The Falcons landed a gem in the fifth round of last year’s draft by taking Tyler Allgeier out of BYU. He didn’t win the starting job until the second half of the season, but once he did, he exploded in Arthur Smith’s run-heavy offense, setting a franchise rushing record for a rookie with 1,035 yards on 4.9 yards per clip. Had he started earlier in the season, there’s little doubt that he would have won Offensive Rookie of the Year, yet somehow, Fanduel has ranked him as the worst starting running back in the NFC.
Fanduel isn’t exactly where I’m going for my NFL evaluations, and this list shows exactly why. It’s downright laughable, so I’m not going to spend too much time bashing them for it; however, I do want to discuss where Allgeier does rank among NFC starting running backs.
Let’s start with the bottom of the list. The Falcons bruiser is better than Rashaad Penny, Rachaad White, Brian Robinson Jr., Cam Akers, and James Conner. It’s not even a conversation. After those five, it gets interesting.
Khalil Herbert could be in for a monster breakout campaign in his third season. He split carries with David Montgomery last year, but there’s a reason why the Bears were willing to move on from Montgomery. Herbert was that good, racking up 731 carries on just 129 carries (5.7 yards per rush), and he’ll have many more opportunities to improve on those numbers moving forward.
Miles Sanders and Kenneth Walker are also two running backs I might have below Allgeier. Sanders is coming off a career year in Philadelphia, but I’ll be interested to see if that continues with Carolina. The holes won’t be nearly as big with the Panthers, and running backs typically don’t tend to ascend after their fourth season.
Walker was another rookie running back that had a magnificent season with the Seahawks. Although, I would argue he wasn’t even better than Allgeier. He had just 15 more rushing yards but did so on 18 more carries. Regardless, both Walker and Allgeier look poised to have fantastic NFL careers.
The other six on the list are players I would have clearly ahead of Allgeier coming into 2023. They’ve shown much more to this point in their respective careers; however, when it comes to running backs, things can change exponentially very quickly. If the Falcons don’t take a top running prospect in the draft, Tyler Allgeier is in a prime position to be one of the league’s rushing leaders this season.
Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire
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