Best Football Running Backs of All Time

Don't agree with the list? Vote for an existing item you think should be ranked higher or if you are a logged in, add a new item for others to vote on or create your own version of this list.

The Top Ten

1
Barry Sanders
Detroit's first-round draft pick, 1989... Electrifying running style... First player to rush for 1,000 yards his first 10 seasons... Led NFL in rushing four times... NFL's MVP, 1997... Gained 2,053 yards including record 14 straight 100-yard games, 1997... Career rushing record: 15,269 yards, 99 TDs... First- or second-team All-NFL each of his 10 seasons... Selected to 10 Pro Bowls.
Barry Sanders is the best! And always will be... L. T. Is good but he will never be like Payton Or Sanders
People often compare Barry Sanders to Walter Payton and Emmitt Smith. While Payton and Smith were great running backs and deserve every bit of recognition they've received, comparing Barry Sanders to these great backs is almost like comparing apples to oranges (perhaps plantains and bananas is more fitting).

Payton and Smith both had offensive lines envied by today's NFL coaches. Sanders did not have a solid offensive line, often had no holes created for him, and, had they counted the number of yards he ran sideways and backwards to avoid defenders, he likely would've topped the 20K yard mark.

Ranked the #1 most elusive back in NFL history. There's a reason coaches and commentators would say, "You couldn't tackle this guy in a phonebooth". What truly makes Barry Sanders the greatest RB of all time though? In my opinion, his display of skills that you can't teach... The keen sense to switch directions on a dime, for example.
More comments about Barry Sanders

2Walter Payton
I have to go with payton. I think everyone on this list has earned a their spot here. Except I don't think peterson should be here quite yet but in a few years adrian peterson will be one of tops for sure. I've seen all of these guys highlights and I don't care what order their in but the top five should be Payton, Sanders, Brown, Smith, and Campbell. I go with payton because he can run, pass, and catch. He was also good man off the field. Who else on this list led their team 15-1. He also suffered from cancer and still went on and played
Easily one of the greatest players to grace the nfl
Amazing! RUSHED FOR SO MANY YARDS HAD CANCER AND LANDED ON HIS HEAD NUMEROUS TIME ALL TIME GREAT ENOUGH SAID! Go walter
More comments about Walter Payton

3Jim Brown
He gained more yards in fewer games and season than any other running back, didn't miss a game due in injuries.
My older brother told me about Jim Brown. He would carry tacklers down the field with him. He would lift defenders into the air with his driving force. He heard testimony of defensive players who hated to see him coming. It hurt to take him down. To accumulate the stats he did playing on a losing team like he did -- not to mention he played only 12 game seasons if I remember correctly. These things demand him being in the top 10. I also like Sayers and Simpson and Tony Dorsett.
No disrespect to others on this list. In fact, their greatness is testimony to how great Brown was to be head and shoulders above anyone else on this list. And he is. It's not an old-is-better-than-new-school thing. It's a football thing. And if you know football and know Jim Brown, you know he was the greatest. period. Also, you can't have a legitimate top ten RBs with OJ. I know he is way beyond (insert obscenity here) but as a RB the guy belongs. He may well even be top two.
More comments about Jim Brown

4Emmitt Smith
QB's are judged by Superbowl wins and stats, why not running backs? Emmitt's stats far exceed the rest of the backs on this list, he has more superbowls than the rest of this list put together. He may not have had the raw skills of a Barry Sanders or the power of a Jim Brown, what he did possess is all the attributes you look for in a football player intelligence, leadership, durability (only missed 14 games in 15 seasons) the list goes on. There is no need to say anymore, Emmitt is the greatest of all time.
He has more rushing yards than anybody else

ginn19

Rushed for the most yards, can break tackles, won 3 superbowls, was one of the triplets, and is a florida gator! He is definitely #1!
More comments about Emmitt Smith

5LaDainian Tomlinson
Lets see the stats and compare...159 touchdowns and 13404 rushing yards... LT will fly past the great emmit smith in TDs and will run further then barry guaranteed and maybe even walter... Laugh out loud the funny thing is people actually think he as to be constant to reach these goals... He's so close any average human could break them in his situation
Fast, Agile, Smart, Strong, Breaks tackles like the tackler is a QB, catches and runs like a WR. Never doubt LT, to come up big.

