30 best NFL running backs of the 21st century

There were so many great running backs since the year 2000, but to rank them is a huge task. Who lands at number one at a position that's getting harder and harder to value?

Indianapolis Colts v Tennessee Titans
Indianapolis Colts v Tennessee Titans / Frederick Breedon/GettyImages
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23. Tiki Barber, 2000-2006
New York Giants

For this list in imparticular, Tiki Barber is lucky we’re not counting stats until the year 2000. Prior to the new millennium, Barber wasn’t great. He was relegated to a backup role for his first three seasons, and he only rushed for 258 yards in year three despite playing all 16 games. He was only getting four attempts per game. The Giants were a mess in 1999, as nobody on the team broke 350 yards rushing. That seems almost impossible for that time period.

Barber found his stride in 2000, becoming the best two-way weapon in the league. He recorded his first 1,000-yard season, and he added another 719 receiving yards. He helped the Giants get to the Super Bowl in 2000, and then his career took off.

He was always a controversial name on lists like these. Barber had a bit of a fumbling issue, but he was pretty perfect outside of it. He led the league in total yards twice. The level of weapon he was for the Giants at this time, was beyond just pure stats (no matter how good the stats were).

Near the end, he was at his best. In 2005, his second to last year in the league and his 30-year-old season, he had 1,860 yards rushing and more than 500 yards receiving. He finished fourth in MVP voting and third in Offensive Player of the Year voting. Barber was a marvel in his time, and he’d probably be even better if he played today.