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Best bet for first running back chosen in 2021 NFL Draft

We break down which bets we like for the first running back selected in this year’s draft.

Even Money Podcast | First round bets

Running backs are still highly respected by fans and their star power remains strong, but they’ve lost ground in terms of salary and draft status as the position has become more specialized and the league has trended toward helping out the passing game. This has made predicting where running backs will land in the draft more difficult in recent years.

Last season D’Andre Swift and Jonathan Taylor appeared to be the frontrunners for the first running back taken in the draft, but instead that honor went to Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Edwards-Helaire went to the Kansas City Chiefs with the 32nd pick in the draft mainly due to their offensive mind-set and team evaluation. It wasn’t a huge shock, but if you made that wager, you’d have cashed a decent win.

This year we don’t have a good idea of what teams like which running backs. We know the Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Jets and Miami Dolphins are the teams in most need of a running back, while the Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Jacksonville Jaguars, New England Patriots and Denver Broncos will likely look for a back later in the draft. Najee Harris is the likely first back picked and should make an immediate impact, but Javonte Williams is over two years younger and doesn’t have as much wear and tear on his body. A team looking for a player to help them for longer, could look at Williams as a better investment.

Player Odds

Najee Harris -167
Travis Etienne +150
Javonte Williams +900

Best bet

Javonte Williams +900

Analysis

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