Publish Date: 08/09/2022
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis
Today we will look at the top ten running back units heading into the 2022 NFL season. Check out the best new sportsbooks for betting on the NFL. If you are wondering why the Carolina Panthers are not in the top ten that would be because of the injury issues with Christian McCaffery.
Austin Ekeler is one of the most influential running backs in the passing and run game. If the depth was more reliable, this unit would rank higher. This unit does not have much depth, so they made the list mainly because of how good Ekeler is.
Joe Mixon is only 26 years old and remains one of the league’s most respected ball carriers. Chris Evans and Samaje Perine offer decent depth, but Mixon, who averaged more than 40 snaps per game, is likely to remain the backfield’s workhorse. I would love to see the Bengals transition to Chris Evans over Samaje Perine this season.
Alvin Kamara remains among the league’s top players when he is healthy, but the Saints have dropped in our backfield rankings compared to a year ago. Kamara, 27, is back from a knee injury. However, this ranking was mainly due to a lack of quality depth.
Ezekiel Elliot has slowed, but the Dallas backfield is still a top-tier unit. Few teams can match the two-punch of Elliott and Tony Pollard. The hope has to be that by splitting carries between two quality backs that will extend Elliot’s career.
While Dalvin Cook is still our top choice, there are signs that he might be slowing down. Cook averaged 0.6 yards per run when he was contacted at the line of Scrimmage. This is a terrible ranking. Furthermore, 82% of Cook’s yardage was derived from attempts in which he was given at least two yards unassisted, the league’s highest rate. Cook is still a stud, but career longevity is not great when you are a running back in the NFL.
Every ballot ranked the Packers’ backfield in the top five. This roster has a reliable backup and is one of few with a top-tier starter (Aaron Jones). . If Jones and Dillon are more explosive, this unit can still improve. Only the Texans’ runningbacks had a lower percentage (10-yard gains) last season.
It’s time Javonte William to assume control of the Denver backfield. However, Melvin Gordon is still an important factor in this unit being a top-tier unit. Williams’ ability to make something from nothing is a major strength that will allow him to produce in a bigger role. Having Russell Wilson at quarterback should help to loosen defense up. Check out the best betting sites for betting on the NFL.
Cleveland should top our backfield rankings for the second straight season, but it is not an easy choice now with the issues with Kareem Hunt, who is now demanding a trade. Nick Chubb is a special talent. Chubb managed to run 10 yards or more on a league record 12% of his carries (average of 3%). Kareem Hunt and D’Ernest Johnson provide outstanding depth. The key will be if the Browns can make Hunt happy, and that’s a big question mark that keeps the Browns out of the number one spot.
Although Derrick Henry, who is 28 years old, suffered an injury last season, Tennessee has climbed in our backfield rankings. Although Henry may need to be relieved of his workload by the Titans, the unit should still be effective due to the addition Hassan Haskins. He runs similarly to Henry and should do well in Tennessee.
Every ballot should rank the Colts’ backfield first or second. Jonathan Taylor, who is only 23 years old, will continue to be a top-ranked back as long as he stays healthy. Indy may be able to challenge Cleveland for the top spot because of its improved depth.