2020 Season Recap The 6-1 230 lb Najee Harris is my top running back in the 2021 NFL Draft. Najee Harris had 251 carries, 1,466 rushing yards, 26 rushing touchdowns, 43 receptions, 425 receiving yards, 4 receiving touchdowns, and 30 total touchdowns on a 13-0 Alabama team in 2020. Najee dominated in the running game with a strong run blocking offensive line taking lots of pressure off of quarterback Mac Jones.
I posted a film cut of Alabama running back Najee Harris VS Florida. Najee Harris ran the ball like an All Pro during the 2020 SEC Championship Game.
Najee Harris SWOT Report
Strengths: Najee Harris has the speed, vision, and lateral agility to execute cuts with precision. He is an effective downhill runner who can run with power. He's a north and south runner. Knows how to attack the hole at the second level. Can use his elusiveness to make linebackers miss. Najee Harris can also catch the ball out of the backfield, use elite ball carrier vision to diagnose plays, and is a good blocker in both pass blocking and run blocking situations. Has big hands. Measured in with a 10 inch hands at the 2021 Reese's Senior Bowl. His friendly smile and positive attitude is infectious. He's the most non reactive running back I've ever scouted.
Weaknesses: Najee Harris appears to be a pretty complete back on the surface if you observe his traits on film and how he dominated on tape in 2020. While he's a good blocker, he's not a great blocker like a lot of the running backs that went in the first two rounds of the 2020 NFL Draft. One issue NFL teams may have with Harris is that he runs tall which is why it will be easy for defenders to hit him low in the NFL unless he tweaks this part of his game at the next level. He also doesn't run with as much acceleration as you would like.
Opportunities: The Miami Dolphins at 18, the New York Jets at 23, and Pittsburgh Steelers at 24 were the only teams talking about taking a running back in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. One of Miami's coaches was giving Najee Harris negative body language in Mobile. I was planning on mocking Najee Harris to Pittsburgh, but that was before news broke that the New York Jets conducted an interview with Harris.
Threats: Najee Harris doesn't really have a threat. A former NFL scout said he's better than Derrick Henry, but that feels like a reach. I gave the top 6 running backs in the 2020 NFL Draft a 90 potential grade. I didn't give a single running back in 2019 that grade. I gave Najee Harris a 91 potenital grade which is the highest grade I've handed a running back since Saquon Barkley in 2018 who got a 93 potential grade from me before dominating the pre draft process.
Potential Grade: 91/99
Najee Harris had 209 carries, 1,224 rushing yards, 13 rushing touchdowns, 27 receptions, 304 receiving yards, 7 receiving touchdowns, and 20 total touchdowns in 2019. Najee Harris is a front runner to challenge Travis Etienne and Chuba Hubbard for the right to be the top running back drafted with a strong senior season.
2020 Season Recap The 5-10 205 lb Travis Etienne had 168 carries, 914 rushing yards, 14 rushing touchdowns, 48 receptions, 588 receiving yards, 2 receiving touchdowns, and 16 total touchdowns in 2020 after losing four starters on the offensive line with left tackle Jackson Carman being the only returning starter. Travis Etienne had an underwhelming 2020 season, but he still managed to get his third consecutive season with 1,000 total yards. He had more receiving yards than Najee Harris which is why I could see him also going in the late first round along with Najee Harris.
I posted a film cut of Clemson running back Travis Etienne VS Wake Forest. Travis Etienne did well in this game.
Travis Etienne SWOT Report
Strengths: Travis Etienne is fast as his game speed speaks for itself on film. Has the ability to cut with precision. He can accelerate at an elite level. He is an effective downhill runner who can run with power. He's a north and south runner. Knows how to attack the hole at the second level. Can use his elusiveness to make linebackers miss. Travis Etienne is the best pass catching running back in this draft. A natural at trucking defenders on tape despite his size. Has great vision at times, but not elite vision like Harris.
Weaknesses: Travis Etienne needs to get stronger. His pass blocking and run blocking are both equally suspect on tape. His ball carrier vision is also extremely inconsistent on plays being great on some plays and extremely lackluster on other plays. If Dabo Swinney used Etienne more this year, he could have easily eclipsed 1,000 rushing yards for the third straight season. The fact that Clemson didn't utilize him as a three down running back in 2020 like Alabama did with Harris may concern NFL teams to a degree. It won't be enough to hurt his draft stock since he has more strengths than weaknesses on tape.
