Gone are the days of the prototypical stand-in-the-pocket quarterbacks like Peyton Manning. Quarterbacks in today’s NFL are expected to have a little athleticism to go with their superior arm talent. It’s been a change, but rushing quarterbacks in the NFL has become the norm and has completely changed up the draft process. 15-20 years ago, quarterbacks like Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson would not even get a look (SEE: Troy Smith).
Each of the greatest quarterbacks in the league can move in some respect. Some are elite scramblers and can make things happen off-script like Patrick Mahomes or Joe Burrow. Other quarterbacks have the ability to turn the game on its head if they see an opening and can take one to the house. Let’s take a look at the top five rushing quarterbacks in the nfl today.
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The Top 5 Rushing Quarterbacks in the NFL
Despite what the Baltimore Ravens brass may believe, Lamar Jackson is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL in any right. What sets him apart is his rushing ability. In each and every game of his, Jackson has two or three ridiculous runs where he makes the defense look absolutely foolish.
Already in his short career, Jackson has rushed for 4,437 yards and 24 touchdowns. Twice he’s rushed for over 1,000 yards and he would have each of the past two years if he had played a full season. You don’t get to be a unanimous MVP in today’s NFL without some rushing ability. And Jackson has turned everything on its head.
Lamar Jackson is going to get paid somewhere. The Ravens can only hope that it’s them because an elite quarterback like Jackson is going to take his game-changing rushing abilities somewhere else.
Considering the “help” around him, the fact that Justin Fields is experiencing any kind of success in 2022 is incredible. In just 12 games played this year, Fields leads the NFL in rushing among quarterbacks with 905 yards and is second with eight touchdowns. The second-year man out of Ohio State has made the most out of a really, really bad situation.
Justin Fields has 711 rushing yards in his last 7 games.
Most by a QB in 7-game span all-time pic.twitter.com/w8J7VFsBTZ
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) December 15, 2022
Despite his team having just three wins and in line to pick in the top five yet again, Fields is turning heads and making a name for himself, most notably on the ground. He was considered an uber-accurate quarterback coming out of college but it’s his rushing that has opened eyes. Already, Fields has broken NFL records for the single-most rushing yards in a game for a quarterback with 174 in Week 9. He’s also the first NFL quarterback to run for two touchdowns, throw two touchdowns, and rush for over 100 yards.
Fields has big-play ability and has shown it with his three rushing touchdowns of 55 yards or more. He’s currently dealing with an injury, but once he gets back on the field, Fields will pick up right where he left off.
Going from “is Jalen Hurts the guy? Should Philly trade for a quarterback?” to leading the way in the MVP betting, Hurts has had that second-year jump many great quarterbacks have had in recent years. Hurts is leading the Philadelphia Eagles to an NFL-best 12-1 record and has already clinched a playoff spot.
The acquisition of AJ Brown helped Hurts through the air but it’s his rushing ability that has set the offense ablaze. He has the best offensive line in football blocking for him and he’s made the most of it. He’s second on the team and third in the NFL with 686 yards and leads the NFL with his 10 touchdowns.
Hurts’ rushing has lit a spark in an otherwise disappointing rushing attack from the Eagles. Now that defenses have to respect the 6’1”, 223-pound quarterback, running lanes have opened up for Miles Sanders. Hurts is having the season of his life and it’s all started on the ground. He’s quickly developed into one of the best rushing quarterbacks in the NFL right before our eyes.
The quick little 5’10” quarterback out of Arizona has been running around defenses for four years now and continues to excel. Once compared to a child running with a cookie it stole, Kyler Murray is quick and elusive and can make any defender miss in space.
Kyler Murray took off in his second year, as most great quarterbacks have done recently, and ran for a career-best 819 yards and 11 touchdowns. This year, before his ACL injury in Week 14, Murray was averaging a career-best 6.2 per carry, but only had 67 attempts. This year’s offense has had trouble moving the ball altogether, but Murray’s scrambling ability has kept plays alive.
Moving forward, it’s going to be difficult to get back to 2020 form for Murray after recovering from the ACL tear.
When thinking of rushing quarterbacks in the NFL, one does not usually picture a 6’5”, 237-pound guy who throws for well over 4,000 yards a year. Well, that’s Josh Allen and he excels at running the ball.
Allen runs downhill, seeking out contact. He is a more physical rusher as compared to the above four because his size allows for that contact. He’s fourth in the NFL with 628 yards and six touchdowns. Defenses have to respect his cannon for an arm but always be cognizant of his ability to tuck it and run. And if you’re the defender tasked with taking him down in the open field, good luck. All that size and arm strength paired together with a willingness to run and get hit just is not fair.
Who Will Finish with the Most Yards?
As it stands, Fields leads the way with 905 yards with Jackson (764), Hurts (686), Allen (628), and Murray (418) trailing him. With such a healthy lead with four games to go, Fields has to be the odds-on favorite to finish as the top rushing quarterback in the NFL in 2022.
Fields is finally healthy after suffering a dislocated shoulder in Week 11 and came back in Week 13, throwing for 254 yards and rushing for 71 yards and a score. Jackson, who would be anyone’s top choice, is still dealing with his injury and will be out a few for weeks. Hurts could sneak up on him with a few strong performances, but it’s unlikely because his offense is a bit more put together than Fields’ and he isn’t the only decent player. The same could be said about Allen, but the issue is with Murray. Murray’s injury will have him sidelined for the remainder of this year.
Of all of the rushing quarterbacks in the NFL, Lamar Jackson is king, but Justin Fields will get the better of him this year in terms of yards.