NFL Draft

2021 NFL Draft Player Profiles: Arkansas RB Rakeem Boyd

From now until the 2021 NFL Draft takes place, we hope to showcase as many prospects as possible and examine both their strengths and weaknesses. Most of these profiles will feature individuals that the Pittsburgh Steelers are likely to have an interest in, while a few others will be top-ranked players. If there is a player you would like us to analyze, let us know in the comments below.

#5 Rakeem Boyd/RB/Arkansas/5’11”, 213 Lbs

The Good

-Elite-level long speed; consistently hit the home run in 2019
-Long strider that destroys angles
-Patient runner with good feet to stay in control throughout rep
-Impressive contact balance for the position
-Rocked-up build to handle heavy workload
-Consistently falls forward at the end of runs
-Flashed solid hands out of the backfield
-High-level ball security; rarely makes mistakes

The Bad

-Vision is a bit below average right now; wants to stay on schedule and go where run is designed for, leading to some missed holes
-Needs a bit of a runway to hit home run; not a sudden athlete by any means
-Though willing, does not have the lower half strength to hold up in pass protection
-Doesn’t have much elusiveness to his game; struggles to make defenders miss in space
-Despite having good hands, struggles with concentration drops


-Played in 31 games at Arkansas over four years
-Rushed 389 times for 2,273 yards and 13 touchdowns for the Razorbacks
-Added 52 catches for 358 yards at Arkansas
-Finished his Arkansas career averaging 5.81 yards per rush, sixth-highest in school history
-His nine career 100+ yard rushing performances are tied for eighth-most in program history
-Former Netflix Last Chance U star at Independence (Kansas) Community College
-Clocked a 4.58 40-yard dash at Arkansas Pro Day, and recorded a 31.5-inch vertical jump

Tape Breakdown

In today’s digital age of streaming, Arkansas’ Rakeem Boyd was a household name through social media and the internet prior to landing with the Razorbacks, thanks to his star turn on the popular Netflix Last Chance U show.

While at Independence (Kansas) Community College, Boyd turned into one of the top JUCO running back’s and chose the Razorbacks over Colorado, landing in the SEC where he quickly developed into a feature back, leading the Razorbacks in rushing in each of the last two seasons.

A speed back with good contact balance and upper body strength, Boyd projects as a solid No. 2 at the next level that could hold down a three-down role in the NFL.


Though he needs a runway to reach top speed, Boyd has legitimate home run speed and can run away from defenders in a hurry, destroying any sort of angle they may have on him.

Here against Colorado State in 2019, watch the way Boyd smokes the angle the two Rams safeties have on him in the middle of the field, leading to the 59-yard score. He’s a long strider that chews up a ton of yardage on each step.


Boyd has a rocked up upper body and does a great job running through arm tackles. He’s slippery in that way, and adds some serious power at the end of runs, especially when defenders try to go high against him.

I love the way he finishes this 12-yard run against Texas A&M in 2019. He slips two arm tackles and then plows through two Aggie defensive backs to move the chains.


One year later, this is probably my favorite run I saw from Boyd through two seasons.

He absorbs the hard, high hit from the Florida defender and bounces right off of it. I like the contact balance to maintain his base, allowing him to churn towards the first down marker, moving the chains.

I love his mentality at the end of runs: finish, finish, finish. That will play at the next level.


Quietly, Boyd has good feet for the position.

He does a great job shuffling to work to the outside here on this touchdown run against the Gators. Once he sees a lane inside though, he’s able to plant and burst through the gap for the score.

Watch those feet; they’re pretty darn impressive.


Boyd isn’t twitched up and won’t blow people away with his agility, but he has good burst when he’s rolling downhill.

Here against Texas A&M in 2020, Boyd is able to get skinny and squeeze through the hole without losing speed. He runs through an arm tackle and is then able to carry a defender into the end zone for the score.

Overall, Boyd is down the charts in this RB class, but he projects as a solid, durable No. 2 running back who can hold down a three-down role in the NFL in limited action. I love his long speed and his power overall, but he needs to work on some agility drills to add some wiggle to his game.

He’s definitely worth taking a shot on late on Day 3.