Opportunities: The Buffalo Bills in the late first round are a team that could take Etienne at 30 if Pittsburgh is the first team to draft a running back at 24. If Najee Harris gets picked before Pittsburgh at 24, then I could see the Steelers taking Travis Etienne with their first round pick.
Threats: Travis Etienne has no threats. He had 13 rushing touchdowns in each of his four seasons at Clemson. That kind of consistency speaks volumes. Travis Etienne's strengths and weaknesses even out which sort of makes him a boom or bust prospect in this draft class.
Potential Grade: 90/99
Travis Etienne had 766 rushing yards and 13 rushing touchdowns in 2017 as a freshman in his first season with Kelly Bryant at quarterback. Ever since Trevor Lawrence arrived, Etinne had back-to-back seasons with 1,000 rushing yards as well. He heads into 2020 as the top ranked running back in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Javonte Williams, RB, North Carolina Projected Round 2nd Round
2020 Season Recap The 5-10 220 lb Javonte Williams broke out in 2020 with 1,140 rushing yards, 19 rushing touchdowns, 25 receptions, 305 receiving yards, 2 receiving touchdowns, and 21 total touchdowns. Javonte Williams reminds me of Nick Chubb coming out of Georgia. He's more durable than Chubb was and played in a two back system at North Carolina just like the two back system that Chubb played in at Georgia.
Javonte Williams SWOT Report
Strengths: Javonte Williams may be the best inside and outside runner in this class. Can be a power back or an elusive back. Runs with a lot of power and intesity. Good pass blocker, he's a better blocker than Travis Etienne.
Can juke and stiff arm. Williams is probably the best stiff arm running back that I've seen in this draft too. Dominates in goal line situations like Najee Harris and Travis Etienne. He has fewer career carries than Najee Harris or Travis Etienne. In recent years, the running backs with fewer carries in College have gone on to have success in the NFL see Alvin Kamara as one running back who fits this category.
Weaknesses: He played in a two back system at North Carolina splitting carries with Michael Carter. His only good season came in 2020. One has to wonder if Javonte Williams is a one-year wonder, but he showcased the skill set of a running back similar to Nick Chubb in his draft year which is why I don't believe Williams will be a one-year wonder.
Opportunities: I could see the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins both taking this guy in the second round. One of those AFC East teams will get a stud running back.
Threats: Javonte Williams does not have any threats. He's good at everything, but not great at everything yet. Nick Chubb was great at everything, but he had some durability concerns where as Williams does not have those concerns.
Potential Grade: 89/99
Javonte Williams could be a breakout player in 2020. He had 933 rushing yards and 5 rushing touchdowns in 2019. He also got a receiving touchdown in 2019 and is working on being more of a threat in the passing game.
2020 Season Recap The 5-11 194 lb Kenneth Gainwell was the starting running back on Memphis in 2019, but opted out in 2020 due to Covid-19 after a dominant 2019 season. Memphis had Antonio Gibson lined up at wide receiver before moving him to running back at the 2020 Reese's Senior Bowl. Gainwell has a higher ceiling than Gibson. The big question is will he put everything together at the next level and reach that ceiling after not playing a down in 2020.
Kenneth Gainwell SWOT Report
Strengths: Kenneth Gainwell has the speed to run inside and outside. He's also a great pass catcher out of the backfield. He was the starting running back on a Memphis team that featured Antonio Gibson. Managed to get 100 total yards against two power 5 teams despite being held to under 100 rushing yards.
Weaknesses: Inconsistent ball carrier vision. Has to do a better job waiting for the play to develop. Must become more patient. Needs to improve as a pass blocker. Kenneth Gainwell did well versus weak opponents in 2019, but did not have 100 rushing yards against stronger teams.
Opportunities: I have a third round grade on Kenneth Gainwell. The Atlanta Falcons and Miami Dolphins are both options in the third round if Miami chooses to wait on a running back.
Threats: Kenneth Gainwell has no threats. The only concern I may have with him is that he didn't play in 2020.
