NFL DRAFT RUNNING BACK PROSPECTS
NFL Draft running back prospects are ranked on College Football Today RokFin and some of the top 2021 & 2022 NFL Draft Scout Trout Elite RB prospect scouting reports can be found below!
TOP 2021 NFL DRAFT RB PROSPECTS
College Football Today and ESPN+ top 2021 NFL RB prospects are quite a diverse group of top tier running backs, who can fit into a multitude of offensive schemes in the National Football League. Many highly touted running backs in this year's 2021 NFL Draft have seen their stock plummet due to a lack of production on the field and many opted out of the 2020 season. I honestly understand why running backs like 5'11,215 pound Journey Brown decided not to take the field this season, as he will certainly impress NFL scouts and executives at the 2021 NFL Combine with a blistering 40 time. Having watched this entire list of Top 2021 NFL Draft RB prospects live this year, I got to see many glaring issues with ball security and lack of wiggle/burst (WB), as well as poor ball carrier vision. Many of the larger backs will run full steam ahead without allowing their blockers enough time to get to their assignments, which 99% of the time ends up being a negative play or the said RB is halted by a wall of defensive linemen at the line of scrimmage. This was not the case when evaluating Alabama running back Najee Harris, whose initial scouting report can be found below.
2021 NFL DRAFT RB RANKINGS
Top 2021 NFL Draft RB prospect rankings can be found on College Football Today RokFin and scouting reports that were conducted throughout the season on some of the elite top NFL Draft RB prospects can be found below!
NAJEE HARRIS 2021 NFL DRAFT RB SCOUTING REPORT
Najee Harris - The best overall athlete at 6'2,230 pounds that we have seen in the backfield entering the 2021 NFL Draft. Harris has really impressed me with his overall versatility this season and the last two seasons he has been a significant threat as a receiving target. I have seen him high point the football over the top of smaller defenders and make plays that men his size are not normally accustom to making. Harris does a wonderful job at showing patience when identifying the proper running lanes and sets up his blockers before bursting downhill through the heart of the defense. He does not cease his feet from motoring upon first contact and keeps excellent leg drive, while often taking defenders for a ride on the Harris train for extra yardage. Najee can be brought completely to halt as soon as he gets the football in his grasps, but keenly uses the spin move and his powerful frame to escape, while turning a would be negative play into positive production for the offense. I love the tenacity he shows when using his stiff arm to punish would be tacklers and he is the type of bruising back that can significantly wear down a defense over the length of four quarters. The Bama back is also very impressive while shifting his way through the second level of the defense and uses a repertoire of power and finesse moves to make linebackers miss. Harris is the type of back you have to set your entire defensive game-plan around and more often than not, it takes at least 2 to 3 defenders to bring him to the ground. Harris is 100% going to be an NFL Franchise Running back and has the durability to go for over a 100 yards a game for the duration of an entire NFL 16 game season.
2021 TOP NFL RB PROSPECTS
I am almost finished with the 2021 top NFL RB prospects and ranking them based off the College Football Today & ESPN Plus NFL Draft RB ratings formula, which has helped NFL executives identify who truly is the best pick for their Franchise in the last three NFL Drafts. My philosophy as a coach when approaching the NFL Draft would be to go with the best football player and overall athlete available, as I would cater my offensive and defensive schemes around their diverse and explosive skill-sets. More often than that, we will be able to either outflank our opponents with exhilarating speed or ram the football down the oppositions throat, as we establish the play-action pass by making the second and third level of the defense creep up towards the LOS for run support. If you have the luxury of being able to play power football and can quickly flip into a spread or air raid attack, you can keep the defense off-balance for four quarters and exploit their weaknesses by creating mismatches that were identified through film study the week prior. In totality, the game has gotten much quicker and having backs that can line up in the backfield, slot or wide receiver can help create a dilemma for opposing defenses that leaves gaping holes for the offense to exploit. I expect generational talents like Bama back Najee Harris, who can wear down a defense and keep another team's high octane offense off the