I saw a blurb go by where LeVeon Bell says he’s looking to play. I find him to be an interesting prospect. We might all be looking back in late August and wondering why we didn’t have him among our top 50 running backs in June.
He’s only 29. And I queued up some of his stats from last year and gave him a look. He still looks like the same guy, with the patient running style and the really smooth hands. He would fit really nicely with a team that likes to use its running backs as pass catchers.
Bell lasted only a season and a half with the Jets, and he didn’t do much with KC in his half season there (at the end of the year, they were playing Darrel Williams ahead of him). But I’m not sure that Bell is at the very end of the road. I think he could have a little something left, in the right situation.
One team that comes to mind are the Falcons. They don’t really match in the pass-catching-running-backs department, but they look like a team that needs to add a running back body. Right now they’ve got Mike Davis, who did some good fill-in work for Carolina last year but is a modestly talented try-hard guy who’s been bouncing around the league for years. He’s their starter. And as it stands, they’re current backup (I think) is Qadree Ollison, a former fifth-round pick who wasn’t even active for most of their games last year.
Ollison followed James Conner at Pitt and is the same kind of back – a bigger, velocity-challenged banger.
The Falcons need to move Julio Jones, and that deal should come soon (now that we’re into June). Once Jones is gone, so that should free up some money for the Falcons to do other things. And on their checklist (I’m pretty sure) will be adding another viable running back.
The other notable veteran back out there is Todd Gurley (who played for Atlanta last year). He’s only 26, but I don’t think he has as much left as Bell. Gurley reportedly visited with the Lions last week.
Skimming over the 32 teams, I see a handful of others where I wouldn’t surprise me to see them add another back. In no particular order: Bills, Dolphins, Ravens, Bengals, Jets, Chargers, Cardinals.
Below see a list of the top 30 running back seasons of the past five years. Both Bell and Gurley have two seasons in the top 15.
|TOP 30 RUNNING BACKS OF LAST FIVE YEARS|
|Year||Player||Ru Yd||Re Yd||Tot Yd||Recs||TD||PPR|
|2019||Christian McCaffrey, Car.||1,387||1,005||2,392||116||19||471.2|
|2016||David Johnson, Ariz.||1,239||879||2,118||80||20||413.8|
|2018||Christian McCaffrey, Car.||1,098||867||1,965||107||13||388.0|
|2017||• Todd Gurley, LAR||1,305||788||2,093||64||19||387.3|
|2018||Saquon Barkley, NYG||1,307||721||2,028||91||15||385.8|
|2020||Alvin Kamara, N.O.||932||756||1,688||83||21||377.8|
|2018||• Todd Gurley, LAR||1,251||580||1,831||59||21||374.1|
|2018||Alvin Kamara, N.O.||883||709||1,592||81||18||354.2|
|2017||LeVeon Bell, Pitt.||1,291||655||1,946||85||11||345.6|
|2020||Dalvin Cook, Min.||1,557||361||1,918||44||17||343.8|
|2020||Derrick Henry, Ten.||2,027||114||2,141||19||17||337.1|
|2018||Ezekiel Elliott, Dall.||1,434||567||2,001||77||9||331.1|
|2016||Ezekiel Elliott, Dall.||1,631||363||1,994||32||16||327.4|
|2017||Alvin Kamara, N.O.||728||826||1,554||81||14||322.4|
|2016||LeVeon Bell, Pitt.||1,268||616||1,884||75||9||319.4|
|2019||Aaron Jones, G.B.||1,084||474||1,558||49||19||318.8|
|2019||Ezekiel Elliott, Dall.||1,357||420||1,777||54||14||315.7|
|2019||Austin Ekeler, LAC||557||993||1,550||92||11||313.0|
|2019||Derrick Henry, Ten.||1,540||206||1,746||18||18||300.6|
|2016||LeSean McCoy, Buff.||1,267||356||1,623||50||14||298.3|
|2017||Kareem Hunt, K.C.||1,327||455||1,782||53||11||297.2|
|2019||Dalvin Cook, Min.||1,135||519||1,654||53||13||296.4|
|2016||DeMarco Murray, Ten.||1,287||377||1,664||53||12||295.9|
|2017||Melvin Gordon, LAC||1,105||476||1,581||58||12||288.1|
|2016||Devonta Freeman, Atl.||1,079||462||1,541||54||13||286.1|
|2018||James Conner, Pitt.||973||497||1,470||55||13||284.0|
|2017||Mark Ingram, N.O.||1,124||416||1,540||58||12||284.0|
|2018||James White, N.E.||425||751||1,176||87||12||276.6|
|2018||Melvin Gordon, LAC||885||490||1,375||50||14||275.5|
|2020||David Montgomery, Chi.||1,070||438||1,508||54||10||266.8|