Running back is a very common position for players to breakout. In most cases, the player shows potential but earns more touches and takes advantage of them. Last year Ray Rice, Jamaal Charles and Rashard Mendenhall are some of the backs who broke out. Here are some running backs that could have a big impact on the league this upcoming year.
Beanie Wells, Arizona Cardinals: Wells had an impressive rookie season running for 793 yards and seven touchdowns on a passing oriented team. Now with Matt Leinart at quarterback, the Cardinals are going to rely more on the run which should allow Wells to build on his rookie year success. Don’t be surprised if he has around 1200 total yards this season.
LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles: McCoy showed lots of promise in his rookie season and enters his second year as the Eagles starter. While the Eagles mainly go to the passing game, McCoy will still have an impact. He is an excellent receiver out of the backfield and caught 40 balls last year. Considering his all around skill set, it wouldn’t be surprising if McCoy has around 1500 total yards this season.
Shonn Greene, New York Jets: Out of all the running backs mentioned, Greene is in by far the best situation to breakout. He showed through the playoffs last year the kind of ability he has and averaged over five yards a carry in the regular season backing up Thomas Jones. Greene now goes into the year as the Jets starting running back and with the weapons around him he won’t be facing many eight man fronts. Don’t be surprised if Greene rushes for at least 1200 yards this year.
Justin Forsett, Seattle Seahawks: Forsett came out of nowhere last season and showed some ability on a Seahawks team desperate for playmakers. He averaged 5.4 yards a carry this past season and caught over 40 passes as well. With no clear cut starter in Seattle, the job is Forsett’s for the taking and if last year is any indication, he will make the most of it.
Michael Bush, Oakland Raiders: Considering his teammate Darren McFadden was a top five pick entering his third year, it may come as a surprise that Bush is the one on this list. However, for the past two years he is the one who has been the more productive player. Bush is a big bruising back but he has some speed averaging 4.8 yards a carry last season. With the addition of Jason Campbell, the Raiders now are a threat to pass the ball which will open up lanes for Bush who has all the makings for a breakout year.