A good team usually has a running back as the workhorse in the backfield, taking handoffs, pitchouts or running pass patterns while trying to gain critical yardage.
Different running backs are elite at different things, with some being able to elude defenders while others storm right over and past them. Meanwhile, some players possess other qualities that made them a star.
However, what if the skills that put players at the top of their game were combined, creating the ultimate running back? Using players from 2010 to present-day and combining their top qualities, the ultimate running back was created.
Breaking Tackles: Marshawn Lynch
Known as “Beast Mode,” Lynch’s ability to break tackles made him one of the best at his position. During Lynch’s legendary “Beast Quake” in which he ran 67 yards, Lynch broke nine tackles on the way to a touchdown for Seattle against New Orleans. In four straight seasons with the Seahawks, Marshawn Lynch gained over 1,200 rushing yards and ran for 10 touchdowns each year, leading the league in rushing touchdowns twice. He finished his career with 10,413 yards gained on 2,453 attempts.
Elusiveness: Adrian Peterson
The ability to juke defenders to gain more ground is an important asset for a running back, and Adrian Peterson was one of the most elusive backs of the decade, rushing for more than 1,000 yards seven times, leading the league three times. In 2012, after rushing for 2,097 yards in a season, “All Day” was named the league MVP, the last non-quarterback to do so. He also shares the record for the most 200-yard rushing games, tying O.J. Simpson with six.
Receiving: Matt Forte
While most of the job of the running back is carrying the ball, they sometimes pull double duty as receivers. Matt Forte was one of the better backs to catch the ball, racking up 4,672 receiving yards and 21 receiving touchdowns. From 2010 to his last season in 2017, Forte ranked second in receiving yards with 3,724 yards, averaging 8.6 yards per reception and finishing with a 76.5% catch rate.
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Vision: Le’Veon Bell
Also known as one of the most patient running backs, Bell has excellent vision that has helped him be successful. In Bell’s last season with Pittsburgh, he rushed for 1,291 yards, good for third most in the league. During his time in the NFL, Bell has rushed for 6,554 yards and 42 touchdowns, averaging 4.1 yards per attempt.
Speed: Chris Johnson
With a 40-yard dash time of 4.24 seconds, Johnson’s speed is one of the greatest assets to his game, making it hard on NFL defenses to catch him. Johnson put up 2,006 rushing yards to lead the NFL his second year in the league in 2009. He followed that performance with four straight 1,000 yard seasons, rushing for a league-long 94-yard touchdown in 2012. CJ2K finished his career with 9,651 rushing yards and 55 rushing touchdowns. His 11 rushing touchdowns of 50 or more yards sits tied with Derrick Henry at fourth all time.