Ezekiel Elliott was an MVP candidate as a rookie, but one of the best running backs ever? NFL.com's Gil Brandt thinks so.
Brandt, the former longtime vice president of player personnel for the Dallas Cowboys, ranked his best running backs of all time for NFL.com.
He served in that role from 1960-88, so he saw plenty of talented rushers.
Only two active players cracked the list of 27: Adrian Peterson (No. 13), and Elliott (No. 26).
Brandt took to Twitter to specify that this was a "fantasy draft"-style ranking, and didn't take into account longevity.
Brandt began his list with Jim Brown, often referred to as the greatest player of all time, and continued with Walter Payton, O.J. Simpson, Gale Sayers, and LaDainian Tomlinson rounding out the top five.
Whatever the criteria, that is pretty impressive company for Elliott. If he keeps playing the way he did as a rookie, it will be hard to keep him off lists like this.
Elliott ran for 1,631 yards, a league high, and 15 touchdowns, good enough to make him a First Team All-Pro and Pro Bowl selection. He was also named the PFWA Rookie of the Year.