7. Marlon Mack
Indianapolis Colts · RB
Runs of 10-plus yards: 28. 10-plus run pct: 11.3. 15-plus mph pct: 20.6.
We’ve spent enough time covering how Mack’s broken hand played directly into Indianapolis’ late-season descent. Without Mack, the Colts lacked the ball-carrier who broke 15 mph on 51 runs (fourth-most among running backs) and ripped off 28 runs of 10-plus yards. The team’s most explosive runner will return in 2020 with the assistance of a similar back in rookie Jonathan Taylor. Multiply these numbers by two backs and consider the possibilities. It’s not guaranteed, but the potential is enticing, and it shows how valuable Mack was to the Colts, even if he isn’t exactly a household name.
Using the NFL’s ‘Next Generation Stats’, the ranking was compiled by the following three key criteria: a minimum of 100 carries in 2019, at least 20 carries of 10-plus yards, and percentage of runs of 15-plus mph.
Mack was surprisingly listed ahead of the likes of Carolina Panthers All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey (9th)—which is theoretically pretty elite company for explosion.
The third-year Colts running back rushed for 1,091 rushing yards on 247 carries (4.4 ypc. avg.) and 8 rushing touchdowns in 14 games (12 starts) this past season. He had a rush for a long of 63 rushing yards and 9 rushes of over 20+ yards during 2019.
While Mack is expected to split primary carries with highly touted rookie running back Jonathan Taylor in 2020, it’s easy to forget that he was still a very good 1,000+ yard rusher for the Colts last season—even if he’s not necessarily an elite NFL running back.
With less of a heavy workload this upcoming season, it’s possible Mack’s legs will be even fresher down the stretch, and the Colts could see even more explosive plays from him—rushing again behind one of the league’s best offensive lines.