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
61

Da'Leon
Ward

RB
Stephen F. Austin   Mascot
Stephen F. Austin Mascot
180lbs 5-10 4.62 67 1495 52 Strengths Does not possess top breakaway speed, though he's rarely caught from behind.Compact build with a thick upper body and le...
62

Brian
Robinson Jr....

RB
Alabama   Mascot
Alabama Mascot
228lbs 6-1 4.65 36 561 50 Strengths Has good burst to and through the hole. A patient runner with good vision and burst for the cutback. Squares his shoulde...
63

Kylin
Hill

RB
Mississippi State   Mascot
Mississippi State Mascot
210lbs 5-11 4.51 8 146.6 35 Strengths Does not possess top breakaway speed, though he's rarely caught from behind.Has good burst to and through the hole. A pa...
64

Ben
Mason

FB
Michigan   Mascot
Michigan Mascot
254lbs 6-3 4.73 28 404.3 35
65

BJ
Emmons

RB
Florida Atlantic   Mascot
Florida Atlantic Mascot
220lbs 6-0 20 251 31
66

Ty
Chandler

RB
Tennessee   Mascot
Tennessee Mascot
205lbs 5-11 23 301 30
67

Josh
Johnson

RB
Louisiana Monroe   Mascot
Louisiana Monroe Mascot
208lbs 5-9 4.54 30 417 30 Strengths Not truly explosive, but possesses enough speed to beat linebacker to the edge.Compact build with a thick upper body and...