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Running Backs 2021


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Travis Etienne and Najee Harris - Not a lot of new to add with these 2 prospects as most of you have seen both of them a million times. 

Etienne - His contact balance and strength is really impressive for a RB that isn't very big. We all know about the home run speed. Effort is there with his blocking, but the technique can be worked on. The 2 biggest knocks for me are that he has already had a lot of carries in college and he is a smaller guy, so you wonder how many more hits he can take before he starts breaking down. Also, when he is in the open field, I wish he would try to use his athleticism more often to fake guys out and avoid hits rather than trying to run through everyone. I can see the Kamara comparisons. 

Harris - A dancing bear. Big guy with great feet, vision and patience. Decent blocker and good pass catcher. Watching a guy this big consistently hurdle people is always impressive. My 2 biggest knocks are the number of carries in college and he has almost the reverse Etienne problem because Harris is always trying to juke guys and, with his size, I'd like to see him lower his shoulder and drop the hammer more often. 

I think Harris is the better overall prospect, but I think Etienne is the better prospect for the Jets wide zone running attack. 

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On 2/14/2021 at 7:45 PM, Beerfish said:

I'm going to be torn on this subject because I just know that one or both of the top two are going to be there at 23 both of whom I like a lot.  And yet the offense we are going to run seems to be able to get good production out of no name RBs.

that's what always impressed me about teams that get production out of guys no one's heard of. we miss on those guys

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17 minutes ago, Marshmello said:
 

Big fan of Gainwell. 

Same here.  The question is when/where?  I've seen him ranked anywhere from the high 70's to the 100's.  Seems like the most realistic spot to grab would be #86 if he's still there.

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14 hours ago, jetstream23 said:

Same here.  The question is when/where?  I've seen him ranked anywhere from the high 70's to the 100's.  Seems like the most realistic spot to grab would be #86 if he's still there.

I’ve already accepted we won’t get him. He’s got 2nd written all over him. 

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1 hour ago, Paradis said:

I’ve already accepted we won’t get him. He’s got 2nd written all over him. 

Yea, it's trending that way.  I hate getting attached to prospects, then getting disappointed on draft day. Brugler just released his running back rankings. He has him ranked 4th.....

 

4. Kenneth Gainwell, Memphis (5-foot-11, 195 pounds)

Yazoo City, Miss. (Yazoo County); Age: 22.13

A one-year starter at Memphis, Gainwell was the featured weapon in former head coach Mike Norvell’s RPO spread offense, while lining up in the backfield and out wide. A dual-threat quarterback in high school, he made a seamless transition to running back for the Tigers (which kept Antonio Gibson at receiver), becoming the only FBS player in 2019 to rush for at least 1,000 yards and post more than 500 yards receiving.

With his vision and cutting skills, Gainwell feels developing blocks, especially outside, allowing him to hit the crease and use his shiftiness at the second and third levels. He proved himself as a productive pass-catcher in college, but his blocking leaves a lot to be desired. Overall, Gainwell lacks ideal size and body power, which leads to durability and usage concerns, but he is a versatile rushing/receiving threat with instinctive playmaking skills, projecting as a scheme-versatile offensive weapon.

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4 minutes ago, Marshmello said:

Good insight from Greg Cosell. His favorite back in the draft is Javonte Williams.

 

- Javonte Williams - UNC (9:25) - Travis Etienne - Clemson (10:47) - Najee Harris - Alabama (12:15) - Kenneth Gainwell - Memphis (15:00) - Michael Carter - UNC (17:18) - Trey Sermon - Ohio State (18:32) - Khalil herbert - Virginia Tech (20:01)

 

 

Greg Cosell and I feel the same way.

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8 minutes ago, kdels62 said:

What do you mean?

I wasn’t overly fond of the UNC duo throughout. Nothing special maybe is a better way to put it. But I’ve changed my tune on Carter. A bigger Eckler, and a natural playmaker. 

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1 hour ago, Paradis said:

I wasn’t overly fond of the UNC duo throughout. Nothing special maybe is a better way to put it. But I’ve changed my tune on Carter. A bigger Eckler, and a natural playmaker. 

