Rhamondre Stevenson

Rhamondre Stevenson snubbed from ESPN ranking of top 10 NFL running backs

Expectations are high for Stevenson following an excellent 2022 season.

NBC Universal, Inc.

Rhamondre Stevenson had a breakout campaign for the New England Patriots in 2022, and that has resulted in expectations being pretty high for the 25-year-old running back entering the 2023 NFL season.

Stevenson set career highs 210 carries, 1,040 rushing yards, 5.1 yards per carry, 69 receptions, 88 targets, 421 receiving yards and six total touchdowns.

It was a very strong year for the University of Oklahoma product.

However, it wasn't good enough to land Stevenson in the top 10 of ESPN's recent ranking of the best running backs in the league. ESPN compiled the ranking with input from execs, coaches, scouts and players.

Here's the top 10.

  1. Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns
  2. Christian McCaffrey, San Francisco 49ers
  3. Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders
  4. Saquon Barkley, New York Giants
  5. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans
  6. Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts
  7. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints
  8. Dalvin Cook, free agent
  9. Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys
  10. Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers

Stevenson received one of six honorable mentions.

"He's like a good mix of everything," a high-ranking NFL personnel official told ESPN. "He probably has the least power of the three [rookies from 2022, with Breece Hall and Dameon Pierce], but he's quick, good balance, strong lower body, always goes forward. He's like an unassuming 120-yard rusher."

You could definitely make a good case for Stevenson as a top 10 player at his position. And what separates him from some other players in the mix is his production as a pass-catcher.

In addition to ranking 13th in rushing yards and averaging more yards per attempt than six of the top 10 running backs in rushing yards, Stevenson ranked No. 4 in receptions and No. 7 in receiving yards among running backs last season. The work he's put in to become a reliable receiver out of the backfield has been impressive. You might remember that wasn't really a part of his skill set at Oklahoma. He caught just 28 passes in two seasons with the Sooners.

Stevenson was the engine that drove the Patriots' offense in 2022. However, it would be good for the Patriots if he didn't have the same kind of heavy workload in 2023. An improved passing attack would make Stevenson's job a lot easier, which is why it's so important that new offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien solves the problems that plagued quarterback Mac Jones and the passing game last season.

Contact Us