A pair of veteran running backs have landed with new teams in recent days – Dion Lewis to the Giants, Peyton Barber to Washington. Expectations should be low for both.
Lewis has some pass-catching value, and I suppose he’s the frontrunner to be their No. 2 tailback. But if Saquon Barkley were to miss some games again this year with an injury, I don’t know that they would want to try using Lewis in a full-time role as a fill-in. He was not effective at all in his two years with the Titans, averaging under 3.5 yards per carry. He’s awfully small.
Giants more likely (I think) they would have him share time with some other back (perhaps Wayne Gallman or Javorius Allen).
Barber is a try-hard guy, but he has no pass-catching ability and no speed. They’re bringing him in to potentially be their backup tailback. Is that an indication they’re done with Adrian Peterson? Maybe. They’ve got Derrius Guice, and I think he comes in way ahead of Barber in the scheme of things.
Barber has also averaged under 3.5 yards per carry over the last two years.
In the last two seasons, in fact, 40 running backs have carried the ball at least 200 times. Only one back has averaged fewer yards per attempt than either of these two backs.
If I were walking into a typical 12-team draft today, I would think that neither Lewis nor Barber would be chosen.
|YARDS PER CARRY (last 2 years)|
|Gus Edwards, Balt.||270||1,429||5.29||4|
|Matt Breida, S.F.||276||1,437||5.21||7|
|Nick Chubb, Cle.||490||2,490||5.08||18|
|Derrick Henry, Ten.||518||2,599||5.02||30|
|Phillip Lindsay, Den.||416||2,048||4.92||17|
|Christian McCaffrey, Car.||506||2,485||4.91||32|
|Aaron Jones, G.B.||369||1,812||4.91||28|
|Mark Ingram, Balt.||340||1,663||4.89||22|
|Saquon Barkley, NYG||478||2,310||4.83||23|
|Josh Jacobs, Oak.||242||1,150||4.75||7|
|Austin Ekeler, LAC||238||1,111||4.67||17|
|Kenyan Drake, Mia-Az.||290||1,352||4.66||17|
|Lamar Miller, Hou.||210||973||4.63||6|
|Ezekiel Elliott, Dall.||605||2,791||4.61||23|
|Alvin Kamara, N.O.||365||1,680||4.60||24|
|Dalvin Cook, Min.||383||1,750||4.57||17|
|Chris Carson, Sea.||525||2,381||4.54||18|
|Marlon Mack, Ind.||442||1,999||4.52||18|
|Kerryon Johnson, Det.||231||1,044||4.52||8|
|Kareem Hunt, K.C.-Cle.||224||1,003||4.48||17|
|Joe Mixon, Cin.||515||2,305||4.48||17|
|Melvin Gordon, LAC||337||1,497||4.44||23|
|Tevin Coleman, Atl.-S.F.||304||1,344||4.42||16|
|Todd Gurley, LAR||479||2,108||4.40||35|
|James Conner, Pitt.||331||1,437||4.34||20|
|Latavius Murray, Min.-N.O.||286||1,215||4.25||12|
|Adrian Peterson, Was.||462||1,940||4.20||13|
|Frank Gore, Mia.-Buff.||322||1,321||4.10||3|
|Jamaal Williams, G.B.||228||924||4.05||9|
|Sony Michel, N.E.||456||1,843||4.04||13|
|Leonard Fournette, Jac.||398||1,591||4.00||9|
|Jordan Howard, Chi.-Phi.||369||1,460||3.96||16|
|Carlos Hyde, 3 tms||417||1,641||3.94||11|
|Royce Freeman, Den.||262||1,017||3.88||9|
|LeSean McCoy, Buf.-K.C.||262||979||3.74||8|
|David Montgomery, Chi.||242||889||3.67||7|
|David Johnson, Ariz.||352||1,285||3.65||16|
|Dion Lewis, Ten.||209||726||3.47||3|
|Peyton Barber, T.B.||388||1,341||3.46||13|
|LeVeon Bell, NYJ||245||789||3.22||4|
(Three of the top 5 backs on this list, by the way, weren’t ever even drafted, showing that it’s possible to plug in less-heralded options at this position.)