12 Best NFL Running Backs in the World Right Now

Name some of the best running backs right now in NFL, in your opinion!

The running backs are the offensive backfield of the football team. They play multiple roles, be it to receive handoffs from the quarterbacks to rush the ball.

In addition to that, they also have to line up as a receiver to catch the ball and block.

Rod_Smith-running_back_2019
Running back Rod Smith (Source: Wikimedia.org)

The running backs greatly value NFL offense, and they sometimes even dominate the whole game. With its rich history, the NFL has seen some of the best running backs over its course of history.

Hence, here is a compiled list of some of the best running backs right now. This list will look at the running backs with the most impressive stat of recent years.

So without further ado, let us take a look at the 12 best NFL running backs in the world right now.

12 Best NFL Running Backs in the World Right Now

This list has been prepared from various sources around the internet like Lineups.

Let us take a quick peek at this table before entering into the details.

Players Name Teams
1. Derrick Henry Tennesse Titans
2. Dalvin Cook Minnesota Vikings
3. Nick Chubb Cleveland Browns
4. Christian McCaffery Carolina Panthers
5. Alvin Kamara New Orleans Saints
6. Aaron James Green Bay Packers
7. Saquon Barkley New York Giants
8. Chris Carson Seattle Seahawks
9. Josh Jacobs Las Vegas Raiders
10. Ronald Jones II Tampa Bay Buccaneers
11. Kareem Hunt Cleveland Browns
12. David Montgomery Chicago Bears

12. David Montgomery

  • Team: Chicago Bears

We will be closing off our list with the running back for the Chicago Bears, 24 year old David Montgomery. The Bears drafted him in the third round of the 2019 NFL draft.

Montgomery had a record-breaking high school football career, and he played college football at Iowa State Cyclones.

In the previous 2020 season, Montgomery averaged 3.1 yards and earned an 82.3 PFF rushing grade. His 1,070 rushing yards of that season were ranked fifth in the NFL.

12 Best NFL Running Backs in the World Right Now
David Montgomery (Source: Bleacher Report)

In the 2021 season, he suffered a knee sprain in Week 4. Until that period before the injury, Montgomery had the fifth-most rushing yards in the league. Then, on November 8, he was activated for the team’s Week 9 game.

Montgomery’s Career NFL statistics as of Week 10, 2021 includes 2,33 rushing yards, 4.1 rushing average, 17 rushing touchdowns, 87 receptions, 689 receiving yards, and 3 receiving touchdowns.

11. Kareem Hunt

  • Team: Cleveland Browns

26 year old Kareem Hunt is the running back playing for the Cleveland Browns. He was born in Lorain, Ohio and the Kansas City Chiefs drafted him in the third round of the 2017 NFL draft.

In the year he debuted, Hunt as a rookie led the NFL in rushing yards. The same year he won Pro Bowl, PFWA All-Rookie Team, and PFWA Rookie of the year titles.

Kareem_Hunt_2021
Kareem Hunt 2021 (Source: Wikimedia.org)

Hunt is considered an excellent receiver. Since 2019, he has broken 33 tackles on receptions.

In the 2021 season, on October 19, Hunt suffered a calf injury and was placed on an injured reserve. Luckily, Hunt was back on the field on November 27.

As of Week 6, 2021, Hunt’s Career NFL statistics include 3,532 rushing yards, 4.6 rushing average, 28 rushing touchdowns, 174 receptions, 1,583 receiving yards, and 16 touchdowns.

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10. Ronald Jones II

  • Team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Ronald Jones II is a running back for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The NFL player was born on August 3, 1997, in Fort Stewart, Georgia.

The Buccaneers drafted Jones in the second round with the 38th overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft. In the last season, Jones averaged 3.65 yards resulting in him being the No. 6 PFF rushing grade.

12 Best NFL Running Backs in the World Right Now
Ronald Jones II (Source: Sports Illustrated)

He finished the 2020 season with a leading rusher of 978 rushing yards, 7 rushing touchdowns, 28 receptions for 165 receiving yards, and one receiving touchdowns.

His notable career highlight win includes Super Bowl Champion (LV). Ass of Week 11, 202, Jones Career NFL statistics1 has 1,973 rushing yards, 4.5 rushing average, 16 rushing touchdowns, 70 receptions, 546 receiving yards, and 1 receiving touchdowns.

9. Josh Jacobs

  • Team: Las Vegas Raiders

Next on our list of best NFL running backs right now is a young running back of Las Vegas Raiders. Born on February 11, 1998, Jacobs was selected in the first round of the 2019 NFL draft by the Raiders.

Over the past two seasons, Jacobs has the most tackles on the ground other than Derrick Henry and Nick Chubb. He has been the best first-round pick for the Raiders over several years.

Josh Jacobs (Source: Instagram)
Josh Jacobs (Source: Instagram)

The notable career wins of Jacobs include Pro Bowl 2020 and the PFWA All-Rookie Team in 2019.

