No.5: Ezekiel Elliott looking for a revival with Patriots
Coming in at No. 5 in these NFL power rankings of AFC East running backs is a player who adds the most intrigue in the division.
In signing a one-year deal to play under Bill Belichick, Ezekiel Elliott adds some star power to the Patriots’ offense even though he is considered to be on the downside of his career.
Still, the 28-year-old running back is coming off a season with the Cowboys in which he rushed for 876 yards on 231 attempts with 12 rushing touchdowns. That is just two years removed from 1,000-yard season.
While he doesn’t need to put up those types of numbers with Rhamondre Stevenson flourishing in the lead back role, Elliott will have a pivotal role as an experienced backup and a player who can still get it done inside the red zone.
If Zeke shows the combination of power and elusiveness he has shown in practice, he could turn out to be one of the key signings in the AFC East if not the entire NFL. Sometimes a change in scenery can motivate a star player who is believed to be on the decline. Will Belichick get the most out of Elliott in 2023?
No. 4: James Cook on the brink of a breakout with Bills?
We are putting Buffalo Bills second-year running back James Cook at No. 4 NFL power rankings of AFC East running backs because of his potential in an explosive offense.
Going into the 2023 NFL season, the Bills have it all. They have the stud quarterback in Josh Allen, the star receiver in Stefon Diggs and a pair of tight ends in Dawson Knox and rookie Dalton Kincaid who can turn out to be a top duo in the league.
What’s missing is that stud running back. With the injury to Nyheim Hines, Cook is in a prime position to breakout at the position. The Bills will have veterans Damien Harris and Latavious Murray behind him so Cook won’t have all the pressure on him.
At 5-foot-11, 190 pounds, Cook has shown he can be a problem rushing between the tackles and catching the ball out of the backfield. With his 5.8 yards per carry average during his rookie season, there is a higher expectation of the second year running back out of Georgia. With dual-threat capability, Cook should thrive with increased opportunity.