NFL running backs are taking it on the chin from all sides this offseason.
In the most recent release of the NFL’s Top 100 Players of 2023, voted on by players, running backs took three spots.
And the Cleveland Browns‘ Nick Chubb, arguably the best running back in the league, came in as the 29th-best player.
To add insult to injury for Browns fans, Derrick Henry (25) and Austin Ekeler (21) ranked higher.
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) August 3, 2023
Cleveland’s social media team reacted quickly to their star’s low placement.
“Make it make sense,” they exclaimed about the rusher expected by many to compete for the 2023 rushing title.
And it appears Josh Jacobs is the only running back among the top-20 players who are still to be announced.
This won’t help the psyche of players dealing with the recent degradation of their contract negotiating status.
Why Chubb Should Be Higher
Where players should land depends a little on the criteria players use for their selection.
Are these the best performances from 2022, when Jacobs won the rushing title and Chubb finished behind Henry?
Or, given the title, is this supposed to be the projected rankings for the upcoming season?
If it is the latter, Chubb projects to have a bigger season than all the rushers ranked ahead of him.
Nick Chubb, No. 1 🏆 pic.twitter.com/kNCn5ak2OR
— ESPN Cleveland (@ESPNCleveland) July 14, 2023
Cleveland’s lead rusher no longer shares the workload with Kareem Hunt in a new pass-heavy offense.
And Deshaun Watson’s presence should be enough to put defenses on their heels, or at least off the line for Chubb.
Throw in the best run-blocking offensive line in the league, and things look set for Chubb’s first rushing title.
Earlier this summer, ESPN’s committee of coaches, GMs, and scouts agreed Chubb will be the top dawg.