2021 RUNNING BACK RANKINGS
Training camp across the league is only a week away and we are nearing the end of our roster audit series. Over the past few weeks, we have reviewed and ranked the different position groups for the Giants, Jets, and Eagles to create an ultimate power ranking going into training camp. This deep dive into the position groups is designed to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of each team to help predict which prop bets may be smart picks for this upcoming season.
This week we will dig into the running backs committees for each team. This will take the starters and the positional depth into consideration. All three teams could stand to benefit from leaning more heavily on the run than they did a year ago.
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (#1)
Key Players: Miles Sanders, Kerryon Johnson, Boston Scott, Jordan Howard, Kenneth Gainwell
While most people would expect the Giants to hold down the top spot in the running back rankings, but Philadelphia has one of the deepest running back groups in the entire league. Miles Sanders leads the group as an explosive runner who can take any carry the distance. Sanders does not have much wear on his legs and the Eagles have the depth to keep him fresh all season long. Behind Sanders, Philadelphia has one of the most talented pass-blocking backs in Kerryon Johnson, a Darren Sproles lookalike in Boston Scott, a Nyheim Hines-style player in rookie Kenneth Gainwell, and a solid power back in Jordan Howard. The Eagles have so many options at running back that some of these players may not even make the final roster. Howie Roseman and Nick Sirianni have some tough decisions ahead of them.
NEW YORK GIANTS (#2)
Key Players: Saquon Barkley, Devontae Booker, Corey Clement, Gary Brightwell, Elijhaa Penny
Saquon Barkely leads his group just behind his former Penn State understudy. Barkley is working his way back from injury and has yet to be cleared for football activities or provide real clarity as to his status for week 1. He has battled injuries for the past two seasons and even when he played, did not resemble the star version of himself we saw in his rookie season. And now, following last season’s ACL tear, the worst injury of his career, it is difficult to believe he will return to his elite form. Behind Saquon, there isn’t much to be excited about. Moving from Wayne Gallman to Devontae Booker and Corey Clement are significant downgrades who will likely struggle to keep the offense moving if Barkley misses time.
NEW YORK JETS (#3)
Key Players: Michael Carter, Tevin Coleman, Lamical Perine, Ty Johnson, Josh Adams
Michael Carter, Tevin Coleman, and Lamical Perine appear to be in a three-headed battle for playing time to going into training camp. Carter is an exciting rookie with great short-area quickness and vision. Coleman is a veteran in this offensive scheme who has battled injuries over the past few seasons. Perine was a rookie a season ago and appeared capable of being a solid number two in a committee with the ability to hold down a starting role in spot circumstances. Carter projects best as the long-term starter for this team with the ability to handle 15+ touches per game and keep the offense moving. With the inconsistency of Coleman and the limitations of Perine, Johnson, and Adams, Carter could make a case for Offensive Rookie of the Year if the rookie quarterbacks struggle or, at the very least, Carter could deliver some productive weeks and bring prop bets home for some Tipico players.