2021 TOP 24 RBS vs. 2022 Rookie RBs

How the heck do these NFL running backs separate themselves from the pack, and become one of the best? We'll look at how they do in combine and pro day drills. Then, what metrics they rank best in. And finally, which rookies are likeliest to become the next top RB.

Top 24 RBs in PPR points per game

2022 TOP 24 RBs

Extra tabs were created on the spreadsheet to separate the RBs into groups: under 217 lbs, and 217+ lbs. Why? Because that is the NFL average-sized RB, about half of the top 24 RBs are either under or over 217 lbs. As you can see in the charts, speed matters more for smaller RBs, and strength matters more for larger RBs. When grading the rookies in their size groups, the smaller RBs will include their 20 and 10 yard split times, and larger RBs will include bench press. Like the rookie WRs in the previous article, we will not be including bench press, three cone drill or shuttle because not enough rookies ran those drills. Here is how the top 24 RBs did in combine and pro day drills: (it's actually 25 RBs, because Melvin Gordon and Rashaad Penny tied for 24th)

Under 216 lbs

  • 11/12 40 yard dash - 91.6%

  • 8/9 broad jump - 88.9%

  • 9/11 vertical leap - 81.8%

  • 5/7 three cone drill - 71.4%

  • 7/10 20 yard split - 70%

  • 7/10 10 yard split - 70%

  • 2/3 60 yard shuttle - 66.7%

  • 4/8 20 yard shuttle - 50%

  • 2/8 bench press - 25%

217+ lbs

  • 8/10 broad jump - 80%

  • 5/7 20 yard shuttle - 71.4%

  • 9/13 40 yard dash - 69.2%

  • 7/12 vertical leap - 58.3%

  • 6/12 20 yard split - 50%

  • 6/12 10 yard split - 50%

  • 4/8 bench press - 50%

  • 2/7 three cone drill - 28.5%

A lot of football analysts will tell you that these workouts don't matter. They might not matter much to NFL GMs and scouts, but check the numbers. These drills matter when becoming a top RB. Now we'll look at how the top 24 RBs ranked in advanced metrics:

Top 24 RBs Advanced Metric Averages

  • Yards per route run - 17.67

  • Yards per touch - 21.29

  • Breakaway run rate (carries of 15+ yds %) - 21.5

  • Yards created per touch - 23.58

  • Stacked front carry rate - 23.62

  • Juke rate (evaded tackles per touch) - 23.69

  • Base front carry rate - 24.88

  • Points per opportunity (points per touch) - 28.44

  • Light front carry rate - 28.79

  • Average defenders in the box - 29.2

  • Shotgun carry rate - 30.67

  • True yards per carry - 32.28

As you can see, the most important metrics for RBs is being a receiving RB, and being a playmaker with the ball in their hands. Surprised?

Now, bring on the rookies...