field to go in the 1st RD. If you think about it numbers wise, all you really need is 3 yards every play and you control the clock, as well as keep your starting defense fresh for the duration of the game. The New England Patriots actually used this strategy against the best DT in the NFL Aaron Donald in their Super victory over the LA Rams. They didn't have any backs near the caliber of Harris, but were able to wear the Rams down up front and completely neutralize Donald's pass rush. Which brings me to one of the most exciting multi-dimensional backs in this year's 2021 NFL Draft RB class, the Louisianimal and star Jayhawk Pooka Williams Jr! - TOP 2021 NFL DRAFT RB PROSPECT NAJEE HARRIS & POOKA WILLIAMS JR OFFENSE FEAT SONIC THE HEDGEHOG
POOKA WILLIAMS JR 2021 NFL DRAFT RB SCOUTING REPORT
When looking at Pooka Williams Jr's body of work for the 2021 NFL Draft, I believe we could see him taken off the board higher than many expect, as he is one of the most exhilarating prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft class. What he lacks in stature is very visibly made up for with his quickness to the line of scrimmage and he gives the defensive line very little time to react upon coming out of their stance. His reflexes are completely on another level once he identifies the slightest crease in the defense and Williams Jr has the best wiggle/burst (WB) in the 2021 NFL Draft RB class. Pooka could arguably be the best 2021 slot receiver prospect in this year's class and I would certainly utilize him as an every down back, but I would have a power back like Harris and have Pooka as a 3rd down back, slot/wing-back and even could see him lined up as an outside receiver. We also could keep Najee in the game at all times and utilize his receiving skills as an H-Back and sneak him out into the flats on play-action. The intricacies he brings to an NFL offense like the Arizona Cardinals are quite befuddling for opposing defenses and I would make him a pro bowler by utilizing his dynamic skill-set with many different variations of screens, as well as draw plays and quick swing passes. He also is the type of athlete that you want back returning kicks, punts and also getting the rock on reverses. The main objective would be to just get Pooka into open space with an athletic sea of hogs in front of him and let him create the same type of magic he did in Lawrence, Kansas. Pooka did not have a sea of athletic hogs leading the way, but instead played for a team that has won only 6 games the last three seasons. Most of his production was created by him checking all of the boxes in the formula below and his burning desire to prove the naysayers wrong, as he embarks on his journey into the National Football League. In three years total, Pooka tallied nearly 3,000 all-purpose yards and found the end-zone a total of 16 times in 31 games played. He did not opt out of the season recently to prepare for the NFL Draft, rather he showed true character in going to take care of his mother in New Orleans who has become ill. We should all say a prayer for Williams Jr's mother and hope that she is able to get healthy quickly, before she gets to watch her son get drafted into the NFL. Either way with Kansas now being 0 and 7 and not much left to play for besides pride, Williams Jr made the right decision and now will get to shock the world with a sub 4.4 or even a 4.3, 40 yard dash at the 2021 NFL Combine and/or his Pro Day. - TOP 2021 NFL DRAFT RB PROSPECT NAJEE HARRIS & POOKA WILLIAMS JR OFFENSE FEAT SONIC THE HEDGEHOG
JOURNEY BROWN 2021 NFL DRAFT SCOUTING REPORT
Journey Brown - Penn State lost their most valuable offensive asset when Journey Brown decided to opt out of the 2020 season for the 2021 NFL Draft and it surely has affected their offensive production. Brown is one of the more natural runners in the 2021 NFL Draft RB class and has breakaway top end speed that many of the NFL legends of the past possessed. He is one of the quickest runners to approach the line of scrimmage and does a wonderful job at anticipating approaching tacklers, while being able to fire his synapses quickly from his brain to his muscle fibers when changing directions. You will not be able to bring him down haphazardly with arm tackles as he is a very powerful runner and keeps his legs churning, while being able to bounce off would be tacklers. His ball carrier vision is above average for a running back entering this year's NFL Draft class and he could be one of the fastest over 200 pound backs at the 2020 NFL Combine. He shows very good route running capabilities out of the back and uses soft hands when hauling the football into his grasps, while also being able to quickly turn his shoulders up the field. I honestly am expecting at least a sub 4.5 or even 4.4 - 40 yard dash out of him when he performs the combine in front of NFL scouts. He is also extremely good at identifying the proper cut-back lanes and does so with rare agility, along with athletic prowess. - TOP 2021 NFL DRAFT RB PROSPECT JOURNEY BROWN SCOUTING REPORT
