2021 NFL Draft Preliminary Running Back List

After putting a bow on the 2020 NFL Draft with team-by-team recaps it is now time to look to the future. The 2020 college football season “should be” getting underway in a little over two months. When (if?) the season starts, Deep Fried Draft will be right there bringing you all of the things you are accustomed to seeing from me.

Like last year, I am entering the 2021 NFL Draft season with 300 names on my watch list.

Today, we are going to look at the RBs. These players will be listed only by class and not in any sort of official ranking.

2021 Preliminary Running Back List


Najee Harris Alabama Sr 6’1 230
Rakeem Boyd Arkansas Sr 6’0 214
Travis Etienne Clemson Sr 5’10 200
Asim Rose Kentucky Sr 6’1 210
Elijah Mitchell Louisiana Sr 5’11 217
Kylin Hill Mississippi State Sr 5’11 215
Trey Sermon Ohio State Sr 6’0 224
Chuba Hubbard Oklahoma State Sr 6’1 211
Stephen Carr Southern Cal Sr 6’0 205
Shane Simpson Towson Sr 5’11 195
Otis Anderson UCF Sr 5’11 174
Demetric Felton UCLA Sr 5’9 185
Larry Roundtree, III Missouri Sr 5’10 209
Trey Ragas Louisiana Sr 5’10 218
Chris Evans Michigan Sr 5’11 216
Brian Robinson Alabama Sr 6’0 226
Mekhi Sargent Iowa Sr 5’9 212


The senior RB class is much deeper this year than it would normally be. Some of the top underclass backs decided to stay in school, leaving a surplus in 2021. The biggest surprise of the ball carriers that returned had to be Travis Etienne. The speedster from Clemson likely would have been a Top 50 pick. Najee Harris has big-play skills and low miles on the odometer. Overlooked by many, Kylin Hill of Mississippi State is another back that can make a huge impact at the next level. Chuba Hubbard is a player I didn’t study in 2020 that has a chance to make a statement this year.


Master Teague Ohio State rSo 5’11 225
Lopini Katoa BYU Jr 6’1 210
Kennedy Brooks Oklahoma Jr 5’11 205
C.J. Verdell Oregon Jr 5’9 210
Stevie Scott Indiana Jr 6’1 231
Raheem Blackshear Virginia Tech Jr 5’9 192
Max Borghi Washington State Jr 5’9 195
Jaret Patterson Buffalo Jr 5’9 195


Of all the underclassmen backs on this list, the player I am the fondest of is BYU’s Lopini Katoa. He is a three-down back but has had injury issues.

Next up, we look ahead to the 2021 WR class.

Image courtesy of Scott G Winterton, Deseret News