henryperson

Most touchdowns in a season. First to get 1000 rushing yards and 100 receptions in one season. 8 straight seasons 1000 yards rushing and 50 receptions. Fastest player to score 100 touchdowns. One of only 7 players to rush for, catch, and throw for a touchdown in a single game. Broke 46 year old record for most points scored in a single season (which was held by a kicker). The list goes on and on. Most of all, he declines being on the cover of Madden '08 and calmly and willingly steps down from the limelight to share a roll with a young running back. I don't know how you can get any more humble than that
More comments about LaDainian Tomlinson

6Adrian Peterson
1000 rushing yards so quick someone put tape and that boys hands and it'll be the end for every other team as we know it

dissthisnoob

He's on pace to break dickersons yardage record In an era where qb's reign supreme. He's going up against teams who are stacking against him because he's the Vikings only threat, and all this after tearing his acl and mcl. He has 1000 yards after contact. He also has a 99 yard TD run, (not this year) his speed in and out of his cuts are unmatched, not to mention his POWER, he's not even done his career yet, in an age where qb's have a short shelf life, he's still getting better. I think when it's all said and done, he'll be the best to ever play the game
He might not have the best stats. But every season he has 100 yards or more that isn't bad at all. He is very fast strong and talented. With heart that has passion for the game.
More comments about Adrian Peterson

7Earl Campbell
Set 'em up and knock 'em down and if they don't go down, then just drag them on down the field!
Earl is under rated. Understand this is a back who took a week team to the afc championship twice only to loose to the stealers twice a team who had 9 hall of fame players on the same team. 1 Swan. 2 Ham 3 Green 4 Bradshaw 5 Blount 6 Harris 7 Lambert 8 Knoll 9 Webster. Houston had none. Everyone knew he was getting the ball. His 1934 yards in 1980 was done in 14 games not 16. In his 15th game he had 2025 yards rushing he would need one more game 81 more yards if he had the opportunity to hold the single season record.
Earl was the greatest. In case most of you forgot, Walter Payton and Tony Dorsett played in his era and neither could compare to him. He was a beast and a classy player not like todays players. Remember he played the Steel Curtain twice a year and if not for them stacking the line to stop him he would have easily broken the 2000 yard barrier. Great Player and great person, he really made the Oilers although he would never agree because he was the ultimate team player.
More comments about Earl Campbell

8Marshall Faulk
This guy was amazing. He could step buy or run over linebackers. He flew past DBs. At his peak he was so good he was lining up as a reciever. He picked defenses apart and set many records. He was so smart, his coaches used to say he was like having a second quarterback on the field. Super bowl champ, leage mvp, rushing leader,record holder, and probowler,he is a lock for the hall of fame.
Faulk was my favorite of all time, don't get me wrong it doesn't bother me about a few of the names ahead of him, but peterson practically gave away the game in the nfc championship, faulk rarely fumbled, and never in such a clutch moment

Nemesis57

When you played marshall's team you had to game plan for a full threat, both as a running back and as a receiver. He would line up as in the back field or as a wide out. When he ran he was not just elusive he was poerful as well.
More comments about Marshall Faulk

9Eric Dickerson
Dickerson's Rookie Rushing season, it the Best ever in the NFL and has stood for 24 seasons. His 2105 Single Season Rushing record has stood for 23 seasons. Jim Taylor held the record for most yards in a season for 1 year. Jim Brown broke it the next season. Brown held that record for 10 Years, until O.J. broke it. 10 years later, Dickerson broke the record. He has held onto it more than twice as long as ANY Single season Rushing record holder has held this mantle. It's time to Place this feat up there with the other hallowed benchmarks in Sports.
He held a very long record and is a true legend in the game
The best there was and best there may ever be, his only problem was maybe wanting to much money and complaining about it. And I agree he should have be much higher in the order and for sure ahead of Payton, he was in the same scope of Barry Sanders.

P

More comments about Eric Dickerson

10O. J. Simpson
O.J. simpson IS one of the TOP 3 running backs of all time along with Jim Brown and Walter Payton. That is not debatable. The rationale behind this is very clear and straight forward if you have an understanding of the evolution of the game and what it meant to run the football in the era of the 60's and 70's. Quite simply O.J. simpson was a world class sprinter that could run between tackles. Look it up people he was on USC's world record setting sprint relay back in the day. World class speed! The NFL HAS not seen another back like him since. He had it all. Size, speed, moves. His only problem as a football player was he played for an organization that was completely in shambles and was inept at complimenting his skill until Lou Saban arrived in Buffalo. Also O.J. played in an era where the NFL was still a developing franchise. This is a whole discussion all by itself. I could write a book on that! But in short it makes a difference in today's game where so much $$ is being spent to make playing condition better and more comfortable for these players over what players had to endure a long time ago.

