Running Back: Damien Harris, New England Patriots
There really isn’t a major standout player at running back entering the 2021 season in this division, but if anybody at the position has a chance to leap into stardom, it’s Damien Harris.
In typical Bill Belichick fashion, the Patriots’ head coach wouldn’t fully hand over the backfield to Harris in 2020, as the team frequently mixed in Sony Michel and Rex Burkhead on rushing downs (146 combined carries) and James White dominated the passing game work (49 receptions). The tailback also missed six games due to a pair of different injuries which didn’t help his cause, either.
Entering 2021, however, there’s no reason why New England shouldn’t lean on Harris in the ground game. He averaged an impressive 5.0 yards-per-carry on 137 attempts last year, and dating back to his time at Alabama, has proven to be a solid pass-catcher. In his final season in college, he corralled a respectable 22 receptions on 23 targets for 204 receiving yards.