Like we talked about for Ben Roethlisberger’s 5th place ranking, Matt Miller and the folks over at Bleacher Report are doing their yearly NFL 1000, ranking the best players at each position. The group ranked Le’Veon Bell the third best back in the league, finishing with an overall score of 88/98.
He received perfect scores in the vision and receiving categories with Miller calling the former Bell’s best trait.
“It’s rare to see a running back in today’s age of super-athletes on defense who is able to cut back against the grain and find rushing lanes. Bell can squeeze through tiny openings and come out on the other side ready to run over tacklers or break free for a long run.”
The only category he was significantly dinged in was power, scoring 18/25, though Miller noted Bell was averaging a career-high 3.4 yards after contact this year, according to Pro Football Focus.
Adrian Peterson predictably finished first with a score of 90 while Todd Gurley took silver, one point ahead of Bell. While it’s a little surprising to see Gurley finish ahead, I disagreed with giving the rookie a perfect score in the receiving category and equating it to Bell, it’s hard to complain about Bell’s overall spot, especially on an injury shortened season. If it were me, however, he’s in the top two.
DeAngelo Williams finished 17th on their list with a score of 78. Like Bell, he was graded highly for his vision.
“With the Steelers, he consistently made smart decisions between the tackles and set up his blocks with his patience.”
That 17th spot put him ahead of players like Matt Forte and Arian Foster. The Steelers were just one of two teams to have two running backs finish in the top 20. The Seattle Seahawks had the other; Marshawn Lynch (#5) and Thomas Rawls (#10).