jamaal charles chiefs
In a league of quarterbacks, the tough job of being an NFL running back is sometimes lost behind the limelight. Still, the running back position boasts some of the most talented stars in all of football, each possessing outstanding power and agility.
From Jamaal Charles to Michael Turner, the NFL is full of star rushers who are crucial to their teams' offensive success. Here are the top 10 running backs in the NFL:
jamaal charles chiefs
Rashard Mendenhall (PIT)
Shonn Greene (NYJ)
Ahmad Bradshaw (NYG)
Matt Forte (CHI)
Ryan Grant (GB)
Steven Jackson (STL)
LeGarrette Blount (TB)
Since coming to Atlanta in 2008, Michael Turner has established himself as one of the premier running backs in the league. In just 43 games as a member of the Falcons, he has ran for an incredible 3,941 yards and 39 touchdowns.
Turner is not known for his speed, but for his outstanding power. One of the game's superior goal line backs, Turner has become one of the cores of Atlanta's potent offense.
Darren McFadden finally got past the bust label last year, as he exploded onto the scene and became the Raiders' main offensive weapon. In just 13 games, DMC rushed 1157 yards at a pace of 5.2 yards per carry, and added seven touchdowns.
McFadden was also a key part of the Oakland passing game, as he contributed 47 catches for 507 yards and three touchdowns through the air. Last year, the Raiders running back proved he was one of the most explosive and dynamic players in the entire league.
In just his second season as a pro, LeSean McCoy established himself as one of the most explosive running backs in the National Football League. The 23-year-old Eagles star ran for over 1080 yards at a clip of 5.2 yards per carry and scored seven touchdowns on the ground.
McCoy was also a dynamic part of Philadelphia's potent passing game, as he caught 78 passes for 592 yards and two touchdowns. McCoy showed the football world that he is a force to be reckoned with for years to come.
Over the last five seasons, Frank Gore has been one of the best running backs in all of football. Before suffering a season-ending injury in Week 12 last season, the 49ers star was well on his way to his fifth consecutive 1000-yard and five-touchdown season.
Gore is also a key factor in a weak 49ers passing game, as he has caught at least 40 passes for 370 yards in each of his last five seasons. The 28-year-old has dynamic power and speed, and has established himself as one of the best players in the NFL.
Over the last few seasons, Ray Rice has helped establish himself as one of the premier rushers in the game. The 23-year-old Rutgers alumni is a key factor to both the running and the passing game, as he has averaged 280 carries for 1,261 yards and six touchdowns on the ground to go along with 70 receptions for 629 yards and a touchdown in the air, over the last two seasons.
Rice has been crucial to an ever-improving Ravens offense, and has helped lead them to three consecutive postseason appearances.
Fresh off a breakout year in 2010, Arian Foster will look to build on his All-Pro-caliber season. The 24-year-old star exploded for 1,616 yards and 16 touchdowns on 327 carries, while also catching 66 passes for 604 yards and two touchdowns through the air.
The Texans running back has become one of the elite players in the league today, and has helped Houston establish itself as one of the most potent offenses in all of football.
Maurice Jones-Drew has become one of the most talented players in the NFL in recent years. The 25-year-old Jaguars running back has exploded for 3,539 yards and 32 touchdowns on 808 carries on the ground and 1256 yards and five touchdowns on 149 receptions in the air, over the last three seasons.
MJD has become one of the elite rushers in all of football, and has years of outstanding production still ahead of him.
Chris Johnson exploded onto the scene in 2009 after he became the sixth player in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards in one season. The former first-round pick has averaged an incredible 308 carries for 1,533 yards and 11 touchdowns over his first three professional seasons.
CJ2K ran the fastest 40-yard dash in NFL history at 4.24 at the NFL combine in 2008, and has started in the Pro Bowl in each of his first three seasons. He has become the core of the Titans offense, and is known as one of the most explosive players in all of football.
Jamaal Charles has become one of the game's premier running backs since he debuted in 2008. The 24-year-old Chiefs star has rushed for 2,944 yards and 12 touchdowns on just 487 carries in his first three seasons.
Charles owns an outstanding 6.0 yards per carry in his career, and had mainly split carries with another running back throughout the early stages of his career. However, as he becomes a feature back, Charles will be a 2,000-yard threat for years to come.
Adrian Peterson is the best running back in the NFL, and has been since his debut in 2007. In his four professional seasons, AP has averaged 300 carries for 1,446 yards and 13 touchdowns per season.
"All Day" is the most dynamic rusher in the league, as he possesses both fierce power and outstanding speed. He is the core of the Vikings offense, and will be for years to come.