Top 33 Rookie RBs

2022 ROOKIE RBs

Kenneth Walker

Sig Score rank - 1st

Under 217 lbs rank - 1st

Positives

40 yard dash - 1st

20 yard split - 1st

Gap scheme grade - 1st

Elusiveness grade - 2nd

Missed tackles forced per touch - 2nd

10 yard split - 3rd

2019 PFF overall grade - 3rd

Yards after contact per touch - 3rd

Carries of 15+ yards % - 3rd

2020 PFF overall grade - 4th

2021 PFF rushing grade - 5th

Weaknesses

Yards per route run - 29th

Rachaad White

Sig Score rank - 2nd

Under 217 lbs rank - 2nd

Positives

Yards per route run - 1st

Vertical leap - 2nd

Broad jump - 3rd

2021 PFF overall grade - 3rd

Gap scheme grade - 4th

2020 PFF overall grade - 5th

Weaknesses

None

Kennedy Brooks

Sig Score rank - 3rd

Under 217 lbs rank - 3rd

Positives

2019 PFF overall grade - 2nd

Carries of 15+ yards % - 2nd

2021 PFF rushing grade - 3rd

Gap scheme grade - 5th

Missed tackles forced per touch - 5th

Weaknesses

Yards per route run - 30th

Dameon Pierce

Sig Score rank - 4th

217+ lbs rank - 1st

Positives

2021 PFF overall grade - 1st

2021 PFF rush grade - 1st

Missed tackles forced per touch - 1st

Zone scheme grade - 2nd

Elusiveness grade - 3rd

Yards per route run - 3rd

Weaknesses

20 yard split - 24th

10 yard split - 26th

2019 PFF overall grade - 27th

Breece Hall

Sig Score rank - 5th

217+ lbs rank - 5th

Positives

Vertical leap - 1st

Broad jump - 2nd

20 yard split - 5th

Weaknesses

Yards after contact per touch - 29th

Pierre Strong

Sig Score rank - 6th

Under 217 lbs rank - 4th

Positives

2019 PFF overall grade - 1st

Zone scheme grade - 1st

Carries of 15+ yards % - 1st

40 yard dash - 2nd

Broad jump - 4th

2021 PFF rush grade - 4th

20 yard split - 5th

10 yard split - 5th

Vertical leap - 5th

Weaknesses

None

Jerrion Ealy

Sig Score rank - 7th

Under 217 lbs rank - 6th

Positives

2020 PFF overall grade - 3rd

Elusiveness grade - 4th

Yards after contact per touch - 5th

Weaknesses

None

Ty Chandler

Sig Score rank - 9th

217+ lbs rank - 2nd

Positives

2020 PFF overall grade - 1st

Zone scheme grade - 3rd

2021 PFF overall grade - 4th

Yards after contact per touch - 4th

2019 PFF overall grade - 5th

Weaknesses

None

Tyler Allgeier

Sig Score rank - 9th

217+ lbs rank - 2nd

Positives

2020 PFF overall grade - 1st

Zone scheme grade - 3rd

2021 PFF overall grade - 4th

Yards after contact per touch - 4th

2019 PFF overall grade - 5th

Weaknesses

None

Keaontay Ingram

Sig Score rank - 10th

217+ lbs rank - 4th

Positives

2021 PFF rush grade - 2nd

Zone scheme grade - 4th

Weaknesses

2020 PFF overall grade - 30th

ZaQuandre White

Sig Score rank - 11th

Under 217 lbs rank - 8th

Positives

Elusiveness grade - 1st

Yards after contact per touch - 1st

Yards per route run - 2nd

Carries of 15+ yds % - 4th

Vertical leap - 5th

Weaknesses

40 yard dash - 26th

10 yard split - 29th

2020 PFF overall grade - 31st

Zamir White

Sig Score rank - 12th

Under 217 lbs rank - 7th

Positives

Broad jump - 1st

Gap scheme grade - 2nd

20 yard split - 3rd

10 yard split - 5th

Weaknesses

None

Brian Robinson

Sig Score rank - 13th

217+ lbs rank - 3rd

Positives

2019 PFF overall grade - 4th

Zone scheme grade - 5th

Weaknesses

None

James Cook

Sig Score rank - 14th

Under 217 lbs rank - 10th

Positives

Broad jump - 4th

Yards per route run - 4th

Weaknesses

None

Tyler Badie

Sig Score rank - 15th

Under 217 lbs rank - 11th

Positives

10 yard split - 3rd

Weaknesses

None

Hassan Haskins

Sig Score rank - 16th

217+ lbs rank - 6th

Positives

2021 PFF overall grade - 2nd

Gap scheme grade - 5th

Weaknesses

None

Abram Smith

Sig Score rank - 17th

Under 217 lbs rank - 9th

Positives

2021 PFF overall grade - 5th

