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2021 NFL Prospect Rankings: Running Backs

Alabama

Projected Round: 1/2

Ourlads' Snippet - The Doak Walker Award winner put together the kind of tape that can easily put him as the top running back in the class discussion. He has unique size, power, and hunger. His every down capabilities should land him a starting spot in a backfield right away. Possesses top tier physical traits. Tall but bendy and capable of running with a low pad level. Order the Ourlads' Draft Guide for the full report.

Clemson

Projected Round: 1/2

Ourlads' Snippet - One of the more decorated and accomplished running backs to enter the league in a long time. It is rare for a running back to produce at such a high level from day one as a freshman and play out all four years of his college career. He will enter the league as a playmaker who can contribute to both the running and passing game right away. Order the Ourlads' Draft Guide for the full report.

North Carolina

Projected Round: 2/3

Ourlads' Snippet - He is a big and powerful bruiser who matches that ability with an aggressive mentality. He runs through contact consistently and pushes the pile. What sets Williams apart is the surprising ability to anticipate and miss tacklers at the final instant. He excels at altering his weight and coupled with his power, he is a tackle breaking machine. Has the potential to be a solid feature back. Order the Ourlads' Draft Guide for the full report.

Memphis

Projected Round: 3/4

Ourlads' Snippet - Gainwell plays in fast forward mode. His feet look like fingers on a piano, constantly moving left and right, up and down. He stays square to his target and will maximize his speed and agility. He isn’t an every down player when looking at the backfield, but he can man the slot and run quality routes paired with good hands. Order the Ourlads' Draft Guide for the full report.

North Carolina

Projected Round: 3/4

Ourlads' Snippet - Tough kid with excellent contact balance and acceleration. Has a lethal combination of tools when it comes to movement and ball skills. Shoots out of a cannon with easy change of direction. Can make sharp, right angle type cuts while moving at a high rate of speed. Couples that movement capability with excellent vision. Can recognize running lanes and creases in a hurry. Order the Ourlads' Draft Guide for the full report.

Virginia Tech

Projected Round: 4/5

Ourlads' Snippet - He is one of the best backs, if not the best, in the entire class at gaining yards after contact. Has a stout, muscular frame but can move with plenty of twitch and a surprising level of burst. Physically, Herbert has it. Mentally, he shows advanced ability when it comes to reading the defense and reacting to it. Order the Ourlads' Draft Guide for the full report.

Mississippi State

Projected Round: 4/5

Ourlads' Snippet - Low to the ground runner with excellent footwork and lower body quickness. Shows plus agility and torque to make him a threat to break tackles via late movement or strength. Will absorb the brunt of a hit, recalibrate, and get moving north again in an instant. Packs punch on contact but will also run wet and slippery to defenders. Order the Ourlads' Draft Guide for the full report.

Oklahoma State

Projected Round: 4/5

Ourlads' Snippet - A smooth and efficient mover whether it is downhill or lateral. Such natural and easy cuts that end with an elite level of burst and long speed. A big play back that can break off the deep runs and run away from all defenders. Moves with uncanny control and balance while moving at his top rate, making it likely he will break through initial contact and gain extra yards. Order the Ourlads' Draft Guide for the full report.

Louisiana

Projected Round: 4/5

Ourlads' Snippet - Stocky build with functional thickness and power. Runs behind his pads even though he prefers missing tackles via movement, shows some nastiness to lower his shoulder and push piles. A slasher with solid one-cut and go potential. Immediate burst once he finds the running lane. Order the Ourlads' Draft Guide for the full report.

Ohio State

Projected Round: 5/6

Ourlads' Snippet - He is a physical downhill slasher who will run hungry and smart. His vision is a plus, he holds onto the ball, and he knows where to find extra yards. Angry and physical downhill runner that can slash his way to the second level with bad intentions. Plenty of lean body mass with functional strength and force. Order the Ourlads' Draft Guide for the full report.

Michigan

Projected Round: 5/6

Ourlads' Snippet - Solid frame that carries his weight with ease. Well put together lower half with a combination of powerful thickness above the knees but athletic twitch from the ankles. Runs with low pads, stemming from excellent flexibility below the waist. Order the Ourlads' Draft Guide for the full report.

Louisville

Projected Round: 5/6

Ourlads' Snippet - Fleet-footed, will look like he is skating on ice as he works his way through traffic. Hits his top gear in an instant. Will outrun angles. Breakaway speed once in the open field will be hard to catch from behind. Can recognize cutback lanes quickly. Runs with good vision and a quick trigger. Order the Ourlads' Draft Guide for the full report.

Oklahoma

Projected Round: 5/6

Ourlads' Snippet - A bruiser who will wear down a defense. Second and third level defenders bounce off him like pin balls. Will lower his pads on contact, curl up into a ball, and make himself hard to wrap up. Excels at adjusting after contact with both his balance and positioning. Patient runner who can change his gears in an instant. Order the Ourlads' Draft Guide for the full report.

Louisiana

Projected Round: 6/7

Ourlads' Snippet - Very space and situationally aware. Knows when the tough yards are needed and where he needs to get to. Will move the chains. Decisive runner between the tackles. Shows late movement to avoid the meat of a hit when he has space to work with. Order the Ourlads' Draft Guide for the full report.

UCLA

Projected Round: 6/7

Ourlads' Snippet - His quickness, acceleration with the ball, and vision can be used in a variety of ways. He can run routes and catch the ball like a slot receiver and knows how to press the running lane like a seasoned running back. Is a unique and versatile threat who should add multiple options to an offense. Order the Ourlads' Draft Guide for the full report.