In the 2020 season, Week 15, he recorded 114 yards and a rushing touchdown. As of Week 12, 2021, Jacobs Career NFL statistics include 2,635 rushing yards, 4.2 rushing average, 25 rushing touchdowns, 83 receptions, 602 receiving yards, and 0 receiving touchdowns.

8. Chris Carson

  • Team: Seattle Seahawks

Based in Biloxi, Mississippi, Chris Carson is the only running back in this list who has played with a throwback style. This 27 year-old Seattle Seahawks running back is one of the hardest-running ball carriers in football.

The Seahawks drafted Carson in the 2017 NFL draft. His style of playing is an offense with some throwback tendencies.

Over the last three seasons, he has broken 136 tackles and averaged over 3.0 yards. However, in the 2021 season of Week 4, Carson suffered a neck injury. He was then placed on injured reserve.

12 Best NFL Running Backs in the World Right Now
Chris Carson (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Carson finished his 2021 season with 234 yards, 54 rushing attempts, 3 touchdowns with 6 receptions for 29 yards.

As of Week 9, 2021, his Career NFL statistics state 3,502 rushing yards, 4.6 rushing average, 24 rushing touchdowns, 107 receptions, 804 receiving yards, and 7 receiving touchdowns.

7. Saquon Barkley

  • Team: New York Giants

The next running back on our list of best NFL running backs right now is New York, Giants’s Saquon Barkley. He was born on February 9, 1997, in Bronx, New York. The Giants drafted him in the second overall in the 2018 NFL draft.

Barkley set numerous records and franchise records during his rookie period. He recorded the franchise records en route to a 1.300+ yard rushing season. Saquon was also named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.

During his rookie period, Barkley proved himself capable, and he generated a PFF grade above 80.0. In addition, he has set the NFL record of most receptions by a rookie RB in a single season.

12 Best NFL Running Backs in the World Right Now
Saquon Barkley (Source: People.com)

The notable awards that Barkley has won to date include Pro Bowl 2018 and PFWA All-Rookie Team in the same year.

As of Week 10, 2021, Barkley’s Career NFL statistics include 2,539 rushing yards, 4.6 rushing average, 19 rushing touchdowns, 163 receptions, 1,349 receiving yards, and 7 touchdowns. 

6. Aaron Jones

  • Team: Green Bay Packers

Born Aaron LaRae Jones, this 27 year-old is a running back for the Green Bay Packers. The Packers drafted Aaron in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL draft.

Jones has earned a PFF grade of at least 75.6 overall and 79.6 as a rusher in the four straight seasons. In the last two seasons, Aaron has averaged at least 3.0 yards.

His career highlight awards include Pro Bowl in 2020 and NFL rushing touchdowns co-leader in 2019.

Aaron_Jones_WFT_vs_Packers_OCT2021
Aaron Jones  during the match against Washington Football Team October 2021 (Source: Wikimedia.org)

In the 2021 season, Jones signed a $48 million contract with the Packers for four-year.

However, in the 2021 season’s Week 10, he suffered a medial collateral ligament sprain against the Seattle Seahawks.

As of Week 10, 2021, Jones Career NFL statistics include 3,905 rushing yards, 5.1 rushing average, 40 rushing touchdowns, 168 receptions, 1,355 receiving yards, and 10 receiving touchdowns.

5. Alvin Kamara

  • Team: New Orleans Saints

The next on our list is the all-around running back of the New Orleans Saints, Alvin Kamara. Kamara was born Alvin Mention Kamara on July 25, 1995, in Atlanta, Georgia.

The Saints drafted Kamara in the third round of the 2017 NFL draft. In his debut season 2017, he was named the NFL Rookie of the Year and has been a Pro Bowler in all four of his NFL season.

In every season of his career, he has recorded 100 targets and caught 80 catches. Similarly, Kamara has averaged over 2.0 yards per route run in his NFL career.

12 Best NFL Running Backs in the World Right Now
Alvin Kamara (Source: NOLA.com)

There are many NFL records recorded in this Saints running backs names. It includes the most rushing touchdowns in a single game (6) and the first running back in NFL history to have 500 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards in each of his first four seasons.

The other notable awards of Kamara include Second-team All-Pron two times in 2017, 2020, and PFWA All-Rookie Team in 2017.

Kamara’s Career NFL statistics as of Week 9, 2021, reads 3,865 rushing yards, 4.8 rushing average, 354 receptions, 3,109 receiving yards, 658 return yards, and 66 total touchdowns.

4. Christian McCaffrey

  • Team: Carolina Panthers

Christian McCaffery is a running back playing for the Carolina Panthers. This 25 year old player was drafted by the Panthers as an eighth overall in the 2017 NFL draft.

