Ranking C.J. Spiller and the 5 Most Electric Runners in the NFL
The NFL is littered with elite running backs, but there are only a select few that are electric enough that everyone pays attention every time they take a handoff from a quarterback.
When one thinks of an electric running back, we don't necessarily think of someone like the Minnesota Vikings' bruising Adrian Peterson. Rather, we think of someone that can break a game wide open on a typical play such as the Buffalo Bills' C.J. Spiller.
Spiller combines elite athleticism, vision and speed into a dangerous package that can turn a run stopped in the backfield into a huge touchdown.
There are only a handful of backs like Spiller in the NFL that define the word electric every time they touch the ball. Let's examine the five most electric runners in the NFL today.
5. Reggie Bush, Miami Dolphins
In fact, Bush has been one of the most electric players since he entered the league in 2006 out of USC.
Bush is an elusive back that has amassed 555 yards and four touchdowns on the year so far, bringing his yards per carry average to 4.4. While he won't bruise between the tackles, Bush has an ability to cut outside and turn any play into a touchdown.
Add in the fact that Bush can also kill opposing teams by catching passes and turning it into points and Bush remains one of the better weapons in the NFL. He's a matchup nightmare for defenses around the league and for that, Bush is easily still one of the most electric running backs in the NFL.
4. Darren Sproles, New Orleans Saints
Darren Sproles is beginning to get lost in the running back committee in New Orleans with the Saints, but that doesn't change the fact he is one of the most electrifying players to grace an NFL field each and every week.
Now in his eighth season at 29 years old, Sproles has had a bit of a down year thanks to injuries. When he's healthy, Sproles is hard to contain.
Take last year for example. Sproles had 603 yards rushing on the ground for a jaw-dropping 6.9 yards per carry average and also added 710 receiving yards and seven scores through the air.
Sproles is the definition of a versatile weapon with game-breaking ability. He's one of the league's worse kept secrets and will routinely break games open this season and beyond once he returns to full strength.
3. Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans
Chris Johnson of the Tennessee Titans is arguably the fastest player in the NFL and he combines that gift with great vision to become one of the NFL's most dangerous weapons out of the backfield each and every week.
Johnson is having another great year after a slow start. He's gained 862 yards on the ground and four scores to bring his average to a solid 5.1 per carry.
Also a threat in the passing game, Johnson makes opposing defenses respect all facets of his game, which in turn opens up opportunities for those around him.
Once a back who rushed for over 2,000 yards in a single season, Johnson doesn't have the team around him to do that anymore. He remains, however, one of the more exciting and dangerous players in the league.
2. Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles suffered a severe knee injury early last season and robbed the NFL and its fans of one of the most exciting players to grace the field.
After surgery, it's back to business as usual for the dynamic Charles.
Despite residing on the worst team in the NFL, Charles has mustered 734 yards and three touchdowns on the ground to give him a 4.7 per carry average.
Under head coach Romeo Crennel, Charles has been extremely underused, and it's hard to figure out why. He's an elite running back that can beat defenses with the run or pass and has a rare ability to turn the smallest crease into a ridiculous touchdown.
1. C.J. Spiller, Buffalo Bills
C.J. Spiller of the Buffalo Bills is not only the most electric running back in the NFL, he's also the most promising.
At just 25 years old and halfway through his third NFL season, Spiller has emerged as an elite weapon that dumbfounds defenses each week.
Spiller broke out last season as a backup when he rushed for 561 yards and four touchdowns, giving him an exceptional 5.2 yards per carry. 2012 has been even better for Spiller, as he's seen an increased role and gained 632 yards and four touchdowns, this time for a jaw-dropping 7.3 yards per carry.
As his playing time increases, Spiller's true talent has emerged. He's a threat catching the ball as well. He has 297 receiving yards this year, seven of those receptions have went for 20 or more yards.
Spiller is proving each week this year that he is taking over as the NFL's most exciting back.