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Top 20 NFL Running Backs for Current Year

NFL Running Backs

Which top NFL running backs in 2022 would you target if you were an NFL coach looking to improve your roster? Are you perplexed?

We’ve just made it easier for you by discussing the Top 20 NFL running backs for 2022.

Some NFL running backs are always valuable to any team in the league. They will always try to make a big impact no matter which team they end up on.

People regard running backs as heroes in today’sera, when offense receives so much attention. They do it all, from energetic receiving roles to setting up a good play.

So, we dug deep into statistical analysis and running back performance to present you with the top 20 NFL running backs for 2022.

20 Best NFL Running Backs for 2022

The top 20 NFL running backs listed below were compiled using data from NFL Stats, Pro Football Network, and Sporting News.

Before we get into the details, let’s take a quick look at the names on the list.

Running Backs Name
Team Name
20. Antonio Gibson Washington Football Team
19. Chris Carson Seattle Seahawks
18. James Robinson Jacksonville Jaguars
17. Clyde Edwards-Helaire Kansas City Chiefs
16. Najee Harris Pittsburgh Steelers
15. Austin Ekeler Los Angeles Chargers
14. Cam Akers Los Angeles Rams
13. David Montgomery Chicago Bears
12. J.K. Dobbins Baltimore Ravens
11. Jonathan Taylor Indianapolis Colts
10. Josh Jacobs Las Vegas Raiders
9. Joe Mixon Cincinnati Bengals
8. Aaron Jones Green Bay Packers
7. Saquon Barkley New York Giants
6. Ezekiel Elliott Dallas Cowboys
5. Nick Chubb Cleveland Browns
4. Dalvin Cook Minnesota Vikings
3. Alvin Kamara New Orleans Saints
2. Christian McCaffrey Carolina Panthers
1. Derrick Henry Tennessee Titans

20. Antonio Gibson

Antonio Gibson of the Washington Football team is ranked #20. He played 14 games the previous season, averaging 795 yards on 170 attempts.

Similarly, Gibson had 247 yards receiving and 11 touchdowns on the ground. Furthermore, the running back made headlines when he scored three touchdowns on Thanksgiving.

In addition, Antonio rushed for 115 yards. As a result, he became the first rookie since Randy Moss in 1988 to accomplish this feat.

Similarly, the athlete has proven to be a mismatch for the majority of the league’s linebackeBeforer to his toe injury, he  an impressive dominance down the stretch.

As a result, with veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in Washington, the rookie is poised for a breakout year in 2022.

19. Chris Carson

Despite his injury history, Chris Carson of the Seattle Seahawks is an excellent running back.

Carson had 681 rush yards and 5 rush touchdowns in 141 attempts in 12 games the previous season.

Similarly, he ranks among the best in the business with an average of 4.6 yards carryingarry.

Chris scored two touchdowns and caught six passes for 45 yards in the first week of the previous season.

In turn, he became the Seahawks’ first running back since Dan Doornink to record multiple receiving touchdowns in a single game.

Furthermore, Seattle has hired Shane Waldron as its new offensive coordinator for 2022. The running back will be the focal point of the offense under Waldron.

With his injury history, however, the offense will only work for him if he stays healthy.

18. James Robinson

James Robinson, an undrafted rookie out of the Jacksonville Jaguars, is quickly making a name for himself. His open-field creativity is awe-inspiring and dependable in crunch time.

Furthermore, in 14 games, the team’s starting running back rushed for 1,070 yards on 240 attempts, averaging 4.5 yards carryingarry and scoring seven times.

Aside from that, the Jaguars’ running back is only the fourth undrafted rookie in NFL history to rush for 1,000 yards. He is ranked 100th on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2021 list.

Robinson’s role may be limited, however, because the Jaguars selected running back Travis Etienne in the first round.

Despite James’ explosive play, Jacksonville may prefer their first-round pick to start.

17. Clyde Edwards-Helaire

Clyde Edwards-Helaire, the Kansas City Chiefs first-round pick, is one of the league’s rising running backs.

He rushed for 138 yards and scored a rushing touchdown in his Chiefs debut. As a result, Clyde became the NFL’s youngest player ever to rush for 130 yards and score a touchdown in his debut.

Overall, the rookie appeared in 13 games and rushed for 803 yards and four touchdowns. Unfortunately, he suffered an ankle injury that sidelined him in his 15th week.

