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Majority of Teams Have Clear Ranking of Top Running Backs Heading Into 2021 NFL Draft

Devon Platana
As the 2021 NFL Draft approaches, a majority of teams have a clear ranking as to who they think is the top running back in the class.
As the 2021 NFL Draft approaches, a majority of teams have a clear ranking as to who they think is the top running back in the class. / Sean Gardner/Getty Images
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When it comes to any NFL draft, prospect rankings can vary from team to team. This year's draft is no exception as each organization has different needs. However, when it comes to the running back position, there seems to be a consensus around the NFL as to who the most coveted backs are.

NFL.com draft analysis Lance Zierlein reported on Twitter that most team personnel and coaches around the league seem to agree that Alabama's Najee Harris, Clemson's Travis Etienne and North Carolina's Javonte Williams are the top running backs in the class. He went on to add that most teams have Etienne as the top back while Harris is usually ranked second.

Travis Etienne is as talented as RB prospects come. He was productive in all four seasons as a Clemson Tiger, finishing his collegiate career with 6,107 total yards from scrimmage and 78 touchdowns in 55 games. His dual-threat ability has teams excited about his potential at the next level.

While he spent four years with the program, Harris has really become aan absolute star for the Alabama Crimson Tide over the last two seasons. Since 2019, Harris has recorded 3,419 total yards from scrimmage and 50 touchdowns. It's hard for teams not to like those video game-like numbers.

Several franchises in the first round could use a running back of either Harris or Etienne's caliber. At the same time, it's hard to deny either man's talents and an organization may end up selecting them just because they're the best player available. Either way, Harris and Etienne could be long-term forces at the next level if everything comes together for them.


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