Potential Grade: 88/99
Kenneth Gainwell had 1,459 rushing yards and 13 rushing touchdowns as a freshman redshirt in 2019. Gainwell also had 51 receptions, 610 receiving yards, and 3 receiving touchdowns. He got most of the carries at running back totaling 16 total touchdowns while Antonio Gibson played wide receiver before converting to running back. Gainwell should be a day 2 pick if he opts out due to Covid-19, and could move up into day 1 if he goes back to school and improves on his freshman redshirt season.
Trey Sermon, RB, Ohio State Projected Round 3rd Round
2020 Season Recap The 6-0 213 lb Trey Sermon had 870 rushing yards and 4 rushing touchdowns in limited games in 2020. Sermon entered the year as the backup running back to Master Teague. He took the starting job from Teague before dominating in the 2020 Big Ten Championship where he had 331 rushing yards in what may be one of the worst starts of Justin Fields career at quarterback.
Trey Sermon SWOT Report
Strengths: Trey Sermon has excellent footwork. His foot speed is elite for a runner. Has an uncanny ability to churn through contact. This guy will continue to move his feet even after getting hit by a defender. He has flexibile ankles, hips, and knees. He knows how to maintain a low center of gravity. He's also the best stiff arm running back in this draft outside of Javonte Williams.
Weaknesses: Needs to improve as a pass catcher and a pass blocker. Was a number two running back for most of his career on NCAA depth charts at Oklahoma and Ohio State. Despite this, his upside to be an NFL starter is there. That's why NFL scouts tell you to evaluate the player and not the depth chart and in this case those scouts are correct since Sermon has starter upside.
Opportunities: Two teams in the third round could use running backs if Miami passes on Najee Harris at 18. Those teams are the Atlanta Falcons and Miami Dolphins. One of those teams could get Sermon in the third round.
Threats: There are no threats with Trey Sermon. He's a safe running back. An NFL scout compared him to Josh Jacobs because both were number two running backs on their teams depth charts despite their talent levels. I agree with that comparison.
Potential Grade: 87/99
Trey Sermon spent three seasons at Oklahoma. He's transferring to Ohio State in 2020.
Chuba Hubbard, RB, Oklahoma State Projected Round 3rd Round
2020 Season Recap The 6-0 208 lb Chuba Hubbard was the runner up for the Doak Walker Award in 2019 losing out to Jonathan Taylor who won the Doak Walker Award in back-to-back seasons. Hubbard entered 2020 as the undisputed favorite to win this award, but had a disappointing season. Harris ended up winning the 2020 Doak Walker Award and Harris is now my top ranked running back as a result. Chuba Hubbard only had 625 rushing yards, 5 rushing touchdowns, 1 receiving touchdown, and 6 total touchdowns in 2020.
Chuba Hubbard SWOT Report
Strengths: Chuba Hubbard has good speed and ball carrier vision. He's also the only running back in this draft class to get 2,000 rushing yards in a season. That production is what makes Hubbard a fringe day 2 pick.
Weaknesses: He has good speed and vision, but not elite speed and vision. Doesn't wow you with spins, jukes, stiff arms. Regressed as a pass catcher. Not the pass blocker you'd like him to be. Teven Jenkins did a great job opening up holes at left tackle and I felt like Hubbard didn't wait for the play to develop. Chuba Hubbard needs to be more patient and let plays develop despite having good vision.
Opportunities: It's hard to say where Chuba Hubbard goes at this point in the draft process. The San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Chargers, Green Bay Packers, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers could all be fits for Chuba Hubbard. Buffalo could be another team that may take a flyer on Hubbard in the third round if they pass on Harris or Etienne at 30.
Threats: Chuba Hubbard got less carries in 2020 after dominating in 2019. Both the backup and third string running backs at Oklahoma State got more touches thanks to Hubbard regressing. That's a little bit concerning and if Hubbard drops to day 3 of the 2021 NFL Draft, that will be why. Another reason Hubbard may drop to day 3 is because he has more weaknesses than strengths in our SWOT report depsite having a third round grade on my rankings.
