Best Football Running Backs of All Time

The Top Ten

1 Barry Sanders Barry Sanders Barry Sanders is a former American football running back who spent his entire professional career with the Detroit Lions of the National Football League.

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.

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.

Barry Sanders is the best! And always will be... L. T. Is good but he will never be like Payton Or Sanders

Averaged over 1,500 yards per season, in ten seasons. He only had one decent offensive line in his career. If Sanders would have played for the Cowboys, he would have gained over 2,000 yards per season.

V 290 Comments
2 Walter Payton Walter Payton Walter Jerry Payton was an American football running back who played for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League for thirteen seasons.

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

Have to disagree with Sanders voter about Payton's offensive line. He did NOT have a good line his first 5 or 6 years in the league and the truly dominant line known from Super Bowl XX wasn't fully assembled until Payton's 9th year, past his prime. Payton is #1!

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

V 192 Comments
3 Jim Brown Jim Brown James Nathaniel Brown is a former professional American football player and actor. He was a running back for the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League from 1957 through 1965.

Inarguably the most outstanding running back in history. He averaged over five yards per carry. He had strength, size, speed and athletic ability that remains to this day unequaled.

3 NFL MVP AWARDS in 9 season. All the NFL did in the 50's and 60's was run the ball and they still could not stop him. Anyone choosing any player over Jim Brown does not know football.

As with many of these lists, there are flaws but I have seen much worse. Here are my top 10 RB's of all time based on not only numbers but raw talent:

1. Jim Brown-he was the ultimate weapon at RB.
2. Walter Payton-wasn't called Sweetness for nothing.
3. Barry Sanders-he's not number 1 but he's close.
4.O.J. Simpson-list not based on personal character or morality.
5. Gale Sayers-kind of like the Barry Sanders of the 1960's.
6. Bo Jackson-based on his talent.
7. Emmitt Smith-now with RBBC, his record could be untouchable.
8. LaDanian Tomlinson-28 TD's in 06' could also stand for a long time.
9. Eric Dickerson-had 3 seasons of +1,800 yards rushing.
10. Adrian Peterson-could easily finish in the Top 5 for yards rushing if he can get his personal life straightened out.

Next in line: Franco Harris, Earl Campbell, Marshall Faulk, Curtis Martin, Tony Dorsett, Jerome Bettis, and Marcus Allen.

As good as Barry Sanders was, Jim Brown is head and ...more - jfausti

I watched him play many many games, and he was the strongest guy I have ever seen, carrying guys and pulling them for yards down the field. There had to be many guys to bring him down, hardly ever could one guy do it. He was consistent and I don't remember him ever being injured. A lot of yards accumulated by the best running back I have ever seen.

V 137 Comments
4 Emmitt Smith Emmitt Smith Emmitt James Smith III is a former college and professional American football running back who became the National Football League's all-time leading rusher during his fifteen seasons in the league during the 1990s and 2000s.

I love him he is great at pro ball and also he never really fumbeled or got striped from

number 1

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 also had a pro bowl offensive line and not just 1 how many pro bowler did barry run behind on that garbage team he played for year after year s and

He is the leader in all time rushing yards and tds. He also has 3 rings. There is no runningback that could compare to him and that is a fact. I also hate the cowboys so you know I am telling the truth - ShugaRoy

V 95 Comments
5 Adrian Peterson Adrian Peterson Adrian Lewis Peterson is an American football running back who originally played for the Minnesota Vikings and currently plays for the Washington Redskins of the National Football League.

He ran his highest ever

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

Great player should be #1

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

V 106 Comments
6 LaDainian Tomlinson LaDainian Tomlinson LaDainian Tramayne Tomlinson is a former professional American football player who was a running back in the National Football League for eleven seasons.

The fact AP is above LT is disheartening.

