NFL running games are staging a revival in 2017 with an influx of some dynamic new backs in the last few drafts.
That’s the subject of our weekly Talk of Fame Network poll – which running back in the NFL today would you choose to build a team around? The options include the league’s top five current rushers:
Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh. The NFL’s fifth-leading rusher with 371 yards. A second-round pick in 2013 from Michigan State, Bell won the AFC rushing crown in 2014 and has a 144-yard game this season against Baltimore. He also is an elite receiver, having caught 10 passes in Week 5 against the Jaguars. He led all NFL running backs with 75 receptions a year ago.
Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas. The NFL’s fourth-leading rusher with 393 yards. A first-round pick in 2016 from Ohio State, Elliott went on to lead the NFL in rushing as a rookie with 1,826 yards – a whopping 300 more than anyone else. His legs powered the Cowboys to a 13-3 record and the NFC’s top playoff seed last season on Elliott’s way to a Pro Bowl. He has had 100-yard rushing games this season against the Giants and Packers.
Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville. The NFL’s second-leading rusher with 466 yards. A first-round pick in 2017 from LSU, Fournette is the only player in the NFL to score a touchdown in each of the first five weekends of this NFL season. He rushed for 100 yards in his NFL debut against Houston and blasted the Pittsburgh defense for 181 yards and two touchdowns in Week 5. His long touchdown was a 90-yard sprint against the Steelers.
Devonta Freeman, Atlanta. The NFL’s 13th-leading rusher with 285 yards, although Freeman has played one less game than the other five candidates on this ballot. A fourth-round pick in 2014 from Florida State, Freeman has scored a touchdown in all four games he has played and has a 100-yard rushing game against Detroit. He scored 13 touchdowns last season to help power the Falcons to an NFC championship.
Todd Gurley, LA Rams. The NFL’s third-leading rusher with 405 yards. A first-round draft pick in 2015 from Georgia, Gurley has come into his own this season after the hiring of head coach and offensive guru Sean McVay. Gurley has had 100-yard games against San Francisco and Dallas this season and leads the NFL with seven touchdowns through five weeks. He scored on a career-best 53-yard catch against the Cowboys.
Kareem Hunt, Kansas City. The NFL’s leading rusher with 609 yards. A third-round pick in 2017 from Toledo, Hunt moved into the starting lineup after a preseason injury to incumbent Spencer Ware, and it doesn’t appear he’s going to give the position up any time soon. He dazzled the defending Super Bowl-champion New England Patriots in the season opener with 148 yards and three touchdowns – one on the ground and two through the air. He has since rushed for 100-yard games against the Chargers, Redskins and Texans for the 5-0 Chiefs.