It’s a strange era for NFL running backs. We’ve seen stars get paid huge contracts as focal points of offenses in a wide-open league. A good running game takes pressure off the quarterback, and allows more space to execute the aerial attack. Even Patrick Mahomes benefitted from a strong ground game in the Super Bowl win.
But running backs like Todd Gurley, Melvin Gordon and Raheem Mostert have proven to be disposable commodities for their front offices as well. The era of workhorse backs, like Syracuse greats Jim Brown, Ernie Davis, Joe Morris, and Larry Csonka are in the past. If you’re a running back in college, would you worry about the future of your career at the next level?
Either way, a back is vital to a championship team still, even if that means a tandem backfield. If you’re wagering on an NFL game, you have to know the running situation.
It’s one of your deciding factors. It’s vital to know who are the most promising running backs coming into a wacky season where games may be played in silent stadiums. We’ve got you covered. Here are three of the best running backs you should watch out this NFL season.
Chubb is so important for the Browns. He attended high school in Cedartown, Georgia, and played for UGA during his collegiate days. As a junior, he scored 38 touchdowns and broke the Georgia regular-season rushing record by running for 2,721 yards in 10 games.
He led his team to the Class AAAA state playoffs and ran for 2,683 yards and scored 40 touchdowns. He also helped the team to win nine games that season. Chubb finished with 102 rushing touchdowns and 6,983 yards.
The Browns drafted Chubb in the second round in 2018. He played behind veterans Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson during his rookie season. Chubb finished with 192 carries for 996 rushing yards and eight touchdowns in only nine starts.
In his second professional season, Chubb was fully unleashed. He finished with eight touchdowns, 36 receptions for 278 yards, and rose as one of the best backs in football. He is now one of many big names for the Cleveland offense. With his ability to catch the ball, Chubb is expected to play a significant role in Browns season and can be one of the game’s top running backs.
The Cowboys have paid him a lot of money, and the pressure is on. He finished high school in John Burroughs School in Ladue, Missouri, and played college football for Ohio State.
Elliott’s parents were both athletes in college. His athletic pedigree clearly showed when he was a three-sport star in high school, playing track and field, basketball, and baseball. He ended his high school career listed as the No. 9 running back in the Nation in 2013. After that, he signed with Ohio State.
In 2014, he was nominated for the Academic All-Big Ten Conference team and rushed for over a hundred yards six times during the season. He also led the win over the Badgers in the Big Ten Championship Game, where he ran for 220 yards on 20 carries for two touchdowns.
In 2015, he was named Offensive MVP of both the Sugar Bowl and the National Championship Game.
Additionally, he was named Big Ten Player of the Week twice during the 2015 season, Running Back of the Year, and Offensive Player of the Year.
The rare combination of size, athleticism, and outstanding pass-catching and blocking skills made him the Cowboys’ fourth pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.
Elliott broke records long-held by legends like Tony Dorsett and Emmitt Smith. He also garnered First-team All-Pro honors, a two-time rushing champion, and a three-time Pro Bowler. He also became Rookie of the Year.
Elliot’s prowess is crucial for Dallas this season. The offense has so many weapons, and Dak Prescott is looking to validate a monster contract demand. The Cowboys going deep into the playoffs will hinge on a better year from Zeke.
You should check out NFL odds 2020 and find several good bets to win. Dallas is one of the early favorites, in large part because of Elliot’s presence.
The Panthers star just got paid. He went to Valor Christian Highschool in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, and played at Stanford.
Just like Elliot, McCaffrey is from a family of athletes. His father, Ed, was a former wide receiver for Stanford and NFL, while his mother, Lisa, was a Stanford soccer star.
During his high school career, he played as a wide receiver, cornerback, running back, and punter. He broke several Colorado high school records and became a two-time Gatorade Football Player of the Year. He is also the Associated Press College Football Player of the Year.
McCaffrey was also selected as a 2014 U.S. Army All-American, rated by Rivals.com as a four-star recruit, and ranked 77th best player in his class.
During his collegiate career, McCaffrey finished with 3,864 yards, breaking Barry Sanders’s NCAA record of 3,250 all-purpose yards.
He was also a Paul Hornung Award winner and set a new Rose Bowl record with 368 all-purpose yards, breaking Jared Abbrederis’ previous record.
McCaffrey was also named the 2016 All-Pac-12 first team and the CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year before he decided to enter the 2017 NFL Draft.
Ranked as the second-best by ESPN and NFLDraftScout.com, McCaffrey was projected to be a big time pick by NFL experts and analysts. He ended up the eighth overall pick during the 2017 NFL Draft.
Last year he was historically both a 1,000-yard rusher and 1,000-yard receiver. He is also dangerous in returning both kicks and punts. This showcase of abilities makes him one of the most dangerous weapons in football.
McCaffrey signed a four-year, $64 million contract extension with the Panthers making him the highest-paid running back in NFL history. There’s no doubt that the Panthers are banking on his production for a long time.
The very best at the position right now were not late bloomers or discovered deep in the draft like Terrell Davis. These running backs undoubtedly stood out in their earlier career. They are proof that being the best may begin as early as you start playing.