Most people that watch football today don't realize that they are watching an altered product over what it was back in the 1960's and 1970's. It is not the same game. That is NOT debatable either if you understand the history and evolution of the sport and the NFL. All you need to do is look at the record book and have some understanding of where the game has evolved with its institutions and rules to make it easier, yes, EASIER! For offensives to thrive! This also explains O.J. simpson isn't higher on this list and the names that appear on the top of the list are there because most people who watch today think its all about these bloated stats that have been inflated by the league to keep people who don't really understand the sport interested. Look people, the NFL rules committee met in 1978 with the intent of coming up with ways to make the game more exciting for a fan base that is largely ignorant of the game. They started with what offensive linemen where able to get away with as far as blocking. This forever changed the structure of the game and now offensive linemen could get away with clutching and grabbing their defensive opponents. Quite literally you can call holding on most plays in the NFL today but they don't. The holding penalty is reserved for when they literally tackle or headlock the defender! In the 60's and 70's they were a lot stricter. You couldn't get away with the blocking techniques that are used today without being penalized. The other thing that has changed is ALL of the rules that have to do with passing. What you can and cannot do as a defender to cover receivers has forever altered the game and has inflated a lot of passing and receiving records. Because defenses are so preoccupied with defending against pass plays where receivers and really can't be touched after they are 5 yards beyond the line of scrimmage this has made the art of running the football NOT as difficult as it used to be way back in the day. Had O.J. played in today's offenses with the rules that they have now he would run for 25,000 career yards!
O.J. Simpson not in the Top 10? How can that be? Just so you youngsters can relate --- that's like saying Peyton Manning is not among the top three quarterbacks in football today. I think O.J. was the best running back ever, but I could understand why someone would vote Jim Brown over him. Walter Payton, to me, doesn't come close, and neither does Eric Dickerson. And how did Barry Sanders get to No. 1. Not a chance.

aquaman

Okay, yeah, he supposedly did a few bad things off the field but on the field he was amazing. he deserves the top ten. HE IS IN THE HALL OF FAME. YEAH YOU KNOW THE BIGGEST HONOR EVER FOR AN NFL THAT IS IN CANTON YAH THAT PLACE PUT HIM IN THE TOP TEN HE DESERVES IT
More comments about O. J. Simpson

The Contenders

11Gale Sayers
Kansas All-America... Exceptional break-away runner... Scored rookie record 22 TDs, 132 points, 1965... Led NFL rushers, 1966, 1969... Named all-time NFL halfback, 1969... All-NFL five straight years... Player of Game in three Pro Bowls... Career totals: 9,435 combined net yards, 4,956 yards rushing, 336 points... NFL lifetime kickoff return leader.
I've been watching football since 1964 and I've never seen a runner like, or better than Sayers. First he was elusive, so much so that Barry Sanders is the only top back that could compare with him. He broke tackles like no else, he seemed to run through them. And he was fast. In the open field, he was like poetry in motion, a beauty to behold.
No doubt Sayers should be higher then this. If he had been playing now and his knees could have been repaired more effectively he may have been on top of this list. He was capable of scoring whenever he touched the ball. He accomplished what he did on a team that really wasn't very good. Very hard to find video of him playing which is a shame.
More comments about Gale Sayers

12Jerome Bettis
He said he always wanted to be remembered as the guy who fought to get that extra one or two yards. Mission accomplished.
after 12 years, still finishes with his all time career high rushing touchdowns... he's unstoppable. He never even played running back till the NFL. He didn't dodge cornerbacks, he ran them over. I'd like to say he's humble but he knows he's good but he also knows what a privilege it is to be a role model and inspiration for his city.
He didn't run to the side or dance around, he just plowed you over. He fit the Steelers' style very well. He also did a good job at adjusting as his speed left him with age by running more of a fullback style.
More comments about Jerome Bettis

13Bo Jackson
Name a RB that combined more power, speed and could hit the hole or beat the defense to the corner more than Bo Jackson? His talent was never seen before him and hasn't been seen since.

