2. LA Chargers — Austin Ekeler, Justin Jackson, Joshua Kelley, Larry Rountree III
Austin Ekeler is the best running back in the AFC West and he is going to prove that he is one of the best running backs in the league in 2021. Injuries derailed his season last year and Ekeler is primed for a massive breakout season in 2021.
There is a path where Ekeler is the best running back in the league. If Christian McCaffrey does not come back the same guy and Derrick Henry regresses/gets hurt then the door is wide-open for Ekeler.
Ekeler is one of the best two-way running backs in the league who was already putting up good numbers behind a terrible offensive line. Now he is behind a good offensive line and is welcoming an offensive coordinator that is coming from the Saints, who consistently utilized the running backs to their full capacity.
The problem I have with the LA Chargers running back room is the depth behind Ekeler. It is a complete toss-up and if Ekeler gets hurt (he definitely is not going to regress) then the LA Chargers could easily be last on this list.
Justin Jackson has shown flashes but that is all they have been: flashes. Plus, he cannot stay healthy to save his life. Joshua Kelley was the worst running back in the league last season (posting a worse DVOA than Frank Gore) and Larry Rountree III is a rookie who was not really on many fans' radar and has to prove his worth in the league.
It is a good thing and a bad thing at the same time. It is a good thing because the lack of quality depth means Ekeler will get more reps and will post insane numbers. However, if anything happens to Ekeler, the bad side will rear its ugly head.