The role and amount of the active aback in the NFL has acquired as abundant as any position over the accomplished decade, with a league-wide trend benign able players who can accord appropriately to the casual advance as to the arena game.
Todd Gurley embodies the postmodern brawl carrier as able-bodied as anyone.
After acid up 2,093 yards and 19 touchdowns from flat aftermost year for the Los Angeles Rams to animation aback from a asperous 2016 season, Gurley is afresh off to a active alpha with 220 absolute yards and four touchdowns in his aboriginal two games. Arizona’s abiding Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson appropriately summed up the action for absolute Gurley above-mentioned to the Rams-Cardinals d aftermost week.
“Just be like aerial missiles,” Peterson said, “always hitting him and accepting 11 hats on the ball.”
With Le’Veon Bell still cat-and-mouse to assurance his arrangement with the Pittsburgh Steelers and resume his appropriately electric career, Gurley was ranked as the NFL’s top active aback by a console of 10 football writers from The Associated Press. He accustomed nine first-place votes.
“With abhorrent authority Sean McVay application him in all the appropriate ways, Gurley has accustomed himself as not alone the NFL’s No. 1 active aback but one of the league’s finest abhorrent pieces at any position,” wrote the Washington-based Howard Fendrich. “He shows how a active aback can still amount in today’s game.”
The Rams gave Gurley 343 touches aftermost season, his third in the league, but 64 of those were catches for a whopping 788 yards. Not alone does this added accent on throwing to active backs accumulate defenses off-balance, it can abate abrasion and breach by acid bottomward on time active amid the tackles. So the Rams had no advisedly about giving Gurley a arrangement addendum this summer account $60 million, two years afore he was acceptable for chargeless agency.
“Gurley is affidavit No. 1 that drafting active backs aerial can be a actual acceptable idea,” said Barry Wilner, the AP’s civic football biographer in New York.
“Worth every penny he’s captivation out to get,” wrote the Philadelphia-based Rob Maaddi.
Ezekiel Elliott, who led the alliance in hasty yards per d in anniversary of his aboriginal two years with the Dallas Cowboys, was aing abaft Bell for third place.
“Just attending at how abundant Dallas struggled during Elliott’s abeyance aftermost year,” said Josh Dubow, who’s based in the Bay Area.
Rounding out the top 10: Alvin Kamara (fourth, New Orleans Saints), David Johnson (fifth, Arizona Cardinals), Kareem Hunt (sixth, Kansas City Chiefs), Saquon Barkley (seventh, New York Giants), Leonard Fournette (eighth, Jacksonville Jaguars), Melvin Gordon (ninth, Los Angeles Chargers) and LeSean McCoy (10th, Buffalo Bills).
Hunt, who had to allotment the amateur spotlight aftermost division with Fournette and Kamara, was the alone one alfresco the top three who appeared on all 10 ballots. McCoy, who angry 30 this summer, was the alone one earlier than 26 on the list. He was fourth in the NFL aftermost year in yards from scrimmage, abaft Gurley, Bell and Hunt.
Barkley was the abandoned amateur on the list, a attestation to his abeyant admitting arena in alone two able games. The Denver-based Arnie Stapleton ranked him second, the aforementioned atom area Barkley was taken in the abstract this bounce advanced of quarterback Sam Darnold of the New York Jets.
“The boilerplate lifespan of an NFL active aback is abundant shorter,” Stapleton said, “but what a activity it could be for the Giants with Barkley arch the way.”
2. Le’Veon Bell, Steelers
3. Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys
5. David Johnson, Cardinals
7. Saquon Barkley, Giants
8. Leonard Fournette, Jaguars
9. Melvin Gordon, Chargers
Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This actual may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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