It was tragic to lose him to injury before we could see him get even better than he was...

corebare32

Like Bobby Orr, Bo Jackson's career was short but he still established himself as the best the sport may ever witness! Baseball career was equal to football and hall of fame for both careers should be a no brainer.
Most atheletes have trouble excelling in one sport but Bo was different. He played in two and did very well in both football and baseball. So if you are going to talk about excellent atheletes of some kind you have to put Bo somewhere at the top!
More comments about Bo Jackson

14Marcus Allen
ok this list is not as retarted as the basketball one but its pretty damn retarted. the 1st 2 are good but number 3 does not earn it yet what happens if he gets hurt. and adrian peterson number 6 its his 2nd year! maybe they could be the greatest but you dont know what could happen to them erick deserves top 7 and jim brown deserves number 3 and larry csonca should be in there he is amazing. and jim brown had the most yards per carry. and my final one gale sayers deserves top 20. and marcus allen should up there to.

fortebros777

This is the most overrated of the so-called "great backs" its not even funny. I don't even know where to start on this guy. let me start by saying I'm a big fan of Allen, but he doesn't belong on this list nor should he be in the Hall. Yeah he had a good Rookie season a Great Super Bowl and a great 85 season but that's it. After 86 he played 10 more seasons and didn't do anything, Hell he went about 5 years without any 100
Yard games. He was also great out of the backfield but Please would you all look up his stats, 3 1000 yards seasons in a 16 year career is a joke.
Anyone who is a student of football should know Marcus Allen deserves to be top ten. Had the hands of a wide receiver, with incredible break away speed. An unselfish player that would give up his body for a block. He understood it was a team game what other Hall of Fame Player would give up his starting position for half a year to a rookie and throw blocks for that rookie like a seasoned fullback.
More comments about Marcus Allen

15Terrell Davis
Too bad he does not get the credit he deserves because he played in denver. Been a lot of backs get 1000 in denver's shanahan years but only one with over 2,000. Davis was scary on the super bowl teams. Elway would get them the lead and td would run out the clock. His play in super bowl 32 is amazing, prob could of set the rushing record if he didn't have to sit out some of the game with that migrane. I really hope he will make the hof someday, elway had no rings till td came to town!
3 year span 1996-1998 - 5,296 total yards! As post season came, Davis' numbers only went up. Rushed for over 100 yards in 7 of his eight post season games including 12 touch downs! On of only 3 running backs to rush for over 1000 yards in his first 7 games of the 1998 season. The other 2 were Jim Brown, ^^ O. J. Simpson who accomplished that feat twice in his career. Long Live TD!
Terrell is by far the best when he played. If you look back at him in tape he had skills that I don't think any other back in the league has possessed. He won a superbowl without eyesight! He played well his whole career and it is not fair he is cut short on the list because of an injury. He was a pure beast.
More comments about Terrell Davis

16Franco Harris
It is harder to find a more inspirational moment in the game of the football than "the immaculate reception" and the trans formative effect it had on one of the greatest teams in history and on the career of this--certainly one of the top five. Power, speed, attitude, and LUCK. I'd rather be lucky than good--Franco was both.
How is reggie bush, brian westbrook, CJ2K, AP, curtis martin, bo jackson, O.J, marcus allen, tony dorsett, shaun alexander, and terrell davis better than this legendary running back?

3-4 super bowls steelers fan
really? Brian westbrook and chris johnson ahead of Franco harris I say he should be in the top ten
More comments about Franco Harris

17Thurman Thomas
This guys the best i mean he has been to 5 pro bowls went to 4 super bowls and is on the bills wall of fame and hes a 2nd round pick(40) this guys the best
Could do it all. Run, catch, block and shared the ball with other big time players. A team leader as well... Payton hillis? Darren sproles (that's a joke, right? ) tiki barber? Gimme a break
32 you got to be kidding this list is officially retarded!
More comments about Thurman Thomas

18Tony Dorsett
The combination of great speed, patience, hole selection and deceptive power. Jack Lambert called him one of the most powerful backs he ever played against. Smart, not to run over everyone and fast enough not to need to run over everyone. Definitely would be in top 10 if he played on different team in his prime that would have featured him.
Heisman. Held NCAA all time rushing record until Ricky Williams. College hall of fame. Nfl Super Bowl winner. Nfl hall of fame. One of the few who dominated in every level of football
TONY IS ONE OF THE NFL GREATEST RUNNING BACK HE WAS THE TRUTH HE HAS THE LONGEST RUN FROM SCRIMMAGE IN HISTORY 99 YARDS AGAINST THE VIKINGS ON MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL GIVE TONY HIS PROPS
More comments about Tony Dorsett

19Curtis Martin
Curtis Martin, deserves more credit than what people give him. He's one of the great players at his position; very consistent, reliable & unselfish...rushing 1000 + yrs for over 10+ seasons.

