For all the focus on Adrian Peterson’s near-record-setting MVP season, it seems that the runners who enjoyed the headlines and the highlights in 2012 were the quarterbacks. So much attention was paid to the game-changing mobility and abilities of Robert Griffin III and Colin Kaepernick, it was too easy to overlook the performances of three rookie running backs.
Trent Richardson, Doug Martin and Alfred Morris combined for more than 4,000 rushing yards in their first NFL seasons. As a trio, they averaged 344 touches and 1,676 total yards, and together they scored 37 touchdowns.
It is undeniable that running backs (well, guys whose initials are not AP) are not being utilized the way they used to be. The days of the bell cow back are behind us, for the moment. Still, last year’s rookie crop proved there still is room to run in today’s NFL.
Who are the top running backs in the Class of 2013 most likely to carry on the momentum established by last year’s first years?