Ranking the 10 Best NFL Running Backs of All Time

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Ranking the 10 Best NFL Running Backs of All Time
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Who was the best RB of all time?

Who were the best running backs of all time? What criteria would you use if asked to select the 10 best? I gave this some thought while doing research on a great running back who has been all but forgotten, Jon Arnett (1957-1966). 

While attempting to figure where he ranked among the all-time greats, I considered a number of measures—rushing yards, touchdowns all-purpose yards, single-season records and single-game records. I came to the conclusion that all-purpose yards is probably the single-best measure for this ranking.

Why all-purpose yards? Some running backs are just rushers. Others also catch passes. A few are punt and kick returners. All-purpose yards best captures all of their production. Touchdowns and total points scored are also good measures, but are limited by the reality that some running backs were short-yardage specialists who scored a lot, but didn't necessarily accumulate many yards. 

So for what it's worth, here's my top-10 list.

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