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2021 NFL Draft: BTD’s Favorites - Running Backs

Our favorite tailbacks in the upcoming group of future pros.

CFP National Championship Presented by AT&T - Ohio State v Alabama Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The_Coach: Pooka Williams Jr. (Kansas)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 17 Kansas at West Virginia Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Pooka Williams Jr. may not be the biggest household name, considering he’s the running back from Kansas who opted out after just four games in 2020, but with blazing speed and amazing footwork, he might just be one of the draft’s most underrated players. He’s a runner with ridiculous lateral movements through the line of scrimmage that gets even more dangerous when he’s out in the flats. I think he’s a perfect fit at the next level as a speedy change-up back for any team, regardless of style.

Ross Parker: Javonte Williams (North Carolina)

NCAA Football: Virginia Tech at North Carolina Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Williams has seen a huge draft rise over the past several months thanks to crushing the draft process. Williams is a bruising back that runs with some serious violence (just look at the above picture of him). This is the type of back that can wear a defense down during a game. There’s also some shiftiness to his game that will surprise defenders and this is complemented by his superb ability to maintain balance through contact. While he didn’t get a ton of reps as a receiver, he demonstrated an improved ability to catch the ball this season while also possessing the size and effort needed in the pass-blocking department. The biggest concerns for Williams is that he doesn’t have breakaway speed and that fumbles can be a cause for concern. All-in-all, Williams is an incredibly well-rounded back that can step in and become the bell-cow for a team on day one.

John: Rhamondre Stevenson (Oklahoma)

NCAA Football: Senior Bowl Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Stevenson has an amazing ability to shed tacklers and burst downfield. He’s not an all around back, but he can be a great option for a committee, and should also be a big contributor on special teams. He doesn’t have a lot of wear on him, and there may be concerns after he was suspended for part of a season due to a failed drug test, but he’s definitely worth a look in the middle rounds of the draft.

Marcus: Javonte Williams (North Carolina)

NCAA Football: Western Carolina at North Carolina Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

I hate to copy Ross; but I couldn’t help it. Travis Etienne (Clemson) and Najee Harris (Alabama) will be the first two running backs taken, but Williams will be an absolute steal for whoever selects him. He had a monster junior season (1,140 yards & 19 TDs) and also led the FBS in broken tackles and first-down carriers. His small frame might be viewed as negative (5-9, 210 pounds); but Williams is a former linebacker turned RB. He is not afraid of contact.