I'm pretty sure no one had seen his receiving stats. He has over 1400 yds more than Barry Sanders and well 1200 yds over Emmitt Smith, not to mention his 144 TDs in only 10 seasons. Granted he hadn't finished strong he's last years, but he still putting some yards in. Also, we shouldn't used superbowl rings when comparing positions, because it takes a whole team to win one not just one player, that's more of a Quarter Back's conundrum. I think the list should go Emmitt first, then LT and third Barry. By the way I'm not a Charger's fan; more of a Colts fan, who's hopes had been crushed by the Chargers in the Playoffs more than any other team.

LEGEND

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

V 52 Comments
7 Eric Dickerson Eric Dickerson Eric Demetric Dickerson is a former college and professional American football player who was a running back in the National Football League for eleven seasons during the 1980s and 1990s.

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.

Now here is a guy who get's left in the dust. When I think LA Rams this is the guy who comes to my mind - Titanlord25000

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

He held a very long record and is a true legend in the game

V 24 Comments
8 Marshall Faulk Marshall Faulk Marshall William Faulk is a former college and professional football player who was a running back in the National Football League for twelve seasons.

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

is like the best are you kidding me he appears in 2 super bowls he wins one and has such great rushing yards and if you saw ck up americas game he picks up az hakim so tha team can spike it man!

Marshall Faulk is the greatest receiving back of all time. He has more catches and receiving yards than any other running back. The second player to have 1, 000 yards rushing and receiving in one season. - Cj2k

V 16 Comments
9 Earl Campbell Earl Campbell Earl Christian Campbell is a former American football running back who played professionally in the National Football League for the Houston Oilers and New Orleans Saints.

Titan Up! What a beast

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.

Set 'em up and knock 'em down and if they don't go down, then just drag them on down the field!

V 42 Comments
10 O. 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 ...more

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

Your damn right I agree... I was born in 1963 so I seen this cat carry the ball through snow sleet and everything else he’s the best I’ve ever seen period.

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

V 38 Comments

The Contenders

11 Gale Sayers Gale Sayers Gale Eugene Sayers, also known as "The Kansas Comet", is a former American college and professional football player who was a running back in the National Football League for seven seasons during the 1960s and early 1970s.

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.

I grew up watching all of these players.
I'm 62 closer to 63 and as much as I loved Walter's
Style and Jim Brown's arm chop, nobody and I mean that, nobody had
The style and grace, of Gale Sayers!
He was the best, just as Michael Jordan!
There will never be another!
Sayers was the best!

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.

V 21 Comments
12 Bo Jackson Bo Jackson Vincent Edward "Bo" Jackson is a former baseball and American football player. He is the only athlete in history to be named an All-Star in both baseball and football, and one of few to do so in two major sports.

He played football and baseball if he didn't dislocate his hip he would be the best

He should be high

Bo jackson was the best running back of all time if he stayed healthy and played for a better team he would be the best running back he was the strongest and the best forget payton and peterson peterson not even close to the best running back marshall faulk is better than him but I'm writing about bo and bo is the best running back that ever lived period.

He was so fast he should be on the list as number one

V 68 Comments
13 Jerome Bettis

He said he always wanted to be remembered as the guy who fought to get that extra one or two yards. Mission accomplished.

BEST POWER BACK EVER - Titanlord25000

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.

V 15 Comments
14 Franco Harris Franco Harris Franco Harris is a former American football player. He played his NFL career with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks. In the 1972 NFL Draft he was picked up by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round, the 13th selection overall.

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

...because a bunch of morons are picking guy like bush,mcfadden,johnson and so forth.They probably were not around to watch Franco back in the 70's.

really? Brian westbrook and chris johnson ahead of Franco harris I say he should be in the top ten

V 8 Comments
15 Marcus 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

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.

I am embarassed for everyone that he is ranked so low. Any student of the game knows he is one of the all-time greats. The fact that he is often overlooked by amateurs making lists is a testament to his humbleness. But if you question his greatness, just look at his accomplishments - they speak for themselves. - chambon

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.

V 13 Comments
16 Thurman 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

32 you got to be kidding this list is officially retarded!

