Running backs are an often overlooked commodity. While people fixate on quarterbacks because of the passing game, another way to score touchdowns is by rushing, which is where the running backs come in.
Running backs must often have a keen sense of the game. In addition, an ideal running back must possess the strength to break through the defensive line and pace to evade blockers.
Having a good running back can often mean the difference between going home after the regular season and going on an extended postseason run. So who will be that breakout star for their team this season? Here are three running backs primed to have a stellar season.
Running backs set up to have a breakout campaign
#1 - James Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars
Running backs were already a key cog in the Jacksonville Jaguars machine even before Urban Meyer took the reins. Meyer often uses his running backs as receivers, too. With Travis Etienne now injured, the responsibility falls on James Robinson.
With rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence at center, things are looking up for Robinson.
His rookie season was not bad by any stretch. James Robinson rushed for 1,070 yards and seven touchdowns as a running back. He also had 49 catches for 344 yards. He will be looking to go one step further this year.
#2 - Sony Michel, Los Angeles Rams
There's something in the air that's causing the Los Angeles Rams' running backs to drop like flies. Cam Akers suffered an Achilles injury that ended his season before it even began. Darrell Henderson is also suffering from a spate of injuries. The latest to go down was Xavier Jones, who picked up an ankle injury.
Sony Michel has just arrived from the New England Patriots. He will be looking to prove his detractors wrong and play with a chip on his shoulder. Expect him to shine in Los Angeles.
#3 - J.K. Dobbins, Baltimore Ravens
In his rookie season, J.K. Dobbins ran for 805 yards and nine touchdowns. It does not seem like those numbers are enough to warrant a mention on this list, but once you consider that he racked up those digits in just 134 carries, it's a whole new world for Dobbins.
He had a mammoth six yards per carry while sharing responsibility with Mark Ingram II and Gus Edwards. With Ingram gone, Dobbins can step into that role and significantly outdo last season's numbers.