Edwards-Helaire returned for two games in the AFC championship, rushing for 71 yards and one touchdown in a loss to the Buffalo Bills.

Despite the loss, the Chiefs running back has proven to be a dangerous offensive weapon in his future.

16. Najee Harris

Najee Harris is a Pittsburgh Steelers rookie who was drafted out of the University of Alabama.

He is a top-tier rookie who scored 26 touchdowns and rushed for 1,466 yards his senior year. Scouts compare him to Leon Bell, a phenomenal rushing back, because of his incredible ability.

Similarly, Harris is expected to be the focal point of the Steelers offense. This will relieve some of the pressure on Pittsburgh’s veteran quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger.

The Steelers have poised for a productive season thanks to this dynamic duo.

15. Austin Ekeler

Austin Ekeler is an outstanding running back and receiver for the Los Angeles Chargers.

He rushed for 530 yards and scored one touchdown the previous season. Similarly, Ekeler scored twice while receiving 403 yards.

Ekeler’s season has not been his best, as he has been sidelined by a hamstring injury. Nonetheless, when leading offenses alongside QB Justin Herbert, he has proven to be a top priority.

With the right opportunity and a healthy body, the running back can be an unstoppable force.

14. Cam Akers

Cam Akers has made an impressive impact for the Los Angeles Rams in just one season. Despite losing star running back Todd Gurley in free agency, the Rams are glad to have Akers.

 

Akers played 13 games in his rookie season, rushing for 625 yards and two touchdowns. Similarly, his toughness was evident from the start of the game.

Cam was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week in Week 14. Similarly, he performed admirably in the postseason, rushing 131 yards in the Wild Card Round.

Cam Akers rushes during the Washington Team’s game against the Los Angeles Rams. (Wikimedia Commons)

However, the Rams struggled down the stretch. Their season came to an end in the Divisional Round, with Akers rushing for 90 yards.

Nonetheless, he will undoubtedly rank higher than 14 in the debate over the top NFL running backs in the coming years.

13. David Montgomery

David is a powerful one-man force who rushed for 1070 yards and scored 8 rush touchdowns the previous season.

The star running back for the Chicago Bears is a key opponent for their offense. Montgomery rushed for 133 yards and scored two touchdowns of 80 yards the previous season.

This was the Bears’ fourth-longest score in franchise history. Similarly, the running back rushed for 146 yards on 32 carries and scored twice.

As a result, he became the franchise’s second running back to surpass 1000 yards rushing in a season.

Similarly, his 1070 yards rushing ranked fifth in the league. Montgomery will undoubtedly make a significant impact in 2022.

12. Dobbins, J.K.

J.K Dobbins was a second-round draft pick for the Baltimore Ravens who outperformed everyone’s expectations.

Dobbins scored two touchdowns in his debut and ran for 100 yards for the first time. He finished the season with 9 touchdowns and 805 yards rushing.

The Ravens selected a solid running back who was also a top offensive player in college football. As a result, Dobbins received the 2019 Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award.

He is currently out with an ACL injury that has kept him from playing. As a result, Baltimore fans are anticipating his dynamic arrival to help lead them to the Super Bowl.

11. Jonathan Taylor

Jonathan Taylor is the ideal offensive fit for the Indianapolis Colts. He’s the main reason the Colts prefer a steady rushing attack.

Tylor has been thriving with this offensive strategy, rushing 1169 yards and scoring 11 touchdowns.

He finished third in the league and was named offensive player of the month in December.

Maybe this is a long catch, but with Tylaor and Frank Reich’s offense, the Colts are bound for the playoffs.

You might also be interested in the list of the Top 50 NFL Fantasy Players for 2022 >>.

10. Josh Jacobs

The Las Vegas Raiders’ offense revolves around Josh Jacobs. Jacobs’ powerful running style completely dominated his first season with the Raiders.

He rushed for 1065 yards and scored 12 touchdowns in 15 games the previous season. In just two years, the rookie has surpassed the franchise record for rushing yards.

He was also named to the Pro Bowl in 2020. So, without a doubt, the Raiders will benefit from another explosive season from the third-year pro.

Joe Mixon 9th

Joe Mixon of the Cincinnati Bengals is another explosive name on the top NFL running backs list.

However, his previous season was hampered by a foot injury, and he was only able to rush 428 yards while scoring three rush and one receiving touchdowns.

