The Rams Wire
The running back position has evolved dramatically over time. Rather than having big, bruising backs carrying the ball 25 times per game, teams are shifting to more dynamic players who can not only run between the tackles, but also catch passes and split out wide as receivers.
Eric Dickerson was a little bit of both, though at his size, he was certainly more of a power runner than a finesse guy.
As one of the best to ever do it, Dickerson’s thoughts on the current crop of running backs is notable. During an interview on “The Pivot” podcast, he listed the five best running backs in the NFL today.
Here’s how he listed his top five, which was understandably tough for him to do.
- Derrick Henry
- Ezekiel Elliott
- Saquon Barkley
- Jonathan Taylor
- Christian McCaffrey
Elliott’s ranking is higher than many would probably expect, but Dickerson said he still likes him because “Zeke is tough. He runs between the tackles.” Barkley is also a little higher than some would put him. Dickerson said he’s “never had a chance” because he went to “a bad football team.”
Taylor and McCaffrey got the next two spots, and Dickerson likes McCaffrey’s game a lot because of his versatility, but he’s also been hurt in the last two years, playing just 10 total games.
Dickerson was also asked to rank the best running backs in Rams history – after himself, of course. He immediately mentioned Marshall Faulk, which was an obvious pick. After Faulk, Dickerson went with Steven Jackson, followed by Todd Gurley.
His reasoning for picking Jackson over Gurley was that Jackson had no help during his days in St. Louis.
“I say Steven because Steven had nothing. He had nothing,” Dickerson said. “I’m serious. And you know when you play that position, you know what it’s like when you ain’t got no help. He had no help.”
There won’t be much argument over that list, and it’s an example of how much talent the Rams have had at the running back position over the years. Maybe Cam Akers will one day be the next player on that list.