Potential Grade: 87/99
Chuba Hubbard had 2,094 rushing yards and 21 rushing touchdowns in 2019. He had the chance to declare for the 2020 NFL Draft and chose to go back to school. Hubbard will hurt his draft stock if he doesn't win the Doak Walker Award after being the runner up to Jonathan Taylor for the Doak Walker Award in 2019. Hubbard was also a finalist for the Walter Payton award in 2019.
Michael Carter, RB, North Carolina Projected Round 4th Round
2020 Season Recap The 5-8 202 lb Michael Carter had 1,245 rushing yards, 9 rushing touchdowns, 25 receptions, 267 receiving yards, 2 receiving touchdowns, and 11 total touchdowns in 2020. Michael Carter entered his senior season as the starting running back on North Carolina. Javonte Williams took the starting job from Carter, but Carter had back-to-back seasons of 1,000 rushing yards at North Carolina even with less carries in 2020.
I posted a press conference of North Carolina running back Michael Carter from the 2021 Reeses Senior Bowl. Carter stood out in Mobile to the point where he may be a day 2 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Michael Carter SWOT Report
Strengths: Michael Carter has the speed, pass catching, and ball carrier vision to be a starting running back in the NFL. He's someone who can run with power or elusiveness. Can run inside or outside.
Weaknesses: Needs to improve his pass blocking. This is the only weakness I see in his game.
Opportunities: A team like the Houston Texans or the Carolina Panthers in the fourth round would be a good spot for him. Michael Carter could get picked anywhere between the second and fourth round based on how dominant he was in Mobile. He's easily one of the top 120 players in this draft class.
Threats: Michael Carter posted his second consecutive season of 1,000 rushing yards despite losing the starting job to Javonte Williams. North Carolina had a two back system where both running backs were heavily involved in the offense. Michael Carter reminds me of Sony Michel.
Potential Grade: 86/99
Michael Carter had 8 rushing touchdowns as a true freshman. He had a career high 1,003 rushing yards as a junior in 2019. Michael Carter can climb up boards if he improves on his 2019 season.
Khalil Herbert, RB, Virginia Tech Projected Round 4th Round
2020 Season Recap The 5-9 204 lb Khalil Herbert had 1,182 rushing yards and 8 rushing touchdowns in 2020. Khalil Herbert had 100 total yards against every opponent he faced in 2020 except for Clemson and Miami FL. Khalil Herbert also did well at the 2021 Reese's Senior Bowl showcasing his intangibles.
Khalil Herbert SWOT Report
Strengths: Khalil Herbert has the speed, pass catching, and ball carrier vision that you want a starting running back to possess. He's extremely patient. In practice during the 2021 Senior Bowl, Herbert showed fantastic ability when waiting for the play to develop. He can run inside or outside. His leg churn and foot speed allow Khalil Herbert to maximize his frame. He had a 35-inch vertical during his senior year of High School. Herbert may have the best vertical among running backs in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Weaknesses: He has extremely small hands under 9 inches. His small hands make him prone to fumbles from time to time as well as a liability in pass protection. Herbert didn't drop a single pass in Mobile which is why I'm not going to knock Herbert for his pass catching ability. He's not resilient against solid contact. His biggest liability has to be his lack of agility since he lacks the lateral twitch to create space. This is something a teams running backs coach will need to correct with Khalil Herbert.
Opportunities: I think whoever passes on him in the fourth round whether it's Houston or Carolina would be the best fit for Herbert. There are other good teams that could also use Herbert.
Threats: Khalil Herbert only had 1 dominant season and that was his 2020 season as a graduate transfer at Virginia Tech. Khalil Herbert saw limited action on the Kansas Jayhawks at running back before transferring.
Potential Grade: 86/99
Khalil Herbert played at Kansas for three years. He is transferring to Virginia Tech as a graduate transfer in 2020.
Kylin Hill, RB, Mississippi State Projected Round 4th Round
2020 Season Recap The 5-10 214 lb Kylin Hill had 8 receptions for 158 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown against LSU when Mississippi State upset LSU in the opener. Kylin Hill saw very limited action in 2020 before opting out of the season after dominating in 2019 which is what caused him to fall from a second round pick to a fourth round pick. He did well at the 2021 Reese's Senior Bowl and still has all of the outstanding traits he showcased when dominating in 2019.