Joe did not rush for more than 600 yards on this occasion. Even in his rookie season, the NFL player had 626 yards rushing and four touchdowns.

Except for the previous and rookie seasons, Mixon has always finished with more than 1000 rushing yards.

Furthermore, with a new offensive coach for the Bengals, he will undoubtedly shine and produce more.

8. Aaron Jones

Aaron Jones of the Green Bay Packers has established himself as one of the game’s elite running backs in a relatively short period.

There is no beginning or end to his career; he is a definite Hall of Famer and a deserving future league MVP.

Jones has had 30 touchdowns in the last two seasons. That, along with being named to the 2020 Pro Bowl, is a huge accomplishment.

Jones, along with reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers, is off to a strong start for the 2022 season.

7. Saquon Barkley

Fans and the New York Giants have high expectations for Saquon Barkley after he returns from injury.

Barkley won the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award in his rookie season and was selected to the 2018 Pro Bowl.

Similarly, the athlete set a record for the most receptions by a rookie running back in a single season.

Furthermore, in his second season, the NFL ranked him as the 16th best player in the league in 2019. Barkley’s return is expected to be jaw-droppingly explosive.

6. Ezekiel Elliott

Last season, Ezekiel Elliott had a career-low 4.0 yards per carrying and is looking to rebound.

There is a lot to discuss, from the coaching staff to the quarterback position, as to why Elliott hasn’t been performing as well as he used to.

Nonetheless, Ezekiel has been working on his fundamentals and attempting to be faster on the field.

Because we all know how damaging his offensive ability can be, he will undoubtedly rise for the 2022 season.

Elliott would face a lot of pressure if the Dallas Cowboys offensive line was fully healthy.

Based on this logic, he can return at any time to reclaim his rushing title for the third time in his career.

5. Nick Chubb

The Cleveland Browns would not be a playoff contender without Nick Chubb’s offensive presence on the field.

Throughout his career, Chubb has averaged 5.2 yards per carrying, making him a star rushing back in the league.

The player rushed for 1067 yards and scored 12 rush touchdowns in his previous season. As a result, Chubb was named to the Pro Bowl for the second time in his career.

He will undoubtedly repeat his dominant performance in the upcoming season.

4. Dalvin Cook

Dalvin Cook, the Minnesota Vikings’ rushing back, is unstoppable. Every year, he seems to improve. To him, the sky is the limit.

Furthermore, after rushing for a career-high 1557 yards and 16 touchdowns last season, he is just getting ready to become the best in the league.

Furthermore, any defense will have a difficult time dealing with his storminess on the field. Cook is once again poised to deliver a strong performance with Kirk Cousins in 2022.

3. Alvin Kamara

Alvin Kamara, a four-time consecutive Pro Bowler, is a household name in the rushing back position.

Even with an outstanding performance from Kamara, the New Orleans Saints are unlikely to advance to the Super Bowl.

However, the Saints’ success will be written only if Kamara stays with them. He’s always been exceptional at getting things done.

As a result, Alvin scored 16 touchdowns the previous season, ranking second in the NFL.

Not to mention, he tied with Dalvin Cook for the same position, with Kamara gaining 932 yards to Cook’s 1557.

2. Christian McCaffrey

Christian McCaffery may not be on the active roster due to multiple injuries, but he is still a wrecking ball on the ground.

He is only the second player in NFL history to have 100+ yards rushing and receiving and a touchdown.

Furthermore, with 50 yards rushing, receiving, and passing, McCaffrey became only the third player in history to accomplish this feat.

Christian is also the third white running back in NFL history to have over 1,000 rushing yards in a season.

The list of his incredible accomplishments is endless. With his return from injury, the 2022 season will be crucial for the league.

1. Derrick Henry

Derrick Henry, a future Hall of Famer, is the current NFL Offensive Player of the Year. For the second year in a row, he has two rushing yards and a touchdown.

There is simply no response to this colossus. He finds defense flaws so easily that it almost appears effortless.

With a career-high 2,027 rush yards and 17 touchdowns, King Henry is the primary reason the Tennessee Titans are the AFC South’s first seed.

He is the top prospect for the 2022 season.

Conclusion

It was difficult to rank the top NFL running backs entering 2022, especially with young talent and veteran experience in the mix.

However, these 20 NFL running backs have proven to be at the top of their game since entering the league.

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