Predicting the top running backs headed into 2017
Featured Columnist Brendan Young continues his ‘Top 5: 2017 Preseason Edition’ series by evaluating the top running backs headed into the new season.
5. Melvin Gordon / Los Angeles Chargers
After a very disappointing rookie season Melvin Gordon had himself a little bit of a bounce back. He hit the end zone 10 times and rushed three yards shy of the 1,000 yard mark. This season I can see him going over that by a lot and adding on to his TD total.
4. Jordan Howard / Chicago Bears
Yes I know, not the only rookie on the list. The reason I have Howard here is because of the potential he showed on a team that didn’t give much. Let’s be honest, the Bears blew last year and Howard didn’t have much around to help him. If he can get a little more out of QB Mike Glennon (which I don’t expect much) he can have a big year.
3. Ezekiel Elliott / Dallas Cowboys
In his rookie year he rushed for over 1,500 yards and 15 touchdowns behind arguably the best line in the league. The guy is a freak and I expect him to keep that up with an all pro line like the Cowboys have.
2. David Johnson / Arizona Cardinals
This was a tough one, number 1 was so up in the air with the final two that I probably could have made them 1. A and 1. B, but I didn’t. So, I have Johnson at number 2. The former 3rd round pick out of Northern Iowa has been quite a steal for the Cardinals in his first two seasons. He doesn’t look like he plans on slowing down either, the guy scored 16 touchdowns on 293 attempts last season. Johnson also outplayed Bell a little in receiving catching 80 passes for 879 yards and 4 touchdowns.
1. Le’Veon Bell / Pittsburgh Steelers
When healthy, (and not suspended) 25 year old Bell is the most dynamic RB in the NFL. His patience and ability to find holes and explode through them, separates him from the rest of the NFL. Last season Bell averaged 4.9 yards per carry on his way to 1,268 yards and 7 touchdowns in only 12 games. What makes Bell so special is that not only does he run the ball but he can catch the shit out of it too. He had 75 catches for 616 yards and added two touchdown.
J. Ajayi (MIA)
L. McCoy (BUF)
D. Murray (TEN)
M. Lynch (OAK)