Kylin Hill SWOT Report
Strengths: Kylin Hill has good speed, pass catching, and ball carrier vision. He's also good in pass protection. He has great physicality and toughness. A north and south runner with many traits of a starting running back in the NFL. He's also extremely mature. Kylin Hill has the best ball security of any running back in the entire draft class only fumbling once on 481 carries.
He's a three-down running back. Displays an extremely high football IQ and the ball carrier vision you look for.
Weaknesses: Kylin Hill has no elite traits which is why his ceiling is limited despite having the upside to be a good starter. Kylin Hill can get you a first down. He won't get you those 20 yard big plays that can result in running the ball at will down the opponents throat like Derrick Henry does. Hill is good in all phases of the game, but he's not great in any of those phases. Despite having a very high football IQ, he needs to be more patient on running plays waiting for the play to develop.
Opportunities: I have a fourth round grade on Kylin Hill. I had a second round grade on him at one point during the regular season. I have the Green Bay Packers taking him as a backup to A.J. Dillon.
Threats: Kylin Hill has no threats to his game. He's one of the more consistent running backs in this draft class.
Potential Grade: 86/99
Kylin Hill had 1,350 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns in 2019. Heading into 2020 he was one of four running backs to make the first two rounds of my 2021 NFL Mock Draft in the Summer. Kylin Hill could move up or down boards depending on what he does in 2020.
Larry Rountree III, RB, Missouri Projected Round 4th Round
2020 Season Recap The 5-10 216 lb Larry Rountree III had 972 rushing yards and 14 rushing touchdowns in 2020 despite having under 1,000 rushing yards. He also did well at the 2021 Reese's Senior Bowl.
I posted a film cut of Missouri running back Larry Rountree III VS Mississippi State. Larry Rountree III looked incredible on tape versus Mississippi State.
Larry Rountree III SWOT Report
Strengths: Larry Rountree III has superb speed, pass catching, and ball carrier vision. He's also got good strength as both a pass blocker and run blocker.
He's a three-down running back. Displays an extremely high football IQ and the ball carrier vision you look for. Larry Rountree III has the pass protection and hands to catch out of the backfield. He's a very physical downhill runner. He's the only running back in this class that spins at a very high level. His agility and ability to make plays with a stiff arm is off the charts.
Weaknesses: Larry Rountree III has to improve his strength by getting stronger in the weight room and improve his balance by running with balance more consistently. These are the only two areas of improvement. My bold take from this running back class is that Larry Rountree III may have the fewest weaknesses of any running back in this entire draft.
Opportunities: I have a fourth round grade on Larry Rountree III. I think Tampa Bay in the late fourth round as a replacment to Leonard Fournette would be a great fit. As far as value goes, honestly Larry Rountree III may be the best value pick in this entire draft at running back outside of Najee Harris. That's how much I like Larry Rountree III on tape. Frankly I was appauled when I found 0 game film cuts of Larry Rountree III on Youtube before I uploaded his film against Mississippi State.
Threats: There are no threats with Larry Rountree III. His ceiling may not be as high as some of the running backs in this draft, but he does everything well on tape.
Potential Grade: 86/99
Larry Rountree III's best season came in 2018 when he had 1,216 rushing yards and 11 rushing touchdowns in Drew Lock's draft year. He needs a strong 2020 season to get noticed by NFL teams after a rough 2019 junior year without Drew Lock.
2020 Season Recap The 5-8 189 lb Demetric Felton entered his first season as a starting running back with UCLA. Demetric Felton had 688 rushing yards, 5 rushing touchdowns, 22 receptions, 159 receiving yards, 3 receiving touchdowns, and 8 total touchdowns in 2020 in his only season as a starting running back at UCLA.
Demetric Felton SWOT Report
Strengths: Demetric Felton has good speed, excellent pass catching, and superior ball carrier vision. He's a three-down running back. Displays an extremely high football IQ and the ball carrier vision you look for. Did well at the 2021 Reese's Senior Bowl. Has outstanding lateral agility. He has long speed which gives him great home run ability to make big runs for 20 yards or more.
Weaknesses: Not physical enough. Needs to put on more muscle. Struggles in pass protection. Running between the tackles was an issue for Felton on tape, but he turned this weakness into a strength during the practice sessions during the 2021 Reese's Senior Bowl.
