- Najee Harris has -170 odds to be the first running back selected in the 2021 NFL Draft.
- Travis Etienne has +150 odds to be the first RB off the board in the draft.
- Javonte Williams is next on the list, with +500 odds to be the first RB picked.
LAS VEGAS - The NFL Draft has had excellent running backs in recent years, with players like Dalvin Cook, Christian McCaffrey, Derrick Henry and Josh Jacobs jumping to elite starter status in the NFL almost immediately.
This year, there are two notably elite prospects at RB in the form of Najee Harris of the Alabama Crimson Tide and Travis Etienne of the Clemson Tigers.
One of those two is overwhelmingly likely to be the first running back off the board, but there are other potential draftees at the position as well.
RB Draft Odds
Najee Harris of Alabama put up nearly a perfect RB season in 2021, coming in fifth place in Heisman Trophy voting.
This is made all the more impressive by the fact that two of the players ahead of him in Heisman voting, including the eventual winner, were on his team.
Najee’s performances in college were otherworldly, and after racking up almost 1900 yards from scrimmage to go along with 30 touchdowns, as well as winning the National Championship, he seems like a no-brainer top RB pick.
The online sportsbooks seem to agree with this proposition, giving Najee -170 odds to be the first RB off the board in the 2021 NFL Draft.
2021 NFL Draft Odds - First RB Drafted
- Najee Harris -170
- Travis Etienne +150
- Javonte Williams +500
- Trey Sermon +4000
- Michael Carter +4500
- Kenneth Gainwell +5000
- Chuba Hubbard +6600
- Jaret Patterson +10000
- Kylin Hill +8000
There’s only one serious competitor with Harris, and that’s Travis Etienne of Clemson, who has a similarly elite profile.
Even Etienne does not have excellent odds to be the first off the board, but he’s in with a chance, which is more than one can say for the rest of the competitors.
Every other RB in the draft is best described as a dark horse to be picked as the first RB off the board.
In fact, other than Javonte Williams of the UNC Tar Heels, no other RB has odds below +4000 to be the first RB picked in the draft. Williams is worth a mention as a talent himself, but he’s well behind Etienne and Harris in terms of where he’s expected to go in the draft.
It would be a pretty big upset if he managed to go before one of them, let alone both of them.
The 2021 RB class seems fairly etched in stone in terms of the order they will be picked, with Najee Harris at the very top. Still, NFL Draft bettors can take longshot odds if they wish - they should know, however, that those odds are long shots for a reason.
The 2021 NFL Draft starts at 8:00 p.m. EST on April 29, 2021.