Modern NFL offenses lean heavily towards the passing game, but these 10 running backs can still grind out huge amounts of yards on the ground.
Cutting edge NFL teams may not like to pay running backs big money anymore, but that doesn’t mean the position can be hugely helpful to a modern offense. Gashing opponents with massive runs can still be an effective weapon for teams that employ talented running backs.
The challenge for general managers and coaches is to make sure they have the right running back on their roster at the right time. Elite running backs can see their production drop off rapidly once they get on the wrong side of age 30. Conversely, it can take young running backs a year or two to really adjust to the challenge of playing against NFL defenders.
These ten running backs could be in the sweet spot of their careers in 2020. Each has a real chance to lead the NFL in rushing this season.
10. Jonathan Taylor
Betting on a rookie to lead the NFL in rushing is fraught with danger. Taylor is in a perfect position to grind out big yards for the Colts though. He’s landed with a team that wants to run the ball early and often behind their talented offensive line.
The real question for Taylor is just how quickly he can take all of Marlon Mack’s carries. The Colts might try to employ a timeshare in the backfield early in the season. Once the games really start to count, Taylor’s talent and running style are going to allow him to take over the lion’s share of the workload.
Taylor is already used to soaking up huge amounts of carries during his collegiate career at Wisconsin. He’s the rare running back who seems to get better as the game goes along. He could put up huge numbers for the Colts during his rookie campaign.