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PFF names New Orleans Saints RB Mark Ingram one of three top elusive NFL backs

New Orleans Saints RB Mark Ingram (No. 22) breaking tackles against Atlanta in 2015: Derick E. Hingle- USA TODAY Sports

Running backs are still valued in the National Football League, but it’s a certain way that owners, general managers and coaches go about drafting them now. Having power is no longer the main priority, as teams look for guys with speed, vision and capabilities to elude defenders in space.

Pro Football Focus is a website that emphasizes the analytics of both college and pro football.

It studied the shiftiness of each ball carrier last season and put together a category showing the highest ratings of elusive backs on a minimum of 165 carries. PFF’s list singled out three players, including New Orleans Saints back Mark Ingram—who stood at No. 2, behind Doug Martin.

After a rough start to his career, Ingram has been productive in the last two seasons. Despite sustaining injuries, he’s put in two 1,000-yard seasons from scrimmage in 2014 and 2015.

The former Alabama standout and 2009 Heisman Trophy winner totaled 769 rushing yards and six touchdowns on 169 carries a year ago. He became a valuable pass catcher for Drew Brees, accounting for 405 receiving yards on 50 catches in 12 games during the 2015 season.

His ability to be a one-cut back in a man and zone blocking run game earned him a four-year, $16 million extension back on March 7, 2015. Ingram was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2014, after recording 1,109 yards from scrimmage and nine touchdowns on 255 touches in 12 games.

Stephen M. Smith is a senior analyst and columnist for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @Smsmith_TDALMag.

Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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