clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Barry Sanders The Second-Best Running Back Ever?

With LaDainian Tomlinson retiring on Monday,'s Gil Brandt put together a list of the 10 best running backs in the history of the NFL. The list is worth passing along because, as Brandt said, he was able to see each running back on his list play in person.

The battle for the top spot on Brandt's list apparently came down to Jim Brown and Barry Sanders, and Brown ended up being placed at No. 1. Brandt describes Brown as "one of the greatest pure athletes to ever play the game -- or any game, for that matter," which is why he put him ahead of Sanders. Here's a snippet of what Brandt had to say about Sanders, who came in at No. 2 on the list.

Sanders obviously boasted unbelievable quickness, vision and elusiveness, but people overlook his exceptional strength. He posted 15,269 rushing yards -- the third-highest total in NFL history -- despite playing for a lackluster Lions squad. Like everyone else, I think he retired way too early, but it seemed like he was just tired of getting beat up every Sunday.

You really can't go wrong with either player. I would put Sanders No. 1, but I'm obviously biased. I'm just glad Sanders is near the top of the list and way ahead of Emmitt Smith, who came in all the way down at No. 10.

Reminder: You can follow Pride of Detroit on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

Subscribe to PODD

After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.