A couple of times there you used the word "best," as in, "Warrick Dunn is the 4th best runner in the NFL and is 245 yards behind league leader Shaun Alexander." I don't think that's fair, to judge individual players based on total yardage. The team environment (quality of offensive line, how often coaches run, whether team is ahead or behind) has too much to do with it.
Last year Curtis Martin led the NFL in rushing, 1 yard ahead of Shaun Alexander. If Alexander had gotten one more carry and picked up 2 or 3 more yards, would that automatically make him "better" than Curtis Martin?
Much anger I sense in this one.
I was using general terms and if you wanted to look at best overall rushers considering yardage, yards per gain, and touchdowns this is what you get:
Top 5 Rusher (Total Yards)
#1 Shaun Alexander (1,339 Yards)
#2 Edgerrain James (1,240 Yards)
#3 Tiki Barber (1,118 Yards)
#4 Warrick Dunn (1,094 Yards)
#5 Ladanian Tomlinson (1,086 Yards)
Top 5 Rushers (Average Yards Per Carry)
#1 Tatum Bell (6.0)
#2 Mike Vick (5.9)
#3 Warrick Dunn (5.2)
#4 Shaun Alexander & Larry Johnson (5.1)
#5 Tiki Barber (5.0)
*LT is 7th with 4.6 and Edge is 8th with 4.5)
Top 5 Scoring Rushers (Rushing Touchdowns)
#1 Shaun Alexander (20 TD's)
#2 Ladanian Tomlinson (17 TD's)
#3 Stephen Davis (12 TD's)
#4 Edge James (11 TD's)
#5 Larry Johnson & Lamont Jordan (9 TD's)
So if you ask me from a pure running aspect the top three numbers for ranking runningbacks would be Total Yardage, Yards Per Carry, Touchdowns. In that respect the top 5 is as follows (The brackest are rankings for each category so 1st, 2nd, 1st is rankings for total yards, yards per carry, touchdowns):
#1 Shaun Alexander (1st, 4th, 1st)
#2 Edge James (2nd, 7th, 4th)
#3 Ladanian Tomlinson (5th, 7th, 2nd)
#4 Larry Johnson (6th, 4th, 5th)
#5 Tiki Barber (3rd, 5th, 11th)
#6 Warrick Dunn (3rd, 3rd, 23rd)
It's really how you look at it. Granted Dunn is hurt because he doesn't get as many goaline or TD opportunities as the other players listed. If you were looking at total yardage and yards per carry only it would look more like....
#1 Shaun Alexander (1st, 4th)
#2 Warrick Dunn (3rd, 3rd)
#3 Tiki Barber (3rd, 5th)
#4 Edge James (2nd, 7th)
#5 Larry Johnson (6th, 4th)
I would still argue that Larry Johnson could be the best of that group as he hasn't been a starter very long and split carries with Priest Holmes much of the season. I wouldn't be surprised if Larry ended up as a Top 3 back at the end of the season. Warrick Dunn might rank better IMO if Duckett wasn't around.