Curtis Martin, will not be easily replaced.... often greatness is not realized until it moves on.... Todays players will find it very hard to achieve the same consitant level of success...the game has changed...its more about the player than the game these days!
Curtis Martin....What a player. He was drafted in the 3rd round and look where he got. He had 10+ 1000 yard seasons, and probably would've had 11 if he wasn't injured. I'd rate him 4th. Barry #1, Walter #2, Emmit #3, and Curtis #4. He was so consistent, and even at his 10th season, he had his career year.
Curtis Martin was so consistent! I mean, not like 958 yard, 976 yards, I'm talking about 1400, 1300, 1500, 1600, come on, he's the 4th best ever! Give him some credit.
More comments about Curtis Martin

20Maurice Jones-Drew
If your gonna put him low in your rankings, at least put him in the 20's or something higher because this is just bullcrap. he is one of the best in today's football I think
As soon as he stops sharing carries with Fred Taylor Maurice will be dominating defenses. He's extremely fast and he can blow over defenders.
You people really don't know what the definition of a great back is, to mention this clowns' name is an insult to the great runners of the past.

21Frank Gore
lead the team in receptions last year and may very well lead the team this year and rushed for 1000 2 of his first 3 years in the league only played in 7 games his rookie year and led the team in rushing beat that
Fast good running back
I think he is a great team member. He made the most touchdown runs in his team. Qsdfvgfbghgthyth
More comments about Frank Gore

22Ray Rice
This right here is an example of how stupid people are. Ray rice lesean mccoy michael turner maurice jones drew etc are much better than peyton hills and darren sproles.
WHY THE HELL IS RAY RICE ALL THE WAY DOWN HERE? HE IS EASILY IN THE TOP 3 RUNNING BACKS IN THE GAME TODAY!
Did you watch football in 2013
More comments about Ray Rice

23Peyton Hillis
Should not be in top 100

24Darren Sproles
Worst of them all.
He got swag
he is smart
he is fast
he is big
he is black
he has drew brees as QB
he is hella fast
has 700+ reception yards with 9 Tds
averages 6.9 yards per carry
so he is the best rb of all time.
jk!
he is in top 100
hahahaha

25Larry Csonka
Adrian Peterson ahead of Csonka as well as OJ, marcus A. Franco, Riggins, Foreman, dorsett, Sayers, Campbell, Dickerson. and Reggie Bush hadn't proved a thing and Bo didn't even play long enough. Darren Mcffaden being one # behind csonka is a disgrace to Zonk. Not saying these guys aren't great, just not proven!

rtdavis

Larry Csonka is way higher then number 32 on the alltime best running backs. You should all go home lay down and think about where you put him. Boo hoo
Could be a stats sheet for everyone... You know like who has the best pickup, chevrolet... Ford... Dodge... Then again lets just twist it to make it sound like we want. Bottom line He got the only undefeated season with a Super bowl ring to show.
More comments about Larry Csonka

26Eddie George
He should be up there with Terrell Davis. One of the strongest back in NFL history.

27Stephen Jackson
A legendary running back, and future hall of famer, Stephen Jackson has the most rushing yards in a career as an active player. With his will to break through defenders, I think this guy will go down in history as one bad running back.

JaredZilla223311


28Steven Jackson
In my opinion he is the best running back in the game, and at the end of his career he could be in the top 10. He rushed for 1000 yards his last 6 seasons. HE is lightning quick, and is as strong as any fullback in the leage. His legs just keep pumping no matter what. He is extremely reliable, he has played through injuries, and he doesn't give up. If I were to have any runningback on my team it would be this guy.
Totally agree, he has gotta be way up in the top ten, not to mention that he has 60 tds and he's still going at only 28 years old. This guy is a beast and he's always breaking through tackles and he never gives up. He's my favorite running back in the whole league.
He is the best he played for more than 9 years and he still got the power!

29Billy Sims
If you wear #20 in Detroit, then you must be special, and Billy Sims was! We used to call Barry Sanders, Billy Jr, as he wore #20 with pride as well. Sims could gallop down the sidelines for 80 yards while leaving everyone in his dust hence "another one bites the dust. " If he didn't get injured the current running backs would still be trying to break HIS records!
Career cut short but should be in the top 20 all time. A dynamic runner with power and speed.

