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
25

Justin
Henderson

RB
Louisiana Tech   Mascot
Louisiana Tech Mascot
218lbs 5-10 4.57 42 780 60 Strengths Solid receiver in the flat, capable of running through tackles on the edge to move the chains. Flexible enough to catch ...
26

Tory
Carter

FB
LSU   Mascot
LSU Mascot
244lbs 6-0 4.86 37 564.5 60 Strengths Fights for extra yardage and is reliable in short-yardage situations.Solid receiver in the flat, capable of running thro...
27

LD
Brown

RB
Oklahoma State   Mascot
Oklahoma State Mascot
205lbs 5-9 4.56 47 999 60 Strengths Does not possess top breakaway speed, though he's rarely caught from behind.Possesses quick feet and straight-line speed...
28

Trey
Sermon

RB
Ohio State   Mascot
Ohio State Mascot
215lbs 6-1 4.57 7 139 60 Strengths Well-built with a thick frame and powerful lower body which keeps his legs pumping through contact. Patient behind the l...
29

Dedrick
Mills

RB
Nebraska   Mascot
Nebraska Mascot
220lbs 5-11 4.65 39 707.5 59 Strengths A downhill runner who picks up momentum as he goes and does a nice job absorbing contact between the tackles - physical ...
30

Marcus
Williams Jr....

RB
Appalachian State   Mascot
Appalachian State Mascot
210lbs 5-10 4.57 46 915 59 Strengths Solid receiver in the flat, capable of running through tackles on the edge to move the chains. Flexible enough to catch ...
31

Elijah
Mitchell

RB
Louisiana   Mascot
Louisiana Mascot
218lbs 5-11 4.38 17 212.7 59 Strengths Not truly explosive, but possesses enough speed to beat linebacker to the edge.A downhill runner who picks up momentum a...
32

Caleb
Huntley

RB
Ball State   Mascot
Ball State Mascot
229lbs 5-10 4.68 31 433 58 Strengths Shows a surprising burst to beat linebackers to the edge. Can plant his foot in the ground and explode, showing better s...
33

Peytton
Pickett

RB
Liberty   Mascot
Liberty Mascot
220lbs 5-8 4.55 48 1067 58 Strengths A downhill runner who picks up momentum as he goes and does a nice job absorbing contact between the tackles - physical ...
34

Jake
Funk

RB
Maryland   Mascot
Maryland Mascot
205lbs 5-10 4.43 45 877.5 58 Strengths Flashes initial burst and good lateral quickness to sidestep defenders or bounce runs outside with very good foot quickn...
35

Demetric
Felton

RB
UCLA   Mascot
UCLA Mascot
200lbs 5-10 4.55 16 209.7 58 Strengths Not truly explosive, but possesses enough speed to beat linebacker to the edge.Shows a surprising burst to beat lineback...
36

Mason
Stokke

FB
Wisconsin   Mascot
Wisconsin Mascot
239lbs 6-2 4.82 49 1115 57 Strengths Solid receiver in the flat, capable of running through tackles on the edge to move the chains. Flexible enough to catch ...