SB Nation ranks Cardinals’ running backs 27th in NFL
A recent SB Nation ranking had the Arizona Cardinals employing the sixth-worst backfield in the NFL.
The rankings, which had all three divisional opponents of the Cardinals in the top 11 and the San Francisco 49ers ranked first, strictly mentioned that the rankings were based on collective talent, rather than one player making up for the other players.
That clearly penalized the Cardinals, who in David Johnson have a one of the top running backs in the league, but were deemed to lack substantial depth and talent behind them in Chase Edmonds, T.J. Logan and D.J. Foster.
Below are the top and bottom five per SB Nation.
1. San Francisco 49ers
2. New England Patriots
3. Denver Broncos
4. Cleveland Browns
5. Chicago Bears
28. Miami Dolphins
29. Houston Texans
30. Buffalo Bills
31. Jacksonville Jaguars
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Cardinals ranked just ahead of the Dolphins and just behind the Kansas City Chiefs, who ranked No. 26.
This feels low, especially considering there are two other teams ranked well ahead of the Cardinals who have very similar talent and situations.
SB Nation has the Dallas Cowboys, equipped with Ezekiel Elliott, Darius Jackson, Tony Pollard and Mike Weber, ranked eighth and the Los Angeles Rams, equipped with Todd Gurley, Malcolm Brown, Darrell Henderson and Justin Davis, ranked 11th.
Overall, those two teams have serious commonalities with the Cardinals.
The three teams have practically the same model. Gurley, Johnson and Elliott are all considered to be among the top running backs in the league. Yet, Gurley and Johnson’s teams are placed way ahead of Johnson’s, because of their suspected better depth.
Edmonds had 60 carries and 208 yards last season, and the former Sun Devil, Foster, could be a nice utility back. Logan lacks experience, but so do Pollard, Henderson and Davis, as the first two were drafted in April. Weber put up 2,676 yards in three seasons at Ohio State, and Brown is a solid backup who got reps thanks to Gurley’s injuries last season. But none of the backups on either the Cowboys or Rams provide value and production quite high enough to move either team up 15-plus spots on the Cardinals.