Ranking the Arizona Cardinals running backs vs. the NFC West for 2023

Jan 1, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back James Conner (6) stiff arms
Jan 1, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back James Conner (6) stiff arms / Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals running backs aren’t an inspiring bunch. And that could give them a low ranking against the rest of the NFC West.

The Arizona Cardinals have a solid RB1 in James Conner, but behind him, few will intimidate opposing defenses. But, the Cards are obviously happy with Corey Clement, Keaontay Ingram, Ty’Son Williams, and Emari Demercado, or else they would’ve signed a viable free agent following the draft. 

So where does this group rank among their peers in the NFC West? Keep reading for more. 

Where do the Arizona Cardinals running backs rank vs. the NFC West?

4 - Los Angeles Rams

Cam Akers, Zach Evans, Sony Michel, Ronnie Rivers, Kyren Williams 

The Los Angeles Rams have a borderline bare cupboard at running back, and it’s crazy to think that just two seasons ago, Cam Akers and Company were on the up and up. And to Akers’ credit, he was dominant between Weeks 15 and 18 this past season.

Problem was, Akers did little in his first 11 games, rushing for a mere 376 yards and four touchdowns. There’s literally no one behind him who would, like the Cardinals backups, even remotely strike fear in opponents. Unless Akers continues where left off toward the end of the season, this group is in trouble. 

3 - Arizona Cardinals

James Conner, Corey Clement, Ty’Son Williams, Keaontay Ingram, Emari Demercado 

As mentioned previously and in past pieces, things don’t look good for the Arizona Cardinals running backs behind James Conner. And worse, with Conner being so injury-prone, it’s almost a given that the Cards will be starting either Clement, Williams, Ingram, or Demercado at some point this season. 

Overall, our best bet is that one of the younger guys in Ingram and Demercado, assuming they find a place on the final roster, step up and string together some sound performances once Conner shows he can’t be a featured back. We also know neither Clement nor Williams are the answer. 

2 - Seattle Seahawks

Kenneth Walker III, DeeJay Dallas, Zach Charbonnet, Kenny McIntosh, Bryant Koback

Kenneth Walker III burst onto the scene in 2022 and he’s since become one of the better backs in the league. DeeJay Dallas isn’t the type of back that you can count on to do the heavy lifting, but he’s an all-around back who also helps the Seattle Seahawks in the return game. 

Zach Charbonnet and Kenny McIntosh are rookies, so there is a lot of mystery here. However, they have far more upside than what the Cardinals have behind Conner, so that edges the Seahawks to second place in these rankings. 

1 - San Francisco 49ers

Christian McCaffrey, Elijah Mitchell, Jordan Mason, Tyrion Davis-Price, Khalen Laborn, Ronald Awalt

Perhaps no one else in the NFL has a better slate of backs than the San Francisco 49ers, led by the versatile Christian McCaffrey. Elijah Mitchell and Jordan Mason were also more than serviceable, with each averaging at least 6.0 yards per carry. 

Tyrion Davis-Price, Khalen Laborn, and Ronald Awalt will battle for the final spot in the Niners backfield if they decide to keep four backs on the roster. Yet with a sound three-headed rushing attack, any RB4 would be nothing more than a depth piece. 


(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference)