By Michael Stewart/@golferbad
This is part 4 in a series of 13 as we take a look at the running back position. Among the skilled positions in the upcoming draft, the running back positions projected to have the least amount drafted; especially on Days 1 and 2. NFL teams looking for a running game to be the main cog in their offense would need to address the running back position early in this draft. Here are my Top 10 running backs in the 2021 NFL draft.
- Travis Etienne (Clemson)-5’10/210: Etienne is leading the way as the #1 running back in college football in a very close race. Etienne should hear his name called in the backend of the 1st round as he is a duel threat in both the running and passing game.
- Najee Harris (Alabama)-6’2/230: Harris has the size and speed that make NFL teams drool as he effective as a receiver as well. Harris could go late in the 1st round, but more than likely be an early Day 2 pick.
- Kenneth Gainwell (Memphis)-5’11/191: Gainwell could have the higher ceiling among my top 10 list with his elusiveness and quick 1st step. Gainwell can take it to the outside with the best of them and will most likely hear his name called late on Day 2.
- Javonte Williams (North Carolina)-5’10/220: Williams has come out of nowhere as he wasn’t projected as a top 5 running back as the start of the season. Williams is a powerful runner should go on Day 2 in the 2021 NFL draft.
- Chuba Hubbard (Oklahoma State)-6’0/207: Hubbard has had a solid college career as he possesses a quick first step and is equally effective between the tackles and also around the edge. Hubbard is projected to go late on Day 2 or possibly slip into Day 3 as an early pick.
- Michael Carter (North Carolina)-5’10/200: Carter along with Javonte Williams makes up a solid two back attack for North Carolina. Carter isn’t elusive as he is more of a downhill runner and is more than likely a mid to late Day 3 selection.
- Kylin Hill (Mississippi State)-5’11/215: Hill moves into the top 10 based on his 2020 season as he has emerged as a 3 down back in many NFL teams eyes. Hill should get selected midway through Day 3 of the 2021 NFL draft.
- Mohamed Ibrahim (Minnesota)-5’10/215: Ibrahim has a low center of gravity which allows him to advance after first contact. Ibrahim needs to work on other areas for the next level; which is why he’ll probably be a late Day 3 pick.
- Zamir White (Georgia)-5’11/215: White is a physical interior runner who is not afraid to make first contact and has the endurance to be a workhorse with 20+ carries per game. White does have two years of eligibility left, so he could stay in college and wait. However; all indications are he will opt for the 2021 draft and be a Day 3 pick.
- Jaret Patterson (Buffalo) -5’9/195: Patterson is a diversified running back who can do it all. Patterson has the ability to make a big play at any moment in either in the running game or as a receiver out of the backfield.
It should be interesting to see how many running backs are selecting in this draft and also what impact they will make in their rookie seasons in 2021. As I mentioned earlier, the running back could have the least number of players taken among the skilled positions.