Lamar Jackson’s 2019 season gave us the greatest single-season rushing performance by a quarterback in NFL history. Jackson set the NFL record for rushing yards by a quarterback with 1,206 rushing yards and also the record for most carries by a quarterback (176). This resulted in Jackson finishing as the overall QB1, and the league MVP.
With that being said, there are certain draft strategies that come with having any quarterback on your team and how you want to optimize having them on your roster. Most common of these strategies is trying to stack your quarterback with one of his fellow wide receivers or tight ends.
But is it smart to stack your elite running QB with his pass-catchers?
How to Define Running Quarterbacks
Jackson’s record-setting season resulted in him averaging 11.7 ruATTs per game, which wasn’t just a high total, but an insanely high total. It topped his 9.2 ruATTs per game from 2018, which is the second most for a quarterback in any given season.
Jackson’s 2019 rushing totals were so impressive that they cloud the picture of what should be considered elevated rushing totals. To gain a better understanding of what elevated rushing totals for a QB truly looks like, I searched for top-20 rushing attempt totals by a QB in a single season, which took me all the way back to 1980, when Randall Cunningham sneaked in with two of these top-20 seasons.
One commonality all quarterbacks had in the original top-20 list is that they all averaged 6.5-plus ruATTs per game. In order to account for a wider range of rushing quarterbacks, I went into the RotoViz Screener and queried quarterbacks who met the following criteria:
- Minimum 12 games
- Minimum 14 paATTS/gm
- Minimum 6.0 ruATTS/gm