30Jim Thorpe
He was dominant as any player ever could be. With only a leather helmet or none at all. If we are including players from older football, than Jim Thorpe is the best. Study about him and you will see what I mean.
Are you kidding me? Jim Thorpe easily makes the top fifteen for me. If you don't know who this is start studying.
Jim thorpe is 54th?!? Boy, kids today really need a history lesson about football. thorpe was one of the greatest all around athletes of all time. he would have dominated even if he played today. ran a ten flat in 100 meter.
More comments about Jim Thorpe

31LeSean McCoy
Lesean mccoy is amazing I don't get why he is down here at 37 he is like barry sanders he has the moves the speed he is a full pack!
Just win his first rushing title tonight. If Chip stays in Philly, it will be the first of many!
One of the best, with so much potential
More comments about LeSean McCoy

32Michael Turner

33Marshawn Lynch
He might not have the greatest stats, but he is on track to be on earl Campbells level of beast mode. When you break tackles like lynch, you should be on this list... GO HAWKS! SEAHAWKS NATION BABY

34Fred Taylor

He's the fastest recorded running back ever and he is number 28 he's got 12000 yards rushing for crying out loud

10,000 yards and counting...


35Herschel Walker
Despite 3 of his most productive years not counting for NFL records, Herschel is still top 10 in all-purpose yards. That's also despite the fact he never played on a good team. He is the only guy to ever have 13 players traded for him. If you were to count the USFL years, Herschel has the most rushing yards of any back in professional football history. 25 is WAY under-rated.
Herschel is the greatest man to ever step on a football feild, he has god given talent...... he just lost his chance, he got shafted....
big man
big skill
fast
big heart
usfl team went to title all years when he played with them
best back id say
More comments about Herschel Walker

36Ricky Williams

Ricky Williams is the man, just look at his old highlights he kicked some major ass!

are you guys kiddin me! ricky williams is the best ever.


37Jim Taylor
How is Ahmad Bradshaw, McFadden, McCoy, Sproles, and Hillis above Jim Taylor. Peyton Hillis is a complete joke and shouldn't even be in the top 100. Jim Taylor was the backbone of the Packers dynasty that is possible the best dynasty In NFL history.
Jim Taylor #36. Are you crazy? What did Sam Huff say after Jim Taylor ran over him all afternoon, thus destroying the vaunted NY Giants defense? "I don't think Jim Taylor likes me." Now if that is not intimidation of a great linebacker, I don't know what is!
led league inrushing the year J. Brown didn't... was the bread and butter for the Packers during their "sweep" rushingyears
More comments about Jim Taylor

38Willie Parker
Hey "Fast Willie" should be at least in the top 20 list. Regie bush is not very good at all but willie needs to improve on runnig this season. GO STEELERS!

39Ahmad Bradshaw
Were is jim taylor not in top 25 what a joke
Ahmad Bradshaw is better then whoever is at the top of this daggone list go Giants.

40Brandon Jacobs

41Larry Johnson
most rushing yards of 2006 season did very well last year and did not even start all the games better then some of the other backs listed

42Archie Griffin
two Heisman Trophy awards

43Mike Alstott
Mike alstott is the best back he ran people over like nothing he dragged people across the field he carried people on his back while he ran he should be in top 3 because he was a freight train if anything got in his way he would destroy it!
He fast strong run over big men playing for yers and 71 tochdowns

44Christian Okoye
He is this low because of Steve Atwater, who did tried to tackle him head on and laid him out. He retired soon after as a result of that blow.
The Nigerian Nightmare! If you tried to tackle this guy head on he would level you. How is he this low on this list?
big dude dig heart runs people ever. Best ever period.

45Warrick Dunn

So underrated hes twice the back that Ricky Williams and Cedric Benson are.

Chris-1

AMAZING 5 ONE THOUSAND YARD RUSHING SEASONS!


