NFL: Top 10 Running Backs Heading Into 2011
Watch someone catch feelings…
1. ADRIAN PETERSON, Minnesota Vikings.
AND IT’S NOT CLOSE.
Young All Day has that rare blend of speed, power, vision, cutting ability and a mean streak. And of course we all know he’s a threat to take it to the house on nearly any play.
2. STEVEN JACKSON, St. Louis Rams.
He’s so consistent and has been for many years, that people take him for granted. But he excels at every aspect of the position. He isn’t just a runner and can actually withstand the pounding that RBs take over the course of a season.
3. DEANGELO WILLIAMS, Carolina Panthers.
WHEN HEALTHY, he is as good as it gets.
4. JAMAAL CHARLES, Kansas City Chiefs.
Talk about home run threats. Don’t let his size fool you pause. He’s tough as nails and he’s an underrated blocker. Plus he’s a great receiving threat. Basically he’s everything people thought Reggie Bush was, but Charles actually IS.
5. CHRIS JOHNSON, Tennessee Titans.
He has all the speed in the world, but he doesn’t block well, nor does he hold up well when he runs between the tackles and is hit 30 times per game.
6. FRANK GORE, San Francisco 49ers.
Frank Gore is ONE TOUGH GUY. The only knock on him is that he cannot stay healthy to save his life.
7. RAY RICE, Baltimore Ravens.
Young Ray, the New Rochelle native, does it all. He’ll get you yards in the run, he’ll go out and run pass routes, his blocking has gotten exponentially better since entering the league. He goes all out and leaves it on the field.
8. AHMAD BRADSHAW, New York Football Giants.
Bradshaw has increased his productivity all four years he’s been in the NFL. Even with a busted offensive line for more than half of 2010, he put up 1,235 yards while splitting the other 40% of the carries with Brandon Jacobs. He’s become much more proficient in pass blocking and receiving in the flat. He’s always a threat to juke, make a few guys miss and take it the distance. One of the most shifty, if not the most shifty, RB in the NFL today.
Has to reduce the fumbles, which reduce his ranking here.
9. MAURICE JONES-DREW, Jacksonville Jaguars.
Can he stay healthy, though? Maurice Jones-Cutler is more like it.
10. ARIAN FOSTER, Houston Texans.
He has one-year wonder written all over him, but I cannot diss the league’s rushing leader by not having him on the list. I don’t see him getting more than 1,200 yards this year — and that’s with pulling 85% of the Texans’ carries.
Ryan Grant, Green Bay Packers.
Rashard Mendenhall, Pittsburgh Steelers.
Peyton Hillis, Cleveland Browns.
Matt Forte, Chicago Bears.
LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles.