Open Rants by kkunert327

2021 NFL Draft Rankings: Running Backs
Published at 3/23/2021
1325 Page Views  |  0 Comments
Other Publishings by kkunert327

2021 NFL Draft Position Rankings

Running Backs

  1. Travis Etienne - Clemson 

  2. Najee Harris - Alabama 

  3. Kenneth Gainwell - Kentucky

  4. Michael Carter - North Carolina 

  5. Javonte Williams - North Carolina 

Like many years, this draft does not have too many first round caliber backs besides Etienne or Harris. However, unlike many years there is a huge drop off from say the top 5 or 6 backs to the rest of the class. How we often see a back emerge late in the draft, I do not think that will be a common occurrence in this weak running back class. My top two are easy and you can flip flop them to your preference. I love Etienne a bit more with his ability to be a versatile back as a pure runner to a consistent out wide slot receiver if need be. He is a big play back too with his electric speed and ability to get away from defenders. His size is a bit of an issue, but he showed great balance and power despite his size. To me the biggest issue is his mileage after a big workload in college. Which is the opposite for Harris who had less mileage than most Alabama running backs after being in a heavy rotation throughout most of his career. Last year was his first full year as a starter and really had a breakout season. He possesses a unique blend of Josh Jacobs and Derrick Henry with the best qualities of both backs. I would not be shocked if both backs are first rounders when it’s all said and done. 

The next three are significantly in the 2nd tier behind the top two backs in the draft. I really like Gainwell from the standpoint where he can be a great pass catching back and should at the very least be a great secondary back on passing downs. He has very little bust ability thanks to his unique skill set outside of his injury. I think he could play a similar role to James White in the NFL. While the duo of backs from UNC both play at a very high level. I like Carter a little more than Williams since he is the shiftier back with more pass catching ability. While Williams is the bigger bruising back who is a better pass blocker with solid hands. Both should be very nice starters in the NFL. If I had to drop comparisons I see Carter a little bit like David Montgomery and Williams as Chris Carson. 

  1. Chuba Hubbard - Oklahoma State

  2. Kylin Hill - Texas A&M

  3. Jaret Patterson - Buffalo 

  4. Trey Sermon - Ohio State 

  5.  Rhamondre Stevenson - Oklahoma 

The drop off is even further after that trio of second tier backs in this very weak running back draft. My favorite late round back is Hubbard who had a very decorated career at Oklahoma State who reminds me a lot of Jonathan Taylor. Normally being in the public eye too long is a detriment for quarterbacks, but it seems to me the same has happened to running backs in recent years. Hubbard could do it all and be a terrific leader as well with his passion for the game. I would love to have him on my offense in any capacity let alone the possibility of him being a top back from this draft. Hill is a solid all around back who should at the very least be a quality backup much like Latavius Murray. I can see him being a solid back who bounces around throughout his career. While Patterson is a solid back, but the size and lack of elite speed is an issue. I see him as a similar back to Phillip Lindsey as a possible starter with a better fit as a backup. Sermon has a boat load of talent, but health is a huge issue for him. Stevenson has a ton of talent, but maturity is an issue for him. After them there are a few other intriguing backs like Rakeem Boyd, Jermar Jefferson, Khalil Herbert, and Pooka Williams can all play. None of them strikes me as game changers at the next level. 

5/6/2021 - 2021 NFL Draft Grades: New York Giants
5/6/2021 - 2021 NFL Draft Grades: Dallas Cowboys
5/6/2021 - 2021 NFL Draft Grades: Denver Broncos
5/6/2021 - 2021 NFL Draft Grades: Carolina Panthers
5/5/2021 - 2021 NFL Draft Grades: Detroit Lions
5/5/2021 - 2021 NFL Draft Grades: Philadelphia Eagles
5/5/2021 - 2021 NFL Draft Grades: Cincinnati Bengals
5/5/2021 - 2021 NFL Draft Grades: Atlanta Falcons
5/5/2021 - 2021 NFL Draft Grades: Houston Texans
5/5/2021 - 2021 NFL Draft Grades: New York Jets
5/3/2021 - 2021 NFL Draft Grades: Jacksonville Jaguars
3/23/2021 - 2021 NFL Draft Rankings: Running Backs
3/23/2021 - 2021 NFL Draft Rankings: Quarterbacks
3/2/2021 - 2021 Free Agency Primer: Running Backs
3/1/2021 - 2021 Free Agency Primer: Quarterbacks
2/16/2021 - 2021 NFL Draft : Vol 1 - Post Super Bowl (7 Rounds)
1/28/2021 - 2021 NFL Draft - Pre Super Bowl
1/14/2021 - 2021 NFL Draft - Post Wild Card
1/6/2021 - 2021 NFL Mock Draft - End of Season
12/10/2020 - 2021 NFL Draft Vol 5
11/22/2020 - Draft Vol 4
10/28/2020 - 2021 NFL Draft Vol. 3
10/23/2020 - NFL Draft Vol 2
10/13/2020 - 2021 NFL Draft Vol 1
7/15/2020 - Top Running Backs Power Rankings
7/15/2020 - Quarterback Rankings
5/5/2020 - 2020 Post Draft Prospect Rankings: Quarterbacks
5/4/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Kansas City Chiefs
5/4/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: San Francisco 49ers
5/4/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Green Bay Packers
5/3/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Tennessee Titans
5/3/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Baltimore Ravens
5/2/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Seattle Seahawks
5/2/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Houston Texans
5/1/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Minnesota Vikings
5/1/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: New Orleans Saints
5/1/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Buffalo Bills
5/1/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: New England Patriots
4/29/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Philadelphia Eagles
4/29/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Los Angeles Rams
4/29/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Chicago Bears
4/29/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Pittsburgh Steelers
4/28/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Dallas Cowboys
4/28/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Atlanta Falcons
4/28/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Denver Bronco
4/27/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
4/27/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Indianapolis Colts
4/27/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Las Vegas Raiders
4/27/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: New York Jets
4/27/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Cleveland Browns
4/27/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Arizona Cardinals
4/27/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Carolina Panthers
4/26/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Los Angeles Chargers
4/26/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Miami Dolphins
4/26/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: New York Giants
4/26/2020 - 2020 Draft Grades: Washington Redskins
4/26/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Detroit Lions
4/26/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Cincinatti Bengals
2/29/2020 - Quarterback Carousel
10/28/2019 - NFL Hot Seats

Create My Own Rant


2022 NFL Mock Draft - May 6

NFL Power Rankings - April 4

NFL Picks - Feb. 8

Fantasy Football Rankings - Jan. 11


© 1999-2021 Walter Cherepinsky : all rights reserved
Privacy Policy
2 5 9
Google is part of the NESN digital network.