted in 2018. He has three pro bowl appearances and three 1,000-yard seasons, as well as 996 yards in his campaign. as a rookie Chubb is an incredibly consistent player, each season he scores eight or more touchdowns and averages five or more yards per carry.
6. najee harris, pittsburgh steelers
If his rookie year was any indication, Harris is poised for a stellar career. He rushed for 1,200 yards and seven touchdowns while posting 74 receptions, despite playing behind a weak Steelers offensive line. The first-round pick didn’t miss a game, and he was rewarded with a pro bowl appearance in his inaugural campaign.
7. austin ekeler, chargers of the angels
ekeler, who went undrafted in 2017, began his career as a backup before quickly gaining playing time. last season was his best yet, finishing with 911 rushing yards, 647 receiving yards and 20 total touchdowns. With Justin Herbert as his quarterback, Ekeler gets less attention from defenses and can clearly make them pay.
8. joe mixon, cincinnati flares
mixon was an above average running back in his first four seasons, but he took things to another level in 2021. the bengals made it to the super bowl, and while joe burrow and ja’marr chase got most of the attention, mixon was a key component. He rushed for 1,205 yards and 13 touchdowns, both ranked in the top five in the NFL.
9. alvin kamara, new orleans saints
Since entering the league in 2017, all kamara has done is make it to the pro bowl. for five straight seasons, the former third-round pick has proven the draft pundits wrong. Kamara has 68 total touchdowns since 2017, which leads the NFL. he has topped 1,300 scrimmage yards in all five seasons.
10. leonard fournette, tampa bay buccaneers
after the jaguars drafted fournette at no. 4 overall in 2017, he looked like he was destined for stardom. While Fournette had flashes of brilliance in Jacksonville, he has achieved national fame on the big stage with Tom Brady and the Bucs. Fournette had four touchdowns in four postseason games as the Bucs won Super Bowl LV, and followed that up with 10 total touchdowns in 2021.
honorable mention: aaron jones; saquon bark; ezekiel elliot; d’andre swift; jamesconner