His really close to O.J very good player. - htoutlaws2012

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

V 6 Comments
17 Stephen Jackson

This guy should not be on this list

That's a basketball player idiot - htoutlaws2012

Top 30 in the nfl and is in the NBA

Sjax is 100000x better than moreno this list is shot

V 1 Comment
18 Curtis 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.

curtis martin should be number 8 because he shows power speed and agility. He is also very realiable and doesnt get hurt.

V 7 Comments
19 Knowshon Moreno

He's a bust he's not even in the top 50

How the hell did moreno get this high up is this a joke

Underrated the guy could run very well if he was healthy. - htoutlaws2012

20 Ahmad Bradshaw

Had his up's but now his at his decline stage in which he really sucks bump him down the list. - htoutlaws2012

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.

21 Marshawn Lynch Marshawn Lynch Marshawn Terrell Lynch is an American football running back for the Oakland Raiders of the National Football League. He previously played for the Buffalo Bills and Seattle Seahawks, winning one Super Bowl in Seattle. Lynch initially retired from professional football in 2016, but returned in 2017 to ...read more.

I think lynch should be 2nd because I have seen him run over players

top 15

beast mode

He is the strongest running back in the game of of football and with a super bowl ring

V 50 Comments
22 Frank Gore Frank Gore Franklin Delano Gore is an American football running back for the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League.

Hmmm.
Fast
Spin move
Juke move
Hurdles
14.3k career rush yards

He was great with the 49ers. He doesn't look right in a blue jersey. - SirSheep

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

He can do it all, run, block, pass. No back in the league can compare to Frank the Tank. The inconvenient truth.

V 6 Comments
23 Ray Rice Ray Rice Raymell Mourice Rice (born January 22, 1987) is a former American football running back who played his entire professional career with the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for Rutgers and was drafted by the Ravens in the second round of the 2008 NFL ...read more.

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.

No comment he is the worst running back ever! Amen done

Going to to beat my wife in a elevator oh too soon! - htoutlaws2012

Did you watch football in 2013

V 6 Comments
24 Arian Foster Arian Foster Arian Isa Foster is an American football running back who is a free agent. He played college football at Tennessee, and was signed by the Houston Texans as an undrafted free agent in 2009. Foster is known for his vision in finding rushing lanes and his signature Namaste bow, which he frequently performs ...read more.

The guy went undrafted and pretty much carries the Texans offensively. Always a lead rusher even if he doesn't look as explosive or flashy as other guys. Extremely humble and hard working. He'll be one of the greats later on.

If only he stay healthy he can play but he must stay healthy! - htoutlaws2012

Undrafted, And Still Led The NFL in rushing Yards. In 2011

Arian Foster is th e best running back ever he makes more than a 100 yards a game.

V 3 Comments
25 Darren Sproles Darren Sproles Darren Lee Sproles is an American football running back for the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League.

He is fast and a great receiver which he was a little bigger he is only 5'7

Single season total yards record PERIOD

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

Darren sproles is one of the running backs on earth

V 6 Comments
26 Christian Okoye

Best short yardage running back ever! Guaranteed 2-3 yards with every touch. Unstoppable!

big dude dig heart runs people ever. Best ever period.

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?

27 Terrell Davis Terrell Davis Terrell Lamar Davis is a former American football running back who played for the Denver Broncos of the National Football League from 1995 to 2001.

He deserves to be in the top 10 and really top 5. Injuries sadly stopped his short career :( my most favorite running back of all time.

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!

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.

2 super bowl wins and over 1000 yards in 7 games. Played his first super bowl with a migraine headache. Who know where he would have ended up if John Elway had continued two more years. Poor QB like Brian Greise hurts a great RB. He tore his ACL on a tackle after an interception. Same deal with Eddie Mac on 9/10/01.

V 24 Comments
28 Bronko Nagurski Bronko Nagurski Bronislau "Bronko" Nagurski was a Canadian-born American football player, renowned for his strength and size.

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.

