AFC North Rankings: Where does Najee Harris fall among top running backs?

Najee Harris
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3. Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals

This is the part of this ranking that I'm sure will earn me the most criticism. Joe Mixon has been a talented running back for a long time in Cincinnati. He'll be entering his seventh season with the Bengals in 2023 and is a huge contributor to one of the best offenses in the league. So, why does Mixon find himself third on this list?

For starters, Mixon is coming off his worst season since his rookie year, as he only rushed for 814 yards and 7 touchdowns in 14 games while averaging 3.9 yards per carry. He did catch a career-high 60 passes, but his role in the Bengals' running game decreased last season.

Entering his age 27 season, it's fair to wonder if his over 1300 NFL carries will start to ware on Mixon. NFL running backs have a short lifespan and Mixon has been a bell cow for many seasons in Cincinnati.

With those negatives out of the way, Mixon has still rushed for over a thousand yards in three different seasons in his career and has started to improve his receiving game as well. You could very easily make an argument that he should be second on this list. It was close for me, but I put Mixon at the third spot on this list, with a good chance to move up if he has a bounce-back season in 2023.