TRAVIS ETIENNE 2021 NFL DRAFT SCOUTING REPORT
Travis Etienne - The Clemson superstar running back has had arguably one of the greatest careers we have seen in the backfield in a very long time and has accumulated 5,730 yards, as well as a mind-boggling 74 touchdowns in his career as a Tiger. Depending on what type of offensive scheme an NFL team runs, we could see Etienne as the first back taken in the 2021 NFL Draft and he is the most versatile back in the 2021 NFL Draft class of running backs. It has been quite obvious that teams are game-planning around shutting down Etienne and making Clemson beat them with the passing game, which has made him more of a receiving weapon in 2020. His production has fell off during his senior season on the ground, but he is now averaging around 13 yards per reception. In 8 games played this season, Travis has only gone over 100 yards rushing 2 times and his lackluster performance against #2 Notre Dame has changed his status with many NFL executives, who believed he was the best running back in the 2021 NFL Draft. On 18 carries, Etienne had 28 yards and hauled in 8 receptions for only 57 yards. If we have to grade him solely based off of going up against top tier college defenses this season, Notre Dame is really the only game we have to judge him on and it did not look so great. With that being said, I expect the body of work throughout his four years at Clemson to weigh heavily on Draft day and him to possibly go in the mid to late second round. - TOP 2021 NFL DRAFT RB PROSPECT TRAVIS ETIENNE SCOUTING REPORT
LARRY ROUNTREE III 2021 NFL DRAFT SCOUTING REPORT
Larry Rountree III - The Mizzou running back can set the tone for four quarters with his bruising downhill running style. He is not going to blow you away with his top end speed, but he is a guaranteed chain mover and excellent in short yardage situations. Rountree has decent agility and is able to use quick cuts to make defenders miss, while being most effective when lowering his shoulder. He is very often to quick to run into the line of scrimmage and does not do a great job at following his blocks per play design. He does show the ability to jump cut to the next hole when available and has good acceleration for 5'9,210 pounds. Larry shows decent balance when running through traffic, but often stops his feet upon engagement with tacklers and he could break through more tackles if he kept his feet chopping. Overall, he needs to work on his ball carrier vision and ability to cut-back against the grain of the defense, but could pan out to be a significantly powerful runner in the right offensive scheme. Has had a amazing career against bone-crushing SEC defenses and has accumulated 3,461 all-purpose yards, as well as 31 touchdowns. - TOP 2021 NFL DRAFT RB PROSPECT LARRY ROUNTREE III SCOUTING REPORT
BREECE HALL NFL SCOUTING REPORT
Breece Hall's Scout Trout Elite NFL scouting report can be found below and on College Football Today RokFin!
Breece Hall - Breece the Beast has sky-rocketed up NFL teams Draft boards in the 2021 RB Draft class and is one of the most cerebral running backs in the world of college football today. In his first two seasons, Breece has rushed for accumulated 2,406 yards and found pay-dirt a total of 26 times, while toting the rock for the Iowa State Cyclones. Standing at 6'1,215 pounds, Hall's agility is unmatched at his size and his ball carrier vision is some of the best I have seen in the 2021 NFL Draft class. I do not think he needs another year, but if he were to go back to Iowa State, we would be talking about the next potential Heisman Trophy Candidate to come out of the Big 12. What also is very impressive is Breece's top end speed once he breaks into the open field and visibly can be seen pulling away from much smaller defensive backs. Hall is also a very valuable asset to have in short yardage situations and exhibits freakish overall athletics when going over the top of the defense at the goal-line. When all seems lost in the backfield, Breece proves to have cat-like reflexes and is able to spin out of would be tackles by keeping a low center of gravity, while being able to keenly spin out of penetrating DL or LB's grasps. He is a true disastrous cyclone for opposing defenses, as he is extremely powerful, shifty and elusive when making his dicey cuts through traffic and has the burst, wiggle and top end speed to be a pro bowl running back in his rookie season in the NFL. TOP 2022 NFL DRAFT PROSPECT BREECE HALL SCOUTING REPORT
2022 NFL DRAFT RB RANKINGS
2022 NFL Draft RB rankings are now available on College Football Today RokFin!