Top 20 Running Backs of the 2000's: 10 - 1
Once again, we are setting aside our Mystery Box NFL collection and getting into the nitty gritty of ranking players. Today let’s take a gander at our Sports Mystery Boxes instead… just kidding. Let’s look at the running backs that rank 10 - 1 on our list!
10. Derrick Henry
The freight train known as Derrick Henry is the only current Running back in the top 10. There will likely be a few names that will enter this list, but they still have a bit left to accomplish in their careers. Henry is already there. He lead the league in rushing in both the 2019 and 2020 seasons, including eclipsing 2,000 yards in 2020. In 2021 he was well on his way to once again being the leagues leading rusher but a foot injury sidelined hime after week 8.
9. Marshawn Lynch
Skittles is a legend both on and off the field. Originally drafted by Buffalo, he really blossomed after being traded to the Seattle Seahawks during the 2010 season. At that point he had the legendary “Beastquake” playoff run and the rest was history. To this day he is still well thought of because of how he gives back to his community and his incredibly unique personality.
8. Edgerrin James
“Edge” might not have been the biggest running back name in his class, but he sure did have the best career. Originally overshadowed by Ricky Williams, James went on to win ROY over Ricky put up more yards and have a Hall of Fame career.
7. LeSean McCoy
The man nicknamed “Shady” was really impressive over his 12 year career. He posted over 11,000 yards rushing, 3,898 through the air, 89 total touchdowns and numerous broken ankles left along the way.
6. Curtis Martin
When discussing some of the all-time greats, Curtis Martin’s name rarely comes up but his accomplishments are more than impressive. He is a Hall of Famer that rushed for over 1,000 yards in 11 season straight. He even lead the league in rushing at the age of 31 amassing over 1,600 yards. He currently sits at 6th on the all time rushing yards list.
5. Frank Gore
Speaking of the all-time rushing list, all of the rest of these players have a prominent spot and Frank Gore sits at 3rd overall. Part of what made this kid so great is his longevity despite adversity. He tore both ACL’s in college at the “U” and yet still played 16 seasons and accumulated 16,000 rushing yards.
4. Marshall Faulk
The running back for “The Greatest Show on Turf” had one heck of a career for the St. Louis Rams and the Indianapolis Colts. Not only did he post over 12,000 career rushing yards, but he also put up a whopping 6,875 career receiving yards as well! Truly one of the greatest dual threat running backs of all-time.
3. Adrian Peterson
“AD aka All-Day” was always expected to be a great running back after being taken top 10 in the 2007 draft from Oklahoma. However, almost no one could have expected Peterson to be as good as he ended up being. He lead the league in rushing on 3 separate occasions and sits 5th on the all-time rushing list right behind the great Barry Sanders.
2. Emmitt Smith
The all-time rushing leader. In today’s game, it is hard to imagine someone being able to get enough carries to ever even sniff his record of 18,355 yards. In his 15 year career, he only ever had 1 season where he had less than 900 yards and that was due to injury. It feels wrong not having him in the top spot, but he didn't put fear into opposing defenses the same way that our top pick did.
1. Ladainian Tomlinson
The first 8 years for Tomlinson’s career were nothing short of legend. In 2003 he caught 100 passes and in 2006 he rushed for 1,815 yards and recorded 28 touchdowns. He is a 5 time pro bowl player and a Hall of Famer. He is 7th all-time in rushing yards and 2nd in rushing touchdowns. Plus, anyone doing all this in the powder blues instantly gets a boost.
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