NFL: Top 10 Running Backs in the NFL Entering 2020

The running back position in the NFL seems to be dead, but it also appears to be reviving itself. Even though it is important to pass the football, there are times where you need running backs to melt the clock and have a semblance of a running game.

It is sometimes hard to win in the NFL without a running game. Running backs have to run the ball, catch passes, and block defenders. They also have the ability to make some solid cuts and jukes nonetheless. Who are the top 10 running backs entering the 2020 NFL season?

10. Phillip Lindsay, Denver Broncos

Lindsay has been impressive in his first two seasons as the primary ball carrier in Denver. This offense is ready to skyrocket this season with Drew Lock as the quarterback and Pat Shurmur as the offensive coordinator.

Phillip Lindsay does excellent on pitch outs and he seems to get a ton of space to run whenever he gets out on the perimeter. He is quietly becoming one of the better running backs in the NFL. Lindsay is also a very underrated blocker and pass catcher. He will most likely share carries with Melvin Gordon now, but Lindsay is a better running back than him.

Phillip Lindsay rushed for 1,011 yards on 224 carries and seven touchdowns in 2019. He also caught 35 passes for 196 yards. Lindsay did not have a receiving touchdown last season, but Denver hopes that changes this season.

9. Mark Ingram II, Baltimore Ravens

Ingram II was a beast last season in the backfield after signing a three-year deal in free agency. The New Orleans Saints missed him.

Mark Ingram II was the heart and soul of this backfield last season. He and Lamar Jackson were on the same page nonetheless. Ingram II rushed for 1,018 yards on 202 carries and 10 touchdowns. He also caught 26 passes for 247 yards receiving and five touchdowns last season.

Ingram II deserves to join this special list of running backs.

8. Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville Jaguars

Fournette is a rock in the backfield for Jacksonville. His fifth-year option was not picked up, but Leonard Fournette is going to give it his all this year no matter what, unlike his teammate Yannick Ngakoue.

Fournette rushed for 1,152 yards on 265 carries and three touchdowns last season. Jacksonville had a putrid offense nonetheless. He also caught 76 passes for 522 yards receiving. Leonard Fournette did not have a receiving touchdown last season. It would be amazing to see him even better if the Jaguars knew how to utilize him better.

7. Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings

Cook was one of the reasons why the Minnesota Vikings made it back to the playoffs for the second time in three years last season. He is the heartbeat of Minnesota’s offense. Dalvin Cook is what makes this offense roll.

He is going to have another big season in 2020. Cook helps out Kirk Cousins and it sets up play-action. Dalvin Cook rushed for 1,135 yards on 250 carries and 13 touchdowns in 2019. He also caught 53 passes for 519 yards receiving and zero touchdowns.

6. Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders

Jacobs was drafted 24th overall in the 2019 NFL Draft. He has the potential to be a superstar moving forward. Josh Jacobs is more of a downhill runner.

He made a huge difference in that offense. Without Jacobs, the Las Vegas Raiders running game takes a major hit. Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington aren’t as good combined. Josh Jacobs needs to stay healthy and avoid shoulder injuries moving forward.

He rushed for 1,150 yards on 242 carries and seven touchdowns a season ago. Jacobs also caught 20 passes for 166 yards receiving and zero touchdowns. He missed three games due to the shoulder injury nonetheless.

5. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys

Elliott is a tank when he runs with the football and is one of the more dangerous running backs. He is one of the key offensive pieces on this Dallas roster. Ezekiel Elliott is an excellent talent, but his off the field judgment is horrible.

He rushed for 1,357 yards on 301 carries and 12 touchdowns last year. Elliott also caught 54 passes for 420 yards receiving and two touchdowns.

4. Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns

Chubb popped in his second season as the tailback for this Cleveland football team last season. Even though they have Kareem Hunt, Nick Chubb is the primary guy in the backfield. He can bust the game open at any time. Chubb is a beast.

He busted a 92-yard touchdown run against the Baltimore Ravens on the road last season and he will face them on the road in Week 1 nonetheless. This offense is loaded. Nick Chubb rushed for 1,494 yards on 298 carries and eight touchdowns last season. He also caught 36 passes for 278 yards receiving and zero touchdowns.

Chubb was going to be good because he rushed for 996 yards on 192 carries and eight touchdowns as a rookie in only nine games started nonetheless.

He definitely belongs on this running backs list.

3. Saquon Barkley, New York Giants

Barkley is a beast when he is healthy. He missed time last season due to an ankle injury. Hopefully, the Giants will have protection for him this season.

Saquon Barkley is a top-three running back in the NFL for sure. He is strong and elusive. Barkley rushed for 1,003 yards on 217 carries and six touchdowns last season. He also caught 52 passes for 438 yards receiving and two touchdowns.

Saquon Barkley also busted a 68-yard touchdown run in Week 17 against the Philadelphia Eagles at home. He played in 13 games last season nonetheless. Barkley is already one of the best running backs in the NFL.

2. Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers

McCaffrey is a dynamic running back who can catch passes out of the backfield and he also runs the ball with ease. Christian McCaffrey is the face of the franchise for now. He is also one of the top two running backs in the NFL for a reason.

He is going to be a Hall of Famer if he continues at this pace. All McCaffrey does is show and play. I know he’s a competitor, but he treats every game like it’s just another day. Christian McCaffrey rushed for 1,387 yards on 287 carries and 15 touchdowns in 2019. He also caught 116 passes for 1,005 yards receiving and four touchdowns.

1. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans

Derrick Henry turned it on late in the season and won the rushing title nonetheless. Henry carried his team to the AFC Championship Game. He was a freak of nature and they won all of their games last season when he rushed for 100 yards.

Derrick Henry and the Tennessee Titans will have high expectations this season. He is the best runner of the football in the NFL right now nonetheless. Henry is your go-to guy if you need a first-down on a fourth-and-1.

He rushed for 1,540 yards on 303 carries and 16 touchdowns a year ago. Derrick Henry also caught 18 passes for 206 yards receiving and two touchdowns.

Who do you think are the top 10 running backs in the NFL? Leave a comment below.

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Follow Glenn Kaplan on Twitter @glennkaplan13.

 

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