Colts 2021 NFL Draft Position Preview: Running Backs

The Colts have six picks in the 2021 NFL Draft, beginning with the 21st overall selection. Could another running back join a loaded backfield this year?

Who's available?

25 running backs were invited to participate in the NFL's modified 2021 scouting combine, which officially took place at college pro days on various campuses:

  • Rakeem Boyd, Arkansas
  • Gary Brightwell, Arizona
  • Michael Carter, North Carolina
  • Travis Etienne, Clemson
  • Chris Evans, Michigan
  • Demetric Felton, UCLA
  • Kenneth Gainwell, Memphis
  • Najee Harris, Alabama
  • Javian Hawkins, Louisville
  • Khalil Herbert, Virginia Tech
  • Kylin Hill, Mississippi State
  • Chuba Hubbard, Oklahoma State
  • Jermar Jefferson, Oregon State
  • Josh Johnson, Louisiana-Monroe
  • Brenden Knox, Marshall
  • Ben Mason, FB, Michigan
  • Eli Mitchell, Louisiana
  • Jaret Patterson, Buffalo
  • Trey Ragas, Louisiana
  • Larry Rountree III, Missouri
  • Stevie Scott III, Indiana
  • Trey Sermon, Ohio State
  • Rhamondre Stevenson, Oklahoma
  • Javonte Williams, North Carolina
  • Pooka Williams Jr., Kansas

What do experts think?

The Athletic's Dane Brugler ranked three running backs among his top 100 prospects: Najee Harris (No. 23), Travis Etienne (No. 33), Javonte Williams (No. 41) and Kenneth Gainwell (No. 68). There does seem to be somewhat of a consensus on Harris, Etienne and Williams being the top three backs in this year's class, although USA TODAY's Doug Farrar has Williams as his top-rated back, followed by Harris and Etienne.

Maurice Jones-Drew, who knows a little something about playing running back, has both Harris (No. 18, Dolphins) and Etienne (No. 23, Jets) as first round picks in his mock draft for NFL.com. Sports Illustrated's Connor Orr, though, has no running backs being taken in the first round of his latest mock draft.

Who's on the Colts?

Colts general manager Chris Ballard drafted four running backs from 2017-2020:

  • Marlon Mack (4th round, 2017)
  • Nyheim Hines (4th round, 2018)
  • Jordan Wilkins (5th round, 2018)
  • Jonathan Taylor (2nd round, 2020)

Those four backs lead what may be one of the NFL's deepest and best backfields in 2020. Additionally, the Colts have running backs Darius Anderson, Benny LeMay and Paul Perkins on their roster.

Take a look at the top 10 ranked running backs according to The Draft Network's 2021 prospect rankings ahead of this year's NFL draft.

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