Who is the Most Elusive NFL Runner Ever?


NFL Network has a pretty promising show teed up for Wednesday at 9 p.m. (EST) — counting down the game’s most elusive runners ever on the NFL’s Top 10.  I am curious as to how the NFL Network came up with their list (Jamie Dukes?) as there’s going to be plenty of disagreement on the final list.  As I obviously do not have clout with the NFL Network, here is my list of my Top 10 runners (keep in mind that the list I submit will consists of WR’s, RB’s and even defensive players; also – my picks do not necessarily reflect the views of NFL GRIDIRON GAB).  Feel free to submit your own Top 10; I’m certain there will be disagreement all around:

1. Barry Sanders, RB

This one was a no-brainer.  A prime example of a player who did a lot with nothing to work with (weak offensive line – it was all Barry).  And of course, his moves.  ‘Nuff said.

2. Deion Sanders, CB

His moves alone merit him being this high.  And he has the stats to prove it. 

3. Dante Hall, KR/WR

I expect some opposition to his placing at #3.  But consider this:  His elusiveness (and Chiefs fans will agree with me here) plus his speed kept the Chiefs in many a game.

4. Walter Payton, RB

Back in the day, the Bears’ O-line didn’t exactly instill fear in their opponents.  Payton was the equalizer.  Sweetness=sweet moves + decent speed.  He didn’t get here by being a plowhorse.

5. Marshall Faulk, RB

I know, I know – you’re going to say, “You’re a Colts fan, of course Faulk’s gonna be here”.  But it goes beyond favoritism here.  Anyone who has seen him in action can agree that not only was he elusive carrying the ball, he was elusive after the catch.  Also – he made a seamless transition from a mediocre O-line in Indianapolis to a better O-line in St. Louis.

6. Tony Dorsett, RB

Dorsett had the speed already, but the elusiveness he had was the icing on the cake.  Remember the MNF game when he ran for 99 yards and a TD?  Cowboy fans for sure put that as a top play in Cowboy history – ever.

7. Billy “White Shoes” Johnson, KR/PR

Johnson was the mold that Dante Hall would break later on.  Johnson kept the Houston Oilers in games much like Hall did in his being slippery to the opposition.

8. Devin Hester, KR/PR/now WR

I know you’ve at least heard of him.  Heck, most die-hard NFL fans have seen him in action.  He’s only been in the League for a few seasons and he is yet to tap his full potemtial.  The embarrassment of the 49ers’ special teams at Monster Park was probably his “breaking out” game.  And I think you already know about his elusiveness and speed.  And the scary part is – he is still a youngster.

9. Jerry Rice, WR

It certainly wasn’t his speed that got him on this list at all.  Just the fact that after he caught the ball, there was almost no one who could flag him down.  His overall body of work entitles him to a place here.

10. Michael Vick, QB

I expect to catch some flak for this pick.  Remember I did say “elusive”.  I will just say this – Vick, despite his passing shortcomings and the Falcons O-line not being able to protect him sufficiently, somehow managed to run for 900 yards in ’04 and for just a tick over 1,000 yards last season.  Not to mention the fact that he is the fastest starting NFL QB, speed-wise.

Well, there you have it – my Top 10.  I know there are going to be omissions that you will point out to me, so don’t be afraid to submit your own TOP 10 or bawl me out for my picks.

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