32. Terrance West – Baltimore Ravens
2016 stats: 193 carries, 774 rushing yards (4.0 yards per carry), 5 rushing touchdowns, 34 catches, 236 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown
Career stats: 426 carries, 1,678 rushing yards (3.9 yards per carry), 9 rushing touchdowns, 49 catches, 321 receiving yards, 2 receiving touchdowns
There isn’t a more desolate crop of running backs in today’s NFL than the ball carriers on the Baltimore Ravens. With a depth chart featuring Terrance West, Lorenzo Taliaferro, Javorius Allen and Danny Woodhead (coming off a torn ACL and now 32 years old), any of these four could end up leading the team in rushing. For the time being, we will go with West – the plodder from Towson who led the team in 2016 with 774 rushing yards. Lacking any semblance of explosiveness, West shouldn’t be one of the league’s 32 starting running backs by the end of the 2017 season.
31. Rob Kelley – Washington Redskins
2016 stats: 168 carries, 704 rushing yards (4.2 yards per carry), 6 rushing touchdowns, 12 catches, 82 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown
Career stats: 168 carries, 704 rushing yards (4.2 yards per carry), 6 rushing touchdowns, 12 catches, 82 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown
The best nickname in the league, “Fat Rob,” certainly doesn’t translate to Kelley being the best running back in the league. The ball carrier from Tulane possesses absolutely zero breakaway speed, but offers the consistency and ball security former starting running back Matt Jones was unable to provide. Even though Kelley isn’t Washington’s long-term solution at the position, his proficiency in short-yardage situations makes him valuable enough to avoid last place on this list. Plus, Kelley is only 24 years old and should be better in 2017 with a year of NFL experience under his belt.
30. Jamaal Williams – Green Bay Packers
2016 stats: N/A
Career stats: N/A
No one threw out a more bizarre cast of ball carriers in 2016 than the Green Bay Packers. Eddie Lacy, Knile Davis, James Starks and receiver-turned-running back Ty Montgomery all took hand-offs from Aaron Rodgers. With none looking to be the long-term solution, it came as little surprise when Green Bay selected Jamaal Williams in the fourth round. Even though Montgomery is slated as the top rusher for the time being, his slender frame will likely result in him being moved back to receiver as Williams gains familiarity in Green Bay’s offense. At only 22 years old, Williams is an explosive runner more than capable of leading the Packers’ rushing attack in 2017.
Image Sources: Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports, Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports, Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports