The first running back drafted in 2007 was Adrian Peterson, who went No. 7 overall to the Minnesota Vikings. The second was Marshawn Lynch, who was selected five spots later by the Buffalo Bills. That they remain, in many ways, the NFL's top backs nine seasons later speaks to both their longevity and the overall minimization of the position in the past decade.
ESPN's NFL Nation surveyed a cross section of NFL players (300) and asked, among other questions: Whom would you choose to run the ball from the 1-yard line with one play left in the Super Bowl? More than 70 percent of voters chose either Lynch (108 votes) or Peterson (104), with no other runner receiving more than 3 percent of the votes.
It's interesting that players gave Lynch a slight edge after a season in which he missed nine games and finished with the fewest rushing yards (417) and touchdowns (three) in his six seasons with the Seahawks, all while Peterson won the rushing title after running for 1,485 yards.
Perhaps that had something to do with Peterson's well-known difficulties with ball security. He fumbled six times in the 2015-16 regular season, lost another in the playoffs and has 37 in his career. That's six more fumbles than any other player during that span. Lynch has fumbled 24 times in that time.
Lynch's slight edge in this poll might also result from the visual perception that he is the harder runner of the two and thus more likely to convert from 1 yard. In truth, Peterson's short-yardage performance has significantly exceeded Lynch's in their careers.
According to ESPN Stats & Information, Peterson has converted a first down on 135 of 187 rush attempts with 1 yard to go (72.2 percent). Lynch, meanwhile, has converted 95 first downs in 161 such carries (59 percent).
You can't go wrong in either scenario, but based on past and recent performance, Peterson would be the smarter choice here.