2022 NFL Free Agent Rankings: Running Back

2022 NFL Free Agent Rankings: Running Back

by March 8, 2022 0 comments

The 2022 free agent running back class has many quality options set to be available. As usual for teams with a need at the position, they will be able to find good value. A few of the honorable mentions who just missed this list were Jerick McKinnon, Jeff Wilson, Malcolm Brown, Matt Breida, and Marlon Mack. Let’s take a look at who the top 10 free agents running backs are.

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10. Ronald Jones II, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Through his first four NFL seasons, Jones has had some good moments. Over the last three years, he has had at least 4.2 yards per carry and four touchdowns. In 2020, Jones played his best. He finished with 978 rushing yards in 14 games along with seven touchdowns. Jones is still a very young player who will only turn 25 in August. He can provide a team with a solid backup presence.

9. Raheem Mostert, San Francisco 49ers

Mostert is a fast running back who can bring a great speed element to a backfield. He finally started to get opportunities in the middle of the 2018 season and showed promise. It carried into 2019 when he had his most productive season, averaging 5.6 yards per carry. He only appeared in nine games over the last two years and will turn 30 in April. In a part-time role, Mostert can still contribute to a team with his unique speed.

8. J.D. McKissic, Washington Commanders

For a team looking to add a reliable receiving back, McKissic can fill that role. He missed six games as a result of an injury in 2021. The prior two years though, McKissic had some great pass-catching production. Over those two seasons, he had a total of 114 receptions. On the ground, he had at least 4.3 yards per carry each of the last three years. McKissic is a veteran player who will turn 29 in August and can help a team on passing downs.

7. Sony Michel, Los Angeles Rams

Michel did a nice job of getting back on track in 2021. In his first two years, he got off to a fast start with the New England Patriots. Year three was filled with missed time as a result of injuries. He was traded to the Rams last August and got opportunities as the season went on. Michel had five games straight with at least 74 yards rushing. 2021 was also his most productive season in the passing game as a receiver. Michel is a high-end backup to have.

6. Rashaad Penny, Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks drafted Penny in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Physically and athletically, he brings enticing ability. He is a bigger back with 4.4 speed. In his fourth year, he finally eclipsed 100 carries in a season. He averaged an impressive 6.3 yards per carry totaling 749 rushing yards and six touchdowns. Over the final six games of last year, he got significant opportunities each week. In four of the six games, he had at least 135 rushing yards. Penny just turned 26 and offers exciting upside. He should have multiple suitors on the open market.

5. Melvin Gordon, Denver Broncos

Even entering his eighth NFL season, Gordon is still a very good player. Over each of the last two years with the Broncos, Gordon had over 900 rushing yards, at least an average of 4.5 rushing yards per carry, and at least eight rushing touchdowns. He also had a total of 60 receptions on 82 targets he saw coming his way throughout 2020 and 2021. Gordon will be a solid player for an offense in 2022.

4. James Conner, Arizona Cardinals

Conner just had a great year in 2021 with the Cardinals. He had 15 rushing touchdowns. On the ground, Conner finished the season with 752 yards rushing. In the passing game, he caught 37 of 39 targets for 375 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns. In total, Conner had 1,127 scrimmage yards and 18 touchdowns and did not play in two games. The rushing touchdown amount and percentage of targets caught are impressive. Conner will turn 27 in May and should have a strong market.

3. Leonard Fournette, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Fournette was one of the top running backs in the NFL for the 2021 season before an injury. As a runner, Fournette had 812 yards rushing, 4.5 yards per carry, and eight touchdowns in 14 games. Fournette was impressive in the passing game as he had 69 catches for 454 receiving yards and two touchdowns. The Buccaneers missed him after he got hurt. Fournette will play this upcoming season at 27 years old and can be a good starter for a team.

2. Cordarrelle Patterson, Atlanta Falcons

Patterson had a very unique season in 2021. He was featured by far the most in his nine-year career. As a runner, Patterson got 153 carries and in the passing game, he saw 69 targets putting him at a total of 222 opportunities. Patterson had 618 yards rushing and six touchdowns on the ground. Through the air, he had 52 catches for 548 yards and five touchdowns. From scrimmage, Patterson had a total of 1,166 yards and 11 touchdowns. He has a big frame and can run well. The versatility he offers will make him an intriguing free agent for many teams.

1. Chase Edmonds, Arizona Cardinals

In 2021, Edmonds finally got his chance to be a featured back. He averaged 5.1 yards per carry and finished the season with 592 yards rushing in 12 games. Edmonds is a big-play threat who had his longest run on the season go for 54 yards and he also had another 40-yard run. In the passing game, he caught 43 of his 53 targets for 311 yards. Edmonds is a young player who will only turn 26 in April. He will have multiple teams interested in him this free agency.

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