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Why did Seahawks’ Chris Carson fall out of top RB rankings?

Chris Carson became the first Seahawks RB since 2014 to rush for 1,000 yards. (AP)

Seahawks halfback Chris Carson came in at No. 18 on a recent ranking of the league’s top running backs. It might be surprising for fans to see a player who rushed for more than 1,100 yards fall so far down the list, but 710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock Huard believes Carson’s ranking isn’t based on his talent. Rather, it’s due to his availability and role in Seattle’s offense.

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Sitting atop the list, published by former NFL running back and current NFL analyst Maurice Jones-Drew, are Saquon Barkley, Alvin Kamara, Le’Veon Bell, Ezekiel Elliott, and Christian McCaffrey. Only Barkley and Elliott racked up more rushing yards than Carson, who finished the season with a fifth-most 1,151 yards.

However, there was one glaring difference: versatility in the passing game.

“The only reason is, as you go through his list, it’s because Carson didn’t catch the ball,” Huard said during his Blue 42 segment of Brock and Salk Wednesday. “He didn’t catch the ball as prolifically or nearly at the rate that many of those other guys do. That Alvin Kamara does, and Christian McCaffrey, and Le’Veon Bell.”

Player Rec. Yards TDs
McCaffrey 107 867 6
Barkley 91 721 4
Kamara 81 709 4
Elliott 77 567 3
Caron 20 163 0

(Above: Running back receiving stats, per Pro Football Reference)

“And Maurice Jones Drew says sorry, not in this pass-happy league, and not in this NFL where you’ve got to be multi-versed and multi-talented. And you’ve got to prove you can play, and you missed 12 games your rookie year, a couple games last year, and a couple games in college. So I think that that is much more an indictment on the versatility and reliability. Because on pure talent, Carson is a top-10 back in this league, pure and simple.”

Listen to the Brock and Salk Show weekday mornings from 7-10 a.m. on 710 ESPN Seattle. Subscribe to the podcast here.