The best backs in NFL history? Here are Peterson's top four

Adrian Peterson wants to be known as the best running back ... no, the best player ... in NFL history. So whom does he consider the best three or four backs in NFL history? He tells us on the latest Talk of Fame broadcast.

Adrian Peterson photo courtesy of the Minnesota Vikings
Adrian Peterson photo courtesy of the Minnesota Vikings

(Adrian Peterson photo courtesy of the Minnesota Vikings)

(Barry Sanders photo courtesy of the Detroit Lions)

Talk of Fame Network

You have your favorite running backs, and we have ours. But whom does Adrian Peterson admire?

We asked him to name his top three running backs on the latest Talk of FameNetwork broadcast, and he couldn’t do it. He named four instead. And the list might surprise you.

“I have to respect my elders,” he said. “I’ve got to put Jim Brown right there. He’s the guy. He’s the guy everyone takes. I look at stats and numbers, and I say, ‘OK, this guy might not have been the most physical back, or this guy was maybe been faster and stronger. But who produced the most?'

"So I look at things like that and have to have Barry Sanders up there without a doubt. Without question, I would say Barry Sanders and Walter Payton … even though they were different styles.

“I’m more of a Walter Payton-type runner than Barry Sanders, but I have to put those guys on the same level. Even though Barry was more of an elusive guy -- a make-you-miss type of guy -- and he wasn’t that powerful he had the speed. But it wasn’t like blazing speed. (But) he produced and got it done, and he got it done in a way I haven’t seen since. So I would say Jim Brown, Walter Payton, Barry Sanders, and then I have to go with O.J (Simpson). I’ve got to go with 'The Juice.' ”

The upset here is that Peterson didn’t name Eric Dickerson, whose single-season rushing record of 2,105 yards Peterson nearly eclipsed in 2012 when he fell eight yards short. Nevertheless, Peterson firmly believes the 31-year-old mark will be eclipsed.

“It will be broken,” he said. “You know what? I didn’t mention Dickerson. I was sitting there and debating O.J. and Eric Dickerson. I know he has the single-season rushing record, but O.J. … the things he did in what… 14 games? Two thousand yards? That’s on a whole different level.

“That record is something I’m shooting for as well. That’s something I want to accomplish. One day it will be broken and, God willing, I’m the one who will break it.”