Opportunities: I have a fifth round grade on Demetric Felton, but some draft sites have him going as high as the third round. A team like the New York Giants comes to mind in the fifth round for me. Felton can start out as a backup to Saquon Barkley and learn how to improve his pass protection behind Barkley. He's an ideal replacement to Wayne Gallman who actually did well in his contract year after not getting a chance to shine in his first three seasons with the New York Giants. Felton reminds me of Antonio Gibson, but I can see him being as good as James White if he fixes his pass protection.
Threats: Demetric Felton only has one year of experience as a starting running back. He seems like someone who checks off a lot of the boxes despite a lack of experience as a starting running back at the College level. Players that check off a lot of the boxes on day 3 are not easy to find.
Potential Grade: 85/99
Demetric Felton played wide receiver his first two seasons at UCLA. In 2019, he converted to running back. He was a backup to Joshua Kelley last year. Now, Demetric Felton will take over as the starting running back in 2020.
2020 Season Recap The 5-9 195 lb Jaret Patterson is the only running back in this draft with three consecutive seasons of 1,000 rushing yards. Not even former Buffalo Bulls running back James Starks who was on the Green Bay Packers Super Bowl 45 team accomplished that. Patterson broke Starks record for the All Time rushing yards leader at Buffalo. Jaret Patterson had 1,072 rushing yards and 19 rushing touchdowns in 2020.
Jaret Patterson SWOT Report
Strengths: Jaret Patterson runs with a lot of power. He does a great job running between the tackles. Great ball carrier vision when running. Does a great job letting the play develop. Patterson has the football IQ, work ethic, and leadership to be a threat to opposing defenses in the running game. In addition to being the only running back with three consecutive 1,000 rushing yard seasons, he also had 409 rushing yards and 8 rushing touchdowns against Kent State.
Weaknesses: Would like to see him develop more speed. Would like to see him improve his elusiveness. Not a pass catcher or a pass blocker. He's a one-dimensional running back despite three years or strong production running the football at Buffalo.
Opportunities: I have a fifth round grade on Jaret Patterson. I've seen Patterson mocked as early as the fourth round, and as late as the sixth round where James Starks was drafted. One team Patterson interviewed with on Zoom was the New England Patriots. This would be a great fit for Jaret Patterson since he could come in as a backup to Sony Michel and Damien Harris. James White and Rex Burkhead are both unrestricted free agents in 2021, so drafting a guy like Patterson to fill that final running back spot on New England's depth chart wouldn't hurt.
Threats: Jaret Patterson has no threats. He seems like a pretty safe running back to take a flyer on during day 3 of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Potential Grade: 85/99
Jaret Patterson had 1,013 rushing yards and 14 rushing touchdowns in 2018 as a true freshman. Jaret Patterson had 1,799 rushing yards and 19 rushing touchdowns as a true sophomore in 2019. Jaret Patterson can declare for the 2021 NFL Draft with a strong third season at Buffalo.
Jermar Jefferson, RB, Oregon State Projected Round 6th Round
2020 Season Recap The 5-10 217 lb Jermar Jefferson had 858 rushing yards and 7 rushing touchdowns in a shortened 2020 season. Jermar Jefferson had a minimum of 80 rushing yards in each contest after Jake Luton graduated and went to the NFL.
Jermar Jefferson SWOT Report
Strengths: Jermar Jefferson has the speed, pass catching, and ball carrier vision you want in a running back. He's a tough runner who can make life hell for your defense if he can get past the opposing linebackers. Not only does Jefferson present a mismatch for linebackers, he showed the ability to run in the fog. Best running back at spinning in this draft outside of Larry Rountree III. Can create huge long runs when he gets past the second level.
Jermar Jefferson was the first running back to be named a first team player for Oregon State since Jacquizz Rodgers. Easily the best Oregon State running back I've seen since Steven Jackson even though I don't expect him to get drafted as high as Jackson.
Weaknesses: Jermar Jefferson needs to improve his pass protection. His vision can be inconsistent at times due to the opposing front 7 reading the blitz correctly and diagnosing Oregon State's offense. Would like to see him react quicker, even though he does a great job letting the play develop. He's got ideal size and strength, but he could improve his balance on runs.