*Cough* Williams is the best running back in the draft *cough*

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Javonte Willliams - Might be my favorite player to watch in the draft this season. He's faster than he looks and he can hit the outside corner. He absolutely trucks guys in the open field, but I wish he would try to juke them sometimes to cut down on the wear and tear. Really patient inside runner who shows nimble feet and the ability to throttle up and down in order to take advantage of an opening. He's not going to give you 80 yard runs in the nfl and you wonder how long of a healthy career he can have with his style, but he's a really good running back. Shows some ability as a receiver, but UNC didn't ask him to really run advanced routes. Really fun to watch as a blocker because he just squares guys up and puts it on them. 

Michael Carter - Fun scatback. Has good contact balance for a guy his size. Shows good vision and can accelerate in an instant, I think he's going to be a good fit for what the Jets want to run. Shows effort as a blocker, but he is easily overpowered by defenders. Good receiver out of the backfield as well. I just don't think he is big enough to be a lead back like some of the guys ahead of him in the draft. 

 Kenneth Gainwell - I had a hard time evaluating him because of the way Memphis played him. He lines up outside almost as much as he does in the backfield. He's elusive as a runner and runs good routes, but he is very slim at 5'10". I think Gainwell is going to be a gadget player in the NFL. 

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I’d love it if we could flip Darnold for a pick in the 50s and turn that in Javonte Williams. We’d lose our minds every time he turns in the gnarliest looking 10 yard run.

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11 minutes ago, kdels62 said:

I’d love it if we could flip Darnold for a pick in the 50s and turn that in Javonte Williams. We’d lose our minds every time he turns in the gnarliest looking 10 yard run.

People need to keep in mind that Williams is 220 pounds, he’s a legit 20 touch a game back.  

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Khalil Herbert - smallish, older running back who is a 5th year senior. I think his 40 time is going to be critical to his grade as he seems fast on tape. He's got some of the best vision I've seen on tape this year as you constantly see him making gains where there doesn't appear to be a hole. Not going to break a lot of tackles and doesn't show much as a blocker. I'd be very happy with him as a day 3 selection to play in a committee. He's a good fit for the outside zone. 

Rhamondre Stevenson - My 1st time watching him and there is a lot to like. Big RB that is fast (I can see running a blazing 40 at this size and start to shoot up draft boards). He reminds me a bit of McFadden and Fournette where he doesn't have a lot of wiggle, but he knows how to alter his stride length to buy time, then he just explodes. Didn't see a lot of him as a blocker or pass catcher. I think he is a better fit in a gap/power scheme than the scheme the Jets are thinking of running. 

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Of the limited viewing I saw this past year I liked Carter more than Williams to be honest.

Each of about 3 games I watched the commentators talked up williams more and carter simply looked better to me.

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Chubba Hubbard - Chubba is a guy I wasn't high on coming off his 2k season, but due to circumstances out of his control, I think he is better than he is generally being ranked now. Decent size at 6'  210lbs, but I wouldn't classify him as big. He's a burner who was a pretty good sprinter in high school. He's very good at the outside zone, but for whatever reason, Gundy didn't seem to run it as much this year in the very few games I saw. Willing blocker, but his technique needs work. Can't really opine on his ability as a receiver because they didn't throw much to him. Fumbles are a concern with Chubba. I'd be interested in the 4th or 5th round. 

Kylin Hill - I want to like this guy more than I actually do because he's got very good awareness on the field. He's a pretty good blocker and he seems to understand what the defense is trying to do. He's a good receiver out of the backfield, almost a little reminiscent of Kareem Hunt as a receiver. I just don't see anything special out of him as a runner or once he has the ball in his hands. I suppose he can be a decent third down back. 

Javian Hawkins - An explosive jitterbug who looks like a bolt of lighting out there, but he is short and skinny. I don't see him making much of an impact at the NFL level. 

Jemar Jefferson - I like Jefferson. He's got really good vision and he consistently takes what the defense gives him and gets positive yards. He's not as fast as some of the burners in this class, but he is fast enough to take it to the house. Not a lot of bad reps on tape from what I saw. I don't see anything special as far as tackle breaking ability or elusiveness, but he's a solid guy in a running back by committee backfield. 

