clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Austin Ekeler is the league’s highest-graded running back via PFF

From undrafted to head of the class.

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Buffalo Bills Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Just like everyone predicted right?

After the first two weeks of the 2018 season, the highest-graded running back in the NFL by Pro Football Focus is none other than former undrafted free agent Austin Ekeler. His grade of 89.8 is just sliver under the threshold for “elite” (90+) and is a full 10 points ahead of the next closest back, the 49ersMatt Breida who comes in at 79.2.

On the season, Ekeler is averaging 112 total yards from scrimmage on just 12 touches per game. This puts his production at a whopping 9.33 yards per touch. After some quick maths, I’ve come to the undeniable conclusion that this is a very good thing.

I don’t know about you guys but there’s a pretty evident shift in the running back paradigm within the NFL. The traditional workhorse-type of players are becoming less and less important to team success and giving way to running back tandems that maximize production through complementing one another.

If you look at the top-5 rushers in the NFL after two weeks, you’ll notice there aren’t a ton of superstars on the short-list. The number one rusher at this point is Breida, followed by Joe Mixon of the Bengals and fellow UDFA Phillip Lindsay of the Broncos.

Lindsay, in his own right, has been just as impressive, if not more so, than Ekeler. He actually made history recently as the first ever UDFA running back to record 100 yards from scrimmage in his first two career games.

All 5-foot-8 of him.

So next time someone asks, don’t ever be afraid to reply,with confidence, that “size doesn’t matter.”