McCaffery is one of the most complete running back in the league. He played college football at Standford. During his sophomore year, he was named AP College Football Player of the Year and was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy.

Similarly, after his debut, McCaffery has numerous records in his name, both in the NFL league and Panther franchise. He is one of the three players to record 1,000 rushing and 1,000 receiving yards in 2019.

 Christian_McCaffrey
Christian McCaffrey (Source: Wikimedia.org)

In 2021 season Week 2, McCaffery suffered a hamstring injury and was put into injured reserve. He was back into action in Week 9.

His most notable career wins include First-team All-Pro in 2019, Second-team All-Pro in 2018, and Pro Bowl in 2019.

McCaffery’s Career NFL statistics as of Week 11, 2021 include 3,552 rushing yards, 4.6 rushing average, 30 rushing touchdowns, 357 receptions, 3,015 receiving yards, 17 receiving touchdowns, and 220 return yards.

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3. Nick Chubb

  • Team: Cleveland Browns

On our third rank is one of the best pure ball carriers in the NFL, Nick Chubb. He is a 26 year-old Cleveland Brown’s running back. The Browns drafted Chubb in the second round of the 2018 NFL draft.

In the 2020 season, Chubb recorded 1,000 yeards the season. This record made him the first Browns running back to run for a touchdown of 40 yards.

Chubb had 145 yards on 22 touches by the end of the season, including a 40-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter.

12 Best NFL Running Backs in the World Right Now
Nick Chubb (Source: Wikipedia)

Over the two-season, Chubb has the best-broken tackle rate in the NFL with 124 broken tackles on 488 carriers. His notable career win includes Pro Bowl two times in 2019 and 2020.

As of Week 11, 2021, Career NFL statistics shows 4,408 rushing yards, 5.3 rushing yards, 34 rushing touchdowns, 82 receptions, 660 receiving yards, and 3 receiving touchdowns.

Chubb has signed a $36.6 million, three-year contract extension with the Browns on July 31, 2021.

2. Dalvin Cook

  • Team: Minnesota Vikings

The running back who is the closest one expected to outperform Derrick Henry is Dalvin Cook. He is a 26 year-old running back for the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings drafted him in the second round of the 2017 NFL draft.

Over the last two seasons, Cook has earned a PFF rushing grade of 90.9. In addition, he has been ranked 15th league-wide in PFF run-blocking grade.

Since his rookie season of 2017, many have considered Cook one of the NFL’s best backs over the last few seasons.

12 Best NFL Running Backs in the World Right Now
Dalvin Cook is one of the 12 Best NFL Running Backs in the World Right Now (Source: Pride of Detroit)

Cook finished his 2020 season with a career-high and second in league rushing yards of 1,557, 16 touchdowns. Additionally, he also recorded 361 receiving yards and one touchdown.

His notable career win includes Pro Bowl two times in 2019 and 2020.

Cook’s Career NFL statistics as of Week 11, 2021 states include 4,395 rushing yards, 4.7 rushing average, 37 rushing touchdowns, 169 receptions, 1,413 receiving yards, and 3 receiving touchdowns.

1. Derrick Henry

  • Team: Tennesse Titans

The first running back on our list of the best running backs in the world is Derrick Henry.

Derrick Henry is a 28 year old running back for the Tennessee Titans. The Titans drafted Henry in the second round of the 2016 NFL draft.

In the 2019 season, Henry led the NFL in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns. He repeated the same feat in 2020 when he again led the league in rushing yards.

He became the eighth player in NFL history to rush for over 2,000 yards in a single season. Over the two-season, Henry has 2,758 yards, almost 1,000 more than any other running back in that span.

Derrick_Henry_2021_09-19
Derrick Henry on September 19, 2021 (Source: Wikimedia.org)

Henry has the NFL record for the 99-yard rushing touchdown, which is tied with Tony Dorsett. His notable career highlight wins include NFL Offensive Player of the Year (2020), First-team All-Pro (2020), Second-team All-Pro (2020), two times Pro Bowl (2019, 2020).

Likewise, he has also won NFL rushing yards leader two times (2019, 2020), NFL rushing touchdowns leader (2019, 2020), and 2,000-year club (2020),

The Career NFL statistics as of Week 6, 2021 include 6,643 rushing yards, 4.9 rushing average, 65 rushing touchdowns, 92 receptions, 830 receiving yards, and 3 receiving touchdowns.

Honorable Mentions

13. Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts

14. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys

15. Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals

16. James Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars

17. Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks

18. Gus Edwards, Baltimore Ravens

19. Antonio Gibson, Washington Football Team

20. Latavius Murray, New Orleans Saints

Conclusion

So this concludes our list of best NFL running backs in the world right now. The running backs’ contribution in the game gives great value to the NFL team.

While they might not be as crucial as the offenses, their position in the team should not be underestimated. The running back position is a challenging position to play.

Do you agree with our list?

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