46Knowshon Moreno

47Edgerrin James
Yo give the cat some love. Lets be serious when he was on the Colts and healthy you were guaranteed at least 1,300 yards. He could have been better but playing alongside Manning, Manning got more touches. He also made Manning better by removing pressure through the play-action. Manning, Harrison, and James (The Modern Triplets), sure they don't have 3 rings like Aikman, Smith, and Irvin but don't doubt their skills. If James didn't "run" for the money he might also have a ring by now. Should be in top 20.

yougnr1116

EDGERRIN, THIS FAR DOWN ON THE LIST, YOU GOT TO BE KIDDING. WON TWO RUSHING TITLES, SETS 13TH ON THE ALL TIME RUSHING LIST. WITH JUST A DECENT YEAR THIS YEAR, HE WILL BE 7TH ALL TIME. NOT IN THE TOP 20 IS A JOKE.
This entire list blows. The edge this far down proves it.
More comments about Edgerrin James

48Willis McGahee

Best stiff arm ever...no doubt about it.


49Red Grange
maybe not the best but a pioneer, and an excellent runner, and for that he deserves recognition

50Lawrence Maroney

51Chester Taylor

52Thomas Jones

He just keeps putting up numbers, Beast of a player. Gets picked up by KC and everyone thought it was to back up Jamal Charles... But no it wasn't he had starter written all over him. He is 2nd only to LT for yards gained currently playing in the NFL


53Marion Motley
As one of the first black players in modern pro football, Motley was a pioneer for his sport, much like his baseball contemporary, Jackie Robinson. And like Robinson, Motley had to endure far more physical and verbal abuse than white ballplayers of his era. The Cleveland Browns’ fullback often took extra shots to his head or hands on the bottom of the pile after being tackled. However, that pile was usually several yards beyond the line of scrimmage because Motley, a bruiser at 6-1, 240, was very hard to tackle. “If you didn’t stop him at the line of scrimmage, you were in trouble,” Baltimore Colts’ Hall of Fame defensive tackle Art Donovan said.

Motley, along with quarterback Otto Graham, helped Cleveland win the All-American Football Conference title for four straight seasons. The Browns joined the NFL in 1950 and Motley, at age 30, led his new team to a championship and his new league in rushing with 810 yards and a gaudy 5.8 yards-per-carry average. In 1968, Motley became the first black player to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Watch old film this guy killed people at his play
Only Jim Brown, Walter Payton, and Earl Cambel are ahead of Marion Motlley.
More comments about Marion Motley

54Bronko Nagurski

One of the first, greatest running back in football history. Paving the way for newer legends. Easily one of the best backs ever to play the sport.


55Dorsey Levens

56Troy Davis
Only Division I player in history to run for more than 2000 yards in back to back seasons

57Matt Forte

58Kevin Faulk

59Abner Haynes
Abner was far and away a better back then 80% you have on your list. Fast, elusive, tough... Could run and catch, return K.O. S et al. MVP of the AFL in its first year. 22 T.D. S in '62 Dallas texans Chapionship year... You're dreaming to put so many other mediocre backs ahead of him!
Chris burford texans/Chiefs 60-67

60Paul Hornung
Fast, could run the sweep, pass. Punt, kick. The "Golden Boy" could do it all!
What a joke there were great players before 1990
Horning was a big part of the Packers' SUCESS in te 60s. Served in the military as well. Great player

61Willie Ellison

62Selvin Young

5.9 yard average, needs to stay healthy. will be something special if he is started next year.


63Bobby Humphrey

Helped Broncos reach SuperBowl XXIV!


64Julius Jones

65Demarco Murray

66LaMichael James
Lamichael James is Awesome

67Marcus Dupree
College one of the best running back... Big! Fast! Strong! What a talent this football player he was. Played in the USFL but he got injured and did not have a chance to demonstrate his skill in the NFL just as a back up for the LA Ram.
Best running back of all time. Stronger than Jim Brown and Faster than Walter Payton
He was the best pure runner I had ever seen coming out of OU. Good to break at least on long td run a game.

68Merril Hoge

Great White Hope ! The man was amazing come playoff time ! Oh and don't forget Sydney Thorton , Tim Worley , Bam Morris , Barry Foster , Rocky Blier , Gordy Lockbomb , Yeah you read that right Gordy from Holly Cross drafted by the Mighty Steelers !!!!


69LenDale White

Fat boy can run the ball.