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I have a problem.  I have spent the last 30 years waiting for the second coming of Earl.  He was by far my favorite RB in league history.  At any moment, he could run around you, over you, or as one Rams linebacker painfully found out, right through you.  We talk about how undervalued the RB position is, and part of that is that there is nobody like him and hasn't been.  AP was close but he wasn't quite as willing to destroy tacklers and I can't blame him.

Anyway, with that as context, I always prefer the big, fast, strong clydesdale type to the scatback.  Last year I got intrigued by Antonio Gibson only to see him way overdrafted by WFT and then to see him live up to that draft position and far more.  It's why I prefer Harris to Etienne.  Not necessarily logical, but it's just how I'm wired.

So who is that guy this year other than Harris?  Who's the 6'1" 220 lb. back who has both speed and power and maybe got overlooked a bit so far but can break out like Gibson?

Williams seems possible.  Maybe Sermon.  Or is it this guy?  I think i could start to man-crush on a 245 lb. RB who can run like this.

 

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More on Stevenson.  It's interesting that he tends to run around more than over guys.  At his size, it's almost bizarre.  He looks plodding, but he stays ahead of defenders far longer than you think he will.  Could this be a bottom-3/top-4 guy to pair with one of our current RBs?  He might be redundant with Josh Adams, but he's interesting.

 

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4 hours ago, nycdan said:

I have a problem.  I have spent the last 30 years waiting for the second coming of Earl.  He was by far my favorite RB in league history.  At any moment, he could run around you, over you, or as one Rams linebacker painfully found out, right through you.  We talk about how undervalued the RB position is, and part of that is that there is nobody like him and hasn't been.  AP was close but he wasn't quite as willing to destroy tacklers and I can't blame him.

Anyway, with that as context, I always prefer the big, fast, strong clydesdale type to the scatback.  Last year I got intrigued by Antonio Gibson only to see him way overdrafted by WFT and then to see him live up to that draft position and far more.  It's why I prefer Harris to Etienne.  Not necessarily logical, but it's just how I'm wired.

So who is that guy this year other than Harris?  Who's the 6'1" 220 lb. back who has both speed and power and maybe got overlooked a bit so far but can break out like Gibson?

Williams seems possible.  Maybe Sermon.  Or is it this guy?  I think i could start to man-crush on a 245 lb. RB who can run like this.

 

Stevenson is a dancing bear... but there's character concerns I believe and the risk of morphing into a fat lacy... 

If I can land a David Johnson, or Kareem Hunt (do it all, contact balance extraordinaire) that's always my preference. After that though, I like have having a split personality backfield, with slingshot slash and dash guy like Gainwell who possess all the pizzazz of a young MJD - and couple that with a fcking bull like Brandon Jacobs. I LOVE having an oversized hammer. I was a big Derrick Henry guy. Watch the titans surprise everyone by taking Gainwell in the second to model that same duality.

(pssst. you know who's 6'1, 225lbs? Nate McCrary)

 

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My Favorite two RBs in this draft are easily Javonte Williams and Michael Carter. They're clearly the most fun to watch smash (Williams) and juke (Carter).

That being said, for the outside zone we'll be running Travis Etienne at 23 or 34 or Chubba Hubbard in the 4th or 5th make more sense. 

I wouldn't be sad if we ended up with either of the UNC guys though.

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2 hours ago, Paradis said:

Etienne had a nice day it appears. 

He weighed in at 215 as well.  33.5” vertical.  
 

Powell didn’t have a good day.  Ran about what I thought he would.  Mid 4.5 guy 

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56 minutes ago, sec101row23 said:

He weighed in at 215 as well.  33.5” vertical.  
 

Powell didn’t have a good day.  Ran about what I thought he would.  Mid 4.5 guy 

How did the OT look?

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58 minutes ago, sec101row23 said:

He weighed in at 215 as well.  33.5” vertical.  
 

Powell didn’t have a good day.  Ran about what I thought he would.  Mid 4.5 guy 

yea i'm find with that. his ball skills are enough to warrant a day 3 pick - someone who can roll out there in 3 WR packages and run those 9s 

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