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Examining the athleticism of Washington’s lead RB compared to the rest of the NFC East

Wild Card Round - Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Washington Football Team Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

This series started off as an investigation of the relative athleticism of NFC East wide receivers. Turns out there’s community interest in similar dives into other positions around the field. Given the recent flurry of articles on Antonio Gibson, I thought I’d knock out a piece on the lead running backs in the NFC East.

To do that, I’ve collected the Relative Athletic Scores (RAS) for the top running backs on each of the NFC East teams below. RAS is a metric created by Kent Lee Platte that aggregates Combine/Pro Day data into a single metric that describes a players overall athleticism. A grade of “5” would be prospect of average athleticism at the position relative to his peers. Have a look at each of their RAS cards below, before the information is summarized in the aggregate in conclusion.

Washington Football Team

Dallas Cowboys

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

Across the NFC East

The NFC East has some stud lead running backs. The all have either “elite” or “great” RAS scores. Looking around the league, however, the number of elite athletes at running back is significant, with around 40-50% of the NFL possessing an RB with top skills.

I stated it in the comments section of the prior article, but the way RAS is calculated is that the player is compared to the prior players at his position in the database at the time his Combine/Pro Day scores are generated, so they can actually bounce around a bit from year to year. What I did to address that was add all four RBs’ data into the latest version of the RAS calculator to get contemporary, comparable scores. You can see those below. Gibson and Sanders scores dipped a bit. Elliott’s and Barkley’s increased ever so slightly.

You’ll notice, Barkley’s score was near perfect, with great size and elite speed. Gibson is, narrowly, the fastest of the four backs. What I actually find striking is that Elliott is the “least” athletic of the group. That said, he’s still far more athletic than his backfield mate (and Gibson’s college teammate), Tony Pollard, with a RAS of 7.24.

What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments.

NFC East RB RAS Scores

Player Team 2021 RAS Height Weight 40 20 10 Bench Vert Broad Shuttle 3 Cone
Player Team 2021 RAS Height Weight 40 20 10 Bench Vert Broad Shuttle 3 Cone
Gibson WFT 9.57 6003 228 4.39 2.57 1.55 16 35 910
Elliott Dallas 8.77 5116 225 4.47 2.62 1.58 32.5 910
Barkley NY 9.98 5110 230 4.4 2.52 1.51 38 1010 4
Sanders Philadelphia 9.31 5105 211 4.49 2.61 1.57 20 36 1004 4.19 6.89


Which NFC East team to do think has the best lead running back?

This poll is closed

  • 37%
    (274 votes)
  • 54%
    New York
    (402 votes)
  • 2%
    (17 votes)
  • 5%
    (44 votes)
737 votes total Vote Now