Bears legend! - htoutlaws2012

29 Red Grange Red Grange Harold Edward "Red" Grange, nicknamed "The Galloping Ghost" or "The Galloping Red Ghost", was a college and professional American football halfback for the University of Illinois, the Chicago Bears, and for the short-lived New York Yankees.

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

Number One easily. Without him, football is like the NHL - known by all, but followed by only some.

The man made NFL a 1920's popularity!

30 John Riggins

Great

The best power back of all time. The best halfback in Redskin's History. The 2nd best halfback in nfl history, next to walter payton.

this guy is just unstoppable, and props to John for being one of the only white runninbacks to makes this list - bore5

he got it when it was needed - a north south runner - that never let his team down.

V 2 Comments
31 Eddie George Eddie George Edward Nathan George Jr. is a former college and professional American football player who was a running back in the National Football League for nine seasons.

Where is Dorset?

Eddie played with the worst quarterback of all time Steve no completion McNair. It was easy to defend against the Titans because the only option they had for positive yards was Eddie George. The guy never got a break and had to face defenses that knew he was running the ball all the time. He would have lasted longer, but he was overworked.

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

Never got injured until he had the madden curse it was all over. - htoutlaws2012

V 1 Comment
32 Shaun Alexander Shaun Alexander Shaun Edward Alexander is a former American football running back who played for the Seattle Seahawks and Washington Redskins of the National Football League.

underrated - kindertorch

Shaun should me much higher than listed here. A product of playing in seattle if he was on a team with a marquee market, ny, dallas, etc he would be viewed in the public opinion as a much more prolific back he was a bruiser.. plus his numbers don't lie. - Hootsmack

He holds the world record for 28 touchdowns, +2,000 rushing yards, and played for the Seahawks in the Superbowl XL. Also Alexander has made into the Pro Bowl 4 times in 6 years

If you look at total stats he has more rushing TD's in his career than your top ten guys

V 9 Comments
33 Chuck Foreman

Rookie of the Year in 1973. Revolutionized the running back position by leading the league in receptions in 1975. His abilities set the tone for the West Coast offensive style which has been popular in the NFL for decades after. Aside from his amazing pass catching talent, he could run with power or finesse and exhibited diverse running styles that could be compared to both Gayle Sayers and Barry Sanders. Was voted NFC player of the year by The Sporting News in 1974 and by UPI in 1976. All-Pro in 1975 and played in five consecutive Pro Bowls. Held the NFC record of 21 Touchdowns in 14 games and battled O.J. Simpson head to head for the NFL record on the last day of the season. A snowball in Buffalo on the last weekend of the 1975 regular season kept Foreman from winning the 1975 NFC rushing title. It also prevented him from becoming the only player in NFL history to lead his conference in rushing and receptions and setting the NFL touchdown record. Foreman was on his way to scoring ...more

The NFL Hall of Fame should be ashamed of itself. The Vikings were a.500 team at best the year before Chuck Foreman arrived. The next year the Viking were playing in the Super Bowl. He was catalyst behind their success. Chuck was a warrior and played that way. Chuck Foreman-2012 Hall of Fame!

chuch was the man who changed the way you play the runningback on Dfence.

No better all around back to play the game. Ever.

V 2 Comments
34 Brian Westbrook

Brian Westbrook is one of the most explosive backs to run, catch or return the ball. He has great speed and cutting capability, still playing at a high level he will continue to push himself to be where he deserves, in the hall.

He is one of the most capable backs of all time, churning out 100 yard rushing games like they are nothing. He can block, catch, and score from any part/ position on the field.

The best receiving back who is an every down pass blocker, receiver, short and long yarder. Just call him SUPAMAN!

If he was a little bigger, he'd be too good for the NFL - herkfoot14

V 4 Comments
35 Maurice Jones-Drew

My favorite. - jack43818

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.

