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Ranking Running Back Rooms Ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft

The running back position is one of the most fun to keep track of in football. Who leads the way in 2023 running back room rankings?
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There are rumors swirling of big-name running backs being on the move. Saquon Barkley still has not signed his franchise tag. Dalvin Cook and Joe Mixon are possible to cut candidates. With some of the uncertainty around the league, which teams top the rankings of 2023 running back rooms?

Ranking 2023 Running Back Rooms

The Good

San Francisco 49ers

Kyle Shanahan’s scheme is a running back’s dream. Plenty of space, and lots of slashing opportunities, and Trent Williams opens up running lanes straight off of a whiteboard. Then they pair this with a star-studded backfield. Their current depth chart includes an All-Pro in Christian McCaffrey, a 963-yard rusher in 2021 in Elijah Mitchell, and a third-round pick last year in Tyrion Davis-Price. Even their fullback is one of the best in the league! With Deebo Samuel taking snaps at running back, it is hard to imagine a better backfield in football.

New Orleans Saints

If Alvin Kamara is suspended, this room gets a little worse. But their backup led the league in rushing touchdowns last year, and Jamaal Williams is probably the most likable player in football. Eno Benjamin is no chump and is currently sitting third on the depth chart. The Saints have holes at other places on their roster but play in one of the weaker divisions in football. These running backs should be able to thrive in some of the easier matchups on their schedule.

The Bad

Denver Broncos

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Everyone’s 2022 darling, the Broncos have had to trade for a coach and now have a pretty rough backfield. Javonte Williams looked like an amazing player, but his ACL tear is complex, and he may not play the first half of the season at best. Samaje Perine is a solid stand-in player, but past him, everyone is a question mark. They need to add at least a player or two in the draft, at a minimum for insurance on Javonte Williams. If they don’t, they could find themselves at the bottom of 2023 running back rooms.

Kansas City Chiefs

Well, this is weird. The Chiefs are somehow lacking at both wide receiver and running back but are winning Super Bowls. Maybe that Patrick Mahomes guy is as good as everyone says. Isaiah Pacheco runs like he is trying to stomp the stadium into the ground, but he is not the long-term solution. The Chiefs have yet to re-sign their most productive back in the playoffs, Jerick McKinnon. If anyone has faith in Clyde Edwards-Helaire, it’s probably time to start the five stages of grief. This team is dangerous with or without elite weapons, but if they add a running back in the draft, look out.

The Ugly

Los Angeles Chargers

If this Austin Ekeler dispute gets out of hand, the Chargers are in trouble. Isaiah Spiller clearly is not a contributor to the team, and Josh Kelly is… fine. This team needs to draft another body, and that has been a popular pick in most mock drafts. At least they have Zander Horvath at fullback to clear the way for whoever is on the team when the season starts!

Arizona Cardinals

James Conner is a national treasure. He is a cancer survivor, a tough-as-nails football player, and an inspiration to many around the country. Unfortunately, past him there are approximately zero players with the ability to tote the rock. When accounting for the possibility of Conner missing games, this room needs help. Bad. So does the rest of the roster, so there is a possibility they don’t add anyone in the draft and continue to bottom out the 2023 running back room rankings.

Wild Cards

Baltimore Ravens

If J.K. Dobbins is back to form, this is a scary unit. Dobbins, Gus Edwards, and Justice Hill all present different strengths and can be used situationally. If Dobbins and Edwards are still banged up or have lost a step, it could get ugly fast for the Ravens.

Tennessee Titans

Derrick Henry can’t do this forever, right? He leads the league in carries per game over his last few seasons and has already dealt with injuries. Hassan Haskins is a solid backup, and Julius Chestnut has provided a body for special teams but neither compares to the freak of nature that Henry is. If the wheels fall off of Henry, this team could lose its whole identity.

Main Photo: Bill Streicher – USA TODAY Sports


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