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Ranking the top 10 best NFL running backs in 2021

On the latest podcast, we’re debating the best ground-pounders. Plus, Lions prop bets.

Minnesota Vikings v Detroit Lions - NFL Football Game Photo by Amy Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Running back is the most distilled, pure position in all the NFL. It is the core of the game, its very foundation: take the ball and try to move it up field as much as possible.

Yet in the modern game, there isn’t another position that has had quite the dynamic change in value and purpose. It’s a passer’s game, and there are few halfbacks that can call themselves the face of the franchise anymore. Carrying the ball is typically being done by committee, and the position even lends itself now to catching.

Nevertheless, when you have a prime RB, you know it when you see it. It doesn’t take a football genius to recognize the value Derrick Henry brings in knocking over defenders like so many ripened bowling pins. The Detroit Lions hope sophomore D’Andre Swift can become an elusive, speedy threat in the backfield, not unlike his name.

On the latest PODcast, we’re ranking the 10 best running backs in the upcoming NFL season, using our own patented models of projection, guessing and whotz-it thinking. The staff compiled their personal rankings and we cover it in detail as we plough through the dog days of summer, the dread dead period of the NFL calendar.

That’s not all. We made Jeremy break down and start to handicap prop bets for the Detroit Lions players. Ryan Mathews and myself take picks on yardage, interception and touchdown totals for players like Swift, Jared Goff and the rest of the Lions squadron. We’re setting the ceiling on what we think the Lions can do on both sides of the ball for the upcoming season.

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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.