NFC East Player Power Rankings: Running Back Edition

Brad Gagnon NFL National ColumnistJuly 10, 2012

SEATTLE - DECEMBER 01:  Running back LeSean McCoy #25 of the Philadelphia Eagles reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on December 1, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

We continue our positional player power rankings with running backs, where it's LeSean McCoy and then everyone else. But because I'm not completely lazy (only partially lazy), I decided I'd at least list seven other backs.


1. LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles: I strongly believe that the 24-year-old McCoy is one of the three best backs in football. Fast, elusive, consistent and the numbers to back it up. His workload could be a tad lighter and he could afford to become a better blocker, but this Philly offense would be in huge trouble without their young, ridiculously talented No. 1 back.


2. DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys: Murray has started seven games and I'm already touting him as the second-best back in the NFC East. I think that says a lot about Murray, who averaged 5.5 yards per carry as a rookie, and about the division, which lacks quality backs. Or at least quality backs who can stay healthy.


3. Felix Jones, Dallas Cowboys: Jones has generally been a disappointment in Dallas. He's had trouble with injuries and has lacked consistency. But late last year, he had two 100-yard games, giving me hope. In Washington, he'd be the No. 1 back, and in New York, he'd be in the mix. If Murray doesn't deliver, Jones might have one more big push left in him.


4. Ahmad Bradshaw, New York Giants: One year ago, Bradshaw would've been right there with McCoy near the top of this list, but two Cowboys crept ahead of him this summer after the 26-year-old struggled to stay healthy and establish any real momentum last year. He had just a single 100-yard game in 2011.


5. David Wilson, New York Giants: He's yet to play an NFL game, but the first-round pick out of Virginia Tech has been a hit this offseason and could be a starter by the time the season comes to an end. 


6. Roy Helu, Washington Redskins: Here's another case in which the Redskins are deeper than everyone in the division but appear to lack top-end talent. The system is good, so whoever emerges this year for Washington should be good. I'm giving an early edge to Helu, who had three straight 100-yard efforts late in his rookie season.


7. Tim Hightower, Washington Redskins: Hightower is the veteran member of the Washington backfield, but he failed to do much of anything last year before going down with a season-ending knee injury. Still, he might begin the season as the starter again.


8. Evan Royster, Washington Redskins: And yet another running back coming off a surprisingly solid rookie campaign. The sixth-round pick averaged 5.9 yards per carry and posted back-to-back 100-yard efforts to finish the season.


Notice that exactly half of the players on this list have either zero years or one year of NFL experience? That's why they say running backs are worth a dime a dozen in this league.