Running Back Rankings 2021 NFL Draft

RUNNING BACK PROSPECT RANKING 2021 NFL DRAFT

Back in the days where a 4000 yd passing season was a rarity running backs went No. 1 overall in four of five seasons from 77 to 1981 (Ricky Bell, Earl Campbell, Billy Sims, and George Rogers). A running back hasn't gone first overall since 1995 (Ki-Jana Carter), who probably put off more than a few NFL teams as he became one of the all-time NFL draft busts.

The first tailback taken last season was Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who went with the last pick in the first round to the Superbowl-winning Chiefs. This year there could be no running backs taken in round #1, further illustrating the extent they have fallen out of favor in the pro game.

The 2021 running back class doesn't have too many top-tier RB prospects in it, but two stand out: Najee qualifies as one of those. He is a power back that is explosive off the blocks; he has decent hands and is comfortable catching the ball. Seen by many as the top RB prospect in the 2021 draft, Etienne has decent size for a back and is explosive and tough. He is an effective receiver out of the slot, especially after the catch - in short, he is a playmaker. There is quite a drop off after the top two, but still, the group contains a few who could make an impact in the pro game.

YOUR NFL GM VS. AUTODRAFT

Ever wondered what would happen if your favorite team just went into the draft without doing any independent research, without studying hours of tape, or even listening to team scouts? Well, after many years of watching NFL teams making numerous questionable ‘reaches’ in the draft, and totally ignoring the prevailing wisdom - we decided to re-examine all your team’s drafts over the last ten years.
The results are (sometimes) interesting – but what it really does show, is that on the whole - NFL teams would have done better by putting their feet up and just switching on autodraft.
Take a look, we have every team's draft since 2011 rated.

Player Rankings - Running Back

# Player Pos Team Weight Height 40YD AVG POS RANK AVG OVR RANK Rating Summary
1

Najee
Harris

RB
PIT   Mascot
PIT Mascot
230lbs 6-2 4.52 2 32.9
90.0
The 2021 draft does not look to have too many top tier RB prospects in it - but Najee qualifies as one of those. He is a power bac...
2

Travis
Etienne

RB
JAX   Mascot
JAX Mascot
205lbs 5-10 4.40 1 26.4
89.0
Seen by many as the top RB prospect in the 2021 draft, Etienne has decent size for a back and is explosive and tough. He has good ...
3

Michael
Carter

RB
NYJ   Mascot
NYJ Mascot
199lbs 5-8 4.50 3 83.3
80.0
Strengths Doesn't possess elite breakaway speed, but is fast enough to gain yardage in chunks when he finds a seam. Quick feet...
4

Javonte
Williams

RB
DEN   Mascot
DEN Mascot
220lbs 5-10 4.55 5 87.9
76.0
Strengths Underrated blocker. Cognizant pass defender who is willing to meet a linebacker in the gap.Bowling-ball runner between t...
5

Rhamondre
Stevenson

RB
NE   Mascot
NE Mascot
246lbs 6-0 4.63 13 165.2
75.0
Strengths Not truly explosive, but possesses enough speed to beat linebacker to the edge. Fights for extra yardage and is reli...
6

Chuba
Hubbard

RB
CAR   Mascot
CAR Mascot
208lbs 6-0 4.48 6 98.4
73.0
Strengths Doesn't possess elite breakaway speed, but is fast enough to gain yardage in chunks when he finds a seam. Possesses ...
7

Javian
Hawkins

RB
ATL   Mascot
ATL Mascot
196lbs 5-9 4.46 14 180.6
72.0
Strengths Possesses quick feet and straight-line speed but doesn't have the elite burst to be a constant big-play threat. Impro...
8

Kenneth
Gainwell

RB
PHI   Mascot
PHI Mascot
195lbs 5-11 4.42 4 83.8
71.0
Strengths Flashes initial burst and good lateral quickness to sidestep defenders or bounce runs outside with very good foot quickn...
9

Jermar
Jefferson

RB
DET   Mascot
DET Mascot
217lbs 5-10 4.44 11 151
70.0
Strengths Bowling-ball runner between the tackles. Flashes a burst in and out of the hole. Lowers his pads and delivers a blow ...
10

Jaret
Patterson

RB
WSH   Mascot
WSH Mascot
195lbs 5-8 4.52 12 152.7
68.0
Strengths Has the feet and feel running between the tackles and in the open field. He has very good vision and patience to pick...
14

Brenden
Knox

RB
Marshall   Mascot
Marshall Mascot
220lbs 5-11 4.64 27 270
65.0
Strengths Well-built with a thick frame and powerful lower body which keeps his legs pumping through contact. Patient behind the l...
13

Stevie
Scott III

RB
NO   Mascot
NO Mascot
231lbs 6-2 4.63 55 442.5
65.0
Strengths Thick frame and runs with power, showing the leg drive to push the pile. Runs balanced and close to the ground with the ...

2021 NFL Draft Athleticism Chart - Running Back

We've compared players post combine 40 times and weight and charted them on the scatter chart below. You'll find the 40 time on the Y-axis and on the X-axis the weight in pounds.
The exceptional athletic freaks (determined by the combination of speed vs weight) will be found at the top right of the chart while the less impressive athletes will be sitting towards the bottom left.

For a much improved viewing experience (with more players) please view on a larger screen.

2021 NFL Draft Athleticism Chart - Running Back

We've compared players 40 times and weight and charted them on the scatter chart below. You'll find the 40 time on the Y-axis and on the X-axis the weight in pounds.
The exceptional athletic freaks (determined by the combination of speed vs weight) will be found at the top right of the chart while the less impressive athletes will be sitting towards the bottom left.

Check back after the combine as these numbers are likely to change.