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
37

Garrett
Groshek

RB
Wisconsin   Mascot
Wisconsin Mascot
220lbs 5-11 4.62 55 819.5 56 Strengths Difficult to bring down one-on-one in space, regularly sidesteps would-be tacklers and uses offhand to use oncoming defe...
38

Wesley
Kennedy III

RB
Georgia Southern   Mascot
Georgia Southern Mascot
180lbs 5-10 4.52 56 Strengths Shows a surprising burst to beat linebackers to the edge. Can plant his foot in the ground and explode, showing better s...
39

Khalil
Herbert

RB
Virginia Tech   Mascot
Virginia Tech Mascot
212lbs 5-9 4.46 17 149.7 56 Strengths Possesses quick feet and straight-line speed but doesn't have the elite burst to be a constant big-play threat. Improvin...
40

Kevin
Mensah

RB
Connecticut   Mascot
Connecticut Mascot
198lbs 5-9 4.60 61 1145 56 Strengths Shows a surprising burst to beat linebackers to the edge. Can plant his foot in the ground and explode, showing better s...
41

Elijah
Dotson

RB
Sacramento State   Mascot
Sacramento State Mascot
185lbs 6-0 4.56 54 792 55 Strengths Doesn't possess elite breakaway speed, but is fast enough to gain yardage in chunks when he finds a seam.Possesses quick...
42

Rakeem
Boyd

RB
Arkansas   Mascot
Arkansas Mascot
206lbs 6-0 4.58 32 274.8 55 Strengths Flashes initial burst and good lateral quickness to sidestep defenders or bounce runs outside with very good foot quickn...
43

Shane
Simpson

RB
Virginia   Mascot
Virginia Mascot
195lbs 5-11 4.52 66 1300 55 Strengths Flashes initial burst and good lateral quickness to sidestep defenders or bounce runs outside with very good foot quickn...
44

Kyle
Porter

RB
Houston   Mascot
Houston Mascot
210lbs 5-9 4.65 67 1353 55 Strengths Shows a surprising burst to beat linebackers to the edge. Can plant his foot in the ground and explode, showing better s...
45

Devin
Wynn

RB
Furman   Mascot
Furman Mascot
208lbs 6-1 4.56 65 1277 55 Strengths Doesn't possess elite breakaway speed, but is fast enough to gain yardage in chunks when he finds a seam.Shows a surpris...
46

Deon
Jackson

RB
Duke   Mascot
Duke Mascot
220lbs 6-0 4.41 29 240.3 54 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...
47

Billy
McCrary

RB
Abilene Christian   Mascot
Abilene Christian Mascot
200lbs 5-11 4.53 70 1382 54 Strengths Flashes initial burst and good lateral quickness to sidestep defenders or bounce runs outside with very good foot quickn...
48

Aaron
McAllister

RB
Charlotte   Mascot
Charlotte Mascot
216lbs 5-10 4.55 68 1355 54 Strengths Doesn't possess elite breakaway speed, but is fast enough to gain yardage in chunks when he finds a seam.A quick, smooth...