Best NFL RBs the SEC Has Produced
The SEC pumps out NFL talent on a regular basis and over the years a number of talented running backs have departed the conference for the pros. These eight took the NFL by storm and put together great careers along the way.
The all-time rushing leader Emmitt Smith is among the group, as is the freakish power runner Herschel Walker. Which two teams have multiple stars on the list?
Hit the list to find out.
Stephen Davis: Auburn Tigers
Stephen Davis was picked in the fourth round of the 1996 draft by the Washington Redskins. He spent a decade in the league and accumulated 8,052 rushing yards and 65 touchdowns.
He had three Pro Bowl appearances and finished the 1999 season as the league’s rushing touchdowns leader with 17.
Over his 10-year career he played for three organizations (Redskins, Panthers, Rams), retiring in 2008 as a Carolina Panther.
Davis was a consistent producer who always found a way to push for positive yards. Injuries limited his production in his later years, but he was still able to show flashes of excellence up until his retirement.
Herschel Walker: Georgia Bulldogs
Herschel Walker was a physical freak during his playing career. Walker credited a push-ups and sit-ups routine with his strength and speed and took the NFL by storm once he arrived in 1986.
He finished his career with 8,225 rushing yards, 4,859 receiving yards and 61 rushing touchdowns. He also added 21 receiving touchdowns to his stat line.
Walker spent 12 years in the NFL hitting his peak during the 1988 season. He rushed for 1,514 yards and five touchdowns that year. He also caught 53 passes for 505 yards and two touchdowns.
He played for four franchises during his NFL career, spending time in Dallas, New York, Minnesota and Philadelphia.
Fred Taylor: Florida Gators
The Jacksonville Jaguars picked up a legend with the ninth overall pick in 1998. Fred Taylor spent the majority of his career driving the Jaguars offense.
He rushed for 11,695 yards and 66 touchdowns in his career with the Jaguars and New England Patriots.
Taylor was also an effective receiver, snagging 290 passes for 2,384 yards and eight touchdowns in his career.
Over the years Taylor was overlooked for his efforts, but there has not been a bigger contributor to the Jaguars franchise.
Kevin Faulk: LSU Tigers
The New England offense has been Tom Brady’s baby for years, but the surrounding cast of players have helped the franchise march to record wins.
Kevin Faulk was drafted in 1999 by the Patriots, and he spent his entire career there, retiring after the 2011 season.
He rushed for 3,607 yards and 16 touchdowns in his career, but his most impressive impact came in the passing game. He caught 431 passes for 3,701 yards and 15 touchdowns with the Patriots.
As part of those legendary New England teams, he became a three-time Super Bowl champion and was named to the Patriots All-2000s and 50th-anniversary teams.
Shaun Alexander: Alabama Crimson Tide
Alabama has produced a number of talented backs who have ruled the college ranks, but one stands out as one of the NFL’s best.
Shaun Alexander was a star for the Tide in college, and he became one of the elite backs in the NFL during his nine-year career.
He was drafted by the Seahawks in the first round during the 2000 draft.
Alexander went on to become a three-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro. He also is a member of the NFL's All-Decade team for the 2000s.
During his career he rushed for 9,453 yards and an impressive 100 touchdowns.
Terrell Davis: Georgia Bulldogs
If you ever played NFL GameDay ‘99 as a kid, you loved Terrell Davis.
Davis' video counterpart was an explosive runner, but much like the real-life Davis, he always seemed to pull his hamstring midseason.
The former Georgia Bulldog was a sixth-round draft pick of the Denver Broncos in 1995 and spent his entire career with the franchise.
He was a three time Pro Bowler, and two time AP Offensive Player of the Year.
Davis rushed for 7,607 yards and 60 rushing touchdowns during his career. He also added 1,260 receiving yards.
If not for injuries to his knees and hamstrings, Davis could have pushed for a number of pro records.
Jamal Lewis: Tennessee Volunteers
Jamal Lewis was a first-round selection to the Baltimore Ravens in 2000. He spent seven seasons there before ending his career in Cleveland following the 2009 season.
In 2003 Lewis was the AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year and a Pro Bowl selection. He broke the then-single game rushing record of 278 yards with a 295-yard performance against his future team, the Browns.
He was a bruising back who finished his career with an impressive 10,607 rushing yards and 58 rushing touchdowns.
In seven of his nine seasons in the NFL he finished with over 1,000 yards rushing.
Emmitt Smith: Florida Gators
The SEC has produced a lot of talented runners, but having claim to the NFL’s all-time leading rusher is something special.
Emmitt Smith was the best running back to take the field in Dallas Cowboys history. He was drafted in the first round of the 1990 draft and marched to 18,355 rushing yards and 164 rushing touchdowns in his career.
All but two seasons were spent in Dallas. Smith ended his career in Arizona.
He was an eight-time Pro Bowl selection, and six-time All-Pro. He holds the NFL record for rushing yards and was a 2010 NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee.
His time at Florida was special, but it was nothing compared to his dominance of the NFL.