Is the featured running back a dying breed in the NFL?
Many feel it is, and it's difficult to discredit this sentiment entirely. In fact, before 2013, never was there a draft without a running back being selected in the first round, but they've now been skipped over in consecutive years.
Perhaps the past two drafts have been weak with talent at the position, but it's impossible to ignore this as an indicator of the direction that the league is moving in—and that is toward fast-paced, pass-heavy offensive scheming.
But whether or not the existence of the featured back fades into history, it will remain important to reflect on the many dominant running backs who have passed through the league over the years—and there have been many—so many that it seems almost impossible to compile a list of 25 names without leaving off several of the all-time greats.
To justify these inevitable cases, I'll stress the significance to these rankings of each player's performance at the peak of his career, his primary career accolades relative to his peers and his overall contribution to their team, all with respect to the time period when he played.
Before reading on, note that this list will only include modern era players due to a lack of statistical evidence for backs whose main production came prior to 1950.
And as always, feel free to leave feedback in the comment section below!