NFL free agency 2021: Top 10 NFL running backs available


Here's a look at the top 10 NFL receivers available in free agency this offseason. By Dave Zangaro

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The former 5th-round pick is coming off tremendous seasons in 2019 and 2020. He’s in line to cash in this offseason. Because aside from his ability as a runner, he’s also a real threat in the passing games. Jones, 26, has piled up over 3,000 yards from scrimmage in the last two seasons with another 30 touchdowns. He should get a major deal this offseason.


Carson, 26, is coming off his rookie deal with the Seahawks as a 7th-round pick who really panned out. In 12 games in 2020, he had 968 scrimmage yards and the year before he had nearly 1,500 scrimmage yards. At 5-11, 222 pounds, Carson can also be a punishing rushing force. He averaged 2.2 yards after contact in 2020 after averaging 2.6 in 2019. He won’t pull in the same number as Jones, but he should get a nice pay day.


The 26-year-old former No. 4 overall pick hasn’t lived up to that but he has had two 1,000-yard seasons and is coming off a really impressive four-game playoff stretch. He made himself some money this past postseason. In the Bucs’ four playoff games, Fournette had 300 rushing yards, 148 receiving yards and 4 total touchdowns. He had a touchdown in all four of the Bucs’ playoff games, including Super Bowl LIV.


Drake had a nice season in 2020 but it wasn’t exactly what the Cardinals were hoping for. He wasn’t as good as he was in the second half of the 2019 season after coming over from Miami. Last year, Drake rushed for 955 yards with 10 touchdowns. His yards per carry dropped from 5.2 with the Cardinals in 2019 to 4.0 in 2020. Drake, 27, didn’t have a great receiving year in 2020 but he has shown that before. In 2018, he had 477 receiving yards and 5 receiving touchdowns.


Replacing Le’Veon Bell in 2018, Conner had a huge season, rushing for 973 yards and 12 touchdowns, while adding 55 catches for another 497 yards. He hasn’t lived up to that since but Conner is still a good player. In 2020, he played in 13 games and had 721 yards (4.3) and another 215 through the air. At 233 pounds, he’s also tough to bring down. He broke 17 tackles last year, but has also missed games because of injury.


Gurley is just 26 but we all accept he isn’t getting back to his All-Pro form with the Rams a few years ago. That guy on the open market would be at the very top of this list. Gurley had 678 yards but averaged just 3.5 per attempt in 2020 with the Rams. He also had 164 receiving. The question here is will Gurley’s career level off or will he continue to break down?


Williams won’t turn 26 until April and he’s put together a nice career for a 4th round pick. And he’s been very consistent for the Packers. In each of his four seasons, he’s had at least 460 rushing yards and at least 210 receiving yards. But he’s been a part of a rotation in Green Bay. Will teams view him as a rotation guy or someone able to carry the load?


While has spent his entire career with the Patriots and is 29 now. He’s obviously not a traditional running back and is more of a threat in the passing game than a runner between the tackles. Kind of a down year in 2020, but the Patriots had a down year overall. Just a few years ago, in 2018, he had 751 receiving yards and another 425 as a runner.


The Panthers missed Christian McCaffrey in 2020 but Davis ended up having a career season because of it. He had 542 yards on the ground and another 373 through the air and made 12 starts. Davis, 28, is probably a fit in a running back by committee system but can be a nice piece for a team looking for that.


With Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines, the Colts probably won’t be paying to bring back Mack, who played just one game in 2020 before tearing his Achilles. So there are questions about Mack’s getting back to form but in 2019, he had 1,000 yards rushing and averaged 4.4 per attempt. He’s not a major threat through the air but is a decent running back if healthy.

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