2021 NFL Draft Class - Top 5 RBs
Top 5 RBs in the 2021 Draft Class:
1. Najee Harris (BAMA)- Everyone has heard of how great Harris is, he’s 6’2”, 230 lbs and runs a 4.45. In his last 2 seasons at Alabama, he had 2,690 yards rushing and 29 TD’s while adding 70 receptions for 729 receiving yards and 11 TDs through the air. He’s truly an NFL ready RB, possessing all the traits necessary to be successful.
2. Javonte Williams (UNC)- Williams could very well end up being the best RB in this class, he has the size, speed and pass catching ability to be a workhorse RB in the NFL. At 5’10”, 220 pounds, he will have no problem running through defenders. In 2020, he totaled 1445 yards and 22 touchdowns on 157 carries and 25 receptions. Remember, he played alongside another top 5 RB in Michael Carter.
3. Travis Etienne (CLEM)- The ACC’s all-time leading rusher (4,952 yards) is a very explosive RB who has the “wow” factor. At 5’10”, 210 lbs and a 4.45 40 time, Etienne could find himself in a similar role to Alvin Kamara or Jamaal Charles. There is not a big gap between the top 3 (Harris, Williams, Etienne), but the reason I have Williams ahead of Etienne is because I believe Williams has a safer floor than Etienne as a strong runner in the NFL.
4. Michael Carter (UNC)- Carter has one of the safest floors when it comes to RBs after the top 3, and is one of the reasons I have him here at 4. He’s 5’8”, 200 lbs, and will be a great complimentary back in the NFL who could get majority carries depending on landing spot. He’s a physical runner who has great speed and agility, he also only fumbled 4 times in his 4 years at UNC. A good comp for Carter would be Devonta Freeman.
5. Kenneth Gainwell (MEMP)- After opting out of the 2020 season, many forget that he had 2,069 total yards the year prior. He ran for 1,459 yards (12th in FBS) and caught 51 passes for 610 yards. He’s the best pass catching RB in this class and even though people knock his size (5’11” 195 lbs), he plays bigger than his size and will have a decent role in the NFL. Let’s not forget, Gainwell was the reason Antonio Gibson didn’t play as much at RB at Memphis.