2019 NFL Make It or Break It Series: Running Back Edition

Welcome to the first edition of our 2019 NFL All Everything Entertainment Make It or Break It series. We are going to start with the most tantalizing position in the NFL. Running back.

The 2019 NFL season is right around the corner and there are players from every team that need to make an impact for their teams to succeed.

Honorable Mention: Devonta Freeman– Freeman is coming off an injury-plagued 2018 season in which he only played 2 games. The Falcons get their pro-bowler back this year, and with the loss of Telvin Coleman to the San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta is all in with Freeman. Freeman does have the ability to be an every-down back, he has shown in the past that he is that dude to lead this backfield. The preseason hasn’t been a glimpse of light for Freeman, hopefully, this will change heading into the regular season.

Dalvin Cook

In what looked to be a very inspiring start to his career as a rookie, a torn ACL plagued the success that Cook should’ve had by now. The days where Cook was touted and tapped as the successor to the great Adrian Peterson are gone. We now don’t know much of what Cook can do in an entire 16 game slate, we know he’s explosive, we know he’s dangerous, we know he can catch out of the backfield, but we don’t know if he’s the type of back that can draw defenders to the box and open up things for the two all-pro receivers on the outside.

Rashaad Penny

Considered one of the biggest reaches in recent NFL history, Penny was drafted by the Seahawks who had the vision of turning Penny into beast mode 2.0. In year one that wasn’t the case as Penny was outperformed and unable to remove Chris Carson from the top of the depth chart. In his backup role, late last season we finally saw glimpses of what the Seahawks thought he could be. This is a huge year for Penny to validate why he was drafted where he was and to prove that he can be a cornerstone for this team for years to come.

Ronald Jones

Now his rookie year didn’t go exactly as planned but this could have been affected by coaching, effort, system or whatever factored into that, all we know is we didn’t see much of Ronald Jones. Expectations were sky-high for the former 2nd round pick out of USC, now fast forward to this offseason with new coach Bruce Arians has sung praises of Jones. He has improved as a player, a full 360 turn around. I’m no coach but if Arians says that I believe him.

Le’Veon Bell

He took the time off, he’s well-rested, and he is well recovered. He eventually got what he wanted and that was to get paid. Bell should be more than motivated to remind fans why he’s one of the absolute best backs in the league. Possibly one of the greatest dual-threat backs of all time. He will have to mesh with new coach Adam Gase and QB Sam Darnold. Bell will get to show the world, and Pittsburgh, to pay running backs.

Todd Gurley

Gurley slowed down last season drastically at the wrong time. This team was red hot and then the NFL’s injury bug hit them. Gurley, being the biggest loss. Gurley’s surgically repaired knee really affected him down the stretch and kept him out of games. Gurley was virtually nonexistent in the playoffs. Whispers of Gurley being in decline might actually turn to the truth for Gurley if he doesn’t show the world what he is made of. He needs to show the world that the arthritis in his right knee is either a lie or a lingering injury. Not a career-ending injury.

Justin Patterson