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Can Breece Hall Make the 300 Club?

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at New York Jets Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

It is not exactly a controversial statement at this point to say that running back has become one of the lowest value positions in the league.

Most teams use some sort of backfield by committee. It doesn’t require premium resources to find a competent runner.

Even with this devaluation of the position, I think most observers would agree that the top running backs the league still have a lot of value.

This leads to one natural question. What sets these backs apart from the rest of the pack?

There is no one answer. Clearly the ability to break tackles and make people miss are valuable attributes. Sites like Pro Football Focus have created statistics that calculate these numbers to isolate what a running back is contributing to a given play.

In today’s NFL receiving skill is another thing that separates the top backs. It might be cliche to say, “It’s a passing league,” but cliches are frequently true. A back who creates mismatches in the passing game adds surplus value.

I would argue that perhaps the most significant area where a running back can add value is an ability to create big plays. At the start of a rush, a back has to depend on his offensive line. If he is hit in the backfield, he probably isn’t going to gain much.

More than ten yards down the field, the back isn’t really dependent on anybody else. He either has to make somebody miss in the open field or turn on the jets to run away from the defense.

With this in mind, I decided to take a look at how many yards running backs gained per season that were somewhere between the 11th and 99th yard on a given play over the last decade. I counted yardage gained both on rushes and receptions since contributions in the passing game count too.

The number that jumped out to me was 300.

Here is the list of players who posted at least 300 of these big play yards in a season over the last decade.


Adrian Peterson 842

Doug Martin 570

C.J. Spiller 570

Jamaal Charles 559

Chris Johnson 411

Marshawn Lynch 381

Ray Rice 376

Matt Forte 337

Alfred Morris 327

Arian Foster 308

Reggie Bush 307


LeSean McCoy 587

Jamaal Charles 530

Matt Forte 456

Reggie Bush 378

C.J. Spiller 359

Marshawn Lynch 355

Adrian Peterson 351

Andre Ellington 317

DeMarco Murray 305


Le’Veon Bell 591

DeMarco Murray 463

Justin Forsett 452

Arian Foster 436

Eddie Lacy 399

Marshawn Lynch 390

Jeremy Hill 361

LeSean McCoy 313

Matt Forte 312

Jamaal Charles 311


Doug Martin 511

Adrian Peterson 456

Todd Gurley 417

Lamar Miller 379

Chris Ivory 344

Charles Sims 337

Tavon Austin 326

Darren McFadden 323

Mark Ingram 323

DeAngelo Williams 319

Devonta Freeman 307


Ezekiel Elliott 584

David Johnson 518

LeSean McCoy 446

Jordan Howard 433

Isaiah Crowell 401

Devonta Freeman 397

Melvin Gordon 366

Jay Ajayi 365

Tevin Coleman 354

Spencer Ware 333

DeMarco Murray 323

Mark Ingram 305


Todd Gurley 650

Alvin Kamara 499

Kareem Hunt 493

LeSean McCoy 436

Mark Ingram 422

Melvin Gordon 355

Bilal Powell 331

Leonard Fournette 313

Chris Thompson 311


Saquon Barkley 728

Christian McCaffrey 483

Ezekiel Elliott 439

Todd Gurley 416

Tarik Cohen 389

Joe Mixon 388

Nick Chubb 370

Kareem Hunt 363

Melvin Gordon 362

Adrian Peterson 348

Tevin Coleman 339

James Conner 329

Alvin Kamara 320

Phillip Lindsay 312

Matt Breida 301


Christian McCaffrey 548

Nick Chubb 485

Austin Ekeler 480

Saquon Barkley 472

Derrick Henry 464

Leonard Fournette 420

Miles Sanders 419

Dalvin Cook 393

Aaron Jones 373


Derrick Henry 530

Alvin Kamara 470

Jonathan Taylor 388

Dalvin Cook 378

Aaron Jones 376

Nick Chubb 340


Jonathan Taylor 656

Nick Chubb 383

Dalvin Cook 327

If you were making a list of running backs who mattered in a given season over the last ten years in the NFL, it would almost entirely overlap with that list.

Every running back who made an All Pro First or Second Team in the last decade was a member of the 300 Club that season except Eddie Lacy in 2013 (276), Le’Veon Bell in 2017 (285), and Joe Mixon in 2021 (271). Those three were so close that we can make them honorary members of the 300 Club. (And all three made the Club in other seasons.)

Some seasons have produced more members of the 300 Club than others. Over the course of the decade, there were 95 individual seasons that made it into the Club. That averages out to 9.5 per year. A little more than one quarter of the league having a difference-making back adds up if you think the running back position is generally devalued, but there remains a class of impact players at the very top.

Of course for the Jets this is not an academic exercise. There is relevance here. The team traded up for a running back in the second round, Breece Hall.

The Jets probably could have found a solid backfield without using high end resources. The fact they invested so heavily in Hall suggests they view him as a top end talent.

I think the 300 Club provides us with a useful barometer to measure his success.

How much can we expect, and how soon can we expect it? Unlike many other positions, running backs have an easier time producing early in their career. In fact it is when they provide the most value.

Doug Martin (2012), Ezekiel Elliott (2016), Alvin Kamara (2017), Leonard Fournette (2017), Saquon Barkley (2018), Nick Chubb (2018), Phillip Lindsay (2018), and Jonathan Taylor (2020) are among the backs who gained membership their rookie seasons.

Given the expectations for Hall and run heavy nature of the Jets offense, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to have hopes he will make it this season.