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2021 NFL Draft: 3 Sleeper RBs Dallas Cowboys Could Target

Sleeper RBs the Dallas Cowboys could target in the 2021 NFL Draft.

With , , and currently under contract it seems pretty unlikely the Dallas Cowboys invest any draft capital into the position in the 2021 . But, if they do there are a few sleeper running backs I think they would be wise to target in the later rounds or as undrafted .

If you're like me and wouldn't mind the Dallas Cowboys adding another running back on Day 3 or an UDFA, then stay tuned because I think I have three RBs who'd be nice fits in Dallas. Each one brings a little something different to the table and each one also has had to overcome their fair share of obstacles to hopefully fulfill their NFL dream.

Let's take a look, shall we!?

RB Chris Evans, Michigan

Chris Evans
Michigan RB Chris Evans

Player metrics are becoming a big part of the NFL and Chris Evans has one of the better Relative Athletic Score (RAS) at 9.84 on a 0 to 10 scale in the class. If you've seen his film or been lucky enough to witness him play in person that shouldn't come too much of a surprise. He has starting traits worth developing, but also hasn't played much since 2018.

Chris Evans unfortunately missed all of the due to an academic and was used sparingly in 2020 once he returned to the lineup. His contact balance and cutting ability helps him create extra yardage on his own and he's efficient catching the ball out of the backfield as well. Because of that he'll likely be drafted on Day 3, so maybe he's not that big of a sleeper.

RB Jake Funk, Maryland

Jake Funk
Maryland RB Jake Funk

Now we're starting to get into the deep sleepers. Jake Funk has had to battle back from two ACL surgeries, but has still been able to put together some really good film that could get him drafted late on Day 3. Funk's RAS rating of 9.76 out of 10 isn't quite as high as Chris Evans' 9.84, but it's still one of the best in the entire 2021 draft class.

Jake Funk is an intriguing RB prospect who reminds me a little bit of because of all of the ways he can contribute. He's an outstanding player and is surprisingly athletic as a RB with good hands, speed, and power. He's the kind of Swiss Army knife depth player who can play a variety roles, which could help him carve out a long career in the NFL.

RB Kene Nwangwu, Iowa State

Kene Nwangwu
Iowa State RB Kene Nwangwu

Kene Nwangwu was a backup during his time at Iowa State and as such didn't receive a lot of playing time, but when he did he impressed. He is an athletically gifted RB prospect, which is probably why his 9.88 RAS score is one of the best amongst all prospects in this year's draft class. As impressive as that is though, he has an intriguing skill set as well.

Why Nwangwu didn't receive more playing time during his time at Iowa State is beyond me. He has three-down ability and the size, speed, power, and elusiveness to be a starting caliber RB. He also has shown the ability to be a good receiver out of the backfilled as well. And, on top of that he can contribute on special teams as a , where he averaged 26.8 yards per attempt in college.

What do you think?

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Written by Brian Martin

Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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7 Comments

  1. This team doesn’t know how to incorporate a 2nd RB into the game plan. They’ve had game-breaker types but don’t utilize them. Are any of these guys better than Pollard?

  2. For what it’s worth, Nwangwu was the Big 12 Co-Scholar Athlete of the year (Sam Ehlinger was the other) studying mechanical engineering this year, so your story is likely not applicable in this instance. His first year he was selected freshman All-American KR before tearing his achilles to start his sophomore season. By the time he was really healthy he was stuck behind that David Montgomery guy, followed by consensus all American Breece Hall. There was no fall off in production from Hall to Nwangwu this year but he definitely didn’t carry the same load. Has physical comps to Raheem Mostert (Who was a UDFA) Not that speed is everything, but I’ve seen 40 times reported between 4.29 and 4.32. I think he’s probably a lottery ticket in the 7th. Not sure he’s a fit for the Cowboys but if he doesn’t get drafted I’m definitely interested in a closer look.

  3. Little story here on the possibility of this kid, Nwanguw, being a backup and playing sparingly. While coaching in high school we had this big kids and fast, rarely played. One day a school administrator pproached me during a game asked me how come he wasn’t playinv since he was bigger and faster than most kids. I wasn’t in the mood to explain so i called the kid and sent him with the play. A second later I saw the Qb calling a timeout, when I asked him for a reason he told that the big kid had forgot the play, I turned towards the administrator and said that is why he doesn’t play. Not sayinv that is the case with this kid but if he is not playing that much there is reason and he’s college coach knows him better.

  4. Would prefer less of a “sleeper” approach to any of the picks this year, no matter how late in the draft. Would prefer to have those picks packaged and move up for true “prospects”.

  5. Evans looks like the best of these “sleepers”, and Funk looks very intriguing. I guess Kene was stuck behind other players. Just looking at “highlights” Evans and Funk both look like good late rders or UDFAs. Could not find much on Kene.

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