The best running backs are no long a sure thing to be first-round picks in the NFL Draft because teams simply don't value tailbacks as much as they used to now that the league is so pass-heavy. The CBS Sports Big Board ranks Alabama running back Najee Harris as only the 39th overall prospect in this year's class after a huge 2020 season for the national champs, while William Hill Sportsbook has given Harris an Over/Under draft position of 29.5 – with both options priced at -115 on the moneyline.
All draft position props like Harris' are going to include the .5 so as to avoid any pushes, or ties. Under 29.5 would be a winner if Harris is picked no later than 29th. The Green Bay Packers are currently sitting at No. 29 overall in this month's draft, while the Buffalo Bills sit at 30th. Green Bay wouldn't take a running back after just re-signing Aaron Jones to a rich extension and also having 2020 second-round pick AJ Dillon on the roster. Buffalo probably wouldn't take a tailback, either, with Devin Singletary and Zack Moss on the team.
Other teams could always trade up, however. The first running back chosen in the 2020 draft was LSU's Clyde Edwards-Helaire at No. 32 overall by Kansas City.
Harris finished fifth in the 2020 Heisman Trophy voting. He was the winner of the Doak Walker Award and unanimous All-American after totaling 1,891 scrimmage yards (led the FBS) and 30 touchdowns (SEC record). Harris' 57 career touchdowns from scrimmage are tied for the most in SEC history with former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Tim Tebow of Florida. Harris forced a whopping 100 missed tackles last year, by far tops in the nation. He is Alabama's all-time leader in scrimmage touchdowns and rushing scores (46).
The 6-foot-1, 232-pounder, once considered the top recruit in the country, is given a prospect grade of 6.46 by NFL.com, which equates to boom or bust prospect. The site gives Harris a comp of Steven Jackson, who had a very productive and long NFL career with the Rams, Falcons and Patriots.
Not many CBS Sport mock drafts have Harris being picked in the first round. He is the -145 favorite at William Hill to be the first running back chosen ahead of Clemson's Travis Etienne (+180).
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