Every draft class coughs up a star RB that was taken late on. In 2020, it was James Robinson, who was in fact an UDFA. Smart franchises get value in the later rounds of the draft. Stupid ones draft Saquon Barkley #2 overall. Which RBs will be a steal in the 2021 NFL Draft? Jordan looks into the leading candidates.
Pooka Williams Jnr, Kansas (Junior, 5′ 10″, 170 lbs)
Pooka Williams loves playing football, and you can tell. The Jayhawks RB is an explosive box of tricks. He makes defenders miss with a vast array of moves that is exciting for anybody to watch. But Williams has so much more than that. His vision and awareness of what’s happening in front of him downfield, along with his track-like speed, is a danger for all opposition. Although Pooka is a small RB, he still possesses adequate strength. When hit, he has the agility to stay upright.
Pooka Williams would have been a higher draft pick if it wasn’t for his off field problems. In 2018, he was arrested on suspicion of domestic battery. He was reinstated in 2019 after publicly apologising for the assault, and reaching a diversion agreement with the victim. That being said, if he can prove to teams he has changed, his on-field ability is there for all to see. Anything lower than a 4th Round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft is a steal.
Jaret Patterson, Buffalo (Junior, 5′ 9″, 195 lbs)
Although his ceiling isn’t as high as other RBs in the 2021 NFL Draft, Jaret Patterson is still a player I like. For a guy that is just a smidge under 200 lbs, he still possesses that big back strength. He does a great job of gaining those dirty yards after contact due to his strong frame. Jaret plays to his strengths and does it well. Natural speed isn’t in his arsenal. He makes up for it with his intelligence to find the gaps and accelerate through them, taking defenders with him.
Scouts may be put off by the fact Patterson won’t get you many 20+ yard gains. If allowed to play to his strengths, then you will have a guy who will wear defences down. Anything later than the 5th Round of the 2021 NFL Draft could be a very nice pick up indeed.
Khalil Herbert, Virginia Tech (RS Senior, 5′ 9″, 204 lbs)
Last year, few people would have known who Khalil Herbert was. Thanks to a break out in 2020 with his new school Virginia Tech, the RS Senior has people talking. Herbert has a bit of everything, but what really stands out is his vision. Herbert doesn’t hesitate when an open lane is available, but also does not panic when doors are shut. His speed and elusiveness still manages to gain him positive yards where most runners would be losing them.
Khalil Herbert can do a lot of things, most of them very well. Even as a RB2 he has the potential to be a great acquisition for most NFL teams. If you can grab him early on Day Three of the 2021 NFL Draft, it’s a great pickup.
Larry Rountree III, Missouri (Senior, 5′ 10″, 216 lbs)
Larry Rountree is shooting up mock drafts everywhere. Looking at his tape, you can see why. Rountree is an explosive runner who can make a guy miss with nice cuts. He also has the strength and balance to stay on his feet after contact. His running game is sound. What propels Rountree’s stock higher is his catching ability out of the backfield, plus his awareness to pick up the blitz.
Sometimes players who aren’t top star recruits stay under the radar. That is people start watching tape leading up to the 2021 NFL Draft. Larry Rountree III comes under that category. The more people watch, the more they see what a top player he could be in the NFL. Anything on day three of the 2021 NFL Draft is a solid pick.
Stevie Scott III, Indiana (Junior, 6′ 2″, 229 lbs)
I can’t seem to find anybody talking about Stevie Scott III. If you want a big RB with rumbling speed and the ability to steamroll over defenders, look no further. Scott uses his line-backer build to the fullest when running gaps are filled. He smashes through opposition players. The Hoosiers Junior is a solid receiver. As well as catching out of the backfield, he can line up in the outfield. His physique is a blessing when it comes to blocking downfield or picking up the blitz.
Scott’s main downside is his speed to get away from defenders in the secondary. If teams look past that, they have themselves a big back runner, who can be utilized in other areas. I’m not sure if Scott will get drafted in the 2021 NFL Draft. If he does get picked up, it could be an unbelievable steal.
The 5YC team are delighted to welcome Jordan to the roster on a permanent basis. Keep an eye out for more of his 2021 NFL Draft steals coming soon!