8. Jamaal Charles
Draft Details: 3rd round, 2008
Key Stat: 5.4 yards/carry in 119 games
The Chiefs have had no shortage of dynamic running backs in team history—especially in recent decades—but even when surrounded by such greatness, only Jamaal Charles proved himself exceptional in a sport that requires elite athleticism to even dream of participation.
That Charles is the Chiefs’ all-time leader in rushing yards is not the mark of his excellence. Other players for other teams have been able to stack up a large number of yards with lesser skill sets thanks to their durability and usage. What’s so amazing about Charles’ team-leading total of 7.260 yards is that he did so despite his durability issues and usage concerns.
Charles’ holds the NFL record for the highest yards/carry average in his career with 5.4, which means he’s able to top K.C.’s leaderboard despite being forced to share time with Thomas Jones and losing several games to serious injuries over the years. Charles had only five NFL seasons with more than 75 carries. Even at his highest total (285 in 2012), Charles was still 70 carries behind the NFL lead in that category.
It’s almost criminal that Charles is not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Still, perhaps one day, the eyes of voters will be opened to a player whose supremacy overshadows many of those already enshrined.