The Dallas Cowboys star running back Ezekiel Elliott was named the highest ranked running back on the NFL Top 100. Here are the reasons why.
As many of you know the NFL Top 100 of 2017 concluded this week and Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott was the only member of America’s Team to crack the top 10. Zeke came in at number seven overall.
Elliott is the highest ranked running back on the list and for one simple reason: he had the best 2016 of any running back in the NFL. I mean that is why he is the rushing champ, right?
The problem with this list or the perception of this list is that once again people love to focus on a players career instead of just the season in question.
The list was made to gauge who the players believed were the most productive athletes in the league during the previous season. There is some bias as players seemingly will never leave guys like running back, Adrian Peterson or pass rusher J.J. Watt off the list because they are in a class of their own.
On the flip side, people get upset to see a rookie quarterback or running back higher than established veterans because some feel as if the veterans deserve higher praise. While if the list was solely about the 2016 season, Watt and Peterson would likely be left off from an objective standpoint but their absence still affected their teams tremendously.
This was Zeke’s first year on the list and to be placed so high is pretty incredible for a first-year player but there is a reason for that, he deserved it. The argument that Pittsburgh’s Le’Veon Bell is a better player is automatically faulty especially if we are talking about from a player acquisition standpoint.
When comparing the two it is easy to take note that Bell has the same amount of 16 game seasons as Elliott, one. Bell has been either injured, suspended, or both which have kept him off the field for the beginning of several seasons.
Bell has also only broken 1,000 yards twice in his four-year career and has never recorded a double-digit rushing touchdown season. Elliott, on the other hand, may be the rookie in this situation but recorded a mind-boggling 15 rushing touchdowns in 2016 and has averaged .6 more yards than Bell has throughout his entire career.
If a NFL general manager had to pick one of those players to sign, it has to be Zeke simply because of his upside. Another argument is that Bell is the better receiver out of the two. That has really yet to be seen either, as Elliott was on the other end of Cowboys’ starting quarterback, Dak Prescott’s longest career touchdown pass so far. Which happened to be an 83-yard screen pass against Bell’s Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 10.
Yes, even though it was a screenplay, Zeke still had the hands and receiving moves to take the ball into the end zone. The only running back that could challenge Elliott for the top spot is Arizona’s David Johnson. And even he had around 400 fewer yards than the Cowboys star.
In summation, Ezekiel Elliott is the highest-rated running back last year and the rushing champion simply because he was the most productive running back on the field – plain and simple. If you detract from that, you are either biased or misinformed, because the numbers just do not support thinking otherwise.