3 Running Backs the Saints Can Target in the 2021 NFL Draft if they Don't Extend Alvin Kamara
It's hard to trust any reports coming out of the New Orleans Saints or Alvin Kamara's camp as the two sides continue to look for leverage in contract extension talks ahead of the 2020 NFL season.
Entering a contract year, however, it looks like Kamara is still a long shot to get any sort of a long-term deal with the Saints. The team doesn't have much cap space, for one, but the 2021 offseason is also set to have a ton of great running back options available for teams.
The free-agent class will be a strong one, but the draft 2021 running back draft class is where things are really exciting.
With that in mind, here are three running backs the Saints can target in the 2021 NFL Draft if they don't give Kamara a contract extension.
3. Najee Harris, Alabama
Continuing Alabama's tradition of having impressive prospects at the running back position, Najee Harris racked up 1,528 yards from scrimmage and 20 touchdowns as a junior in 2019. He'd also shown flashes in his first two seasons in Tuscaloosa, averaging over 6.0 yards per carry in both 2017 and 2018. Maybe most importantly for his potential as a Kamara replacement, he also made big strides as a receiver out of the backfield in 2019, turning in 304 yards and 7 touchdowns on 27 receptions.
2. Chuba Hubbard, Oklahoma State
College football's leading rusher in 2019, Chuba Hubbard burst onto the scene with 2,094 yards and 21 touchdowns on 328 rush attempts. There's no question that he's one of the best runners in the class (as evidenced by averaging 6.4 yards per carry on an NCAA-high 328 attempts), but he too has shown some receiving chops already, catching 45 passes across his first two seasons at Oklahoma State. A young prospect (turned 21 years old in June), Hubbard still has lots of room to grow.
1. Travis Etienne, Clemson
Only a few months older than Hubbard, Travis Etienne's track record of success is absurdly long already. As an 18-year-old freshman, he rushed for 677 yards and 13 touchdowns on just 107 carries in 2017. He followed that up with back-to-back 1,600 yard rushing seasons, scoring a combined 49 total touchdowns in 2018 and 2019. He's averaged a comically high 7.8 yards per carry across 518 rushes at Clemson, and he added 37 receptions for 432 yards in 2019. Those receiving numbers showed some promising development, as he hadn't hit even 100 receiving yards in either of his first two collegiate seasons.
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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.