Top Running Backs 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.

Player Rankings - Running Backs

# Player Pos Coll Weight Height 40YD AVG POS RANK AVG OVR RANK Rating Summary
13

Stevie
Scott III

RB
Indiana   Mascot
Indiana Mascot
231lbs 6-2 4.63 33 442.5 65 Strengths Thick frame and runs with power, showing the leg drive to push the pile. Runs balanced and close to the ground with the ...
14

Chris
Evans

RB
Michigan   Mascot
Michigan Mascot
216lbs 5-11 4.50 18 219 65 Strengths A downhill runner who picks up momentum as he goes and does a nice job absorbing contact between the tackles - physical ...
15

Larry
Rountree III...

RB
Missouri   Mascot
Missouri Mascot
210lbs 5-10 4.62 15 187.2 65 Strengths Bowling-ball runner between the tackles. Flashes a burst in and out of the hole. Lowers his pads and delivers a blow int...
16

Vavae
Malepeai

RB
USC   Mascot
USC Mascot
220lbs 6-0 4.62 32 433.3 65 Strengths Has good vision to find the hole and get North-South. Gets good initial push and always seems to be falling forward for ...
17

Stephen
Carr

RB
USC   Mascot
USC Mascot
215lbs 6-0 4.53 29 408 64 Strengths Has the feet and feel running between the tackles and in the open field. He has very good vision and patience to pick th...
18

Mulbah
Car

RB
Houston   Mascot
Houston Mascot
215lbs 6-0 4.53 38 638 64 Strengths Has sneaky speed but won't always get to the corner. Runs low through the hole with size and strength to move the chains...
19

CJ
Marable

RB
Coastal Carolina   Mascot
Coastal Carolina Mascot
200lbs 5-10 4.59 35 446 64 Strengths Has the feet and feel running between the tackles and in the open field. He has very good vision and patience to pick th...
20

Pooka
Williams Jr....

RB
Kansas   Mascot
Kansas Mascot
170lbs 5-10 4.38 26 326 63 Strengths Cuts on a dime with lightning-fast feet and the quick-twitch explosion of an Olympic sprinter out of the block. Very goo...
21

Gary
Brightwell

RB
Arizona   Mascot
Arizona Mascot
218lbs 6-1 4.52 41 750 63 Strengths Shows a surprising burst to beat linebackers to the edge. Can plant his foot in the ground and explode, showing better s...
22

Spencer
Brown

RB
UAB   Mascot
UAB Mascot
220lbs 6-0 4.62 25 318.4 62 Strengths Shows a surprising burst to beat linebackers to the edge. Can plant his foot in the ground and explode, showing better s...
23

Gerrid
Doaks

RB
Cincinnati   Mascot
Cincinnati Mascot
230lbs 6-0 4.58 34 444 61 Strengths Shows a surprising burst to beat linebackers to the edge. Can plant his foot in the ground and explode, showing better s...
24

Mekhi
Sargent

RB
Iowa   Mascot
Iowa Mascot
209lbs 5-9 4.62 40 723.5 60 Strengths Compact build with a thick upper body and leg strength. Runs hard and with balance, is a patient runner who makes subtle...