2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: RB Kenneth Gainwell

Photo: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports


Kenneth Gainwell played quarterback in high school and produced 1,459 rushing yards (6.3 avg) and 13 touchdowns with 51 receptions for 610 yards and three receiving touchdowns in his first season of playing running back as a redshirt freshman in 2019. A dynamic playmaker in 2019, Gainwell has good vision, elusiveness, footwork, pass-catching ability, and a surprising amount of power given his build. Memphis featured him as both a runner and receiver and his pass-catching skills should be a big part of his role in the NFL. The Tigers got him involved in the screen game and from the slot, where he features good route-running skills, reliable hands, and creativity in space. With only one year of time at the running back position in a spread offense like Memphis, Gainwell has a considerable transition ahead of him to the NFL. His frame is somewhat long and lean and he would be well-served to bulk up to fill out his frame but also add functional strength. Gainwell has the potential to become the focal point of an NFL backfield as a multifaceted weapon. 

Ideal Role: Featured back that plays some in the slot and is featured heavily in the passing game. 

Scheme Fit: Spread, wide zone.

Written by Joe Marino 

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Written By:

Joe Marino

Senior NFL Draft Analyst

Joe Marino is a Senior NFL Draft Analyst at TDN. Marino comes to TDN after serving as a draft analyst for NDT Scouting, FanRag Sports and Draft Breakdown dating back to 2014. In 2017, Marino became a Huddle Report Mock Draft Champion when he produced the most accurate mock draft in the world.