NFL The Best NFL Running Backs of All Time  

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List Rules Only running backs. Rank the players based on their career achievements in the NFL

This list of top NFL running backs of all time is ranked by football fans worldwide. Who are the best NFL running backs of all time? The goal is to determine the greatest running backs to ever play the game.

They are some of the fastest, most athletic sports stars in the game. These top athletes have been wowing fans across the country for years. Some of them currently play in the league, others are long-retired legends whose legacy will be remembered on and off the field for a long time. 

The list establishes individual rankings of specific running backs and helps answer the question, "Who is the best NFL running back in the world?" This list includes some legendary famous football players with a lot of rushing yards under their belt. Anyone can vote on the top running backs in history, which means these players are truly fan favorites.
Barry Sanders is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best NFL Running Backs of All Time
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Barry Sanders


Barry Sanders is a former American football running back who spent his entire professional career with the Detroit Lions of the National Football League. A member of both the college and professional football halls of fame, he was ranked by NFL Top 10 as the most elusive runner in NFL history, and ...more

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Teams: Oklahoma State Cowboys football, Detroit Lions

Position: Running back

Birthplace: Wichita, Kansas, United States of America

Age: 48

Also Ranked

#4 on The Best Football Players Ever

#3 on Athletes Whose Careers Ended Too Soon

#1 on The Best Detroit Lions of All Time

#6 on The Best Short Male Athletes

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Walter Payton is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best NFL Running Backs of All Time
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Walter Payton


Walter Jerry Payton was an American football running back who played for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League for thirteen seasons. Walter Payton was known around the NFL as "Sweetness". He is remembered as one of the most prolific running backs in the history of the NFL. Payton, a ...more

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Teams: Chicago Bears

Position: Running back

Birthplace: Columbia, Mississippi, United States of America

Age: Died at 46 (1953-1999)

Also Ranked

#1 on The Greatest Chicago Bears of All Time

#2 on The Best Football Players Ever

#45 on Athletes Whose Careers Ended Too Soon

#9 on The Best Short Male Athletes

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Jim Brown is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best NFL Running Backs of All Time
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Jim Brown


James Nathaniel "Jim" Brown is an American former professional football player and actor. He is best known for his exceptional and record-setting nine year career as a running back for the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League from 1957 to 1965. In 2002, he was named by Sporting News as ...more

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Teams: Cleveland Browns, Syracuse Orange football

Position: Running back, Fullback

Birthplace: St. Simons, Georgia, United States of America

Age: 81

Also Ranked

#4 on Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport

#1 on The Best Cleveland Browns of All Time

#5 on The Best Football Players Ever

#15 on Athletes Whose Careers Ended Too Soon

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Earl Campbell is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best NFL Running Backs of All Time
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Earl Campbell


Earl Christian Campbell, nicknamed The Tyler Rose, is a former professional American football running back. He, Paul Hornung, and O. J. Simpson are the only Heisman Trophy winners to have also been first overall National Football League draft picks and members of both the Pro Football Hall of Fame ...more

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Teams: New Orleans Saints, Houston Oilers, Texas Longhorns football

Position: Running back

Birthplace: Texas, Tyler, USA

Age: 62

Also Ranked

#1 on The Best Tennessee Titans of All Time

#33 on The Best Football Players Ever

#25 on Athletes Whose Careers Ended Too Soon

#24 on The Best University of Tennessee Football Players Ever

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