Ranking every NFL running back drafted in Round 1 since 2000: LaDainian Tomlinson leads the list - CBS Sports
May 05, 2021 6 mins, 12 secs
Given that the rankings focused primarily on overall career achievements, don't look too far into where current players rank on the following list -- they could very well end up on top once they call it a career. .

5 overall pick, 2001 draft .

Three years earlier, Tomlinson became the first running back to catch 100 passes in a single season (incredibly, Tomlinson was not named to the Pro Bowl that year).

At age 36, the future Hall of Famer is hoping to land on a Super Bowl contender for the 2021 season. .

He also helped lead the Seahawks to two NFC titles as well as a victory in Super Bowl XLVIII.

His best season took place in 2006, when Jackson rumbled for 1,528 yards and 13 touchdowns for the Rams.

That season, Lewis rushed for nearly 1,400 yards while helping lead Baltimore to its first Super Bowl title.

After missing the entire 2001 season with an injury, Lewis rushed for over 1,000 yards in six out of the next seven seasons.

One of the league's best running backs during his heyday, Alexander averaged 1,500 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns per season from 2001-05.

A Pro Bowler each season from 2003-05, Alexander won league MVP in 2005 after leading the league in rushing yards (1,880) and rushing touchdowns (27).

His success that season helped the Seahawks advance to their first Super Bowl.

Williams retired with 10,202 all-purpose yards and 70 total touchdowns. .

A three-time Pro Bowler, Ingram enjoyed considerable success in New Orleans before rushing for 1,018 yards and 10 touchdowns for the Ravens in 2019.

Ingram -- who is entering his first season with the Texans -- is currently 60th on the NFL's all-time rushing list. .

Three years later, he helped the Saints win the franchise's only Super Bowl title.

He rushed for over 1,000 yards (while averaging 5 yards per carry) for the Dolphins in 2011.

After rehabbing for the 2003 season, McGahee rushed for 1,128 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2004 while leading the Bills to the precipice of the postseason.

McGahee is 41st all time on the career rushing list, an incredible achievement considering the significance of his 2003 knee injury. .

His best season occurred in 2003, when he rushed for 1,641 yards while also recording 516 receiving yards.

And while an injury in 2007 contributed to his 2009 release, McAllister was added to the Saints' roster prior to the team's Super Bowl win over the Colts.

McAllister's 6,096 rushing yards remains the Saints' career rushing record. .

A three-time Pro Bowler (and two-time All-Pro) during his first four seasons, Gurley led the NFL in rushing touchdowns in consecutive years while helping the Rams reach the Super Bowl in 2018.

Gurley's production has decreased on recent seasons, however, as he is currently a free agent after averaging a career-low 3.5 yards per carry in Atlanta. .

He gained over 2,000 all-purpose yards and 21 touchdowns during his first two seasons in Carolina.

That season, Stewart earned his first and only Pro Bowl selection while helping the Panthers reach the Super Bowl.

A three-time Pro Bowler, Elliott averaged 1,668 all-purpose yards and 11 touchdowns per season during his first five years in Dallas. .

Owner of the greatest single rushing season in Penn State history, Johnson began his career as Priest Holmes' backup in Kansas City.

His 143 total yards helped the Colts defeat the Bears in Super Bowl XLI.

Addai is currently seventh on the Colts' career rushing list. .

He made the Pro Bowl in 2011 after rushing for 1,091 yards and catching 50 passes for 455 yards. 

And while his touches were somewhat limited during his first season in Denver, Gordon still managed to rush for nearly 1,000 yards while scoring 10 touchdowns for the fourth time in his career. 

While he shared a backfield for most of his time in Miami, Brown still managed to averaged nearly 1,000 rushing yards per season with the Dolphins

He is currently third on the Dolphins' career rushing list, behind Williams and Csonka. 

One of the NFL's most versatile backs, McCaffrey earned All-Pro honors in 2019 after becoming the third player in league history to tally 1,000 yards rushing and receiving

He gained 1,926 total yards during his rookie season, and he was an All-Pro in 2015 after rushing for over 1,400 yards

While Chicago just wasn't a good fit, Benson still helped lead the Bears to the Super Bowl in 2006

By 2012, he earned Pro Bowl honors after rushing for 1,244 yards and averaging 6 yards per carry

He spent the final two season of his career shuffling between teams before returning to Clemson, where he was recently promoted to running backs coach. 

The last Steelers running back taken in the first round before Najee Harris, Mendenhall won a Super Bowl as a rookie despite spending most of the season on injured reserve

While he helped the Steelers advance to the Super Bowl that season, Mendenhall's most infamous NFL moment occurred when Clay Matthews jarred the ball loose from his arms during a pivotal moment in Super Bowl XLV (the Steelers ended up losing, 31-25)

A key member of the Broncos' 2013 AFC championship team, Moreno rushed for over 1,000 yards that season after missing half of the 2012 campaign with a torn ACL

He finished his career with nearly 5,000 all-purpose yards and 19 touchdowns. 

The NFL's leader in yards-per-carry average in 2009, Jones' best season took place in 2010, when he amassed 1,250 all-purpose yards for the Cowboys

A throwback power back, Fournette helped lead the Jaguars to the brink of the Super Bowl as a rookie

He has enjoyed a career resurgence with the Buccaneers, as Tampa Bay went 7-0 with Fournette in its starting lineup during the 2020 season

With a score in the Bucs' Super Bowl LV win, "Lombardi Lenny" was born. 

One of two former Auburn running backs selected in the first round, Williams won Offensive Rookie of the Year after rushing for nearly 1,200 yards

Maroney (following an injury-marred 2008 season) posted another solid season in 2009 before finishing his career with the Broncos. 

While he failed to live up to pre-draft expectations, the 1999 Heisman Trophy winner did have several productive seasons that included helping the Giants reach the Super Bowl during his rookie season

Ironically, Dayne's best season was his last; he rushed for 773 yards and six touchdowns while averaging 4 yards per carry for the Texans. 

In 2011, Brown ran for five scores while averaging 4.8 yards per carry

Two years later, Brown set career highs with six rushing touchdowns and 751 all-purpose yards. 

And while his 2020 season was not quite as good, Jacobs nonetheless was named to his first Pro Bowl last year on the strength of his 12 rushing touchdowns. 

But as a rookie, Michel showed his value by helping the Patriots win their sixth Super Bowl title

After rushing for 931 yards in 13 regular-season games as a rookie, Michel rushed for 336 yards and six touchdowns during the 2018 postseason. 

He ran for a career-high 1,047 yards and 10 touchdowns that included a franchise-record 228 yards against the Rams

While his rookie season wasn't bad (he amassed 1,317 yards and 12 touchdowns), Richardson was nonetheless traded from Cleveland to Indianapolis at the start of the 2013 season

He averaged just 3.1 yards per carry in 29 games with the Colts

Richardson averaged just 3.3 yards per carry during his three-year career. 

While somewhat underwhelming, Green still managed to rack up 1,000 all-purpose yards while helping the Browns make the playoffs during this rookie season

Ultimately, Green's inconsistency (he averaged just 3.7 yards per carry for his career) and off-field issues led to him being out of the NFL after just four seasons

And while a hip injury slowed his roll at the end of the season, Edwards-Helaire still managed to gain 1,100 all-purpose yards in 13 regular-season games

And while his career was short, Wilson did set a Giants franchise record for total yards gained in a game when he amassed 327 yards in a 2012 win over the Saints. 


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