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

V 6 Comments
36 Tiki Barber

He should be number 19 dummies MAC the big poppy

200 yard rushing game after 200 yard rushing game like Barry he would have got the all time record if he didnt retire early.Simply the best even with no one blocking for him like LT has. Put lt on a team with bad blockers then see what happens to this flase profit.

I think he should be in top 20 because like brian westbrook wasn't even that good and tiki should at least be in front of him. Also he is better because tiki was so much more faster.

He rocks he only played for ten years butt he beat a lot of records

V 1 Comment
37 Felix Jones
38 Ricky Williams Ricky Williams Errick Lynne "Ricky" Williams Jr. is a retired American football running back who played twelve seasons in the National Football League and one season in the Canadian Football League.

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

Are you guys kidding me! Ricky williams is the best ever.

Ricky Williams should be in the top 20 running backs of all time.

All time weed smoker.

39 Jim Thorpe Jim Thorpe James Francis "Jim" Thorpe was an American athlete and Olympic gold medalist. A member of the Sac and Fox Nation, Thorpe became the first Native American to win a gold medal for the United States.

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.

A true legend that every time I look at that big statue at the pro football hall of fame of him just reminds of the importance he had back in the day. - htoutlaws2012

WHY IS HE BEHIND RAY RICE? When was Ray Rice named "greatest athlete in the world" by the King of Sweden?

V 2 Comments
40 LeSean McCoy LeSean McCoy LeSean Kamel McCoy also known as "Shady" is an American football running back for the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League.

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!

With his 3 years with eagles sure but his last season with the Eagles and going to Bills probably not. - htoutlaws2012

Two that describe him is ankle breaker

V 9 Comments
41 Jim 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.

led league inrushing the year J. Brown didn't... was the bread and butter for the Packers during their "sweep" rushingyears

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!

Should be around 20th

42 Vick Ballard
43 Mike Alstott

A big tough back.A human bowling bowl..

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

44 Brandon Jacobs
45 Larry Johnson Larry Johnson Larry Alphonso Johnson, Jr. is a former American football running back in the National Football League.

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

46 Joseph Addai

2007 super bowl champ as a rookie didn't even get rookie of the year he is young but truly the best gonna do great things for the colts!

47 Archie Griffin

two Heisman Trophy awards

48 Warrick Dunn

He is in the top 15 best running backs, and could catch and block.

So underrated hes twice the back that Ricky Williams and Cedric Benson are. - Chris-1

AMAZING 5 ONE THOUSAND YARD RUSHING SEASONS!

He is my fourth favorite running back

V 3 Comments
49 Edgerrin James Edgerrin James Edgerrin Tyree James is a former American football running back who played in the National Football League for eleven seasons.

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.

Are you on crack should be 20 spots higher

V 2 Comments
50 Jamaal Charles Jamaal Charles Jamaal RaShaad Jones Charles is an American football running back for the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League.

He should be in top 30! He is so good I think he should be rating 92 out of 99 no wonder why in madden mobile says he is rating 88 and bo Jackson 90 crazy I seen him play in some of the running back videos and Jamaal Charles is a lot better

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.

Sorry, I meant he was drafted from the University of Texas, but when he was ten years old he competed in the Special Olympics.

I Think Jamaal charles should be ranked better

V 10 Comments
8Load More
PSearch List

Related Lists

Greatest College Football Running Backs Top Ten NFL Running Backs of All Time Best NFL Running Backs Going Into the 2019 Season Best NFL Running Backs Going Into the 2018 Season Top Ten NFL Running Backs of the 2013-2014 Regular Season

List Stats

14,000 votes
144 listings
13 years, 286 days old

Top Remixes (83)

1. Walter Payton
2. Barry Sanders
3. Jim Brown
Sssamuel2
1. Barry Sanders
2. Walter Payton
3. Emmitt Smith
calstanford
1. Emmitt Smith
2. Barry Sanders
3. Walter Payton
greatesttop10s

WRemix
View All 83

Posts

Emmitt Smith simply the greatest ever.
anthonyray22

Error Reporting

See a factual error in these listings? Report it here.
P