Missouri

Projected Round: 6/7

Ourlads' Snippet - A patient runner who will eat at a defense play by play, inch by inch. He wasn’t a big play back, but instead one that seemed to get hot the more touches he received. He is well put together, runs hard, and is smart. Plays at a different gear near the end zone. He excels at pressing the hole, making a decision, and bursting into the crease. Order the Ourlads' Draft Guide for the full report.

Arizona

Projected Round: 6/7

Ourlads' Snippet - Big and physical downhill runner who uses his speed and burst to increase his already-strong presence against oncoming defenders. Will flip the switch and be at his top speed in a hurry. Shows no hesitation, no fear. Can make sharp, assertive cuts while moving at full speed. Order the Ourlads' Draft Guide for the full report.

Indiana

Projected Round: 6/7

Ourlads' Snippet - An imposing downhill force that carries a lot of weight with ease. Twitchy as a downhill runner and will generate violent force if he gets just a little window to gear up. Knocks the would-be tackler back. Dictates the approach of a defender. Can lower his center of gravity naturally. Plus-blocker that takes pride in knocking the pass rusher out of contention. Order the Ourlads' Draft Guide for the full report.

Iowa

Projected Round: 6/7

Ourlads' Snippet - Compact, muscular frame that packs extra punch. Physical runner between the tackles that runs with plus-balance. Absorbs hits, recalibrates, and will gain plenty of yards after first contact. Quick and subtle steps will help him miss the meat of a hit. Quickness and acceleration rate makes him appear like he is on fast forward off the snap. Order the Ourlads' Draft Guide for the full report.

Cincinnati

Projected Round: 7/PFA

Ourlads' Snippet - Brick house with sneaky speed when he has the ball. Hungry downhill runner that will truck over lone tacklers and push piles. Has a square- type frame that he lowers to the ground when approaching a defender. Hard ball carrier to wrap up. Order the Ourlads' Draft Guide for the full report.

Buffalo

Projected Round: 7/PFA

Ourlads' Snippet - Has excellent quickness and burst, top-shelf balance, and knows where to find extra space to work with. Easy adjustments with stutter step movement that can go in any direction. Will make a decision, put his foot in the ground, and explode. Plays an assertive and fast game. Order the Ourlads' Draft Guide for the full report.

Oregon State

Projected Round: 7/PFA

Ourlads' Snippet - Has the ideal running style and ability for a zone blocking scheme that likes to get the ball outside. He is explosive from a standstill and shows a violent cut and burst up the field once he finds his lane. Can turn that explosion into power, inflicting strong contact on the defender. Order the Ourlads' Draft Guide for the full report.

Louisiana Tech

Projected Round: 7/PFA

Ourlads' Snippet - He is a square-built, low to the ground runner that excels between the tackles. Has natural and easy vision as he approaches the defense with subtly quick footwork. Order the Ourlads' Draft Guide for the full report.

Kansas

Projected Round: 7/PFA

Ourlads' Snippet - He has the kind of top end speed that puts a defense on notice and he can get the ball in a variety of ways. Light and easy mover with the kind of burst and open field speed to run away from an entire defense. Made a habit out of outrunning angles of pursuing defenders. Order the Ourlads' Draft Guide for the full report.

Tiffin

Projected Round: 7/PFA

Ourlads' Snippet - A hyperactive back that shows elite lower body bend and fluidity. He can slither in and out of traffic, staying ultra-close to his blockers. Won’t catch many eyes with his top end speed or size, but he has an NFL frame and played quicker than everybody at the Division II level. Order the Ourlads' Draft Guide for the full report.

Arkansas

Projected Round: 7/PFA

Ourlads' Snippet - He is a solid every down back type who can wear multiple hats. Can run physical between the tackles with a good feel, he can catch the ball, and he has the capability of being an effective blocker. Natural and easy vision when running between the tackles. Order the Ourlads' Draft Guide for the full report.

Marshall

Projected Round: 7/PFA

Ourlads' Snippet - The two-time team captain is a well put together back who carries his weight well and shows specific traits that can lead to a lot of success in the NFL. His footwork, ability to stay square, and physical brand make for a good combination. Order the Ourlads' Draft Guide for the full report.

Coastal Carolina

Projected Round: 7/PFA

Ourlads' Snippet - Short in height but has good thickness for his frame. Not a small back, can pack some punch. Keeps the feet tapping and will stay square to his intended lane. Adjusts well and moves with elite balance. A threat in multiple ways. Order the Ourlads' Draft Guide for the full report.

UAB

Projected Round: PFA


30. Jake Funk
Maryland

Projected Round: PFA


Ball State

Projected Round: PFA


Duke

Projected Round: PFA


Nebraska

Projected Round: PFA


Iowa State

Projected Round: PFA


Louisiana-Monroe

Projected Round: PFA


Central Florida

Projected Round: PFA


37. Asim Rose
Kentucky

Projected Round: PFA


Central Florida

Projected Round: PFA


Wisconsin

Projected Round: PFA


Arkansas State

Projected Round: PFA


Charlotte

Projected Round: PFA


Bowling Green

Projected Round: PFA


Houston

Projected Round: PFA


Tulsa

Projected Round: PFA


Kansas State

Projected Round: PFA


UTEP

Projected Round: PFA


Virginia

Projected Round: Camp