Although the NFL has become increasingly pass-happy in recent seasons, there are still plenty of advantages to a strong running game. Even elite teams such as the Green Bay Packers and New England Patriots have struggled when it matters most due to the lack of a credible ground attack.
With three running backs taken in the first round of the 2012 draft, it's clear NFL teams still value the presence of a prolific workhorse.
Jacksonville Jaguars' powerhouse Maurice Jones-Drew topped the rushing charts in 2011. However, he could find his superiority challenged by the usual suspects like Adrian Peterson and Michael Turner, as well as first-year pros such as Trent Richardson and Doug Martin. The following runners will lead their teams in rushing in 2012.