2022 NFL Team Rankings by Running Back: AFC North leads the way, with another big season expected

2022 NFL Team Rankings by Running Back: AFC North leads the way, with another big season expected

Backpacking has changed dramatically over the past few years. Most NFL teams choose to go with a commission in that position rather than an individual backbone, and franchises won’t always reward the best runners with a lucrative rollover. They’re now a dime-a-dozen, and no team has trouble finding a young athlete to hit the rock across the A-gap every Sunday.

With that said, there are still elite runners out there who can totally take on crime. Just look at what Derek Henry has done over the past few seasons, and what Jonathan Taylor has done last year. Below, we’ll rank our recurring talent section by department. Our list will focus more on the names each team has rather than the “running offenses” themselves, although they will certainly be taken into account. Which of the eight divisions has the best appearance to appear?

8. AFC East

buffalo bills: Devin Singletary, James Cook
Miami Dolphin: Chase Edmonds, Sonny Michelle, Raheem Mostert
New England Patriots.: Damien Harris, Ramondry Stevenson, James White
New York Jets: Press Hall, Michael Carter

It’s not fair to say that the East Asian team has the “worst” team in the NFL, because they have a very interesting squad. The Bills haven’t had a lover going back since their LeSean McCoy days, but Singletary is capable and it’s hard not to interest a rookie Cook. Dolphins came out on free agency and signed three consecutive appearances with a legitimate starting experience in support of Tua Tagovailoa, and the Patriots have a solid lineup of players who helped Mac Jones a lot during his rookie campaign. The Jets also have two young players who will surely be wanted in the fantasy football leagues at Hull and Carter.

7- NFC West

Cardinals of Arizona.: James Conner, Daryl Williams, Eno Benjamin
San Francisco 49ers: Elijah Mitchell, Jeff Wilson Jr., Tyrion Davis-Pryce, Trey Sermon, Jamaica Hesty
Seattle Seahawks.: Rashad Penny, Kenneth Walker III, Chris Carson
Los Angeles rams: Cam Akers, Daryl Henderson Jr.

The NFC West is arguably the best division in the NFL and had three of its 11 best offenses last year. The 49ers dominate the ground almost every Sunday, but it doesn’t matter at all who is riding the rock. They’ve had a lot of running back over the past few years without any problem, although Mitchell does look like a great player. As for the Cardinals, Conner experienced a rebirth last year, which earned him an extension. Watch Benjamin, who is making waves and could replace what Edmonds did for Cliff Kingsbury last year.

The Rams had to fight through the regular season without Akers, who tore his Achilles but returned to the playoffs. Getting him back healthy for 2022 will only help Sean McVeigh in his mission to restart him. The Seahawks are an interesting team when it comes to their backs, because Pete Carroll could count on these guys in a big way with Russell Wilson losing. Benny has been good when she’s healthy, and Walker is one of the rookies this year who can make an immediate impact.

6. West Asia

Denver Broncos: Javonte Williams, Melvin Gordon
Kansas City Chiefs.: Clyde Edwards Heller, Ronald Jones, Gerek McKinnon
Las Vegas Raiders: Josh Jacobs, Kenyan Drake
Los Angeles Chargers: Austin Eckler

The Broncos may have a dynamic duo with Gordon and Williams, who finished 11th and 13th in the race last year respectively. The Chiefs have been relatively successful with a few different runners thrown in there, but the attack clearly passes most of the way through Patrick Mahomes. Will Edwards Heller prove to be a legitimate No. 1 in 2022, or will Andy Reed have more of a commission approach?

Jacobs is a pretty big name, but he fell back on his Pro Bowl ways in 2021. The Raiders turned down his fifth-year option, so it’s curious to know what the future holds for him under Josh McDaniels. As for the Ekeler, a double-threat weapon, he has clocked a career high of 1,558 melee yards and 20 touchdowns last year.

5.NFC East

Cowboys in Dallas: Ezekiel Elliott, Tony Pollard
New York Giants: I will be Barclay
Philadelphia Eagles: Miles Sanders, Kenneth Jenwell
Washington leaders: Antonio Gibson, J.D. Makisic

Zeke maxed out at $18.22 million in 2022 and many want to see Pollard get more touches going forward. But Elliott still scored 1,289 scrimmage yards and 12 touchdowns last year, and was seventh in the dash yards with 1,002 yards. The bottom line is that Cowboys have two backs that are very capable of running. The Giants also have a big name in Barkley, but it’s fair to wonder if he could return to the elite level.

