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
49

Clint
Ratkovich

RB
Western Illinois   Mascot
Western Illinois Mascot
220lbs 6-1 4.82 58 1359 54 Strengths Solid receiver in the flat, capable of running through tackles on the edge to move the chains. Flexible enough to catch ...
50

Quardraiz
Wadley

RB
UTEP   Mascot
UTEP Mascot
220lbs 6-0 4.58 60 1386 53 Strengths A quick, smooth athlete with the footwork to make sharp cuts and redirect his momentum in a flash. Shows good vision and...
51

Josh
Fields

RB
UTEP   Mascot
UTEP Mascot
195lbs 5-9 4.63 64 1470 53 Strengths Not the biggest, strongest or fastest but does enough with preparation and instincts to get a look. Not big or tenacious...
52

Shakif
Seymour

RB
Toledo   Mascot
Toledo Mascot
215lbs 6-0 4.72 52 1234 53 Strengths Solid receiver in the flat, capable of running through tackles on the edge to move the chains. Flexible enough to catch ...
53

B.J.
Smith

RB
Troy   Mascot
Troy Mascot
207lbs 5-9 4.63 65 1478 53 Strengths Shows a surprising burst to beat linebackers to the edge. Can plant his foot in the ground and explode, showing better s...
54

Karl
Mofor

RB
Albany   Mascot
Albany Mascot
224lbs 5-8 4.62 62 1465 53 Strengths Does not possess top breakaway speed, though he's rarely caught from behind.Has good burst to and through the hole. A pa...
55

Trey
Ragas

RB
Louisiana   Mascot
Louisiana Mascot
230lbs 5-10 4.56 24 306.8 53 Strengths Quick feet with good vision to pick through defenses. He has solid hands and body control and is a reliable receiver.Has...
56

Michael
Johnson

RB
Sacramento State   Mascot
Sacramento State Mascot
160lbs 5-7 5.43 63 1466 53 Strengths Weaknesses Lacks a true burst through the hole and elite speed to break away or get to the corner against NFL defenses.D...
57

Justin
Covington

RB
Villanova   Mascot
Villanova Mascot
215lbs 5-11 4.66 61 1452 53 Strengths Has good burst to and through the hole. A patient runner with good vision and burst for the cutback. Squares his shoulde...
58

Bryson
Denley

RB
Bowling Green   Mascot
Bowling Green Mascot
180lbs 5-10 4.42 51 1169 53 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...
59

Shamari
Brooks

RB
Tulsa   Mascot
Tulsa Mascot
190lbs 5-9 4.53 53 1241 53 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...
60

KeShawn
Williams

RB
Arkansas-Pine Bluff   Mascot
Arkansas-Pine Bluff Mascot
195lbs 5-10 4.62 66 1479 52 Strengths Compact build with a thick upper body and leg strength. Runs hard and with balance, is a patient runner who makes subtle...