Saints 2021 Draft Prospects: RB edition

Michael C. Hebert

The Saints are in the process of getting out of what they call “cap hell” and are looking to move on from a couple players, most notably Latavius Murray which would leave the Saints without a RB to compliment Alvin Kamara. The draft could be the place the Saints find not only a cheap option but also a younger option for the long term. Here are my 5 favorite RB prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft the Saints should consider taking a look at. Now, mind you this is all based on their draft position in each round. Let’s get to it:

5) Chuba Hubbard, Oklahoma State

Oklahoma State Athletics

Hubbard is a very interesting prospect. He led the FBS in rushing in 2019 with 2,094 yards with 21 touchdowns. In 2020 he only played seven games before opting out the rest of the season to focus on the NFL draft. The Canadian born Hubbard stands 6’0 tall and weighs around 210 Ibs, and has electrifying speed and he is also someone who can run in between the tackles well.Chuba Hubbard is projected to go anywhere between the 4th through 6th round. 

4) Spencer Brown, UAB

UAB Athletics

Spencer Brown has been on my radar since his freshman year at UAB in 2017. He was the starting RB for UAB for 4 seasons. His freshman year was his best season stat wise finishing the 2017 season with 1,329 yards rushing and 10 TDs. He had back to back seasons with over 1,000 yards rushing finishing the 2018 season with 1,227 yards rushing and 16 TDs. In 2019 his season was derailed by an ankle injury making him miss four games. However, Spencer Brown became UAB’s all time rushing leader. Because of injuries he finished the season with 566 rushing yards. Because of covid the 2020 season for UAB was only 8 games, but Brown had no problem with being productive. He finished his senior season with 889 rushing yards and 10 TDs. If the Saints want a lightning fast power back then look no further than Spencer Brown.

3) Josh Johnson, UL Monroe

ULM Athletics

I just recently wrote an article about Josh Johnson which includes his bio, accolades, and stats. If you’d like to read that article too follow this link:

Josh Johnson is someone who caught my attention just out the blue. As someone who watches a lot of Louisiana college football, Josh Johnson, caught my attention the most. His junior season at UL Monroe was by far his most productive season. As a Junior, Josh Johnson, ranked second in the Sun Belt and 13th in the NCAA FBS in rushing, averaging 108.2 yards per game, he also finished in the top 20 NCAA FBS in yards per carry at 6.46 and rushing yards with 1,298. His 1,298 rushing yards are ranked as the fourth-highest single-season total in ULM history. He also finished the 2019 season as an All-Sun Belt Second-Team selection. In 2020 in a week 2 game against Appalachian State he had a hamstring injury and it just lingered throughout the season. He finished the 2020 season with only 321 rushing yards. When I watch Josh Johnson he just gives me Dalvin Cook or Antonio Gibson vibes. He could be a nice compliment to the Saints’ backfield.

2) Najee Harris, Alabama

Crimson Tide Athletics

Nothing needs to be said about Harris that hasn’t already been said. If I can just use one word to describe Najee Harris it would be dominant. Najee Harris became the Tide’s starting RB his junior season in 2019. Ever since he was named a starter Najee Harris has just dominated the college football world. In 2019 he finished with 1,224 yards rushing and 13 TDs. He returned for his senior year in 2020 and just absolutely ran through the opponent’s defenses. He finished the 2020 not only with a championship ring but he had 1,466 rushing yards and 26 TDs. If the Saints want Najee Harris they would have to trade up in the first round or if possible see if he falls to the second round. Najee Harris if I could compare him to anyone would be two players, Derrick Henry and Marshawn Lynch. Najee Harris averaged close to 6 yards a carry which is just down right incredible. Najee Harris in the same backfield as Alvin Kamara could give NFL teams nightmares throughout the season. 

1) Travis Etienne, Clemson

Clemson Tigers Athletics

Just like Najee Harris nothing really needs to be said about Travis Etienne that hasn’t already been said, but here we go anyways. The Jennings, Louisiana native got to Clemson in 2017. He took the starting job in 2018. He absolutely shredded defenses in 2018, finishing with 1,658 yards rushing, 24 TDs, and a whopping 8.1 yards per carry average which is just insane on it’s own. In 2018 he also helped carry Clemson to a National Title. In 2019 he had an almost identical productive season finishing with 1,614 rushing yards and 19 TDs. His 2020 season was derailed by injuries and cancellations due to Covid, but he still managed to finish the season with 914 yards rushing and 14 TDs. He is ranked as the number one RB in the 2021 NFL draft. If the Saints want him then they’ll have to trade up for him which is not likely, but stranger things have happened. There is only one player that Travis Etienne reminds me of and that is Alvin Kamara. I couldn’t imagine the different plays Coach Payton would draw up for Etienne and Kamara in the same backfield. 

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