Christian McCaffrey repeats as the top running back in the AP’s NFL Top 5 rankings after the…

Don’t look now but running backs are making a comeback. This past free agency period is evidence of that, as several high-end backs got serious pay-days from their new teams, including Derrick Henry, Josh Jacobs and Saquon Barkley. You certainly don’t need to tell the Seahawks that an effective rushing attack can still win you games – as their failures to stop the run were a big reason they lost several close ones over the last two years.


The proliferation of two-high safety shells and defenses generally doing all they can to take away home run balls isn’t going away anytime soon, so let’s take stock and see who the best in the game are at this position. Seattle has at least one strong candidate here. However, as you will see, several teams are far, far more loaded than others in this department, including the Dolphins, Lions and Falcons.


Here’s how we rank the top 32 running backs in the league, including a few rookies we expect to be making an impact no later than season’s end.

When the San Francisco 49ers traded for Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey in the middle of the 2022 season, they were going against the grain. Conventional wisdom had been working against running backs for a decade or longer, as team after team in the NFL realized that they could find effective tailbacks without using premium draft picks or gaudy free agent contracts to get them. Running backs, the league has come to know, are a relatively fungible group.