Which Quarterback Is Going To Have The Most Rushing Yards This Season?

by Travis Pulver
September 2nd 2019, 7:20pm

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, NFL quarterbacks were expected to do one thing—throw the ball; two if you want to count managing the game.

But their primary contribution to the offense was throwing the ball. But that is not necessarily the case anymore.

Back then (and in that galaxy), quarterbacks were not expected to be threats in the running game. Most teams did not want their QBs running unless they absolutely had to. Doing so meant taking more hits and increasing the possibility of an injury.

Teams still get nervous when they see their quarterback take off running, but the idea of a dual-threat QB is becoming more and more accepted in the NFL with each passing season. It used to be that there might be one or two (i.e., Michael Vick, Randall Cunningham, etc.).

Today, we have several which has given rise to an intriguing wager at DraftKings:

Most Rushing Yards by a Quarterback (excluding playoffs)

  • Lamar Jackson            -200
  • Josh Allen                     +350
  • Kyler Murray               +400
  • Deshaun Watson       +450
  • Mitchell Trubisky       +1300
  • Cam Newton               +1600
  • Russell Wilson             +2000
  • Marcus Mariota         +4000
  • Dak Prescott                +5000

For this wager, it is pretty easy to eliminate most of the field. Everyone from Marcus Mariota on down can be removed from contention.

They are either not known for being runners and are unlikely to try to run very often or have an injury history that will encourage them to slide early and often (if they are smart).

Dak Prescott runs more than the typical quarterback and may do so a little more with Ezekiel Elliot now expected to miss time during the regular season. But he is also trying to get paid, so he will likely still exercise caution. Few things drive a contract extension’s value down quite like an injury or two.

It is probably safe to go ahead and eliminate Cam Newton and Deshaun Watson as well. Newton has long made running the ball a big part of his game. But he is also getting older, and the injuries are piling up. If he wants to extend his career, he is going to dump the ball off to Christian McCaffrey a lot sooner, rather than try to pound out a few yards himself.

DeShaun WatsonRunning the ball has been part of Watson’s game as well since he entered the league two years ago. But he has since suffered a season-ending knee injury as a rookie and had so many maladies last season it wasn’t medically safe for him to fly to a game.

The Texans didn’t do nearly enough to improve the offensive line during the offseason. So, there is an excellent chance he is going to be on the run a lot again this year. But, you have to think the team will have him sliding early when he starts to get in trouble.

That leaves Russell Wilson, Mitchell Trubisky, Kyler Murray, Josh Allen, and Lamar Jackson.

Wilson is an intriguing option because of his history as a runner, his odds, and Seattle becoming a running team last season. But to come out on top, he’ll probably need to produce as he did back in 2014 (118 carries for 849 yards). Pete Carroll is not going to have his expensive franchise quarterback come anywhere near that number of carries.

Mitchell Trubisky would need to get closer to 100 carries to be a serious contender, but it is hard to imagine the Bears having him do that.

Lamar Jackson is the understandable favorite after the season he had last year (147 carries for 697 yards). But teams are going to be stacking the box against the run and trying to force the Ravens to throw more—which he is not good at.

That leaves Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen or Arizona Cardinals rookie Kyler Murray.

Allen is a bigger quarterback, which means he can handle the beating that comes with running the ball a little better than someone like Murray. But he didn’t have much of a running history in college. Him running so much last year could probably be attributed to necessity since the Bills offensive line was so bad than anything else.

This year, it shouldn’t be as bad, which could mean Allen will run less.

Our Pick

Murray at +400 is the best bet. He was a runner in college, can make guys miss, and is one of the fastest guys in the NFL.

With his offensive line, he is going to be on the run a lot this year giving him the opportunity to rack up some yards.