With the NFL season in full swing and fantasy drafts starting to take place it is time for us to rank the top 5 running backs. Each position has their own unique way of playing that makes them stand out from the pack, so let’s see who our experts think are the best five RBs in football right now.
The “top 5 running backs 2021” is a ranking of the top five running backs in the NFL for the upcoming season. The list includes Saquon Barkley, Ezekiel Elliott, Le’Veon Bell, David Johnson and Todd Gurley.
The NFL Draft in 2022 is just a few weeks away, and clubs are putting the final touches on their big boards. From the Senior Bowl to the Scouting Combine to pro days, hundreds of college football’s greatest talents have the chance to show their stuff.
It’s crunch time now, with front offices throughout the league putting together their draft strategies. This time around, many clubs will be looking for a running back. While the position’s lifespan isn’t as long as some others, it is unquestionably one of the most crucial on the football field.
The incoming class has a slew of big-name players who can contribute right away. In the NFL Draft of 2022, these athletes are the best of the crop.
Rachaad White, Arizona State, was named an honorable mention in the NFL Draft.
Rachaad White is one of the most exciting prospects in the NFL Draft in 2022. At Arizona State, the former three-star prospect had a spectacular senior season. On 182 carries, he ran for 1,000 yards and 15 touchdowns. He also had 43 receptions for 456 yards and another touchdown.
The Arizona State running back is one of the most versatile in the class. At the next level, his pass-catching abilities might make him an every-down back. However, he isn’t very good in pass protection, and his stature may hamper him in the power ground game. Still, with the right offensive coach, he may develop into a star in the future.
Texas A&M running back Isaiah Spiller before game against New Mexico | Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images; Iowa State running back Breece Hall celebrates a touchdown against Oklahoma State | David K Purdy/Getty Images
Alabama’s Brian Robinson Jr. is ranked fifth.
Brian Robinson Jr. is underappreciated, but what else is new? Throughout his career, he has been disregarded. At Alabama, he was forced to play behind a slew of outstanding running backs until ultimately getting his moment to shine.
During the 2021 season, Robinson was the workhorse. On 14 carries, he piled up 1,343 yards and 14 scores. Despite a huge workload, the Crimson Tide star made it through a 14-game season. That’s encouraging for a club in need of a starter.
Robinson fits well in a power-run offense because of his stature. He’s a downhill runner who makes defenders make business judgments all the time. On the other hand, he doesn’t have nearly as much potential in the passing game. In 2021, he caught 35 passes, but that isn’t his game. He’ll need to improve as a receiver, but as a short-yardage back, he might contribute right away.
4. Florida’s Dameon Pierce
When everything is said and done, Dameon Pierce has the potential to be the top running back in the 2022 NFL Draft class. He didn’t have the most fruitful college career, but during his final year at Florida, everything began to fall into place. On 100 carries, he ran for 574 yards and 13 touchdowns. Pierce also had 19 catches for 216 yards and three touchdowns.
Pierce did not have the same level of responsibility as some of the other men on this list. It wasn’t for a lack of ability, however. The Gators tailback, who stands 5-foot-10 and weighs 218 pounds, has a compact body that enables him to sprint past early contact.
Pierce’s ability to run the ball with a feeling of urgency is one of his most redeeming attributes. He plays without hesitation, but he also has exceptional vision when it comes to spotting running spaces. He isn’t very speedy, but he has a good balance of size and quickness. With space to develop, he might be an elite NFL short-yardage running back.
3. Isaiah Spiller, Texas A&M
Some NFL draft analysts are torn on Isaiah Spiller’s ceiling, but the kid is a football player. The Texas A&M product was an impact player from the moment he stepped foot in College Station. He racked up 2,993 rushing yards and 25 touchdowns across three seasons. He posted a career average of 5.5 yards per carry.
Spiller is another athlete who was able to take a heavy workload in college and will be able to do it in the NFL. He has a strong, well-built physique that complements his aggressive running style.
Because the junior running back was not very effective as a passer, his lack of curiosity as a pass-catcher might force him to sag. He does, however, have soft hands, so it’s not as if he can’t grow into a receiving danger. Spiller lacks top quickness, but he has the potential to be a playmaking power back at the next level.
2. Michigan State’s Kenneth Walker III
Kenneth Walker III, regardless of position, was one of the top players in college football during the 2021 season. Throughout the season, the Michigan State star running back shredded opposition defenses. In 12 games, he rushed for 1,636 yards and 18 touchdowns.
Because of how dominating he was against Power 5 competition, Walker may have been a Heisman Trophy contender. The Spartans’ standout is mostly a strong runner, but he also has the ability to break away from opponents in the wide field.
Walker ran a 4.38 40-yard sprint at the Scouting Combine, which was a personal best. His speed and aptitude for scoring touchdowns will make him one of the most sought-after running backs in the NFL Draft in 2022. In college, he didn’t have much to offer in the passing game, but that’s something he could add to his package.
1. Iowa State University’s Breece Hall
Since 2019, Breece Hall has been:
🥇 3,920 rushing yards (most in P5) 🥇2,310 yards after contact (most) 🥇 50 rushing TDs (most) 🥇 194 forced missed tackles (most)pic.twitter.com/tYQgsAKqAv
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) March 31, 2022
Breece Hall of Iowa State is the most complete running back available in the 2022 NFL Draft. He has the flexibility that many NFL clubs are seeking for. Hall had a very successful college career at Iowa State. In three seasons, he accumulated 3,941 running yards, 734 receiving yards, and 56 total touchdowns.
The Cyclones’ star player has the perfect mix of size, speed, and power. As a ball carrier, he possesses outstanding instincts and vision. Hall is a powerful runner who can outrun a defense on all three levels. He’s a good receiver out of the backfield, so he’s capable of becoming a three-down running back in the NFL.
The goal of the game is to score more points than your opponent, and Hall knows how to do just that. Volume will not be a problem since he was a key element of Iowa State’s offense. Pass protection is where he has the most potential. If he can develop in that area, he has a chance to be the top running back in the NFL draft class.
College Football Reference provided all stats.
In a CBS Sports mock draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers choose a surprising Big Ben replacement at No. 20.
The “best running backs in nfl 2020” is a ranking of the top 5 running backs in the NFL.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is the top 5 running backs of all time?
Michael Jordan, Jim Brown, Walter Payton (aka The Sweetness), Emmit Smith and Barry Sanders.
Who is the best RB in football 2021?
A: The best RB in football 2021 is the one who has the most yards.
Who is the number 1 RB in the NFL?
A: Michael Thomas of the New Orleans Saints.
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