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The best first-round RBs of the last decade

Drafting running backs early is out of vogue. Perhaps it's because there haven't been any first-round running backs that have truly hit since 2008. (Perhaps general managers have flashbacks to 2009 when Knownshon Moreno and Donald Brown went too early.)

Good running backs can be found at all levels of the draft. You might be able to make a better list of recent second-round picks than those plucked in the first round. (LeSean McCoy, Ray Rice, and Matt Forte qualify in 2008-2009 alone.)

We're only dealing with the high picks for this exercise. So many of you disagreed with our ranking of the best first-round quarterbacks of the last 10 years, that we figured we better do the whole thing again at running back. 

Our highly scientific ATL formula for the list is a mix of past achievement, future potential, and how my breakfast is settling this Monday. A player like Ryan Mathews can be ranked high without a great resume because he does well on the following question: Would you want him on your team?


1. Adrian Peterson, Vikings (No. 7, 2007)
2. Steven Jackson, Rams (No. 24, 2004)
3. Chris Johnson, Titans (No. 24, 2008)
4. DeAngelo Williams, Panthers (No. 27, 2006)
5. Jonathan Stewart, Panthers (No. 13, 2008)
6. Darren McFadden, Raiders (No. 4, 2008)
7. Rashard Mendenhall, Steelers (No. 23, 2008)
8. Larry Johnson, Chiefs (No. 27, 2003)
9. Willis McGahee, Bills (No. 23, 2003)
10. Ryan Mathews, Chargers (No. 12, 2010)
11. Reggie Bush, Saints (No. 2, 2006)
12. Marshawn Lynch, Bills (No. 12, 2007)
13. Ronnie Brown (No. 2, 2005)
14. Beanie Wells, Cardinals (No. 31, 2009)
15. Joseph Addai, Colts (No. 30, 2006)
16. Cedric Benson, Bears (No. 4, 2005)
17. Mark Ingram, Saints (No. 28, 2011)
18. Cadillac Williams, (No. 5, 2005)
19. Felix Jones, Cowboys (No. 22, 2008)
20. Jahvid Best, Lions (No. 30, 2010)
21. Kevin Jones, Lions (No. 30, 2004)
22. Laurence Maroney, Patriots (No. 21, 2006)
23. T.J. Duckett, Falcons (No. 18, 2002)
24. C.J. Spiller, Bills (No. 9, 2010)
25. William Green, Browns (No. 16, 2002)
26. Knowshon Moreno (No. 12, 2009)
27. Donald Brown, Colts (No. 27, 2009)
28. Chris Perry, Bengals (No. 26, 2004)

Okay, now is the part where you tell us we're stupid.

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