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New Orleans Saints’ Alvin Kamara named #2 running back by ESPN

After three defenders land on ESPN’s top-ten lists, Alvin Kamara becomes the first on the offensive side so far.

New Orleans Saints v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

With changes on the way at quarterback for the New Orleans Saints, the team’s offense tends to garner more questions than praise. Despite the uncertainty that may shroud the unit nationally for now, one position group that is not often questioned is running back.

Lead by Alvin Kamara along with his backfield partner Latavius Murray, the unit has a serious argument as the best position room on the team along with safety and offensive line.

Today, the group received another vote of confidence as Alvin Kamara was named the #2 running back in the NFL headed into the 2021 season. As ESPN continues to rank the top-ten players at each position, it wasn’t hard to anticipate the record-breaking 2017 offensive rookie of the year would be ranked highly.

New Orleans Saints v New York Giants Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

After nearly capturing his first 1,000-yard rushing season in 2020, Kamara takes his rightful spot atop the field of running backs, second only to the Tennessee Titans’ newest 2,000-yard rusher Derrick Henry. Kamara’s versatility, ability to contribute in both the run and passing games, and outstanding ability to bounce off of contact have all helped to make him a household name.

Imagine being in the league for less time than your rookie deal expires, and somehow still have rookies coming in modeling their game off of you. That’s the Alvin Kamara effect. “The perfect modern back”, according to ESPN’s conversation with a high-ranking NFL official.

It’s wild that the league’s second-best rusher doesn’t own a 1,000-yard-rushing season over a four-year career. But Kamara simply needs the ball more than he needs a rushing title. He is one of three NFL players with at least 80 receptions in his first four seasons in the NFL, joining two receivers — teammate Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry — in the exclusive club. His 711 yards after the catch led all NFL players.

In addition to nearly completing his 1,000-yard rushing season, Kamara has also produced four straight campaigns with at least 81 receptions. Including notching 81 exactly for the first three. Throughout a large potions of the 2020 season, Kamara paced all players or steadily ranked in the top-five of all pass-catchers.

He’s the first player in NFL history to have compiled 500+ yards both rushing and receiving in each of his first four NFL seasons, and the league just decided to add a 17th game. So who knows how long he’ll extend that streak?

Alvin Kamara was a shoo-in for this top-ten list, and a top-2 running back ranking suits him.

Where do you think Michael Thomas will rank among WRs? Let us know your thoughts in the comment. Make sure you follow Canal Street Chronicles on Twitter at @SaintsCSC , “Like” us on Facebook at Canal Street Chronicles, and make sure you’re subscribed to our new YouTube channel. As always, you can follow me on Twitter @RossJacksonNOLA and subscribe to my daily Saints podcast, Locked On Saints and checkout the Locked On Saints YouTube channel.