Top 5 Running Backs: Jonathan Taylor Skyrockets Up The List

After a strong performance on Thursday Night Football, Jonathan Taylor launched himself up the top running backs list.
Matt O'Leary
Fri, November 5, 5:04 AM EDT

Top 5 Running Backs: Jonathan Taylor Skyrockets Up The List

In 2021, running backs don’t hold the same value as they once did. It’s a passing league, so the quarterbacks and wide receivers usually get more of the love at this point, which is kind of understandable. Still, there are some extremely talented backs in the league at this point.

Today, we’ll be looking at the five best running backs in 2021. Now, there are some caveats here. Christian McCaffrey and Saquon Barkley have not played enough in 2021 to make the list, this is about who has been the best so far this year.

Even though Derrick Henry is now hurt, he has to make the list for his performance early in the year. So without further ado let’s get into the top-five running back’s from this year.

Derrick Henry

I mean this has to be one of the best eight-game performances in NFL history. He ran for 937 yards and 10 touchdowns before suffering a season-ending injury. His 117.1 yards per game was leading the way and he already had 219 rushing attempts on the year. He was well on his way to a third straight historic season.

At this point, I don’t think you can argue against him being the best running back in the league. Even when Christian McCaffrey is healthy, it’s still Henry who is at the top of the list.

Jonathan Taylor

I mean what a start to Jonathan Taylor’s season. Last night, he put on an absolute show on Thursday Night Football. Taylor went for 172 yards on the ground and two rushing touchdowns. He added another 28 receiving yards to put him at an even 200 yards on the night including this monster 78-yard touchdown run.

 

Taylor is averaging 91.2 yards per game on the ground and already has 821 rushing yards and eight touchdowns on the season. He’s on pace for over 1,500 yards and 15 touchdowns on the ground. He’s the one who has climbed this list the most in 2021.

Nick Chubb

Since joining the league in 2018, Nick Chubb has been an elite back for Cleveland. In six games this season he has 584 yards on the ground and four rushing touchdowns. Keep in mind he also splits carries with Kareem Hunt. His average of 97.3 yards per game is a career-high and for the fourth year in a row, he is averaging over five yards per carry.

Dalvin Cook

Dalvin Cook has missed some time this year but man, in the five games he’s played he’s been effective. He has 444 rushing yards (88.8 yards per game) and two rushing touchdowns on the year. Cook also helps out in the receiving game as well. Sure, it hasn’t been his dominant seasons like the last two years but he is still good enough to be featured towards the tail end of our top five list.

Ezekiel Elliott

After a little bit of a down year in 2020, Ezekiel Elliott has been much better in 2021. He has 571 yards and five touchdowns in seven games. He’s averaging 81.6 yards per game on the ground and is averaging 4.8 yards per attempt which is the second-highest of his career behind his stellar rookie season where he was an all-pro. The Dallas offense has been on fire this year and his resurgence is a big reason for that.

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