Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 5/11/12
I have compiled a list of the best skill position players in the game today. This list will be a combination of stats, ability, and how I predict they will play next year. I am keeping one year wonders off my list.

Top 5 Running Backs In NFL

1. Adrian Peterson: Peterson can do it all. Peterson is a three down back who can take 30 carries game with ease. He also has great blocking and catching ability in the passing game. Peterson is clearly the best RB in the NFL today.

2. MJD Jones-Drew: Last year the Jags had no offense except MJD, and even facing a 9 man box, he managed to rack up 1,600 Yards. That fact alone made me want to place him at No. 1 on this list, but I ultimately landed him at No. 2.

3. Ray Rice: Rice is a three down back who can do everything you ask of him. In 2009 Rice was the Ravens leading receiving and rusher.  The Ravens feature their entire game around Ray Rice and I can’t blame them.

4. Jamaal Charles: Charles is one of the best RB’s in the NFL, and he proves it every week he steps on the field. He is the guy every team game-plans for when facing the Chiefs. Charles helped Kansas City overcome poor QB play in 2010 to win the AFC West.

5. (TIE) Chris Johnson CJ1K: Johnson had a horrible year for fantasy owners, picking him first overall, but even in his worst year he rushed for over 1,000 yards. You can’t ignore the fact that he is one of only six players to ever rush for 2,000 yards in a season. Johnson could use some work in between the tackles but teams still game-plan him more than any other weapon on the Titans.

5. (TIE) Adrian Foster: Foster is the ideal RB in the fact that he doesn’t get in the news for any of the wrong reasons and he isn’t a diva. He had to work hard for what he has and should only get better in the coming years. Foster helped rush the Texans to an AFC South Divisional title and the franchise's first ever playoff berth. This is all the more impressive considering his QB was a 5th round rookie, and their top WR missed quite a few games. Foster had a horrible game vs. the Ravens in the regular season. With that said he did his film study, and put a hurting on the Ravens defense like I haven’t seen since the Giants did in 2008.
 
 
Honorable Mention

Shady McCoy: McCoy scored a whopping 17 touchdowns last season, and carried the team through Michael Vick and Vince Young’s poor quarterback play. With that being said, Andy Reid loves to throw the ball around, and McCoy’s numbers could be hurt in 2012. If Andy Reid is smart, he will ground and pound it out and let his defense keep the games close.

Don't see your favorite player on the list above?  Here are seven reasons why he didn't make the cut.
  1. One year wonder
  2. Would he flourish with a new team?
  3. How effective will he be in 2012
  4. Split back system
  5. How effective has been in the past
  6. Can he do it all or just one thing great?
  7. My personal unbiased opinion on the player
I hope you enjoyed reading the list I have complied. Feel free to leave me a comment and tell me how you would have ranked the players and who I may have forgotten. 

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