Opportunities: I have a sixth round grade on Jermar Jefferson. One person who grades rookie running backs for dynasty leagues in Fantasy Football believes he's the fourth best running back in this entire draft. I'm thinking about putting him on the Cleveland Browns in the sixth round as I can see him doing well learning under Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt for a year before becoming the backup running back in Cleveland once the team extends Chubb because that allows Cleveland to save cap space.
Threats: Jermar Jefferson has no threats. He's one of the safer running back prospects that you can get late in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Potential Grade: 85/99
Jermar Jefferson ahd 1,380 rushing yards and 12 rushing touchdowns in 2018. Oregon State passed more in 2019 during Jake Luton's draft year as they also had Isaiah Hodgins at wide receiver. Jermar Jefferson only had 685 rushing yards, 8 rushing touchodwns, 2 receiving touchdowns, and 10 total touchdowns in 2019. Jermar Jefferson should be a day 3 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft with a strong 2020 campaign. A strong 2020 campaign gives Jermar Jefferson the opportunity and leverage to declare for the 2021 NFL Draft as an underclassmen.
Spencer Brown, RB, UAB Projected Round 7th Round
2020 Season Recap The 6-0 220 lb Spencer Brown had 889 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns in 2020. Spencer Brown worst game of 2020 came against Western Kentucky in a win where he had 22 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown. Spencer Brown had 74 rushing yards or more in every other contest. The 74 rushing yards came against the Miami Hurricanes at Hard Rock Cafe Stadium.
Spencer Brown SWOT Report
Strengths: Spencer Brown has superb ball carrier vision. He's also a good pass blocker on tape.
Weaknesses: Needs to improve his foot speed and run with more explosiveness. Would also like to see him catch more out of the backfield. I'm not sure if that's on him or UAB's coaching staff since he can catch the ball.
Opportunities: I have a seventh round grade on Spencer Brown. The Las Vegas Raiders could get this guy as a backup to Josh Jacobs. At the same time the Raiders only have six draft picks and no sixth round pick so if they go linebacker at 17, safety in the second round, offensive tackle in round 3, and defensive tackle in round 4, that gives the Raiders just two picks to fill any remaining voids at guard, cornerback, wide receiver, or running back.
Threats: He had under 60 snaps on special teams so he will have to adjust if he's reduced to a special teams role. I think Brown has upside to be great, but NFL scouts don't seem to agree with this notion.
Potential Grade: 85/99
Spencer Brown had 1,329 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns as a true frehsman in 2017. Spencer Brown had 1,227 rushing yards and a career high 16 rushing touchdowns as a sophomore in 2018. He missed time with injuries in 2019. Spencer Brown can bounce back and do enough to get drafted with a strong senior season where he reaches 1,000 rushing yards or 10 rushing touchdowns.
2020 Season Recap The 5-10 215 lb Elijah Mitchell had 878 rushing yards and 8 rushing touchdowns in 2020. He also participated in the 2021 Reese's Senior Bowl.
Elijah Mitchell SWOT Report
Strengths: Elijah Mitchell has the speed, pass catching, and ball carrier vision that you want a running back to have. He looked good during the 2021 Reese's Senior Bowl showcasing intangibles of a future starting running back.
Weaknesses: Needs to improve in pass protection. Louisiana had two good running backs. His 2020 game film could have been better despite having a good Senior Bowl week in Mobile.
Opportunities: I have a seventh round grade on Elijah Mitchell. I could see a team like the Kansas City Chiefs getting him as a backup or a third stringer near the end of the draft.
Threats: Elijah Mitchell has a chance to be a solid player. A team will have to turn his weaknesses into strengths and remain patient with him.
Potential Grade: 85/99
Elijah Mitchell had 977 rushing yards, 13 rushing tocuhdowns, 20 receptions, 349 receiving yards, 3 receiving touchdowns, and 16 total touchdowns in 2018. Elijah Mitchell had 1,147 rushing yards, 16 rushing touchdowns, 10 receptions, 70 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown, and 17 total touchdowns in 2019. A strong senior season, could get Elijah Mitchell on radars.