There are a lot of options at the running back position for the Washington Football team in 2020. However, quantity doesn't always mean quality. That's at least how Pro Football Focus sees it, as it ranked the unit 26th in the NFL for the upcoming season.
As of now, there are many mouths to feed at running back in Washington. Adrian Peterson, Derrius Guice, Antonio Gibson, J.D. McKissic, Peyton Barber and Bryce Love are all competing for touches in the backfield. While depth can sometimes be a strength, PFF isn't too high on the names that make up the group due to the numerous unknowns that surround almost every member.
Beginning with the veteran, Peterson, PFF believes that the success of the unit will still go through him. Though he enters his age-35 season, Peterson has been the most consistent presence in the backfield over the past two seasons. He's rushed for 1,940 yards and 12 touchdowns while only missing one game.
Though Peterson continues to defy "Father Time" and prove doubters wrong, it would be naive to overlook his age and not wonder if 2020 is the year he finally shows signs of being human.
If that were to be the case, it's not like Washington doesn't have other options. Guice has shown flashes of being a dominant runner when he's on the field, and 2020 third-round selection Gibson could be a versatile option in the running and passing game. PFF sees Guice as a home run threat and Gibson as someone who could become "one of the team's best playmakers."
Yet, neither are a sure bet to perform this season. Guice has largely struggled to stay on the field as he's appeared in just five games in two seasons and Gibson has yet to play a snap in the NFL. The potential is there, but there's no guarantee of a breakout campaign for either runner.
PFF did not even get into the back end of the depth chart, but more questions lurk there. McKissic and Barber have NFL experience but have failed to produce throughout their careers. It's hard to imagine that changing in Washington where they have even more competition.
Love is a true wild card. The 2019 draft pick was a star in college at Stanford. In 2017 as a junior in Palo Alto, Love rushed for more than 2,100 yards in 13 games and scored 19 touchdowns. However, he had become somewhat of an afterthought on the roster as he recovered from a torn ACL. A passed physical now has him part of the group, but it'll be interesting to see how he works his way back to football speed.
Clearly, Washington has choices at the running back position, and some have a high upside. However, all come with question marks entering the 2020 season. Quantity is something that is great to have, but quality will always reign supreme. Until Washington's RBs can show they have both, they'll sit toward the bottom of PFF unit rankings.
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