Running back Adrian Peterson is one of the most dynamic players the NFL has ever seen. Since entering the league as the Vikings’ No. 7 overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft — and dating back to his days as an Oklahoma Sooner — the 6-foot-2, 217-pound tailback has dazzled football fans with his incredibly rare combination of size, speed, power, lateral quickness, acceleration, and elusiveness.
As a result, the 31-year-old is a virtual lock to join the Pro Football Hall of Fame — possibly as a first-ballot selection — shortly after he decides to hang up his cleats and retire from the game of football.
In his nine NFL seasons, Peterson has been selected to seven Pro Bowls and seven All-Pro teams (five of them were first-team All-Pro selections); he won the 2012 NFL MVP, Offensive Player of the Year, and Comeback Player of the Year awards; he won the 2007 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award; he has led the NFL in rushing touchdowns twice (2008 and 2015); and he has led the league in rushing yards three times (2008, 2012, and 2015).
Heading into the 2017 season — as he joins the New Orleans Saints — we firmly believe that Peterson still has enough gas left in his tank to have two or three more All-Pro caliber seasons. If you don’t believe us, just flash back to his remarkable recovery from the torn ACL he suffered in 2011 for a reminder of how freakishly talented the all-time leading rusher really is.
Still, it’s hard not to wonder if the end is near for Peterson. Just consider his age, workload, and injuries that sidelined him for most of the 2016 season. With that said, here is a look at how Peterson’s current best single-season and career stats stack up against the best running backs in NFL history.