I know, to most people that question is ridiculous.
In fact, I bet a lot of you read the title of this article and laughed.
To answer the question, yes, of course, Ezekiel Elliott is a top-10 running back in the NFL. I would say that he is much higher, more like top-3.
Earlier this week, an anonymous coach had Ezekiel Elliott as the 11th best running back in the league.
“Very few breakouts runs, doesn’t look as strong anymore. Feels like he’s about 60 to 70 percent of what he was.”
During his rookie season, Elliott put up incredible numbers. He led the league in rushing yards, was selected to the Pro Bowl, and was placed on the All-Pro team. He has never done all of that in a season since his rookie year, so if you want to call that regression, then fine, I guess you can go ahead.
Just because he has not been selected to receive every single award does not mean is not elite.
In 2017, Elliott was suspended by the NFL for six games. Despite his absence, he still finished the year with the 10th most rushing yards.
In 2018 he led the league in rushing again, and last year, 2019, he was second in rushing yards behind Derek Henry.
Zeke rushed for 1631 yards his rookie year and since then, he has not reached that number. But he has been in the top-two for rushing yards every year of his career besides the suspension year. This anonymous coach pointed out the breakout runs but failed to realize that a running back who has finished as a top-two rusher every year that he has played, should probably be considered a top-two rusher.
It is important to note the situation that Zeke had in 2016. He was playing with a rookie QB and was running behind the top offensive line in the league. Of course, he is going to get fed the ball. Since then, Dak has gotten more comfortable and Elliott’s carries have obviously gone down a bit, therefore his numbers dropped slightly too.
The rest of the coaches in this poll voted Zeke as the third-best running back behind Christian McCaffrey and division rival, Saquon Barkley.
If you needed one yard to win the game, what three running backs would you feel most comfortable about handing the ball to.
Is Ezekiel Elliott on that list? Probably.
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