2021 NFL Draft Prop Bets: First Running Back Drafted

The NFL calendar officially begins for many this week as the 2021 NFL Draft is now just days away. For 32 teams across the league, a renewed sense of hope is upon us as the first overall pick is often considered to make an almost immediate difference for their franchise.

While much of the offensive focus is on the quarterback and wide receiver positions, there is quietly a stable of running backs who should be getting plenty of attention.

Who has the most betting value remaining to go first? Let’s take a closer look at the odds.

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Najee Harris (-230)
At 6’2″/230, Harris is by far the biggest of the lot and his top-end speed makes him a threat that is rarely seen at the college level. His mix of size and speed is a matchup nightmare, as he’s the size of the linebackers covering him but often significantly faster.

In a mostly passing offense, Harris still put up 1,466 and 26 touchdowns on the ground for Alabama in 2020, to go along with another four touchdowns through the air.

Travis Etienne (+185)
After a 1,658 yard season in 2019, Etienne battled injuries and largely struggled in 2020 gaining just 914 yards through 12 games. His touchdown production fell as well, scoring only one more touchdown than his freshman season with 14.

Still, Etienne is arguably the best receiver in the lot, and his versatility can be a weapon for any team when healthy.

Javonte Williams (+650)
The biggest longshot of the three, Williams’s acceleration out of the backfield is second to none. What he lacks in size he tended to make up for in exploiting the often large holes his UNC O-line was able to produce.

Bottom Line
After teams have seen the carnage that Henry has done to the league, I can’t imagine those who need a back will want to potentially miss on a younger version. While the size isn’t there today, the frame is and a full year in the NFL should get Harris close.

Though he spent four years at Alabama, Harris has relatively low touches given the constant talent around him in the running back room and Saban’s propensity to run the ball. Like Henry before him, Harris should come to the league fresher than many might expect.

If teams inside the top 20 pass, I fully expect the Steelers to scoop up Harris at #24.

Pick: Najee Harris -230

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