70Justin Fargas

Just because he was a running back for Southern California, doesn't mean he belongs in the category as th


71Paul Lowe

Paul Lowe of Oregon State University played for the Los Angeles and San Diego Chargers from 1960 through 1968. His blazing speed helped him gain nearly 5, 000 yards, the Chargers' all-time best, as is his 4. 89 yards-per-carry average, which was also the AFL's all-time best. He returned his first touch of the football in the American Football League for a 105 yard touchdown in the Chargers first-ever exhibition game, and had the Chargers' longest run from scrimmage with an 87-yard run in 1961. He had 1, 010 yards on just 136 carries for a 5. 7 yard average in 1963 and was the American Football League MVP in 1965 with 1, 121 yards rushing (14-game schedule), a two-time all-American Football League selection, and a halfback on the AFL's All-Time Team. Lowe had the American Football League's all-time highest rushing average, at 4. 89 yds/carry, and set a pro football record with six games in which he gained 100 or more yards on 14 or fewer carries. He is one of only twenty players who were in the American Football League for its entire ten-year existence.


72Clem Daniels

Clem Daniels of PRAIRIE VIEW A&M University was voted to All-Conference honors during his sophomore and junior years, and captained the NAIA National Championship team in his senior year. He was voted into Prairie View's Hall of Fame in 1992 and the California Black Athletic Hall of Fame in 1993. Daniels was drafted in 1960 by the Dallas Texans. He was on the Texans' roster for 14 games in 1960, but saw little playing time behind Hall of Famer Abner Haynes. In 1961, he was traded to the Oakland Raiders, and spent seven stellar years there. He was an American Football League All-Star in 1963, '64, '65, '66 and '67.
In 1963, Daniels was the Sporting News' American Football League Most Valuable Player, with a 5. 1 yards/carry average, gaining 1, 099 yards. He was the All-Time leading rusher in the American Football League and was selected to the All-Time All-AFL Team.


73Thomas Clayton

74Andrew Johnson

75Brandon Mason

76Robert Smith

77Elijah Pitts

78Leroy Kelly
The most underrated running back on this list. He had the tough job of following Jim Browns act after Brown suddenly retired. He led the league in punt returns in 1964 and helped the Browns win the NFL tiltle. He then ran for over 1,000 yards in 1965,66,67 and '68 leading the league in rushing in 1967 and 1968 as well as leading the league in scoring in 1968 as well. He had blazing speed, smooth elusive moves and was tough as nails. He was also a great receiver and threw for several touchdowns from the option play. He is a Hall of Fame back and deserves more recognition as he helped the Browns make the playoffs almost every year until he retired.

79Alphonse "Tuffy" Leemans

80Kevin Mack

81Frank Gifford

82Jamaal Charles
Come on, why is he clear down here. He should at least be right by Larry Johnson. He is pretty much the reason why the chiefs won anything in the 2012 season. Over 1000 rushing yards every season.
Averages 5.5 yards per carry most in NFL history

83Curtis Enis

One of the best college backs ever but got injured in the pro level


84George Rogers

85Derrick Ward

86Wilbert Montgomery

Great back for a great team and willed the Eagles to wins. Solid back who could hit the hole hard and still had breakaway speed. Too bad most have forgotten about him.


87Joe Laws

88Willie Galimore

89Essex Johnson

90Scott Laidlaw

91Doak Walker
You've got to be kidding. One of the first great runners to play the game. Lets go SMU!

92Ricky Watters
5x pro bowl selection, Super Bowl Champion, over 10,000 rushing yards.

How over 10000 yds. rushing and another 4500 receiving your crazy

93Trent Richardson
Come on, Trent should be in top 20. He played an exceptional rookie season all with BROCKEN RIBS. He still played, he never gave up and always gives 100 percent. This list is crap (other than the top 5)

94Beanie Wells
He is a tank. He's the beast on the field. He should be number 1 baby. Lets go beanie #1

95Felix Jones

96Calvin Hill
Tough inside runner that gave morton and stabuch a good running game to open up the passing game. Also a change of pace to walt garrison.

97Tom Rathman

98Neal Anderson

99Ken Strong

Hall of Fame running back that was one of the first big time runners to play in the league. Should be on this list


100Earnest Byner
Outstanding running back that made on bad fumble. JUst an amazing player.

Comments About This List

Featured Lists
Popular Lists
New Lists

Top Remixes of This List

JaredZilla223311

Sssamuel2

calstanford

Rubberducktruck412

corn1234

see more...

Posts About This List

List Info

This list was created 8 years, 225 days ago and has been voted on over 11,000 times. This top ten list contains 126 items, has been remixed 58 times and has been blogged about 6 times.

Updated Tuesday, July 22, 2014


List Error Reporting

See an item on this list that's misspelled, duplicated, or doesn't belong? Let us know. Click here to report the error.