With many NFL teams taking backs in the 1st rounds of 2019’s draft, the stigma of drafting a running back early has been changed. Teams that have drafted a backs in 1st rounds of the last decade have gotten poor results. However, the Indianapolis Colts and the San Francisco 49ers have gotten tremendous results out of their respective star running backs. The Colts have gotten the best out of Marlon Mack and the 49ers have gotten the best out of Nick Bosa. This strategy will continue for the next decade.
From the NFL Draft to the high-school recruiting season, the top running backs in the country are all highly coveted. In the NFL, teams have increasingly opted to take a running back in the first round of the draft. The SEC has seen an influx of talented running backs over the last decade. So why is it that virtually every year the best rushing prospect in the SEC comes up empty handed at the NFL Draft? Because while the conference does produce great running backs, the conference has not produced a running back with over 1,000 yards rushing in the NFL for over 10 years.
The NFL draft is coming up, as it does every year, and there’s always a hot topic on the draft’s first day, no matter what the draft is like. This year, the hot topic is that teams should draft running backs in the first round. Thesis: Travis Etienne and Najee Harris can change the stigma of drafting 1st round running backs if they are not drafted in the first round. Paragraph 1: Travis Etienne and Najee Harris have proven to be amazing runners, and if a team takes them early in the first round, they will not be disappointed. Paragraph 2: Look at their stats. Paragraph 3: They have the talent to start day 1. Paragraph 4:
In today’s game, there are certain rules that good football teams follow. NFL teams are supposed to run fourth-and-short, give up field goals for seven points, let running backs pass and never select a running back in the first round. But rules are there to be broken, and in the 2021 NFL Draft, two teams broke that last rule. The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Alabama running back Najee Harris at No. 24, and the Jacksonville Jaguars selected Clemson’s leading rusher Travis Etienne as their next pick. Are these unfortunate choices that broke the Cardinal’s rule, or do these two running backs have skills that make this premise irrelevant?
Travis Etienne and Najee Harris were stars at Clemson and Alabama
(from left) Najee Harris, Travis Etienne | UA Athletics/Collegiate Images/Getty Images photo; Sean Gardner/Getty Images photo. MESSAGE: Steelers 1. Najee Harris, selected in the first round of the NFL draft, announced that Megan Rapinoe is my dog. Harris and Etienne were far from the best running backs available in the 2021 draft. Both men have the size, speed and skill that NFL scouts look for in running backs, and their performances in school match up. Harris is a big, formidable defender in the vein of another former Crimson Tide runner, Derrick Henry. At 6’10 tall, he amassed 3,843 yards and 46 touchdowns on the ground during his four years at Alabama. Even in Nick Saban’s talented and crowded backfield, Harris stood out. Etienne decided to spend his last season at the school, even though he had already confirmed his status as first choice. This fourth year only added to his already impressive resume of 4,592 yards on the ground and 70 touchdowns. Whether you think it’s wise or not to select a running back in the first round, with this kind of performance in school there was no doubt that these two would be top 32 players.
Both running backs are valuable NFL receivers
#Jaguars Coach Urban Meyer told reporters that first-round RB Travis Etienne will fill in at the WR position during minicamp. At worst, you have a running back who has excellent receiving skills, Meyer said. He looks like Le’Veon Bell at his best. – Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) 15 May 2021 Harris was a promising but underutilized college receiver. His 781 yards and 11 touchdowns on 80 catches are good, but nothing special. To be fair, when you play with receivers like Calvin Ridley, Jerry Jody and DeVonta Smith, you shouldn’t be surprised that you’re not the number one target. The running back reportedly worked hard to catch the ball during the Steelers’ minicamp. Asked about his reception, Harris confidently told ESPN: I always caught the ball. I always do, always do. Not to brag or anything. What the hell? It wasn’t luck, I can tell you that. I’ll do it again for you. That’s not what I’m working on. I’ve been doing this since high school. I got big hands, man. Etienne is also a natural ball catcher, and his stats prove it. At Clemson, he caught 102 balls for 1,155 yards and eight touchdowns. As a senior, his receiving average was 12.5 yards. During the Jaguars’ minicamp, Etienne practices exclusively at wide receiver to increase his flexibility and positional value. Asked about the decision, head coach Urban Meyer told Jaguars.com: We thought at worst we had a running back with the skills of a wide receiver and at best a hybrid player that could do both, and that’s what we hope to develop in Travis. Running backs catching the ball is nothing new, but turning a running back into a hybrid player is a new idea that could save their value.
Positional flexibility is essential for running backs to regain their value
. CORRESPONDS TO: Detroit Lions sign reality TV star to contract as free agent Over the past 20 years, the NFL has become a passing league. A player who passes the ball 25 times a game and gets three yards and a cloud of dust just doesn’t have the value he used to. Not to mention the fact that these types of players have to endure more physical work than almost everyone else on the field, which shortens their careers considerably. Since 2000, 50 running backs have been selected in the first round, compared to 89 between 1980 and 1999. These statistics, combined with the declining value of running backs as free agents, show that most NFL players are considering the position in 2021. Harris and Etienne can make a difference if they prove they are not just running backs, but versatile offensive weapons that give coaches and coordinators more flexibility in their schedules. Current running backs like Christian McCaffrey (Carolina) and Alvin Kamara (New Orleans) are already showing what creative playmakers can do with hybrid players. If Harris and Etienne can continue this trend, the glut of future NFL running backs getting big first round contracts could benefit them. All statistics are from Sports ReferenceThis year, there are two running backs whose names are being called early in next year’s NFL Draft. On the one hand, you have Travis Etienne from Clemson who is a talented back with a ton of potential. On the other hand, there is Najee Harris who is a big powerful back who can run through defenders. Both are deserving of first round consideration. But, if you look at the history of the NFL Draft, you’ll see that teams do not spend first round picks on running backs. In fact, since 2000, only four running backs have been chosen in the first round. This has led some to believe that running backs are not as important as they used to be. After all, if you. Read more about najee harris nfl draft scout and let us know what you think.
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