Historically, the AFC North is a division that likes to the run the football.
With that in mind, let's take a look at each of the teams within the division and the running back groups. We'll be ranking irrespective of the situation, unlike the quarterback rankings that posted earlier. Also, remember that this is a look at the position as a whole and not just the starter for each team.
The Bengals only possess two truly capable running backs in Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill, but one could argue that they both have a claim to the number one spot. Hill had a bit of a down sophomore season in 2015, but his talent and past production can't be argued against, and he still managed to find the end zone 11 times. Bernard didn't have a huge 2015 from a statistical standpoint, but his game film is incredibly impressive, especially for a player who was thought of as a gadget type scat-back heading into the season.
By virtue of having Leveon Bell, who may be the best at his position in the league right now, the Steelers just couldn't be any lower on this list. Bell suffered a season-ending injury in 2015, which created a chance for the Steelers' number two back Deangelo Williams. He more than seized that opportunity, running for 907 yards and 11 touchdowns. His game tape backs up his impressive play as more than just a fluke, and with him and Bell ready to go for 2016, the Steelers are more than set when it comes to the running back position.
The AFC North is so deep at this position that the Ravens could be number one on many a different division's lists. But they check in at number three here, mainly due to the fact that their backfield is predicated more on depth than star power. Justin Forsett is returning from a broken arm, and will be looking to recapture his sizzling form from 2014, while Javorious "Buck" Allen and rookie Kenneth Dixon are the probable favorites for the number two spot. Beyond that, Lorenzo Taliaferro, Terrance West, and the maligned Trent Richardson are all eyeing a roster spot heading into training camp, but with the depth the Ravens possess here, they will have their work cut out for them to make the team.
It'll be tough to find a list like this where the Cleveland Browns don't come in at last, but they at least have some talent at running back. Isaiah Crowell has shown some flashes in his few years in the league and was solid for the Browns in 2015. Duke Johnson was not as productive in his debut season, but he showed some explosiveness as a rookie. The thing to bank on here is potential; Either one of these two guys could probably rush for 1,000 yards, but the creativity of Hue Jackson will have to preclude the talent that the Browns have on offense in order for that to happen.