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Nick Chubb finally gets the respect he’s due from NFL personnel

Finally ranked as the league best running back, Nick Chubb has carried the Browns

2023 NFL Pro Bowl Games - Skills Competitions Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

Narratives and reputations are hard to break for a variety of reasons. In the end, they don’t tend to matter too much in professional sports outside of how the media covers teams and players.

For Cleveland Browns RB Nick Chubb, it has seemed obvious to a lot of fans that he is the best running back in the NFL. Yet, time after time Chubb is left off of many lists. Last week, we covered, once again, how underappreciated the Browns star running back is.

The reasons for this are quite simple:

  • Cleveland has lost more than they’ve won with Chubb
  • Chubb is quiet
  • Unlike many other backs, Chubb hasn’t been a big part of the passing game
  • Fantasy football players have had flashier players with more upside
  • Chubb’s running style doesn’t always translate into highlights

Summing it up, steady and stable doesn’t sell in the 2020s.

Finally, in ESPN’s survey of league personnel (executives, coaches, scouts and players), Chubb has gotten his crown as the best back in the NFL after finishing third last year:

Chubb finally gets his due atop the rankings after an impressive five-year run in Cleveland.

Since entering the NFL in 2018, he has averaged 5.2 yards per rush, best in the NFL and the second-best mark in NFL history among players with at least 1,000 rushes, behind Jamaal Charles’ 5.4 clip. He also led the NFL in explosive rushing plays (23) in 2022.

“I’ve always loved his game,” an AFC executive said. “He can carry the load, strong, has vision, great feet, not outstanding in the passing game but can do it. Just a damn good player. Not a make-you-miss guy but has power and instincts.”

It is amazing that a player who has the second-best yard-per-carry mark in league history had to wait this long to take the throne.

For his part, Chubb (like Browns fans) could care less about these sorts of rankings. Performing on the field is the top goal. While it is good that he thinks like that, it is good to see that he finally gets the credit he so richly deserves as well.