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Best running backs available heading into the second round

Two running backs were selected in Thursday night’s first round, and here’s a look at the next tier of backs heading into Round 2.

NCAA Football: Western Carolina at North Carolina Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The running back position is not as valuable as it used to be, but multiple players went in the first round for the first time in three seasons. Najee Harris and Travis Etienne heard their names called in consecutive picks on Thursday night, but there are still plenty of talented running backs available for heading into Day 2 of the NFL Draft. Here are a few of the names you’ll be hearing soon from the running back position.

Javonte Williams

The North Carolina Tar Heels featured an explosive offense in 2020, and Javonte Williams was effective while splitting time with another player on this list at the running back position. He can be a three-down player in the NFL, and Williams showed he can push forward and punish opposing defenders. He finished last season with 7.3 yards per carry for 1,140 yards on the ground with 19 touchdowns. Williams also caught 25 passes for 305 yards and three receiving scores.

Trey Sermon

Former Ohio State Buckeyes and Oklahoma Sooners running back Trey Sermon went down early in the 2020 national title game, but he is set to begin his NFL career due to college success. It will be interesting to see when he is selected as Sermon could fall to the middle rounds and be a Day 3 pick. In eight games with the Buckeyes, he rushed for 870 yards with 7.5 yards per carry and four touchdowns with a ton of his production coming in the Big Ten title and College Football Playoff semifinal games.

Michael Carter

Michael Carter was part of a fantastic running back duo with Javonte Williams at North Carolina, and there is a decent chance he is selected during the NFL Draft’s second day. Carter stands at just 5-foot-8 but has the toughness and strength to make a difference at the next level. He finished 2020 with eight yards per carry for 1,245 yards and nine touchdowns and caught 25 passes for 267 yards and two receiving scores in his fourth college football season.