Running back tends to be a young man’s position. Experience can help at times, of course. Bill Belichick has had success with a lot of thirtysomething running backs. But the more explosive backs tend to be the guys who are early in their careers.

Check out the following list, which shows the running backs who had at least 100 carries last year. Ten running backs averaged at least 5.0 yards per carry, and all but one of them was in his first or second year. (I’ve got those guys tagged with dots.) That includes Kerryon Johnson (pictured) who busted some nice runs for the Lions in his injury-shortened rookie campaign.

Of the 11 running backs who averaged under 3.8 yards per attempt, on the other hand, only one (Leonard Fournette) was a back in his first or second year.

Not that older backs can’t still be good, but the hits and punishment seem to add up. When running backs are in their late 20s, they’re not as athletic as they are at the start of their careers.

YARDS PER CARRY (100 att min)
Player AttYards AvgTD
• Aaron Jones, G.B.1337285.478
• Kerryon Johnson, Det.1186415.433
• Phillip Lindsay, Den.19210375.409
• Matt Breida, S.F.1538145.323
• Gus Edwards, Balt.1377185.242
• Austin Ekeler, LAC1065545.233
• Nick Chubb, Cle.1929965.198
Melvin Gordon, LAC1758855.0610
• Saquon Barkley, NYG26113075.0111
• Christian McCaffrey, Car.21910985.017
Derrick Henry, Ten.21510594.9312
• Joe Mixon, Cin.23711684.938
Todd Gurley, LAR25612514.8917
Tevin Coleman, Atl.1678004.794
Isaiah Crowell, NYJ1436854.796
Ezekiel Elliott, Dall.30414344.726
Mark Ingram, N.O.1386454.676
• Chris Carson, Sea.24711514.669
• Marlon Mack, Ind.1959084.669
Frank Gore, Mia.1567224.630
Lamar Miller, Hou.2109734.635
• Dalvin Cook, Min.1336154.622
Mike Davis, Sea.1125144.594
• Alvin Kamara, N.O.1948834.5514
• Kareem Hunt, K.C.1818244.557
• James Conner, Pitt.2159734.5312
Kenyan Drake, Mia.1205354.464
• Sony Michel, N.E.2099314.456
• Josh Adams, Phil.1205114.263
Doug Martin, Oak.1727234.204
Adrian Peterson, Was.25110424.157
Latavius Murray, Min.1405784.136
• Royce Freeman, Den.1305214.015
T.J. Yeldon, Jac.1044143.981
Alfred Morris, S.F.1114283.862
• Jamaal Williams, G.B.1214643.833
Jordan Howard, Chi.2509353.749
Peyton Barber, T.B.2348713.725
David Johnson, Ariz.2589403.647
Alex Collins, Balt.1144113.617
Chris Ivory, Buff.1153853.351
Dion Lewis, Ten.1555173.341
Alfred Blue, Hou.1504993.332
Carlos Hyde, Cle.-Jac.1725713.325
• Leonard Fournette, Jac.1334393.305
LeSean McCoy, Buff.1615143.193
LeGarrette Blount, Det.1544182.715

—Ian Allan