Projection: Late Day 3

Games Watched: Portland State (2019), Colorado State (2019), Texas A&M (2019), Texas A&M (2020), Florida (2020), Mississippi State (2020)

Previous 2021 NFL Draft Player Profiles
OC Drake Jackson OC Landon Dickerson TE Pat Freiermuth RB Javonte Williams
CB Patrick Surtain II OG Deonte Brown TE Kylen Granson TE Brevin Jordan
OL Trey Smith OT Adrian Ealy CB Jaycee Horn CB Kary Vincent Jr.
RB Elijah Mitchell OT Alex Leatherwood TE Hunter Long RB Najee Harris
CB Tyson Campbell LB Zaven Collins DB Greg Newsome TE Tony Poljan
DL Christian Barmore RB Kenneth Gainwell OT Rashawn Slater WR Kadarius Toney
RB Michael Carter EDGE Joe Tryon CB Thomas Graham Jr. WR Amari Rodgers
RB Demetric Felton C Creed Humphrey C Trey Hill LB Jabril Cox
CB Asante Samuel Jr. S Joshuah Bledsoe OT Samuel Cosmi S Trevon Moehrig
RB Chuba Hubbard S James Wiggins LB Garret Wallow RB Kylin Hill
WR Dazz Newsome RB Khalil Herbert CB Shaun Wade WR Tylan Wallace
RB Rhamondre Stevenson CB Camryn Bynum WR Amon-Ra St. Brown WR Shi Smith
OT Liam Eichenberg EDGE Patrick Jones DT Alim McNeill OT Christian Darrisaw
QB Kyle Trask RB Jermar Jefferson QB Trey Lance OT Jaylen Mayfield
OT Teven Jenkins TE Kenny Yeboah LB Chazz Surratt CB Tre Brown
QB Kellen Mond LB Nick Bolton OL Brady Christensen DL Dayvion Nixon
CB Elijah Molden QB Mac Jones EDGE Rashad Weaver LB Cameron McGrone
RB Trey Sermon LB Pete Werner LB Tony Fields TE Luke Farrell
RB Jaret Patterson LB Dylan Moses TE Kyle Pitts LB Jamin Davis
TE Tommy Tremble QB Jamie Newman TE Shaun Beyer EDGE Azeez Ojulari
QB KJ Costello CB Caleb Farley DB Richie Grant OT Tommy Doyle
OG Jackson Carman WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette LB Baron Browning WR Terrace Marshall
LB/S JaCoby Stevens OC Josh Myers S Hamsah Nasirildeen OT Dillon Radunz
LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah WR Anthony Schwartz S Talanoa Hufanga WR Sage Surratt
WR Dyami Brown WR Elijah Moore OT Jaylon Moore WR Seth Williams
NT Forrest Merrill WR Cornell Powell WR Rondale Moore EDGE Jaelan Phillips
S Divine Deablo WR Rashod Bateman EDGE Elerson Smith C Jimmy Morrissey
RB Larry Rountree C/G Quinn Meinerz CB Benjamin St-Juste OT Spencer Brown
EDGE Daelin Hayes WR Tamorrion Terry DL Marvin Wilson OT Walker Little
CB Aaron Robinson WR D’Wayne Eskridge EDGE Joseph Ossai EDGE Quincy Roche
OT Alijah Vera-Tucker WR Tutu Atwell TE Pro Wells RB Pooka Williams
EDGE William Bradley-King S Ar’Darius Washington EDGE Joshua Kaindoh WR Jonathan Adams
DB Trill Williams QB Davis Mills EDGE Greg Rousseau  WR Cade Johnson
ILB K.J. Britt OG Aaron Banks DL Jay Tufele OG Wyatt Davis
CB Kelvin Joseph S Paris Ford DL Milton Williams OT James Hudson
DL Tommy Togiai EDGE Ronnie Perkins TE Tre McKitty EDGE Victor Dimukeje
CB Robert Rochell OT Stone Forsythe EDGE Janarius Robinson DL Tyler Shelvin
CB Rodarius Williams WR Jaelon Darden WR Nico Collins DL Levi Onwuzurike
EDGE Carlos Basham Jr. TE Quintin Morris LB Monty Rice LB Derrick Barnes
EDGE Raymond Johnson III CB Ifeatu Melifonwu OL Kendrick Green OT D’Ante Smith
WR Jalen Camp RB Javian Hawkins DL Jaylen Twyman TE Matt Bushman
OL David Moore WR Josh Imatorbhebe EDGE Hamilcar Rashed Jr. DB Bryce Thompson
CB Ambry Thomas EDGE Jonathon Cooper WR Marquez Stevenson LB Micah Parsons
EDGE Patrick Johnson S Damar Hamlin DL Osa Odighizuwa TE John Bates
WR Simi Fehoko EDGE Malcolm Koonce WR Trevon Grimes OT Royce Newman
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