In a recent list of the top-10 running backs in the NFL by CBS Sports’ Patrik Walker, Austin Ekeler failed to make an appearance in the group but did manage to earn an “honorable mention” alongside guys like the Bears’ David Montgomery, Seattle’s Chris Carson, and Tampa Bay’s Leonard Fournette.
I think a valid case can be made to put Ekeler in the top-10 if you include his overall impact on offense, but it’s always going to be an uphill battle when arguing for a runner that’s never had more than 600 yards rushing in a season. While he was on pace for a career-high rushing total in 2020, a hamstring injury had other ideas.
The 2021 season will be Ekeler’s best chance to record a new career high but may not be the year hew actually gets to 1,000 yards rushing. If he’s expected to be the Alvin Kamara in Joe Lombardi’s offense, then there’s a chance he goes for 1,500 total yards but only 750-800 of those will be rushing yards. At the end of the day that may be just fine for the team’s general success, but it won’t help Ekeler’s case as one of the league’s best pure running backs.
Either way, a better stat line for Ekeler is likely to mean a better win-loss record for the team. With that in mind, you won’t catch much of anyone nitpicking his usage if the outcome is what we all are striving for.
Regardless, do any of you believe he should have been included in the top-10? The link to the article is above so go check out the top-10 and let us know how you’d change the rankings, if at all.
Now for today’s links.
Tight end Jared Cook was bullish on the team’s offensive potential (Chargers.com)
Check out the best photos from day one of mini camp (Chargers.com)
Chris Harris is happy to have familiarity with new defensive system (Chargers Wire)
Drue Tranquill took a jab at Gus Bradley’s system (Bolt Beat)
Eight players who could break NFL records in 2021 (ESPN)
Tua Tagovailoa was picked off five times on day one of Dolphins minicamp (ESPN)
Nine players who should be on the cover of Madden 22 (NFL.com)
Derek Carr says he’d probably quit football if he had to play anywhere but Las Vegas (NFL.com)
Ranking the top-10 running backs in the NFL ahead of 2021 (CBS Sports)
Vince Wilfork’s son reportedly stole his father’s Super Bowl rings (Bleacher Report)