The QB is the playmaker of the team, and almost always the highest drafted by the NFL – but Running Backs are almost definitely the most entertaining to watch. The jukes, stiff arms and hurdles make them some of the most dynamic, powerful and entertaining athletes in any sport. With that, here’s our 7 most exciting RB’s of the last decade that we love to binge watch highlights of.
7. Derrick Henry
Henry couldn’t go unnoticed. The 2015 Heisman Trophy winner (the only non-QB to win it in the last decade) was Alabama’s workhorse in their national championship run. While he doesn’t boast the insane production of some of the others on this list, Derrick Henry could explode whenever you needed him, and that brought the Crimson Tide the title. Plus, you’d be hard pressed to find someone with a nastier stiff arm.
6. Montee Ball
The above video is one of the best highlights ever. Montee Ball was a monster, and any defender trying to stop him was simply at his whim. Just look how he spins players off and then pushes them away to charge into the end zone. Wisconsin is known to produce beastly running backs (with a few others on this list), but Ball was truly something special. He could always manage a touchdown, as shown above; in fact, he had 33 rushing TD’s his senior year, the single season record for the decade.
5. Christian McCaffrey
Anyone that watched McCaffrey in his 2016 season should know why he’s on this list. The man was an absolute tractor, pushing aside anyone in his way. McCaffrey is another person on this list that doesn’t boast insane total yardage, but he was the very definition of electric. Anytime the ball ended up in McCaffrey’s hands, there’s a chance it was going for a touchdown. And anyway – 3,922 career yards ain’t shabby.
4. Melvin Gordon
Melvin Gordon was the human highlight reel. He could hurdle anybody, and leapt over plenty of desperate defenders on his way to the end zone. He had a whopping 4,915 yards in his college career, with over 2,500 of those in his record breaking junior year. He also boasted a whopping 45 rushing touchdowns. In the above game vs. Nebraska, Melvin Gordon broke LaDainian Tomlinson’s single-game rushing record with 408 yards. He had 16.3 yards per carry – scary!
3. Saquon Barkley
“HE IS SO ELECTRIC!” – you got that right. If Gordon is the human highlight reel, Saquon is the human cheat code. No matter what situation you put him in he could break out for a big gain. The man was monstrous, with some of the biggest quads the game has ever seen. He’s continuing to dominate in the NFL with the New York Giants, proving he’s a generational talent at his position. Saquon’s college career brought 3,843 rushing yards, 1,195 receiving yards, and 51 total TD’s.
2. Donnel Pumphrey
6,405 rushing yards. Need we say more? Donnel Pumphrey was the king of speed, repeatedly torching opponents defenses and making them look like kids. Game after game Pumphrey embarrassed anyone that tried to tackle him and broke record after record while doing so. While our #1 came close to knocking him off, Pumphrey retains the FBS record for career rushing yards. Simply electric.
1. Johnathan Taylor
Johnathan Taylor was something else. You can claim recency bias, but the numbers and film don’t lie. Taylor had two seasons with over 2,000 rushing yards and was only 25 yards away from having a third his freshmen year. Opposing teams always put everyone they could on him, and yet he still managed a career 6.7 yards per carry. He wasn’t facing easy opponents either; these were stacked Big 10 defenses built to stop the run, and Johnathan Taylor just shredded them. He was a generational talent, a Badger legend, and any NFL fan is eagerly waiting to see what he’ll do there.