2021 NFL Draft

2021 NFL Draft Kenneth Gainwell Profile


Welcome back for a look at my 2021 NFL Draft Kenneth Gainwell Profile!

Whether you’re looking for insight come Draft Day or what to expect from Gainwell as a Fantasy Prospect you’re in the right place!

We’ll dive into his college career by analyzing his statistical production and then take a look at his tape!

If you haven’t checked out my other Draft Profiles on some exciting prospects, don’t miss out! Find those here:

Then don’t miss out on all the other offseason content I’ve been putting together here. There’s a lot of YouTube content featuring NFL Mock Drafts and Dynasty Rookie Drafts, as well as other exclusive written content. I’d appreciate if y’all would check it out.

Now let’s dive into Kenneth Gainwell shall we?

2021 NFL Draft Kenneth Gainwell Profile

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Collegiate Career


Gainwell is a pretty polarizing prospect similar to Gregory Rousseau, in that people are either going to love him and hate him. Being someone who typically dives into defense, Gainwell was a prospect I wanted to do a draft profile on to see for myself.

Coming in with fresh eyes I’m aiming to see if Gainwell lives up to the hype. Unofficially coming in at 5’11” and 183 lbs(I did see a graphic that puts him at 195 lbs which is a massive difference) already has me concerned. But I’m willing to see if his playstyle is one that can find a home in the NFL, and what that might mean for your Fantasy Team.

Gainwell was a 2020 opt-out, which is unfortunate but it is what it is. So I’ll also be digging deeper to see if I can’t find out how he’s been training and who he’s been training with.
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As you can see he only has one year of solid production. Which is provides a narrative that can be spun one of two ways.

A: “Well he has less tread on the tires and will be fresher as a prospect.”

Sure this is true, but then you look at the counterargument

B: “He hasn’t had time to really develop and get into the game.” Both points are fair ones.

Looking into the production he had, he was a fair runner averaging 6.3 YPC, on a large workload. 51 Receptions in a season is massive at the running back position, however. On top of that, he was efficient with that work, averaging 12 YPR. This plays to the narrative that it’s likely he was getting work downfield and not just catching short passes.

Tale of the Tape

I’m a big fan of Gainwell’s film honestly. I mentioned earlier there’s a graphic out there that puts him at 195 lbs and I believe that. Whatever his weight is he carries it well. He looks bigger than whatever weight he’s listed at, and looks taller too. So the size concerns I had are all pretty much out the window.

He has a disgusting spin move that I think he falls back on more than he should. But when it hits like it does why wouldn’t you? On top of that, I think he has underrated vision and patience while his blocks develop.

He has underrated power as well. Now power isn’t just trucking linebackers and defensive linemen. Power is also being able to fight through arm and ankle tackles and continue through contact on a consistent basis. Now there is something to be said about the competition he was facing and how great of tacklers they are. This is a fair argument. But you only play who you get to play, and he did well in the instances and opportunities he was given.

Then you take a look at his long speed. The dude is lightning. Period. If he gets the ball in his hands in the open field, good luck.

When it comes to his receiving abilities I’ll say I saw what I expected, but I wasn’t blown away. He has good, not great hands, but better than the average running back. He gets split out wide and runs routes pretty well thanks to his athleticism. This just adds another dimension to his game.
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NFL Draft Projections

Gainwell is a player I expect to be a fringe Day Two/Day Three pick. He’s not going to be seen as a workhorse, every-down type back and this will likely push him down draft boards. Compiled with the fact that he’s a running back, he could see his stock fall.

The benefit that could push him back up boards is he’s very versatile. He can be a third-down satellite back, split out back, punt returner, kick returner and so on.

Fantasy Projection

His Fantasy Production will wildly depend upon where he gets drafted. If he’s going somewhere with an established 3 Down back well that’s obviously not great. But if he lands somewhere with a somewhat ambiguous backfield or where they have the bruiser but not the 3rd down piece he could find himself in a valuable committee.

Unless he’s drafted to a San Francisco or Arizona (Yes those are my favorite fits for him), I think you’ll likely find him available in the 2nd Round of most drafts. However depending on the landing spot that may be a value, or it might be a reach. Gainwell is someone that people might warm up to after the NFL Draft.


All in all, I came out the other side of this much higher on Gainwell than I thought I would be. He’s my RB5 for now, but that’s obviously subject to change.

I definitely see where the disparity comes from on those that are high on Gainwell vs those that are low on him. Between the size and holes in his game, and short lived production I get it. He’s been getting in work on his route running it seems so it’s good to see him preparing for Pro Day in some capacity, which will be held March 19th.

Thanks for checking out my 2021 NFL Draft Kenneth Gainwell Profile! Be sure to check out the rest of my offseason content here and stay tuned in to everything I have going on this offseason!


About Bob Van Duser

Here to shed some light on the IDP side of Fantasy Football. With years of experience I intend to expand the horizons of players and show them how exciting IDP can be in their leagues, as well as providing a reputable source to those who play in IDP leagues already but may want to see a differing opinion or may be looking for further details and research

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