2021 NFL Draft: Players who could opt out if college season delayed

Trevor Lawrence, 2021 NFL Draft (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Trevor Lawrence, 2021 NFL Draft (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /
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Travis Etienne 2021 NFL Draft
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images /

Running Backs

  • Travis Etienne, Clemson
  • Najee Harris, Alabama
  • Chuba Hubbard, Oklahoma State

Travis Etienne of Clemson and Najee Harris were two players who, frankly, surprised me by coming back to school this year in the first place.

Of course, they had no way of knowing what would happen in the months that would follow the 2019 college football season but had they gotten any sort of inkling, I think for sure those two players would have been in the 2020 NFL Draft and I think they would have both been top 50 picks.

Etienne, in particular, probably could have gone in round one, and with the Chiefs prioritizing Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the first round, Najee Harris might have gone quite a bit higher than anyone suspects, also.

Chuba Hubbard rushed for over 2,000 yards and 21 touchdowns last season for Oklahoma State. Even as a redshirt sophomore, he could have probably been a second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft as well.

I think, as usual, the skill position groups offensively could be the ones with the most early entrants, especially in a scenario like this. Players who surprised by going back to school in the first place, in particular, would be way less likely to return to school to play in a Spring 2021 season with the 2021 NFL Draft beckoning.