The Eagles were the league’s number one attacker last year, and while Galen Hurts was the lead contestant, Sanders and Jenuel were frontrunners. I expect both to have better seasons in 2022 even with the addition of AJ Brown. Leaders have an interesting stance in running backwards. Gibson finished sixth in last year’s dash races with a score of 1,037, but fantasy owners lamented the amount of touches Makisic received. It has proven to be a versatile weapon that won literally two leaders’ matches last season. Gibson was also off the bench at times due to fumbling, and Washington brought in Brian Robinson to compete as well. Gibson has already proven to be a talented showman, but the way Washington handles the rotation will be something to watch this coming season.

4.NFC South

Atlanta FalconsCordaryl Patterson, Tyler Algeier, Damien Williams
Carolina Panthers.: Christian McCaffrey, Chupa Hubbard, Donta Foreman
New Orleans Saints: Alvin Camara, Mark Ingram
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Leonard Fournette

We all know Kamara is one of the best players in the game, but this division is a bit tricky to rank because of McCaffrey. He’s missed 23 games over the past two seasons, and it’s not the same double-threat weapon he was before he signed his massive extension. It’s unfortunate. Still, the Panthers have two decent men behind him at Foreman and Hubbard.

Patterson deserves credit for last season, even if he couldn’t build on it. The 31-year-old recorded a career high of 1,166 melee yards and 11 touchdowns in 2021, with head coach Arthur Smith becoming the first to truly fire this weapon. Even though it’s not your prototype, Patterson still plays. For Bucs, Fournette is one of those players who don’t get enough credit. He scored 1,266 yards from a scrimmage last year and tied his career with 10 touchdowns. Jones is no longer on the list, so rookie Rachad White or Ke’Shawn Vaughn could play a role in 2022.

3. AFC South

Houston, TexasMarlon Mack, Rex Burkhead, Damon Pierce
Indianapolis Colts: Jonathan Taylor, Niheim Haynes, Philip Lindsey
Jacksonville Jaguars: James Robinson, Travis Etienne Jr.
Tennessee Titans: Derek Henry

You can make an argument that the AFC South is the best league in the first division since they have the two best NFL positions in the NFL’s Henry and Taylor. Henry led the NFL in both the fast yards and fast-dropping in 2019 and 2020, Taylor took that crown in 2021 while Henry was sidelined through injury.

Aside from the buttons, there’s credit for getting around to Jaguars and Texans. Robinson has been great since entering the league, which is when Urban Meyer didn’t stop him, and will now get Etienne as a teammate. Then for Houston, Burkhead rushed for a 427-yard career high in 2021, which included 149 yards, and a two-legged outing against the Chargers in Week 16. Plus, Texas Mack and rookie Pierce added.

2.NFC North

Chicago Bears: David Montgomery, Khalil Herbert
Detroit Lions: Dandrey Swift, Jamal Williams
Green Bay Packers: Aaron Jones, AJ Dillon
Minnesota Vikings: Dalphin Cook

The talent in this department is undeniable. Montgomery is a legitimate RB1, Herbert shined when called, Swift went for over 1,000 scrimmage yards in 2021, Jones and Dillon both went for over 1,000 scrimmage yards as well, then Cook was a professional pitcher for the third season in a row.

Another reason why this division is the best when it comes to appearances is because these players will take on big responsibilities in 2022. Montgomery will need to make life easier on Justin Fields, Jones and Dillon could make up for Davante Adams’ loss in several ways and then Swift should improve.

1. AFC North

Baltimore Ravens.: JK Dobbins, Joss Edwards, Mike Davis
Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Mixon
Cleveland Browns: Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt
Pittsburgh Steelers: Nagy Harris

The AFC North has the best running group in the NFL, with that division having three of its four best runners last year. Look at this group: Dobbins rushed for 805 yards and nine touchdowns in 15 games with one official start in the junior season before missing last year through injury, Mixon had a career year in 2021 as Bengals reached the Super. The Bowl, the dynamic duo of Chubb and Hunt is perhaps the best in the NFL, then Harris had a very promising rookie campaign in which he touched the ball more than anyone else. It’s only fair to expect big seasons from all these starters in 2022.


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