Weaknesses

2019 PFF overall grade - 28th

Jerome Ford

Sig Score rank - 18th

Under 217 lbs rank - 12th

Positives

Gap scheme grade - 3rd

Weaknesses

None

D'vonte Price

Sig Score rank - 19th

Under 217 lbs rank - 14th

Positives

40 yard dash - 4th

Weaknesses

2019 PFF overall grade - 26th

Isaiah Spiller

Sig Score rank - 20th

217+ lbs rank - 7th

Positives

Elusiveness grade - 5th

Carries of 15+ yards % - 5th

Negatives

Broad jump - 19th

40 yard dash - 27th

10 yard split - 27th

Trestan Ebner

Sig Scores rank - 21st

Under 217 lbs rank - 15th

Positives

Yards per route run - 5th

Weaknesses

2020 PFF overall grade - 29th

2021 PFF rush grade - 29th

Gap scheme grade - 31st

Ronnie Rivers

Sig Score rank - 22nd

Under 217 lbs rank - 13th

Positives

2020 PFF overall grade - 2nd

Vertical leap - 3rd

Weaknesses

None

Jaylen Warren

Sig Score rank - 23rd

Under 217 lbs rank - 17th

Positives

Missed tackles forced per touch - 3rd

Weaknesses

None

Zonovan Knight

Sig Score rank - 24th

Under 217 lbs rank - 21st

Positives

Missed tackles forced per touch - 4th

Negatives

Broad jump - 19th

20 yard split - 25th

10 yard split - 28th

2019 PFF overall grade - 29th

2021 PFF overall grade - 30th

Gap scheme grade - 32nd

Kyren Williams

Sig Score rank - 25th

Under 217 lbs rank - 18th

Positives

None

Weaknesses

Broad jump - 18th

20 yard split - 25th

10 yard split - 25th

40 yard dash - 29th

Zone scheme grade - 29th

2019 PFF overall grade - 30th

Carries of 15+ yards % - 30th

Jashaun Corbin

Sig Score rank - 26th

Under 217 lbs rank - 16th

Positives

Yards after contact per touch - 2nd

Weaknesses

2020 PFF overall grade - 27th

2021 PFF overall grade - 29th

Missed tackles forced per touch - 29th

Tyler Goodson

Sig Score rank - 27th

Under 217 lbs rank - 20th

Positives

Vertical leap - 3rd

20 yard split - 5th

10 yard split - 5th

Weaknesses

Elusiveness grade - 31st

Missed tackles forced per touch - 31st

2021 PFF overall grade - 32nd

2021 PFF rush grade - 32nd

Zone scheme grade - 32nd

Gap scheme grade - 33rd

Yards after contact per touch - 33rd

Isaih Pacheco

Sig Score rank - 28th

Under 217 lbs rank - 19th

Positives

20 yard split - 1st

40 yard dash - 2nd

10 yard split - 2nd

Weaknesses

2020 PFF overall grade - 28th

Carries of 15+ yards % - 29th

Yards per route run - 32nd

Elusiveness grade - 33rd

Missed tackles forced per touch - 33rd

Tyrion Davis-Price

Sig Score rank - 29th

Under 217 lbs rank - 22nd

Positives

None

Weaknesses

Broad jump - 16th

Yards after contact per touch - 30th

Zone scheme grade - 31st

Yards per route run - 31st

CJ Verdell

Sig Score rank - 30th

Under 217 lbs rank - 23rd

Positives

None

Negatives

Broad jump - 16th

40 yard dash - 29th

Vertical leap - 29th

Gap scheme - 29th

Elusiveness grade - 29th

2021 PFF rush grade - 30th

Missed tackles forced per touch - 30th

Carries of 15+ yards % - 33rd

Snoop Conner

Sig Score rank - 31st

217+ lbs rank - 8th

Positives

None

Weaknesses

Vertical leap - 29th

Elusiveness grade - 30th

Yards after contact per touch - 32nd

Leddie Brown

Sig Score rank - 32nd

Under 217 lbs rank - 24th

Positives

None

Negatives

20 yard split - 23rd

40 yard dash - 27th

Zone scheme grade - 30th

2021 PFF overall grade - 31st

2021 PFF rush grade - 31st

Carries of 15+ yards % - 31st

Greg Bell

Sig Score rank - 33rd

Under 217 lbs rank - 25th

Positives

None

Negatives

Gap scheme grade - 30th

Yards after contact per touch - 31st

Elusiveness grade - 32nd

Missed tackles forced per touch - 32nd

Carries of 15+ yards % - 32nd

2021 PFF overall grade - 33rd

2021 PFF rush grade - 33rd

Zone scheme grade - 33rd

Yards per route run - 33rd